Bokor Hill Station is a moldering old French resort at the top of a mountain near Kampot with a reputation for spookiness. We booked a group tour, and rode large 4WD trucks over the rugged dirt roads with disintegrating pavement. Jason toughed it out in the back of the truck, and acquired a Kramer-esque look by the end of the day. I stayed inside for the sake of my contact lenses, and talked with an Australian expat named Felicia. And with the "monkey driver."
After riding in the truck for several back-breaking hours, we saw the ruins of the king’s lake palace — actually quite small. When we arrived at the mountain-top, and it was (relatively) cool and misty. The French built the station on the mountain, as this was as close as they could get to a European climate in Cambodia. We trekked through the wilderness for a while toward the hill station. And caught sight of a flying saucer water tower.
Bokor Hill Station was, indeed, eerie.
Built in the twenties, with art deco architecture, it was a popular resort. Now in ruins, the orange moss-covered bones of the building are still beautiful, and undeniably creepy. Maybe not for long though — we hear a Korean company will be restoring it, and installing a gondola between mountains.
Inside Bokor Hill Station we could see broken glass brick windows, a dirty ballroom, and rotting tiles in the bathrooms of hotel rooms. We climbed stairways to find all the hidden rooms and balconies and imagined the station’s past grandeur.