Kampot's hang-out scene
The Australian-run Bodhi Villa sits on Teuk Chhou Road a couple of kilometres north of Kampot on the west side of the river (across the bridge from the main town).
A veteran of the Kampot scene, Bodhi is now a little past its best, although the laidback traveller guests enjoy the low-key atmosphere and famous Friday night parties, complete with live music. This can be a major drawback if you're staying in the floating bungalow situated a few feet from the bar and you have your serene river swims punctuated by loud music or your sleep interrupted by hippies playing the bongos late into the night. The owners and staff are indisputably likable but we found the service a little sleepy. The shabbily beautiful main building houses the restaurant, bar and common area, which tumble down to a floating pier, with numerous spots to lay about and relax over two storeys. Rooms in the main building are basic, but clean and cheap, and we'd say a better option than the inadequately soundproofed bungalows in the jungle of a garden out back. Don't forget the floating room on the river, which is well worth the extra $2 per night for the novelty. With only three walls (the third with a few curtains opening to the river), you can dive from your bedroom directly into the river. Just open your eyes and look up to see spectacular morning sunrises. There's WiFi and a good mixed menu with food that was of a high quality and well-priced (try the famous veggie-packed omelette or the pancakes for a seriously satisfying breakfast). Bodhi used to be first choice for budget travellers looking for a bit of down time to recharge, but competition is now provided by Naga House just down the road. There's no free transport from the bus and taxi stand, so you'll have to pay to get out there, and it's a bit of a walk into town, so prepare to pay for rides or rent bicycles there for $1.50 per day.
By Abigail Gilbert
Last updated on 17th February, 2014.