The Bokor hilltop community was built in the early 1900s, as the thousand metre elevation provided a pleasant climate for a French colonial hill station. The 34 km road to the top was built by prisoners, many of which died during construction.
A hotel opened in 1925, named the Bokor Palace Hotel and a casino, church, school, post office, royal residence and houses were al supported by a 200 strong population. On the whole, the wealthy French would hold lavish parties and the Chinese would gamble.
Bokor mountain is now part of the Preah Monivong National Park, and the former buildings are ghostly ruins. In recent years the go ahead has been given to a long term project to re-establish Bokor as a major destination that includes the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort & Casino. You are able to walk freely around the various ruins, which presents an eerie experience, especially when the low cloud is swirling around. On a clear day, and best in the early morning, a spectacular view of the Gulf of Thailand awaits.