National Park?

A new trip up Bokor this year was astounding. It’s safe to say, the old Bokor that we knew and loved is OVER!!! We’ll see if any of the national park can be preserved in years to come. For starters, the old Bokor Mountain Resort (usually people mistakenly call it the casino) is UNDER RENOVATION. What the hell? Who’s lame idea is this anyway? I could argue, for adventurers specifically, that Bokor was Cambodia’s 2nd (to Angkor Wat) premier attraction. This is all over. To make things worse, there are 10-15 odd new projects started on the ‘hill’.

Aside from renovation (the end) of Cambodia’s 2nd premier attraction, the old (real) casino is being renovated, the old church is completely occupied by day-labourers working on the new projects, a massive new (Sokha) resort is going up like no other construction in the country. Even the waterfall (Popokvil) is threatened. For some reason, the road is being paved out to the waterfall and a huge warehouse looking structure is being erected at the start of the hiking trail. The hiking trail has been widened so that even cars can find their way now ;).

You’d think the black palace half way down the hill would be spared but now it is joined across the road by a gargantuan sitting Buddha. Huge transmission towers now dot their way up the hill signalling huge power demand for the completed resort. The scars on the sides of the hill from recent road construction can be seen as far as 50km away (from Kep for example). Peaceful Bokor is now interupted by the sound of dynamite at various locations on the hill at least every 20 minutes. To top things off, the mist decided to leave and haunt Kirirom since there are few ruins up Bokor and nothing spooky about Sokha’s new resort and asian theme land.

New road up the hill, with hillside scars in view (at least they left the cool old French bridge)

Huge new sitting Buddha project to divert gaze from the Black Palace

Black palace on left with new sitting Buddha up the hill on the right

Sitting Buddha closer view

New Sokha resort as seen nearing the top of the mountain

New resort monolith construction up close

Clearing the land for more construction near the new resort

Clearing the land for more construction near the new resort

New resort construction close-up

New resort construction close-up

Resort construction side view

Renovations of old Bokor Mountain Resort (nooooooooo!!!)

Bokor Mountain Resort renovations (don’t even try to go in anymore!)

Bokor Mountain Resort at the back

Bokor Mountain Resort at the back

Bokor Mountain Resort from the side (old tower in the background)

(old) Bokor Mountain Resort renovations front view

(old) Bokor Mountain Resort renovations side view

(old) Bokor Mountain Resort renovations side view

Some remaining ruins, new building, old resort in background

King’s Villa ruins with sitting Buddha construction in the far background

New road past the ranger’s station with plans for electrification

Old casino renovations with ranger station in background

old casino renovations near lake

Old resort renovations from afar

Foundations for another huge development between the old and new projects (rebar a little higher this year but other than that, not much new at this location)

Sokha resort approching from the side

Sokha resort side view

Sokha resort side view

New ugly warehouse-looking building beside the falls

Those hill scars on the way up again

Foundations for that new project mentioned earlier (different view)

Old resort renovations as viewed driving up the new road

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One Response to National Park?

  1. tumnei says:

    It really saddened me to know that they had their hands on the former casino. They more than enough of land to develop. It is all over 😦

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