On the coastline of southwest Cambodia, just a few kilometres from the border with Vietnam is Kep.
Famous for its vivid mountains, raw beaches and fresh seafood, the hundred years old French built seaside town used to be the most popular beach resort of Cambodian elites and foreigners before the civil war, and it is also HM King Father Sihanouk's favourite. The King Father's affection to Kep is so strong that in early 1990s when peace returned, His Majesty built a royal villa on top of the hill northwest of Kep Beach, unfortunately for reasons it remains unfinished and now becomes a tourist spot.
On 22nd December 2008, HM King Sihamoni signed a Royal Decree which changed the municipalities of Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville into provinces. Province is the 1st level administrative division while municipality 2nd.
Before the change, Kep was "Krong Kep" on postmark, "krong" is the Khmer word for "city":
When raised to the status of province, Kep updated her postmark in a very simple fashion: chiseled away the Khmer and English words "Krong", and everything else left the same:
The altered postmark looks strange, but for developing countries like Cambodia, this is to maximize utilities in the most economic way which is a wise act.
For a view of Kep post offices, fellow collector Graham Shaw has some nice photo shots, please click here to enjoy.
Location of Kep.
HM King Father Norodom Sihanouk is a well known music and cinema enthusiast, in 1960s he wrote a song devoted to Kep, titled "Beauté de Kep". Please click below for beautiful music Cambodia has to offer.
Scenic view of Kep.