Bokor Hill Station is an abandoned village in the mountains near Kampot. The complex was built in 1920 by the French, as a place to escape hot and humid Phnom Penh.
Until the 1990’s Bokor Hill Station served as a stronghold for Khmer Rouge militias, but after the last of those left it has been crumbling to dust since then. It’s a peculiar place which is definitely worth a day trip Kampot, just the road leading to Bokor Hill Station is already very worthwhile!
How to plan a visit to Bokor Hill Station: practical information
Distance and map
Bokor Hill Station is about 40km from Kampot, the whole trip took us about half a day. If you also want to visit the Povokvil Waterfalls and stop at Bokor Lake you could easily spend an entire day exploring the area.
Check the map below for the route or download it.
Important note: make sure you have enough fuel! There is a petrol station at the foot of the mountain (just before you have to pay toll).
How much does it cost to visit Bokor Hill Station
We rented a scooter at the supermarket next to Bohemiaz resort for $5 a day. The toll road is 2000kip and there is no entrance fee for the Bokor Hill complex. With about $2 for fuel this brings the total costs for a day of sightseeing with a scooter around Bokor Hill Station at $8,50.
A trip to Bokor Hill Station
The 32-km toll road (2000kip) to Bokor Hill Station is beautiful! Lots of twists and turns, green forest and gorgeous views over the valley and the ocean. And, unique in Southeast Asia, no trash by the side of the road! Hopefully the lack of debris isn’t just due to the relative newness of the road…
We drove up to 1048 meter and the higher we climbed, the cooler it got. Also, mysterious clouds of fog covered the mountains and we made sure not to drive to fast over the bendy road. E
very now and then the fog lifted and we saw abandoned old structures a little further down the road. It was pretty creepy!
Once arrived at the Bokor Hill complex, we parked our scooter and walked around the abandoned church and old buildings.
Bokor Hill Station was abandoned by the French in 1940, when it was taken over by the Khmer Issarak, an anti-French and anti-colonial movement.
In 1972 the Khmer Rouge took over the entire area and kept Bokor Hill as a stronghold well onto the 1990s!
It’s very strange to imagine how just 20 years ago these buildings were used by Khmer Rouge militias hiding from the rest of the world…
The clouds and mist definitely added to the mysterious and slightly ominous feeling of the place.
Important note: make sure you bring a jacket! As Bokor Hill Station the complex is located in the mountains temperatures are much cooler than in Kampot!
I was slightly worried we would run out of fuel so we skipped the nearby Povokvil Waterfalls. I was very bummed out because the waterfalls looked really nice in the pictures I’ve seen online.
Bokor Hill Station: in conclusion
I found the abandoned ghost town a very interesting place to visit and can definitely recommend checking it out when you are in Kampot!
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