Bokor Hill Stations’ architectural gems
Kampot is my favourite destination in Cambodia. Nearby Bokor Hill Station is one of the reasons why. The town was built as a resort by colonial French settlers to offer an escape from the heat of Phnom Penh. The resort houses the grand Bokor Palace Hotel, a post office (now demolished) & a church. The Black Palace -a little summer palace of King Sihanouk- and a small temple on the edge of a rocky hill -still inhabitated by Buddhist monks- are also nearby.
Bokor Hill was abandoned first by the French in late 1940s, and for good in 1972, as Khmer Rouge took over the area. In the early 1990s Bokor Hill was still one of their last strongholds.
We rode up windy roads into the foggy mist to watch Bokor Hill Station reveal itself for us, building by building. Walking through this part of history was just surreal and one of the most breathtaking experiences during our trip.
Bokor Hill Station travel information
- Transport: In & out from Kampot, by motorbike. Heading west from Kampot on National Highway 3, around 8km out look for signs for Bokor Hill Station on the right. Sign in at the checkpoint and follow the road to the peak.
- Stay: In Kampot.
- Things to do: Visit the old Bokor Hill Hotel, the curch, post office, Black Palace and temple. It’s foggy and it can be cold (even when it’s sunny in Kampot, you’re high in the mountains), so take a jacket!
- Food: We took a picknick lunch from the Epic Arts Café in Kampot because there’s nothing on the hill (except for the new fancy hotel).
PS. Here’s an old picture of the hotel (I found it here). If only we could turn back time!