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KEP

 

Kep is a seaside resort city located 173 kilometers southwest of Phnom Penh. Foreigners coming from Vietnam can enter Cambodia via Ha Teang Prek Chak border checkpoint, about 40 kilometers from Kep, or they can travel by boat from Vietnam or Sihanoukville to Kep City Port. The city was founded in 1908 during the French colonial times. It was renovated into a beautiful seaside resort in 1960s during Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime. The name Kep is derived from the French word “le cap”, or “cape” in English. A cape is a point of land that juts into water, especially a headland significant for navigation. Khmer legend offers another explanation for the name. There once was a prince named Sakor Reach who possessed great magical powers. One day, Sakor Reach used his magic to hypnotize a commander of Angkor Thom before stealing the commander’s horse and escaping to the southwest part of the country. While Sakor Reach was relaxing at the seaside, the commander’s troops caught up with him. Nervously, the prince suddenly hopped on the back of the commander’s horse. The horse reared back, however, and fell on the prince losing its saddle in the process. The prince got back on the horse and rode off, leaving the saddle there. Hence, the area was called Kep Seh. Later it was shortened to Kep.
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