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Bokor Hill Station - Witness French Colonial Rule in Cambodia

“Is the Bokor Hill Station worth paying a visit?”
People visiting Cambodia will sooner or later find themselves asking this question.
Bokor Hill Station has always been home to controversies and many debates on whether or not the place is worth visiting. The entire city has been revamped. The Frenchmen built it in 1920 upon the orders of the French colonists who were ruling Cambodia back then. It was built to make it one of the most luxurious retreats for the French colonists who just wanted to beat the heat for some days. To this day, the numerous hiking spots and the Popokvil waterfalls built around the Bokor National Park catches the eye of almost every visitor.

Despite being home to so many beautiful tourist destinations, people often are scared of visiting the Bokor Hill Station. The place is thought to be haunted, and many people live to this date to tell the urban tale. Now, let us trace the history behind the place to understand things in a better light.

Why is Bokor Hill Station believed to be haunted?

This hill station was built first as a French retreat and the architecture. At this place, there are numerous French villas. You will also find an old church and a post office. This fantastic place built a bit far away from the capital city of Phnom Penh. In 1925, it was inaugurated as the principal colonial residence of Le Bokor Palace. The outbreak of a local rebellion caused the French people to abandon this place in 1940. The uprising led to the loss of several lives, and the land witnessed tremendous bloodshed. To till date, people believe it to be haunted. However, many people visit the place to have their dose of adventure. It took the Bokor Hill station 22 years to resettle. It was resettled in 1962.

However, after that, the place developed, and other things were added in and around as well. New hotels came up near the lake, casinos were added, and the French Palace as well.  

All these features of this place made it an exciting destination for the tourists to visit. Even if the hill station is abandoned, French Colony has not lost its glory, and it still stands there with all its pride. Bokor National Park became famous because of various hotels and casinos. In 2008, the area surrounding Bokor Hill Station was leased by Sikomex for 99 years. This was done to construct new hotels, golf courses, and roads linking Phnom Penh and Kampot.

Places to visit in Bokor Hill Station:

Have a look at the best ways of having a fun-filled trip to Bokor Hill Station.

● Le Bokor Palace and Casino

Almost a century old it is the principal French colonial building that is. There was a time when it was the most excellent examples of French architecture, but now it has been restored into a 6-star hotel and casino. The palace is a great place to spend a day to walk around and enjoy its view. A bus journey will take around 4 hours. The travelling rate is in between 800 to 1,000 rupees.

● Damnak Sla Khmao

It is the royal residence of King Sihanouk and it is also called the Black Palace. It was completed in 1936. Bricks and black wood is used for the construction of this building, and it is situated at the most beautiful and haunting part of the Bokor Hill Station. Spectacular views of the mountains and valleys are witnessed around the Hill Station.

● Wat Samprove Pam

It takes hardly 25-30 mins to reach from Cambodia either via your car or rented car. The distance between the two places is merely 15 km (9.3 mi).

It is one of the most beautiful temple monuments that were commissioned by King Monivong in the 1920s in honour of a local legend. The site is very famous today among the tourists not only for the temple Khmer, but tourists also love the beautiful views of the canyon and the sea from behind the complex of the temple.

Bokor Hill Station has only one operational hotel, which is the Thansur Bokor Highlands Resort. The charges to stay at the hotel range from INR 3,000 to INR 4,000.  

So, how to reach Bokor Hill Station?

You can choose to reach the destination by several means of transport. Travel either by car, bus or motorbikes. Let us know the different routes for getting to the place conveniently.

By Car

Kampot is the nearest town found around Bokor Hill Station in Cambodia. From Kampot, it doesn't take much time to reach Bokor Hill Station by road. There is a turn off on the national highway that is 8 km (5 mi) long, and it will not even take an hour to reach the hill station.

If you opt for the National route 3 from Sihanoukville, then the journey is 93 km (58 mi) long.

By Bus

Direct buses are available to reach the Bokor Hill Station from Phnom Penh. The buses depart from Thansur Bokor Highland Resort. Other buses are also available during the morning and evening from Sangkat Chey Chum Neas, Khan Daun Penh, and the charges per person are around INR 700 per person. Buses to the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort are also available from the Kampot Bus stand, and they leave from there every morning and evening.  

By Motorbikes

The well-developed roads between the places to Bokor Hill Station provide the best bike ride experiences. You can choose to ride from Kampot to Bokor Hill Station; bikes on rent are available from Kampot. You will have the most beautiful experience while taking a ride to the Bokor Hill Station. To enter the Bokor National Park on a motorbike, you will have to pay entry fees of around INR 40.

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