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Location DB > Cambodia > Kampot Province > Bokor National Park > Bokor Hill Station
 Name
Bokor Hill Station
 Viewing Options
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 Database Info
created by Tupsumato on 1/7/2006 2:23 PM
last modified by lilli on 4/10/2009 11:27 PM
 Viewability
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
 Overview
 Description
An abandoned French town located on the edge of a mountain 1080 meters above sea level, overlooking the Cambodian coast. The town consists of two large hotels, a Catholic church, police station, town hall, royal residences and various public and residental buildings, all abandoned and accessible.

The road trough the jungle up to the hill station is in bad shape, mostly consisting of rocks between the size of a fist and a watermelon and some French-era asphalt, and it'll take 2 hours for a 4WD car or a motorbike to reach the top from nearby town of Kampot (40 km). Consider renting a vehicle with a driver. The entrance fee to the national park is $5.

It is advisable to not to stray from marked and well-trotten paths because of landmines. Cambodia is the most heavily mined country in the world, and even though Bokor is nowadays considered safe, the deminers might have missed a mine or two.

A good satellite photograph of the area can be found with Google Earth at coordinates 10°37'27.66" N 104°01'33.19" E.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned / under construction and parts being demolished
Accessibility: Moderate - The road may be closed, hiking may have to be an option!
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information
Address

Bokor National Park, Kampot Province
Cambodia
Owner:
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • unsafe flooring
  • tigers, landmines, dehydration, sunburn, unstable structures
  •  Interesting Features
    The amount of buildings to explore in an exotic country.

    The magnificent view over the Cambodian coastline.

    If you happen to be in a right place at the right time, you might spot a wild tiger. On the other hand, wrong place and time, and you might end up its dinner.
     Security Measures
  • part-time guard
  • remote location
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1920
    Closed: 1979
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • binoculars
  • long pants / sleeves
  • towelettes
  • lots of drinking water, food, sunscreen, bug cream
  •  Recommended Equipment
    camera
     History
    At an elevation of 1080 meters the Bokor Hill Station, built by the French during the 1920s as a retreat for the elite from the heat and humidity of Cambodian lowlands, looks over the coastline. The once very popular resort was first abandoned during the late 1940s because of Vietnamese fighting for independence against the French, and finally for good in the early 1970s, when it was overran by the Khmer Rouge. They were driven away by the Vietnamese troops in 1979, and since then the hotels, casino, Catholic church and dozens of other buildings have stood derelict.

    Bokor National Park, consisting of surrounding mountais and the former hill station, was founded in 1993. It will ensure, that the area remains undeveloped. The staff of the ranger station and monks in nearby temple are the only permanent residents, but thousands of tourists visit the hill station every year, not only because of the abandoned town and beautiful views, but also because of wildlife. Here There Be Tigers.

    (From The Silent The Complete - Modern Ruins in Finland)
     Media Coverage
    http://www.lonelyp...messageID=13673330 - Lonely Planet nearly media and now BBC owned!

    http://icps.proboa...thread=1216&page=1 (not quite media but interesting)
     Future Plans
    As the town is located in a national park, it will stay undeveloped and derelict. Hopefully. There's been some talks of reopening the Palace Hotel and demolishing the other buildings, but I doubt it'll ever happen.

    ________________________________________________________
    Thursday, 17 April 2008

    From the Post (here's the cache link in case it asks you to subscribe http://209.85.229....k&client=firefox-a )

    Sok Kong quickly settles himself into a chair, orders a glass of red wine, and launches into an explanation of his newest project, a $1-billion redevelopment of the decaying French colonial-era Bokor Mountain resort.

    “It is a big investment, it is a difficult investment and it will define me,” he says of his plan to create a “world class tourist city” from the dilapidated ruins of the Kingdom’s colonial past. “This is my ultimate challenge.”

    “This is the right time for me to do this business, now that the economy is growing,” he says. “If I didn’t [launch the Bokor redevelopment] now, it would become a missed opportunity.”

