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Kep is a seaside tourist city located 173 Kilometers south west of Phnom Penh. Visitors from Phnom Penh take National Road 3 via Kampot province or National Road 2 via Takeo province. Foreigners coming from Vietnam can enter Cambodia via the Ha Teang Prek Chak border checkpoint, about 40 Kilometers from Kep. The beach, which is suitable for swimming; it only 1,000 meters long has just been restored with beautiful. Clean white sand. The city was founded in 1908 during the French colonial times. It was renovated into a beautiful seaside resort in 1960s during then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s Sangkum Reast Niyum regime. The name Kep is derived from the French words le cap, or cape in English. Khmer legend offers another explanation for the name. There once was a prince named Sakor Reach who possessed great magical powers. One day, Sakor Reach used his magic to hypnotize a commander of Angkor Thom before stealing the commander’s horse and escaping to the southwest part of the country. While Sakor Reach was relaxing at the seaside, the commander’s troops caught up with him. Nervous, the prince suddenly hopped on the back of the commander’s horse. The horse reared back, however, and fell on the prince losing its saddle(seh) in the process. The prince got back on the horse and rode off, leaving the saddle there. Hence, the area was called Kep Seh. Later it was shortened to Kep.

Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island) : Koh Tonsay is located about 4.5 Kilometers southwest of Kep. Tourists are drawn to the two beautiful white sand beaches. The sea there is shallow and has a long slope, making Koh Tonsay excellent for swimming. At the sea bottom area a variety of corals, sea animals and plants which attract researchers and ecologists. The name Koh Tosay is derived from the word Rumsay. While trying to avoid the commander’s troops, Prince Sakor Reach grew hopeless because his own troops began to tire. He led his remaining troops across the sea to an island in front of Kep city, where the troops spread out. Accordingly, the island was called Koh Rumsay, the Koh Ormsay or Koh Ornsay, and the Koh Tonsay, as it is known today. Koh Tonsay is 2 square Kilometers. During then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s Sangku Reastr Niyum regime, it was used as a place to rehabilitate criminals, who were also used to defend the island. Horse cart paths and wooden, thatch roofed huts were also constructed during this time. Most of this infrastructure has been destroyed by weather and decades of war. Today, seven families live on the island. They earn their living by fishing and growing coconut trees. Day trips offer a great chance to spend a lazy morning and afternoon eating, drinking and relaxing. You can even have a massage on the beach.

There are many fun things to do around Kep, including:

  • - Walk, cycle or drive around Kep mountain with great sea views and nice forest
  • - Visit the former King Sihanouk's mansion on the top of the hill
  • - Visit Bokor mountain with a nice city and sea view from the top of the mountain
  • - Ride a bike to Tek Chou waterfalls and have a picnic

    

 
 
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