Kep, also known as Kep-sur-Mer, is located 15 miles from Kampot. This beautiful coastal area was once the favourite holiday spot for Cambodia’s French-influenced elite at the turn of the 19th century. Around 1200 luxurious villas were built during the French colonial period. During the time of the Khmer Rouge many of the villas were gutted and the resort became a shadow of its former self, but some of the original buildings have recently been restored and converted into charming small hotels. Today Kep is on the rise due to its popularity with day trippers from Phnom Penh who come for the sea air and fresh seafood, especially the abundant local crab. From Kep fishing boats can take you to one of the idyllic tropical islands scattered in the bay.