The Green Cathedral, also known as the Green Loop, is a 3 km stretch of inland waterway which is an offshoot of the Tuek Chhu River located not far from the town of Kampot.
About the Green Cathedral
To get to the start of the Green Cathedral you need to take a motorbike or tuk-tuk from Kampot to where this narrow waterway meets the much wider and busier Tuek Chhu River. There are several hotels and guesthouse near the mouth of this creek which rent out kayaks, such as the Bopha Prey Kampot, The Hideaway-Kampot, Champa Lodge, and Meraki Kampot. They all rent out kayaks by the hour for around $6 USD per hour for non-guests, and at cheaper rates for guests. The Bopha Prey Kampot offers kayaks for free to its guests. You might also want to consider renting a life jacket for either children or adults who might not be that good at swimming. This waterway has a wider section which is deeper. Before setting out you also take water and protection from the sun. Female visitors are also advised not to paddle this route in a bikini as the waterway passes by several rural communities whose inhabitants may have morally conservative values.
You can it taking estimate 1 to 2 hours for the entire loop include a paddle back up the Tuek Chhu River to the place from where you rented the kayak. There are some guesthouses with restaurants, and therefore beer, on route so you could stop for a while to eat and relax riverside before completing the journey and going home. The first part of the trip is for most people the best part. This is because this is the section of the waterway where the branches of (mostly) palm trees form a tunnel through which the creek passes, hence the name ‘Green Cathedral’ because of the resemblance of the tunnel of branches to the vaulted ceiling of a European style cathedral. Once you are past part this section the creek widens out to something more like a slow moving river. There are islands in this part of the waterway as well as some waterside villages. Later in the afternoon you will see more activity on the banks of the waterway as locals prepare their boats for the night fishing.
Location of the Green Cathedral
The loop of river known as the Green Cathedral starts near the Bopha Prey Kampot Hotel (on the Tuek Chhu River) which is located 5.7 km from Kampot Railway Station.