Bokor National Park
Bokor Hill Station was built by the French in the 1920s to be used as a retreat from the heat of the plains, a pre-air conditioning strategy familiar in all of Asia. The Old French Palace is a hauntingly beautiful colonial building constructed by French settlers in 1917 and completed in 1925 for the French social elites who were living in Cambodia and needed an escape from the humidity and heat of Phnom Penh. In the 1950s and 60s, the Old French Palace was used as a casino during the time of Prince Sihanouk. It is frequently used as a movie location, the most famous being City of Ghosts, starring Matt Dillon. The building was restored and re-opened in 2018.
Flora and fauna
Nepenthis flower, wild elephant and tiger.
Temperatures in Bokor are lower than in Phnom Penh or Kampot, generally staying in the 15-25 C range. On a clear day there are stunning views down into the valley, Kampot town scenery, coastline of Kampot and Sihanouk Ville. In the rainy season, it is swathed in rolling clouds and visibility drops to zero. However, you still can find the fun moment as it is remain only in very short time. You are recommended to bring warm clothes.
The turn off to the park is located 8km from Kampot and 95km from Sihanoukville on National Route #3. The main entrance and park headquarters are about 1 km from the main road. From there it is another 32km uphill to reach the summit.
As of October 2008, the road to Bokor was officially closed due to construction of a new road by the Sokimex, however in 2012 the road was finished and now it takes just 1 hour to arrive from Kampot. It is still possible to arrange a trip through local travel agents for around 8 US$/including lunch.
Trekking tours for US$18-$20 can be booked in town, including lunch.
As in August 2012, there's a direct a.c bus from the "Thansur Bokor Highland Office" in Phnom Penh that takes just 4 hours & costs US$ 10/Pax at 7:30 A.M & 1:30 P.M. The same direct a.c. bus goes from the "Thansur Bokor Highland Resort" in Bokor Hill Station to Phnom Penh at 8:30 A.M & 3:30 P.M.
This is the address of the office in Phnom Penh: Corner street 154 and 13 (Near Kandal Market) Sangkat Chey Chumneas Khan Daun Penh,Phnom Penh
Tel:-097-819-7777 / 097-729-6666
There is also a bus in Kampot to Thansur Bokor Highland Resort; departs at 10:30 A.M & 4:20 P.M. and returns at 8:30 A.M & 3:30 P.M.
Tel: +855 89 908 417
The entrance fee at the bottom of the hill is 2000 riel (USD$0.50).
As of August 2012, the road up the hill station has been completely finished to be built for a new 5-star (and a 3-star?) hotel being constructed on the top of the Hill station. Trekking tours for US$18-$20 can be booked in town, including lunch. It is not actually a trekking tour but just an hour one-way trek upwards after 20-30 minutes traveling up from the entrance. It is noted that it might not be possible to travel up yourself but only with guide as of July 2011. The starting price for the package inclusive of sunset boat ride (which cost about US$5) is US$8. Alternatively hire a taxi for US$50-60 for a 1 day trip.
As of December 2013 it's possible to rent a motorbike and ride up yourself. There's a 2000 riel entry fee for motorbikes. The road is quiet, in good condition and is a fun ride, even for relatively inexperienced riders.
Ruins of The Black Palace or “Damnak Sla Khmao” ( Situated 10 km from the hill station) was King Sihanouk‘s residence. It was built by brick and black wood in 1936. The doors and windows were all gone but the villa is still in good shape. You will find amazing view of the cliff behind and also beautiful sunset at the late afternoon.
The Old Catholic church was built by the French in the early 1920s as part of the French township on Bokor Mountain. The church‘s interior is surprisingly well kept. Here at the cliff behind, it is known for beautiful and romantic sunset.
Le Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino is a historical hotel built by colonial French and opened in 1925.
Popokvil Waterfall: Popokvil means “swirling clouds” which is totally appropriate as most of the time the mists do whorl just above the waterfalls. The best time to visit is during the rainy season (May to October) when the waterfalls are at their most beautiful.
