Bokor Mountain – now open for business!

For months Cambodia’s Bokor Mountain has been officially closed. The public were barred due to reconstruction of the road that winds its way to the top. Finally, I heard that it was open again to the masses, and so took my road bike out on Sunday for a spin to its summit.

The sign at the entrance welcoming you to Bokor Mountain

It’s around 8 kilometres from nearby Kampot town to the bottom of Bokor. Then it’s a 900 metre climb that runs for 20 kilometres. Finally there’s a 10 kilometre undulating bit on top that rises 100 metres (Route can be found here). And just in case you’re wondering, access to free to Bokor Mountain. A big sign at the entrance says so.

As for the road, this might be one of the best routes I’ve ever seen in Cambodia. The tarmac is sleek and wide, bridges are solidly built, there are road signs which still have their plastic wrapping on. Hair pin bends have solid steel girders to prevent any mishaps. The road is not too steep, allowing for a very even and steady climb.

The impressive high speed road up Bokor Mountain.

There were numerous trucks ploughing up and down the hill. It was only when I reached the top that I realised where they were going. First I found a massive Buddha covered in scaffolding. Then I arrived at a gigantic, rude-looking casino. That’s why the road was made so good. So that it can accommodate hundreds of large Lexus 4WDs that want to zip up the mountain to squander away their spare cash.

The monsterous Chinese Casino on the top of Bokor Mountain.

Towards the end of the road is the old colonial French hill station. There’s the church and the old casino, perched on the edge of sheer cliffs. They say that those who lost their money from gambling would throw themselves over them. The church was presumly for those who wanted to thank divine forces for their fortune.

The cliffs off Bokor Mountain, with the old French casino perched on top.

The mountain is incredibly popular with local tourists. I was passed by many tour minivans as I cycled up. These tours dropped their customers at the top for a picnic with a spectacular ocean view.

Some of the many tourists that took the easy way up the mountain!

I didn’t linger around too much though. It was windy on top and temperatures much lower than down below. And there were far nicer places to eat lunch in Kampot than to indulge on top of Bokor Mountain.

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2 thoughts on “Bokor Mountain – now open for business!

    1. Very runnable – tarmac all the way, with a steady slope on the 20km section. Only thing is that it might be a tad boring. Oh and also, watch out for the minivans that boot up and down the road bringing day trippers to the top. Best of luck!

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