We arrived in Phnom Penh on 9 April and stayed overnight. The next day, we then took the train to Kampot.
This year, 2023, the Khmer New Year is 14 April. We were told that shops and restaurants will be closed for four days from New Year’s Eve on 13 April, so we plan to escape Cambodia before then.
We plan to gradually head towards the border from Kampot, but first we will go from Phnom Penh to Kampot.
Getting to Kampot from Phnom Penh
Kampot is the capital of Kampot Province in southern Cambodia. With a population of approximately 50,000 (2012), the city is close to the coastline and is famous for pepper cultivation.
The distance from Phnom Penh is approximately 150 km and most people take buses, but we decided to take the train.
Purchasing a train ticket from Phnom Penh to Kampot
There is one train a day from Phnom Penh to Kampot leaving at 7am.
Phnom Penh is the starting point, so you can expect a punctual departure!
Phnom Penh railway station is in the city centre and we walked there the day before to buy our tickets.
The woman at the counter spoke English, so buying tickets was easy. The train fare from Phnom Penh to Kampot is USD 9 per ticket.
She laughed when I asked what time we would arrive in Kampot. She said the journey would take about three hours, but we shouldn’t expect much.
At the ticket office, there was a sign advising us to come to the platform 40 minutes before departure time on the day of the train.
Getting to Phnom Penh railway station
Phnom Penh Railway Station is located in the centre of the city and can be reached on foot. We were staying at a hotel slightly out of the centre, so we travelled by tuk-tuk using the transport app Grab the morning we left. The tuk-tuk fare was 5,500 Riel for a distance of approximately 3 km to the station.
When we arrived at the station at around 6.30 am, several restaurants were already open in front of the station. We bought a takeaway chicken and rice for breakfast. It cost 6,000 riel per person with a fried egg and pickles.
Boarding the train from Phnom Penh to Kampot
When we entered the platform, the train was already there. Check the destination sign at the boarding gate and board the train.
There was something that looked like a seat number printed on the ticket, but it seemed that we were free to sit in any seat.
The seats are blue bench-type seats. There is also a toilet, which I filmed on video, and it is was quite clean.
The train departed on time at 7am with a classic whistle blowing. The train crossed the city of Phnom Penh and went out to the suburbs, gradually changing to a countryside landscape.
We had breakfast while watching the cows munching on grass in the flat rice fields.
White rice cooked with a mixture of red rice, topped with chicken and a fried egg. It was accompanied by plenty of pickles pickled in sweet vinegar.
Arrival at Kampot
The train travelled on, stopping at several stations along the way, arriving at our destination, Kampot, at around 11am.
Kampot railway station is a little far from the town centre.
The guesthouse we had booked was about 2.5 km away, which was within walking distance, but we negotiated with the tuk-tuk driver waiting on the platform to give us a lift for 5,000 Riel.
In Kampot, we enjoyed sightseeing by bicycle.