Bokor Mountain Cambodia - A Journey To The Past

By Mabel Collins

Bokor Mountain in Cambodia: If you're seeking an exciting day excursion close to Kampot, the Bokor National Park should be your first choice. The peak of Bokor Mountain rises 1048 meters above sea level and is home to ancient buildings such as Le Bokor Palace, Bokor Church, and Damnak Sla Khmao.

The entrance to Bokor Mountain in Bokor National Park is only 8 kilometers from the tranquil Cambodian town of Kampot. It has stunning scenery best noted for the abandoned Bokor Hill Station, a new luxury casino and hotel complex, waterfalls, and some excellent hiking options. Apart from Bokor Mountain, the park is home to the Popokvil Waterfall, which offers spectacular views of both the Gulf of Thailand and the whole of Kampot Province. 

If you wonder what makes Bokor Mountain special in the eyes of locals as well as international visitors, this article is the right place for you and will drive you through the rich history journey of Bokor Mountain Cambodia

Bokor Mountain in Cambodia

Bokor Mountain in Cambodia

The Fascination Dark Past Of Bokor Mountain History

The history of Bokor Mountain dates back to the French colonial period in Cambodia. During this time, the French established a hill station on the mountain as a retreat from the heat and humidity of the lowlands. They built several grand buildings on the mountain, including a palace, a casino, a church, and a hotel. The hill station was named Bokor, which means "shoulder" in Khmer, due to its position overlooking the surrounding area.

The French hill station on Bokor Mountain was abandoned after Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953. The abandoned Bokor Hill Station was left to decay and fall into ruin. This building was once a retreat for French colonialists before becoming a vacation for Cambodia's elite and eventually a refuge for the Khmer Rouge. Still, it now remains a symbol of the country's decline. 

In the 1990s, Bokor Mountain was taken over by the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla group that controlled much of Cambodia during this time. The Khmer Rouge used the mountain as a base for their operations and built several structures on the mountain, including a casino and a hotel.

Bokor Mountain was abandoned again when the Khmer Rouge regime fell in 1998. However, in recent years, the Cambodian government has invested in the restoration of the mountain and its buildings. As a result, the mountain still remained a popular tourist destination for tourists trickling back up the mountain to find the relics of a bygone era.

Take A Ride To Explore The Bokor Mountain Tour 

A trek up Bokor Mountain tour is a must for a unique insight into Cambodia's golden days, tarnished by its horrible past, and accompanied by beautiful vistas and a pleasant temperature.

The Bokor Palace 

More than a century ago, in 1919, on the peak of Cambodia's mist-shrouded Bokor Mountain, the French French colonial had constructed a station for escaping the heat and humidity of Phnom Penh. 

During the Indochina War, the hotel located between the clouds of Bokor Hill in Cambodia was abandoned. It only took ten years after reopening in 1962 for it to be abandoned again. Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge soldiers took control of the location and utilized it as a fortress this time. The Khmer Rouge held the stronghold until the early 1990s. Today, this hotel is opened for tourists to come to experience that past design and enjoy the view from the balconies. 

The Bokor Palace is a must-visit when coming to Bokor mountain

The Bokor Palace is a must-visit when coming to Bokor mountain

The Popokvil Waterfall

The Popokvil waterfall, located near Bokor Hill Station, is the sole waterfall in Kampot province. This lovely waterfall is nestled in the middle of the mountain, surrounded by thick greenery. Guests may enjoy a relaxing swim in the waterfall's calm waters after a short hike.

The Damnak Sla Khmao 

The Black Palace is situated near the entrance to the Preah Monivong National Park. Damnak Sla Khmao (the original name) was constructed as a vacation house for King Sihanouk in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Nowadays, the Palace has been abandoned, and the remains have been overrun by nature. The building has deteriorated and is now covered with magnificent graffiti. The Palace itself provides an excellent perspective of the neighboring Bokor Hill and is home to hundreds of butterflies.

The Wat Sampov Pram

Wat Sampov Pram is located at the top of Bokor Hill Station, which is 1048 meters above sea level. The Pagoda erected by King Monivong is Cambodia's tallest structure. On a clear day, visitors may enjoy spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand and the Preah Monivong National Park. What's even more impressive is when the clouds reach the crest of Bokor Mountain. These conditions provide breathtaking scenery, and you practically find yourself above the clouds.

The Wat Sampov Pram is a Buddhist temple where travelers can enjoy the stunning view of the surroundings

The Wat Sampov Pram is a Buddhist temple where travelers can enjoy the stunning view of the surroundings

Travel Information For First-Time Travelers When Visiting Bokor Mountain

Besides the significant historical sites, travelers can enjoy the nature of Bokor Mountain by taking a hike through the surrounding jungle. The mountain is a big home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, where several species of monkeys and birds live. The hike offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the mountain and experience its serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Bokor Mountain is also a popular cycling destination. There are several challenging cycling routes on the mountain, including steep climbs and hairpin turns. Cyclists may take in the beautiful views of the surrounding region while putting their endurance and abilities to the test on the mountain's difficult topography.

  • Where is Bokor Mountain in Cambodia? 

Bokor Mountain, also known in Khmer as Phnom Bokor, is a significant hill station in southern Cambodia. It is located in the Elephant Mountains, a series of mountains that spans the provinces of Kampot and Kep. 

  • How high is Bokor Mountain? 

Bokor, which stands 3,540 feet (1,079 meters) tall, is now easily accessible by National Highway 3 near the town of Kampot. The Bokor Mountain Hill Station is located near the peak of Bokor National Park. It was formerly a small resort town and one of the King's homes, but it is now a tourist attraction and National Park.

  • What is the Bokor mountain weather? 

Owing to the height of Bokor Mountain, the temperature is lower than around Kampot's coast. The mountain is also noted for its cloudiness, and when clouds move through, the temperature is likely to decrease. The average temperature is approximately 25 degrees all year.

Cambodia has a tropical climate, which results in the monsoon season, which starts from June to October. You may still visit Cambodia during the monsoon because it rains for just around 2 hours every day. With the likelihood of rain, it is prudent to carry a rain jacket as well as some warm clothing.

  • How to go to Bokor Mountain? 

Bokor Mountain is approximately 37 kilometers from Kampot. A cab will cost you roughly $40, and minivan excursions will cost you $10 per person, but the quickest way to get there is by motorcycle.

To reach there from the heart of Kampot, cross the New Bridge and continue straight past the roundabout. National Road 3 is a straight shot until you reach the checkpoint and park entry. To enter on a motorcycle, you must pay 2,000 Cambodian riels for each vehicle. 

Before traveling, travelers should research some information about Bokor mountain

Before traveling, travelers should research some information about Bokor mountain

Safe Travel To Bokor Mountain Cambodia 

Traveling to Cambodia is now easier with the conventional system for obtaining a Cambodian e-visa. Within a few minutes, travelers can apply for an e-visa and get the chance to travel to Cambodia in a couple of days. For the process to go smoothly, travelers will need to provide some personal information and documents; however, this process is eliminated than the paperwork is submitted in the traditional method. 

Remember to check your eligibility in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free application experience. Moreover, we highly recommend that travelers purchase travel insurance to support yourself when you take part in high-risk activities at Bokor Mountain and cover your additional fees while traveling, including medical expenses. Visit Cambodia Travel Insurance for more information.

Now is the time for you to make your decision to travel to Cambodia. If you have any inquiries, please get in touch with us through Cambodia Immigration Services for assistance in the visa process or Cambodia's current status.

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