Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cambodia's Sweet Spot

For those who don't read the New York Times, here is an article they published about Kep this weekend.

The author visited Kep last year so the information about Bokor is a bit outdated. You can read more of an update in my recent post.

Although she mentioned the tranquility and the nice boutique hotels and at the same time warning that the crowds will eventually follow, she chose hotels in a price range that are exactly the precursor to mass tourism. $300 a night is definitely for wealthier people. The average individual tourist would be turned off by such hotel rates. Thankfully, there are sites like Trip Advisor that give a wider variety to choose from. But the tourism market tends to follow  backpackers and, ironically, rich people. All inclusive package tour operators get cut-rate hotel rates for the promise of high occupancies.

One thing is clear though. If Kep would be turned into a mass tourism destination like Koh Samui (which it can't for lack of beaches) or Chiangmai in Thailand, this would most certainly spoil and ultimately destroy the rather unique character of this serene beach town. Let's hope it will stay the way it is now for a long time to come.

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