Wat Sampove Pram:“Wat Sampov Pram” or “5 boats Wat” came from the five oddly-sculpted rocks nearby resembled boats. The beautiful legend of the boats will be told by resort expert guide. Wat Sampov Pram was built in 1924 by King Monivong. Behind the temple is breath-taking view of the sapphire sea and emerald green jungle you will be amazed.
Lok Yeay Mao Monument: The huge Lok Yeay Mao monument was constructed in 2010 with 29 meters high, sitting in meditation posture and facing to the coastal area. Lok Yeay Mao is considered a protector spirit of travelers, fishermen and hunters.
100 Rice Fields or Veal Sre Mouy Roy: You might be interested in its beautiful name and then you will be more surprised to see the real view of “Veal Sre Mouy Roy" or “100 Rice Fields”. That is the rock fields which look like hundreds of paddy fields divided by hundreds of dikes. It is one of the ideal place to keep your fun posts in your camera.
500 Rice Fields Sacred Meditation Area: Bokor Mountain boasts the unrivaled atmosphere and environment for both activities and serenity. A few kilometers away from Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, Bokor Meditation Areas are lying amidst the jungle.
There are several walking tracks ranging in duration from 2 hours to 8 hours. You can ask for a guide or trekking arrangement at Thansur Bokor Highland Resort's Recreation Counter which cost starts from US$7.00.
Bike ride and Kang Bey tour are also available up there by Thansur Bokor Highland Resort.
Cloud 9 Kids Club is the indoor children playground offering games,library,movies,crafts & canteen.
There are also disco club and Karaoke rooms to enjoy up there.
For visitors who wish to find peaceful mind through meditation can do it at waterfall sacred meditation area and 500 rice fields sacred meditation area by buying ticket to get in.
You can get there by car, followed by a short walk.
Behind the Bokor Palace hotel, there is some stall set up that offer basic food and cold drink during the days.
There is a new 4 star Hotel called the "Thansur Bokor Highland Resort" ,1 km downhill the Catholic church, offering rooms from US$40 to US$65 during weekdays and US$50 to US$75 during weekends & public holidays, for standard rooms with A.C & cable T.V.The hotel has a huge restaurant with buffet & of course a casino for gamblers.Thansur Bokor Highland Resort has more than a dozen dining areas with enticing cuisines at every price range all in one convenient location at 1080 meters above sea level.They can partake in Khmer cuisine, Chinese fare, Japanese delicacies, Western favorites, Asian buffet delights, noodles of Asia, International buffet, pastries, gourmet sandwiches and grill, just to name a few. Tel:-0336868001
The "Thansur Bokor Highland Resort" offers an extensive choice of liquors,through prices are still higher than most places in Cambodia as everything is transported from Phnom Penh & Kampot.
For now the only place to stay in the hill station is the newly constructed "Thansur Bokor Highland Resort" ,1 km downhill the Catholic church, offering rooms from US$40 to US$65 during weekdays and US$50 to US$75 during weekends & public holidays, for standard rooms with A.C & satellite T.V.The hotel has a few restaurants with buffet & of course a casino for gamblers.
The Ranger station has been closed for visitors from 2010,as it's used for overnighting by the construction workers.
Mines are not common and have been cleared from the top of the hill twice (as of March 2011) (but it is still advised you stay on existing paths)
Tigers are very rare but still avoid trekking into the bush at dusk and at night when they are most active.
Poachers hunt deep in the park, hire a ranger when trekking in these areas.
The park is huge with many trails which are not marked or maintained. Hire a ranger if you have any doubts about your route.
You can either hitch a ride to Kampot for around US$4-5 or take a direct A.C bus from the "Thansur Bokor Highland Resort" to Phnom Penh at 8:30 P.M & 15:30 P.M.The cost is US$10 and the A.C bus takes around 4 hours to reach Phnom Penh.
Kampot: just 45 minutes away
Kep: an hour drive away
Sihanouk Ville: Cambodia’s premium beach city, 105 minutes by car