Kampot City

Kampot is the provincial capital of Kampot, a city in southern Cambodia.

Situated around 5 km (3 km) from the Gulf of Thailand, it is situated on the Praek Tuek Chhu River, southeast of the Elephant Mountains. Under French administration, Kampot served as the capital of the Circonscription Résidentielle de Kampot and was the country’s most significant seaport following the Mekong Delta’s collapse and prior to Sihanoukville’s founding. Unlike most provincial capitals in Cambodia, its centre is made up of French colonial buildings from the 19th century. The town and area are well-known for their premium pepper, which is shipped all over the world. It is renowned for both durian and Kampot fish sauce. Since 2017, the government and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Art have been working on the paperwork to submit The Old Town of Kampot—along with The Old Town of Battambang and The Old Town of Kratie—for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.


A time period spanning from 1771 to 1775 is mentioned in the first account of Kampot found in the Cambodian Royal Chronicles. Prior to advancing on Oudong, the capital of Cambodia, King Taksin of Siam attacked Ha-Tien in 1771 and totally destroyed it.

The future king of Cambodia, Ang Non II, assembled Siamese warriors at Kampot, which he used as a centre of operations until he was crowned in 1775, in an attempt to topple the Outey II, the Khmer king, who was allied with the Vietnamese Mac Thien Tu, based in Ha-Tien.

Oknha Mau in 1841

A Cambodian governor named Oknha-Mau resisted the Vietnamese yoke that was progressively being imposed on Kampot once more in 1841. With Siam’s assistance, he assembled a military group comprising approximately 3,000 Cambodians. Once more, the Vietnamese fled to Ha-Tien.

The first international seaport of Cambodia (1841–1860)

When Khmer King Ang Duong came to power in 1840, he built a route connecting Kampot, the country’s only international harbour, with his capital city of Oudong. Under the control of Singapore’s Anglo-Chinese merchants, imports and exports surged rapidly, transforming a city neighbourhood into the Chinese Kampot. At that time, Father Hestret, a French missionary, established Kampot’s first Catholic church and hosted French adventurer Henri Mouhot.