Some of France’s lasting legacy can be seen right in Cambodia. Don’t forget, the country’s colonial history. And their culture is now part of Cambodia’s. Other than France, where else is baguette and pate eaten for breakfast? Another aspect of France’s influence can be seen at its structures. This is where Bokor Hill Station comes in. Located within the premise of a national park, you are sure to get a double dose of nature and history in one session here.
Why did those guys build a settlement up on the hills? Well, that’s easy to answer. To escape from the heat and humidity from below. Bokor Hill Station’s position 1000 meters above sea level not only gives settlers (at the time) and you the chance to experience something cool (weather-wise as well as its cultural and historical significance), but also be treated to some nice views below, including coastlines of Vietnam. The main attraction of the hill station is the Grand Bokor Palace and Casino. Surrounding it are shops, a church and apartments.
The hill station has the unfortunate distinction of being abandoned not once, but twice because of war. The first occurred during World War 2 in the 1940’s and the second time during the American/Vietnam War during in 1972. Physical scarring from those wars remain today.
But there’s more. Don’t forget, you are in Bokor National Park. Meaning you’ll be treated to some of Cambodia’s colorful flora and fauna. There is also a path that leads to the two-tiered Popokvil Waterfall, which is a spectacular site to visit, especially during the monsoon season. Great for picnics and an afternoon swim.
If you like the eerie sensation that comes with abandoned buildings, then this is the place for you. Mist also frequently rolls in, adding to the spooky feel. And why not take advantage of the ambiance? Movie makers have cashed in, with 2002’s City of Ghosts starring Matt Dillon and James Caan and 2004’s R-Point, a South Korean horror movie having been filmed here.
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