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“The ride is worth the trip.”

Bokor National Park
Ranked #220 of 442 things to do in Cambodia
Attraction details
Reviewed 11 December 2013

It seems that reviews are polarized on this trip, some people loved it for the road-trip and the views of South east Cambodia (and even Vietnam on a clear day). Some people hated it because of the huge amount of construction going on there.
Personally I belong to the first group, I hired a motorbike and went off exploring with no real plan excet a vague list of things to see and a rough map of the area.
The road is immaculate for riding. if you enjoy riding a motorbike this makes the entire trip worthwhile. Long smooth sweeping curves with good visability and a fantastic road surface. If I could have hired a Harley somewhere I would still be riding up and down this road non-stop.
As I didn't have any real plans or expectations for the trip I wasn't as dissapointed as some to find the huge construction site near the "new casino" Mountain Retreat. If you are looking for natural beauty you will find it, if you're looking for the historical buildings they are slowly being enveloped by the new constructions, if you're looking for a great ride in the country this is it.
Somewhere between finding the old catholic church and finding the old French casino a fog rolled in and made the whole place so eerie that I felt like I was in a Hitchcock film, but within a half hour the fog dissapeard again and it was back to the sunny (and yet quite cool) day.

I can imagine how depressing it would be to be part of a group trip in a car/bus to the Bokor "construction site", but as a solo traveller on a motorbike with no huge expectations it was one of the highlights of my trip.

Here's some random info collected on my trip;
The 100 rice fields are not really rice fields. (4 trips around the plateau to work this out)
Lunch at the Mountain Retreat (please check if the Steamboat meal really had beef brains and beef toes? or maybe I just imagined that).
Ride a motorbike if you know how, get someone else to ride if you can't. Don't take a car/bus.
If you're going late in the day or planning on a whole day take a thin jacket it's 15 degrees cooler up there than in Kampot.
Have a close look at the Catholic church and old French casino for bullet holes in the walls, I was told the Church was the base for the Vietnamese army and the old French casino was the base for the Khmer Rouge (maybe vise versa).
There's only really 2 roads in, 2 roads out and a big loop in the middle that keeps taking you back to the New casino so don't worry about getting lost, just explore and take your time.
Toilets and food at the waterfall, Grandmother statue (can't miss that one on the way up). petrol is a bit scarce so fill up at the grandmother statue.
Wat Sampov Pram is just up the road from the New Casino and worth popping in to check out the view and see the temple.

2  Thank Coldroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (76)
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39 - 43 of 76 reviews

Reviewed 29 November 2013

Many reports are now out of date, with the old French casino now stripped back to bare concrete and looking like a part finished modern building, extensive forest clearance, 5km across, a network of new roads, casino, hotel, housing, and an industrial scale shed within 30m of the waterfall. The church still looks good from the outside, but the other old buildings have no architectural merit and are not worth the time that trips spend on them. Organised trips up here are now poor value for money, particularly when clouds cover the view- be aware that you are visiting a building site for a theme park, not a national park

1  Thank Awol789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

This mountain is great. Hire a moto from kampot and head over the old bridge toward it. You will get there and back (with some extra exploring) easily on $2-3 of petrol (a full tank in a scooter). You pay entry at the bottom ($1 or so) and have a scenic ride up (watch out for cars cutting corners, generally fine and a very good road).
There are a few waterfalls (nothing special) along the way and some spectacular spots to stop and take in the view. You will have a boring day if you just hit up the main spots, get creative, follow that waterfall back to more waterfalls. If you go without a tour you will often miss the groups at the main attractions. Once you find the big statue of a lady keep going, go through a checkpoint and go left. You will go past an old church (worth looking inside, I stupidly didn't but apparently it is full of interesting graffiti) then head up to the old abandoned King's summer palace with breathtaking views over the drop off. You could also consider hiking or running up but set aside a day for this +/- a guide.

Thank Julian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

This area is now owned by a Cambodian $billionaire, which is the only way this national park will stay protected. We had a bit of trouble getting past the security guards at the foot of the mountain, which delayed our start up the mountain road. Once underway we wove our way up through the jungle on a tarmac road. First stop to see Lady Mao, a 100 ft modern statue of the Buddhist goddess, built to protect all those on the mountain. Then upwards and onward, on the way up we were overtaken by some bikers on Harley Davidson on a stag week, way to go lads. We also overtook cyclists powering their way up , a sanity check required me thinks. At the top is a mix of the modern and old. The modern is a huge casino/hotel were we got a cake and cappucinio. The old is a now derelict mansion, which I was informed would become a museum, in its day this mansion must have been a fantastic place, the rooms are huge and the ceilings high. The views from the terrace is quite beautiful, above the clouds looking across the jungle right out to the coast. Well worth the time to visit.

Thank FWWing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

Kampot is full of rip-off artists. Please be certain to book this marvelous all day $12 tour with the Information Centre on the river right next to the old bridge. Mr Pov is manager here, nd he is personable guy who aims to please.

1  Thank StuartGreif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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