Bokor Mountain / Hill Station – a former bastion of the Khmer Rouge

Bokor Mountain / Hill Station – a former bastion of the Khmer Rouge

Mount Phnom Bokor is located about 20 kilometers northwest of the city of Kampot and is a popular destination for travelers. Bokor is part of the mountain range of the Elephant Mountains (the so-called Damrei Mountains) and thereby its highest point. This is also the reason why from the top of the mountain you can enjoy a fantastic view of the surrounding regions, all the way to the coast of the Gulf of Thailand.

The top of the mountain can be easily reached by car or scooter: The road, which is about 30 kilometers long, has been sufficiently rehabilitated for tourist use and makes for a quite pleasant approach.

Bokor Mountain Landschaft

What makes Bokor Mountain special, however, is the Bokor Hill Station, located at the top of the mountain. Here you will find a collection of French colonial style buildings that were constructed there in the early 20th century under French occupation. The place was used as a recreation and excursion destination, which can be seen in the design of the buildings. A reservoir, a casino, a hotel, a post office, a church and small stores were built to contribute to the relaxed stay of the colonial masters. The Khmer Rouge also used this place – a few decades later – to hide here from the invasion of the Vietnamese. It should be noted, however, that here probably less the pleasant ambience was decisive for the choice of the place of retreat, as the great strategic advantage that this place of stay provided, since from there a view in all directions was possible and the preparation for a possible attack of the enemy was easier.

For tourists, it is above all the charm of a ghost town that invites them to visit. Here you can still sense a little of the feeling of the 1920s and at the same time feel the great impact of decay due to the ravages of time.

Eine beeindruckende Szenerie bietet sich auf dem Bokor Mountain dar

An impressive scenery presents itself on the Bokor Mountain

In the meantime, a building boom has begun here as well: The buildings have been and are gradually being renovated. The main building is now used as a luxury hotel for tourists, but there is also a restaurant here. If you still want to experience this place in its ghostly decay, you should hurry: Large investors have discovered the place for themselves and want to develop it into a luxury paradise (for example, with a casino) for several million US dollars. The originality of the buildings, as well as the natural state of the place, will be left behind here – if the construction plans are to be believed.

The Bokor Hill Station converted into a hotel

There is hardly a better reason to visit Phnom Bokor than the fact that its current state will probably soon only be preserved in old vacation photos.