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“Avoid vehicle tours of the Hill Station!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Bokor National Park

Bokor National Park
Elephant Mountains | Kampot, Cambodia
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Ranked #139 of 204 Attractions in Cambodia
Type: National Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Avoid vehicle tours of the Hill Station!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

Unless you like tours of massive building sites. These tours are billed as a trip to a national park. However, sadly for the Cambodians this is no longer the case. The tours drive you to the top where the Park has been devastated by a massive massive development. You are driven through to the old Hill Station which is currently being redeveloped. You can't access it and it's charm is cloaked by it's wrap of scaffolding.

The views here are stunning over the sea and the nearby islands. The best part of the day.

Off then to the old church used as a doss house for the workers, through destruction of the super Ugly development to the waterfall. This place was no doubt once quite beautiful. Yet now it's a styreen lunch wrapper strewn, fish sauce stinking, fly infested, toilet paper splattered mess. The water looks to be polluted with a heavy sediment load and detergents from the works upstream.

They then drive you back down for a 2 hr cruise on the river. Not terrible that part.

So $15 not well spent. Be warned.

Drive urself, could be fun. Still a environmental disaster which is unpleasant to see.

There is a tour you can take where you cycle to the base of the park, hike to a waterfall and hike / bike back. This might be more interesting. Just avoid the Hill Station!

Visited November 2011
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“It Depends on What you Expect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

I'm a Westerner who traveled with a Cambodian family of 6 to Bokor Hill Station. I had no expectations other than cooler weather at the top. If I had paid $25 as the reviewer did below on a tour, I probably would have felt ripped off. However, having lived in Cambodia for 1.5 years, I found the trip delightful. The new road is almost completely done with only a couple of areas that they are still widening, but that did not slow us down. The temperature change and being up in the mist and clouds was delightful. On the day we were there, we had breathtaking views of the sea and the surrounding mountains.

If you want to look at it that way, yes it is moldy ruins that the government could rennovate much more quickly, but when does that ever happen in Cambodia? Also, they are building a huge casino, forunately, not at the top. There were some Cambodian food options at the top from vendors....so, you're going to get Cambodian food.

We had a really good time just walking and climbing around, the temperature (again) was assume for me. Lots of Cambodians took picnic lunches up to the top or stopped some place along the road to eat.

The French colonial buildings are undergoing reconstruction and not accessible, but interesting to look at if you have studied the history of the country and the colonial period. Also, between the top and right along the casino construction is a road to a temple compound. I thought we were driving to a deadend, but sure enough it was there. A few small buildings and it was a Buddhist holiday so everything was adorned. Again, spectacular view of the sea and I never would have known to go there without my Cambodian family being along.

So, take it all with a grain of salt. Don't spend a lot of money to go there or expect a lot to see, just appreciate it for what it is.

Visited November 2011
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“If you can time it right and have your own scooter, go up to the top”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

From reading other reviews, most seem to have done Bokor as part of a tour. You don't need to do this, you can hire a scooter in town and just go to the top yourself (it's supposed to cost $5 but I didn't get charged).
The views from the top are gorgeous - the old hill station is quite eerie but not really worth the distance alone. The problem is there's a very very extensive development program running to build a huge hotel complex at the top. The other problem is that the view is very regularly obscured by fog and cloud (similar to Table Mountain's tablecloth in Cape Town) so make sure it's a clear day before you take the long drive up there.
The best part, for me anyway, wasn't the views from the top but the scooter ride to get there. A completely empty 32km brand new road with barriers all the way to the top - make sure you fill the scooter with petrol - it will take a full tank if you're having fun!! On the way down I counted no more than about 10 cars/bikes in 32km of perfect road - ok so there are still a few bits that aren't finished yet!! It's definitely a road that Top Gear could have some serious fun on!!

Visited October 2011
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paris
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Could be skipped!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011 via mobile

I almost entirely have the same feeling as latest post from dandgbrowning. Except I paid only 22 dollars for the tour, still expensive! The food was not so bad, i ate it but it was scarce. Absolutly nothing to see in the mist except shadows of bokor palace (you can not even go in because its in renovation process) and the old church.
We went to the top parked in the back of a truck: not so safe and exposed to the rain!
Only good part is jungle hiking for approx 1h. If you want to avoid leeches wear trousers, long socks and closed shoes!
The boat trip is ok but too long...

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Pnhom Pehn
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Don't waste your money”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

The trip to the Bokor Hill Station is an absolute waste of time unless you like looking at mouldy ruins in a thick fog. The best part was a one hour trek through the jungle. But when you get to the top "the village"is actually only 2 buildings - a church with squatters living in miserable poverty inside and a water tower. The Palace needs a lot of effort to imagine what it was like in its glory days. There was a thick mist on the top - apparently it has this 8 months of the year (they don't tell you this). The "lunch" was served in one o f the ruins on a filthy table and with bacteria infested cutlery. Most refused to eat (even the hungriest of hte young backpackers). At $25 head I could have spent my money much more wisely. The saving grace was the boat trip which was included but you can do this on your own for $5. By the way, if you still want to go, you can drive all the way to the top on a good road, but why bother?

Visited July 2011
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