Kep Beach and Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)
Kep is a small coastal town located in the province with same name. It's a cute, peaceful destination to those looking for some relaxation and delicious seafood. Kep beach is also just a 20-minute boat ride to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), another gem in the Cambodian seas.
In our trip there, we spent one night in Kep Beach and headed to Rabbit Island the next morning.
Once in Kep, visiting the Crab Market is a must! There you can find delicious, fresh seafood for a good price and try other snacks offered in the market. And if you like taking pictures of local markets like me, you'll enjoy it even more.
If you are in a group of people, you can buy raw, fresh seafood in a bigger quantity from the vendors and ask them to cook to your like in the spot. It will cost you just a couple of dollars extra and I can assure you won't regret it.
If you prefer to eat in restaurants and choose trough a menu, there are plenty of option alongside the market. We had dinner in a restaurant called Srey Ka. Its decoration is not very appealing but the food is really good! Their tom yum soup is one of the best I've ever had.
During the afternoon, we also visited Kep National Park. It's a nice jungle area, where you can choose to walk through a circle trail (around 8km long, a 2-3 hour walk) or go by motorcycle.
In the way up to the park, you can also visit a pagoda without all the crowd from cities like Phnom Penh, for example. It's small but I personally found it really beautiful with all the nature around it.
We made this trip mainly to relax and rest, so we also spent a good time in our little hotel, just chilling by the pool and eating some snacks we grabbed at the Crab Market.
Accommodations in Kep are widely available nowadays, so if you plan ahead, you'll find a place that's perfect for you.
Kep beach is quite silent at night, so don't expect any buzz or many options to hang out. Actually, the Crab Market and the restaurants around it close around 8pm.
If you are looking for more action, you can go to Kampot, a more or less 30 minutes ride from Kep.
Most people actually travel to Kampot as their main destination and head to Kep and Rabbit Island to spend a day or two, but that's up to you to decide! Kampot is much more developed and touristy. It offers other attractions that you might want to look up into, like pepper farms, salt fields and the Bokor Mountain.
In the morning, we headed to Koh Tonsay Boat Terminal to catch our boat to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island).
Boats leave the small port regularly during the day and individual tickets costs $8. You can also pay around $30 for an entire boat, that are able to carry six to eight people.
Your boat will have a number on it and your return to the port should be with the same boat.
If you are planning to only spend the day on the island, be aware that the last boats leave the island around 4pm. To be sure, speak to your driver, so he knows what time you plan to come back, even if you are staying on the island throughout the night.
Accommodations in the island are very, very simple. All business are ran by families and all you'll get it's a bungalow with a mattress, a mosquito net, a fan and a bathroom with scarce water.
Electricity is only available from 6pm to 10pm, so make sure all your electronic devices are charged during this time or before coming to the island. A torch also might be handy.
Wi-Fi might not be available, but cellular data from local carriers works pretty well on the island. The one I use is Metfone.
There's no much to do on the island besides relaxing, eating fresh seafod, swimming and maybe doing some exploring.
The main beach where all the bungalows are and where the boats anchors is about 600 meters long. You can also hike around the island. Some parts might be a bit wet but you will go around the entire island in around three hours.
If you are into fishing, you can also try to arrange a small fishing trip with the locals or with the boat that brought you to the island.
The island is very peaceful in most days. It's a great place to escape from the crowds and to have a pleasant time surrounded by nature. I really enjoyed Koh Tonsay and I'll go back for sure in the future.
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