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Bokor Hill Station In Cambodia’s Fascinating

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Bokor Hill Station (in Khmer: ស្ថានីយភ្នំបូកគោ Kosthany Phnom Bokor, French: Bokor Elevation Station) refers to a collection of French colonial buildings constructed as a temperate mountain luxury resort and retreat for colonial residents in the early 1920s atop Bokor Mountain in Preah Monivong National Park, about 37 km (23 mi) west of Kampot in southern Cambodia. Abandoned for long periods of time, modern infrastructure has made the location easily accessible as re-development is taking place. It was used as the location for the final showdown of the movie City of Ghosts (2002) and the 2004 film R-Point. To the north-east are the Povokvil Waterfalls.

Bokor Hill station

The ruins of the Palace Hotel and Casino at Bokor Hill Station

Once a resort for French colonialists before becoming a getaway for Cambodia’s elite, then a hideout for the Khmer Rouge, the abandoned Bokor Hill Station today stands as a reminder of the country’s fall.

Perched atop Bokor Mountain, which provides a dramatic backdrop to the tranquil riverside town Kampot, sits the remnants of Cambodia’s glory days.

An eerie ghost town marks what was once a thriving retreat for those who could afford it: the skeleton of a sprawling hotel and casino – the lost luxury evident in the lofty rooms, spacious terraces overlooking the Gulf of Thailand and a grand ballroom – a crumbling church and abandoned royal residencies all harking back to a time of decadence.

Old Catholic church building

Initially designed as a resort for the French during the early 20th century, thanks to its elevated heights offering a welcome reprieve from the humid heat below and sweeping views across the country, sea and beyond, Bokor Hill Station opened in 1925 after almost nine months of intense labour, which saw an estimated 1,000 men die.

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At its centre sat the Palace Hotel and Casino, which was often booked out by Europe’s rich and famous. Parties and dances would carry on into the early hours, with laughter and chatter ringing through the surrounding jungle.

However, the colonialists’ high life was to be short-lived. When Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953, the town was quickly abandoned. Cambodia’s upper class were quick to replace the French, with Bokor thriving during the country’s heyday of the 1950s and 1960s – dubbed the Golden Age.

Lok Yeay Mao statue

Lok Yeay Mao, the Goddess of protector, has been well-known for keeping peace and calm in forest and coastal provinces of Cambodia, Kampot, Kep and Sihanouk Ville. Visitors never fails to visit and pay respect to Lok Yeay Mao when they pass along the National road number 4 via Phnom Penh and Sihanouk Ville and in exchange granting protection and wishes for her worshipers.

On 27 Feb 2010, to honor the respect of Lok Yeay Mao, Neak Oknha SOK Kong, Chairman of the Sokimex Investment Group, built the largest outdoor statue measuring 29 meters high on Bokor National Park. The Goddess, situated on the top of the mountain (1075 meters) overlooking the sea coasts. Visitors going up the mountain could not miss the statue and would stop by to pay respects to Lok Yeay Mao. It is believed that the statue can be spotted from the bottom of the foot hill.

Lok Yeay Mao statue quickly became one of the landmarks on Bokor National Park, attracting numerous local and overseas visitors. It is not only a remarkable work project, but also an outstanding piece in belief art construction in recent history. It is going to be valuable heritage of mankind.

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Wat Sampov Bram

Fantastic Wat on the very top of Bokor, with one of the best views of Kampot, Cambodia, the islands, and Vietnam. No entrance fee.

The road behind Thansur Bokor Casino, right after Chinatown.  About 3 minute drive, or 5 minute walk from the casino.

A collection of buildings, landscaping, natural rock formations, statues, and a fantastic view. (if it’s not cloudy below you, or you’re right inside the clouds).  About 1km up from the ocean.

Good for a half hour walk through.

Right at the entrance to the Wat is a Khmer Restaurant with noodles, rice, meats and veggies.  If you don’t want to pay 10 to 20 times more for a meal at the two hotels nearby, this would be your best bet.  Meals from $1.50.  They also have gas for your motorcycle, and bottled water.

Popokvil Water fall

Just a few kilometers from the hill station is the mountain’s most interesting natural sight, Popokvil waterfall. The falls lie at the edge of the highland march which covers much of the mountain-top. The waterfall is set in lush jungle and is located a couple of kilometers away from the Hill Station site. Popokvil, meaning swirling clouds, is possibly named after the lingering mist over its two tiers. The falls actually form two tiers. The top-most tier you first catch sight of falls in several streams onto a large shelf of stone. The edge of this shelf forms the second tier, which has a more traditional waterfall look.

Mountain Lake

Bokor mountain lake

Mountain Lake is one of the big lakes on Bokor mountain, and on the side of that lake, there is a floating robber on the water and also a big space for camping by Sokha Hotels & Resorts. Sokha Hotels and Resorts also provides service for preparing camping

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Thansur Bokor Highland Resort

Discover the first and only highland resort in the Mekong Sub-Region amid the pristine jungle wilderness and pleasant cool weather with beautifully landscaped hill on the Bokor Mountain, Kingdom of Cambodia. The resort is 45 minutes drive from Kampot town and 170 minutes away from Phnom Penh.

Thansur Bokor Highland Resort offers rooms and suites decked out with modern Khmer art and equipped with latest amenities. All guestrooms are comfortable served with world-class service.

The Big Buffet restaurant indulges guests in a magnificence private area featuring western specialties dishes, Khmer‘s signature dishes and extensive wine list.
For meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions; our resort offers full equipped facilities with up-to-date technology system.

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