Things to See and Do - Kampot, Cambodia
Bokor Hill Station - Kampot
Make sure you get an early start. The summit of Bokor (1,080 meters high) is reached at the end of one of the worst roads in Cambodia and the journey (about 30km) takes a lot longer than you would think. Heavily potholed and scattered with reefs of the original asphalt surface, it is best traveled by 4WD or motorbike.
Spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand glimpsed through the lush jungle and the abandoned buildings that dot the roadside grab your interest, and the journey is forgotten the moment you experience the summit's extraordinary atmosphere.At once beautiful and sinis-ter, the hill station buildings include a Catholic church and an old hotel, the aptly named and monumentally proportioned Bokor Palace, as well as a number of other crumbling dwellings. The view out to a sapphire sea across a vertiginous drop to dense emerald green jungle from what was the terrace of the Palace is remarkable.
It's easy to see the strategic significance of Bokor Hill Station, and even easier to see the scars of the many battles that have been fought there. Even on a sunny day it has a sinister aspect, redolent with mystery, as though the buildings, covered with red-pig-mented lichen, are steeped in the blood of their violent past.
Possibly the best known of these battles had the Khmer Rouge holed up in the Catholic church shooting it out with the Vietnamese in the Bokor Palace. It is only too possible to imagine this scene as you gaze across the windswept plains from the upstairs windows of the Palace, or wander through its echoing and cavernous ruins. But this only increases the fascination of the place.
The 15-minute drive from the hill station to the crystal clear waters of the popular Popokvil ('Swirling Clouds') Waterfall takes you past the abandoned and decaying grass huts of the Khmer Rouge families who once lived here. A 20-minute walk down a dirt track from the car park brings you to the first and more accessible of the waterfall's two spectacular tiers. But it's worth making the effort to get to the sec¬ond tier. It's here that you find out why the falls are so named. Clouds of the finest mist hover over the falls to magical effect.
And so, back to Kampot and an evening at one of the guesthouses lining the river-bank; drink in hand you watch yet another spectacular tropical sunset over the brood¬ing hills of Bokor. It is as richly exotic and intensely satisfying a way to conclude a traveler's day as any I've experienced. You should try it.
Popokville Waterfall & Resort on Bokor Mountain in Kampot Province
Map of Bokor Hill Station
Other Attractions in Kampot
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Prek Thnout is located in Kampot province, between Sihanouk Ville and Kampot Town. It is partially situated within the Bokor National Park and can be reached by bus, minibus or taxi. From Kampot Town it takes a 30km ride along National Road 3 or a 90km drive from Sihanouk Ville along National Road Number 4. read more
Asian-style mini zoo displaying a variety of local faunas. 8km north of Kampot.Teuk Chhou Zoo and rapids set among gardens and fruit plantations at the foot of the Elephant Mountains on the west bank of the Teuk Chhou River, 12km northeast of Kampot, the Teuk Chhou Zoo(daily 7am?5.30pm; $3) is home to a wide range of fauna,... read more
Pre-Angkorian ruin set in a limestone cave amongst stalagmites and stalactites that are slowly growing into the ruin. Small 4th-5th century AD brick structure associated with the ancient state of Funan. A bit of carving is still visible.When you go for sightseeing in Kampot a must visit spot is Phnom K'Chnor, Kampot. The Phnom... read more
Make sure you get an early start. The summit of Bokor (1,080 meters high) is reached at the end of one of the worst roads in Cambodia and the journey (about 30km) takes a lot longer than you would think. Heavily potholed and scattered with reefs of the original asphalt surface, it is best traveled by 4WD or motorbike. Spectacular... read more
Prek Ampil is located on the coast in Koh Toch commune, Kampot district, about 18 kilometers west of the provincial town. Prek Ampil features a white sand beach with thousands of mangrove and coconut trees growing nearby, making the site ideal for visitors looking for a pleasant place to relax.In addition, there is an array of fresh... read more
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Rabbit Island is a small tropical island located about 20-40 minutes south of Kep by local boat. The island is blessedly undeveloped and lacks most services except for some rustic bungalows and a couple of rudimentary beach shack restaurants. Secluded white sand beaches dot the edges of the island, backed by a hilly coconut palm... read more
The caves of Phnom Ta aun are part of a limestone formation. Narrow cave, chimney, passages with rock formations. A bit more interesting are the caves at Phnom Sia. One cave contains a supposedly elephant shaped rock formation that is treated as a shrine. Bring a flashlight.Limestone mountains (phnom) dot the landscape between... read more