    The project is ambitious. The Bokor mountain area covers 140,000 hectares, although the project only covers the previously developed areas – the three plateaus, which total about 14,000 hectares.

    The first plateau is the highest on the mountain and the only area to have pre-existing buildings – the old casino, hotel, post office and church. This will become the “tourist city” and the other two plateaus will be developed into residential areas.

    The aim is to finish construction of a new 600-room hotel over the next two-and-a-half years while rebuilding the 33-kilometer road up the mountain. The road – currently a muddy, pot-holed nightmare – will be enlarged and sealed at a cost of some $20 million.

    The importance of preservation is emphasized repeatedly by Sok Kong and his employees. The French colonial buildings will be preserved; their outer shells strengthened and the insides ripped out in line with UNESCO recommendations.

    When restored, the original hotel will offer a small number of higher priced luxury rooms.

    “We will knock down the casino,” Sok Kong says. The original building is to be replaced with a purpose-built, 3,000-square-foot casino so the new development can capitalize on the long-standing reputation of Bokor as a high-end gambling retreat.

    The residential areas aim to tap into what Sok Kong sees as a new growth market – second homes for middleclass Cambodian families and retirement homes.

    “The main market is for Cambodians, overseas Cambodians and also retirees,” explains Sok Kong’s executive assistant, Svay Vuthy. “The weather here is good for retirees. We envisage some fulltime residents and some holiday homes.”

    Although the master plan for the project is not yet finished, the company estimates that about 1,000 residential villas, condominiums and houses will be built.

    Not only will the project create massive employment opportunities – for example, the 600-room hotel alone will require 900 staff – it will also ensure they are jobs with perks, such as subsidized housing and long-term training schemes.

    “We are not talking about the benefits now, we are talking about the benefits in 15 years’ time,” Sok Kong explains. “I want to create stable, long-term jobs for Kampot locals and also a stable supply of goods for the hotel project – people can grow the vegetables we need.”

    Already, according to Sok Kong, the proposed development is proving a spur to the local economy, with land prices at the base of the mountain jumping from an average $10 per square meter before the project was announced in January to $70 a square meter today.

     Stories
    Bokor Hill - Write up of visit 2007
    Fri, Apr 10th, 2009
    posted by lilli


    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    December 2005
    Sat, Jan 7th, 2006
    posted by Tupsumato
    32 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    April 2007
    Fri, May 4th, 2007
    posted by lilli
    21 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Opening Day 1925 and Old Pictures
    Fri, Apr 10th, 2009
    posted by lilli
    7 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Fuck Yes!
    Wed, Mar 16th, 2011
    posted by Neil T
    20 pictures


    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links
    http://www.thesile...mplete.com/25.html
    http://www.lost-least.it/bokor-1.htm
    http://urbandesert...ce.com/bokor-hill/
    http://urbandesert.../the-black-palace/
    nearby Kep: http://news.bbc.co...ondent/7977368.stm
     Contribute

    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 10 / 10
    Coolness 10 / 10
    Content Quality 10 / 10
     Validation
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 3/20/2011 1:11 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Mar 20 11 at 13:11, Steed validated this location
  • on Mar 19 11 at 17:23, Neil T added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Mar 19 11 at 17:19, Neil T added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Mar 19 11 at 17:17, Neil T updated gallery Fuck Yes!
  • on Mar 19 11 at 17:16, Neil T created a new gallery
  • on Apr 12 09 at 5:09, Steed validated this location
  • on Apr 10 09 at 23:33, lilli updated a story
  • on Apr 10 09 at 23:27, lilli changed the following: Media Coverage
  • on Apr 10 09 at 23:26, lilli changed the following: Status, Accessibility, Security Measures, Required Equipment, Media Coverage, Future Plans, Web Links
  • on Apr 10 09 at 23:05, lilli updated gallery picture Toyota Camry
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