The best of life is under


Exactly here there is one of those old French abandoned houses to see in Kep Province. When I have visitors to Kep, the tiniest and amazing Cambodian province, I bring them to Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), the Crab Market, the hills, Kampong Trach District (although located in the Kampot territory), the Vietnamese border to Hatien and the Ramoh Caves (also in the limit with Kampot.) But there is something I enjoy to show: the old French abandoned houses.

Every visitor shows a great amazement on them. They are the rest of what was the old French town of Kep, the resort city during the colonial time. The trace of wide avenues and stylish fens around phantom buildings are everywhere, many of them covered by the vegetation. You can imagine the 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s around these decadent mansions, French music and a relaxing life in the quiet of what is today a National Park

It is possible to access to most of the old houses. Prevention is recommended since the buildings can be old as more than 50 years and a long time of abandonment. The Khmer Rouge regime destroyed many of them and the region was isolated for decades, so there was not a process of maintenance over them. However, locals and tourist agencies are eager to show them.

A tree conquered the cement in the same way of the Angkor temples, but this is an old French house in Kep.

Without exaggerating, all these old mansions should be declared a national heritage and even monuments of historical interest. Some business are already built over the last rests of them, while they could be repaired to become cultural centers or something like that.

I will count them this month and create a kind of registration, before they are demolished if it cannot be avoided.



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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (

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