Fishing boats at anchor near the crab restaurants.
Early in the 20th century - even before the hill station on Bokor was built - the coast around Kep became the favored seaside getaway destination for well-to-do French colonists. Like the Bokor hill station, the villas lining the coast at Kep were abandoned by the early 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia.
Kep lies about 25 kilometers to the east of Kampot. Today, the area has a very out-of-the-way feel to it. There are just a small handful of hotels and resorts, a few restaurants, and not much else. Among Cambodians, the area is best known for its crabs. People drive down from Phnom Penh just to sample the fresh crab and other seafood at one of the small shacks lining the beach in a couple of spots.
There isn't much of a beach at Kep. Most of the shore is rather rocky. There's a small sandy beach in the cove between the cape and the town itself. For good beaches, it's necessary to take a short boat trip to Rabbit island.