If you’ve found yourself in the small town of Kampot in Cambodia’s south then you may be wondering why so many people choose to pass through here on their travels. Famous for it’s pepper farms, and the neighbouring town of Kep where you can pick yourself up some of Cambodia’s most delightful crab dishes, Kampot has much to offer for those wanting a break from the mayhem of Phnom Penh, and the party vibe of Sihanoukville.

Here are five alternative activities to consider during your stay that will give you a taste of the laid-back Cambodian lifestyle of Kampot.

Relax on the river with some Paddleboard Yoga

Supasia is taking Yoga to the next level. If you’ve ever felt a complete sense of relaxation while participating in this ancient practice, you’ll be sure to take that relaxation to another level when you practice your poses on water. It’s also a great way to see the views of the town from the river and is certainly a unique experience. Don’t worry if you’re new to both yoga and paddle boarding, the poses are simple and designed specifically for on the boards. Paddleboard Yoga runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7am – 8:30am and will cost you $15.

Visit a Permaculture Farm

About 15km out of town there is one of the regions largest permaculture farms. Permaculture farming is a system of sustainable farming practices whereby the emphasis is on using the natural ecosystems as a way to produce fruits and vegetables. The OM permaculture farm was founded in 2013 with the aim to provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to the local community. Akoo, the owner, also runs a restaurant in town where you can indulge in some of the cuisines made using ingredients from his farm. You can spend a day on the farm learning about the permaculture farming practices and even have some lunch there if you book in advance. All that is required is a small combined donation of $5 to the volunteers. You can contact Akoo on Facebook to make a booking or visit the OM restaurant in town.

Participate in a Cooking Class

One of the best ways to understand a country’s culture is through their food, and what best way to try the food than to learn how to cook it yourself. The Khmer Roots Café

offers cooking classes daily. Soklim, the resident chef, and his wife moved their café from the centre of Kampot to their newly owned organic farm about 10 kilometres out of town, in order to become completely self-sufficient and work towards environmental sustainability. His cooking classes have become famous here in Kampot and you can enjoy a taste of rural Cambodia when you visit.

To book a cooking class at the Khmer Roots Café you can call +855 88 356 8016. You can also arrange for pick up and drop off from your hotel.

Educate Yourself with a Documentary Night

If you’re feeling like having a quiet night the Ecran Cinema in town shows daily movies and documentaries in their upstairs space pharmacieinde.com. Their viewings include a range of educational documentaries about Cambodia including ‘The Killing Fields’, a famous British drama about the Khmer Rouge, and ‘Small Voices’, examining the struggles of street children in Cambodia. The documentaries are shown every Monday & Saturday at 4pm, and on Wednesday’s at 7pm.

Plant a Baby Mangrove

Along the river about 6 km out of town there is the Tropiang Sangke Fishery Community. This small community resides on the river and is known for looking after the mangroves in the area. In conjunction with local and international NGO’s they have been able to conserve the area and save it from the clearing being undertaken to build a larger city. The river tours that the community run assist with their local conservation efforts. You can book a sunset boat ride, which includes a visit to the mangroves, bird watching, firefly spotting and also the opportunity to plant a your own mangrove to assist with the conservation efforts in the area. The best contact for the tours is Rosat on +855 069 306 505.