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History

Kampot became a regional administrative center with the status of a state border district as a result of the delimitation of the Kingdom of Cambodia under French colonial administration in 19th century. The Circonscription Résidentielle de Kampot contained the arrondissements of Kampot, Sihanoukville (Kompong-Som), Trang and Kong-Pisey.

In 1889 French colonial census reports a multi-ethnic community: Kampot town consisted of “Cambodian [Kampot]]” on the Prek-Kampot River and “Chinese Kampot” on the right riverbank of the west branch of the Prek-Thom River. Nearby was also a Vietnamese village, called Tien-Thanh and another Vietnamese village on Traeuy Koh Island. A Malay also existed on Traeuy Koh Island. Additional villages of mixed ethnicity are listed.

Geography

Kampot province is 4.873 square kilometres big. It’s located in the Southwest of the country and is bordering to the North with Kampong Speu, in the East with Takeo, in the West with Sihanoukville and Koh Kong and to the South with the Gulf of Thailand. The East of the province consists of the typical plain area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The Western part of the province shows up with the well-known Bokor National Park, being a part of the grant Elephant Mountains, which is rich in lush forests and a huge range of wildlife. The two highest points in the province are the Bokor Hill Station with 1,027m altitude and further north another hilltop with 1,050m altitude. Some people consider the countryside similar to the sharp Vietnamese limestone rocks shooting up of flat plains – an impressive aspect.

This pictures province is located in the Southwest of the country, having an eighty kilometres costal strip with the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital is named Kampot and sits near the base of the abundant green Elephant Mountains and the famous Bokor Hill Station. Compete to crowded Sihanoukville in the North of the province you may find quietness and almost no tourists around here.

Most visitors come here to have a look at the old French colonial architecture, which is one still in charming condition, to have a vantage point for visiting the near beaches or the small islands of Kep. Kampot province is also renowned for the quality of its fruits (durian, coconut, mango, etc.), its sea salt and of course the famous Kampot Pepper. The special fresh climate and soil type of Kampot as well as the experience from several generations of pepper farmers make this pepper unique and much sought-after by gourmets’ worlwide.

The small town of Kampot on the Tuk Chhou River is 5km inland from the sea. Fishing and farming are the main activities; durians and melons grow in abundance. To the south end of the town is a large dusty traffic circle with three hotels arrayed around it – Phnom Kieu, Phnom Kamchay, and Tuk Chhou.

Each has its own restaurants; Tuk Chhou offers a seedy nightclub. Also on the circle is the Prachummith Restaurant, which is close by is the Amar Restaurant. To the south near the river is the GPO and telecommunications building. At the north end of town, about 1.5 km away, lays the Central Market, with quite a lot of food stalls. All Kampot transportation is concentrated within the range of the market – cycle, motors, taxis, trucks, and buses. The railway station lies further north, but isn’t used anymore.

There’s almost no interest in Kampot, except to walk around the town and look at crumbling French-built blue-shuttered shop fronts. You can reach Kampot by irregular plane service from Phnom Penh. It’s not the best and more comfortable way to get there by car. It takes about 5 hours to cover the 150 km from Phnom Penh to Kampot on a bumpy road, which but goes through a scenic changing nature.

Population

The current population in this province is about 619,088 people or 4,31% of the country’s total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 299,814 male and 319,274 female. The population density is therefore 127 people per square kilometre.

Various actors, according to the needs of the most important target groups, implement rural development measures effectively and efficiently. Above all, the rural population should be able to sustainably better satisfy their basic needs.

Beside the profitable fruit cropping such as durian, mango or coconut Kampot Pepper has been renowned for decades as one of the best peppers in the world. This pepper has a very distinct flavour and smell, especially when its fresh harvested. It develops an enthralling aroma, strong, delicate and aromatic. Therefore it is famous in the world and exported to many countries.

Economy

Agriculture

  • Kampot Black Pepper is a specialized product, protected by GI law, totaling 13 ha and a harvesting area of 10.50 ha located in Domnak Kantoul, Kang Tboung Commune, Kompong Trach District.
  • Durian, another specialized product totaling 537 ha and yielding 10,657 tons located in Makbrang Commune, Tek Chhou district.
  • Rubber, plantation area: 20 ha
  • Cambodia sea salt: produced from natural sea water in a four-stage production process, cultivation area is 4,475.94 hectares, yields are approximately 140,000 tons per year.

Forestry & Mining

  • Forestry area: 227,154 ha
  • 48 Mineral production and mining areas

Tourism

  • Historical/cultural areas: 4 places
  • Wildlife sanctuaries and protected areas: Preah Monivong National Park at 140,000 hectare

Administration

The province is subdivided into 8 districts.

  • 0701 Angkor Chey – អង្គរជ័យ
  • 0702 Banteay Meas – បន្ទាយមាស
  • 0703 Chhuk – ឈូក
  • 0704 Chum Kiri – ជុំគិរី
  • 0705 Dang Tong – ដងទង់
  • 0706 Kampong Trach – កំពង់ត្រាច
  • 0707 Tuek Chhou, changed from Kampot district in 2008 – ស្រុកទឹកឈូ បានប្ដូរឈ្មោះមកពីស្រុកកំពតឆ្នាំ២០០៨
  • 0708 Krong Kampot, changed from Kampong Bay in 2008 – ក្រុងកំពត បានប្ដូរឈ្មោះពីស្រុកកំពង់បាយឆ្នាំ២០០៨

Weather

The country enjoy  tropical climate with  warm and humid temperature. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travelers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms. Cambodia has sun almost year round. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

  • Hot season: March- May (27c -35c)
  • Rainy season: May – October (24c-32c.)
  • Cool season: November- March (22c-28c)

The best beach weather begins with the end of the rains in November. The dry, warm, breezy weather that follows lasts through January. Night temperatures can get down to a chilly 20° but the days hover around 28°-30°. Many think December and January are best with their balmy temperatures and blue skies. At the end of January, Kampot begins to warm and continues to get hotter through July (maximum 35°). After February, cool ‘mango showers’ occasionally blow in from the north. December through June is said by some local outfitters to be the best scuba weather with clearer (though cooler) waters than the rest of the year.

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