The Bokor Gateway is located on the A3 between Kampot and Sihanoukville.
The A32 that begins their leads up a winding road up to the Elephant Mountain.
Gateway to the Historical Hill Station of Bokor National Park
Bokor is a stunning little town on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It’s nestled in between two mountain ranges and offers beautiful views of the green forests. It's been nicknamed "Cambodia's best-kept secret" for its hidden location and for being one of the most beautiful places in the country. If you're looking for a fun day trip from Phnom Penh, Bokor is your place! Here are some things to do during your visit:
What makes Bokor special ?
Bokor is a beautiful little town that you'll never forget. With white sand beaches, green forests, and of course the Bokor National Park, this place is perfect for exploring. It's also home to some of Cambodia's most well-known landmarks, like the King's Palace and the Graeco-Roman Temple. If you're looking for something different to do in the country, Bokor should be your number one choice.
What to do in Bokor
-Hike to the Bokor Palace: The hike up to the Bokor Palace is beautiful and fun. You'll start at a peaceful lake, take in some spectacular views of the Mekong River and finally reach the Bokor palace's old French colonial design.
-Enjoy the Nature: The forests, hills and lakes surrounding Bokor are gorgeous. It's a great place for outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking and biking.
-Explore Bokor Market: This small town has its own little market with delicious local food and traditional items like hammocks, baskets, tribal clothes and masks. Be sure to stop by before you head back home!
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Bokor is between November and February. This is because the area is usually not too hot and it's the rainy season in Cambodia. The forests are lush and green, providing the perfect escape from the city.
Other things to do in Cambodia
-Sihanoukville: This coastal town is a major tourist destination and offers lots of beautiful beaches with clear water. You'll find many resorts and hotels to stay at.
-Kampong Cham: The capital city of Kampong Cham Province is located around 50 kilometers east of Phnom Penh. It's worth visiting the White pagoda, which was built in the 18th century, and Wat Kandal (Golden Pagoda).
-The Killing Fields: This controversial site is now a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.
The day trip from Phnom Penh
Bokor is a day trip from Phnom Penh and there are many different ways to access the city. One of the best ways is to take a tuk-tuk up the mountain. The ride will take about two hours and cost around $25 USD. You'll be able to see some villages up close, which is a beautiful experience you won't want to miss!
Bokor is a hidden gem in Cambodia that not many people get to visit.
The city has a lot to offer, it’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital and experience an alternative side of Cambodia.
Come visit Bokor and explore this beautiful city with your loved ones, you won’t regret it.
Temperatures in Bokor are lower than in Phnom Penh or Kampot, generally staying in the 15-25 C range. On a clear day there are stunning views down into the valley, Kampot town scenery, coastline of Kampot and Sihanouk Ville. In the rainy season, it is swathed in rolling clouds and visibility drops to zero. However, you still can find the fun moment as it is remain only in very short time. You are recommended to bring warm clothes.
Three communes in Kampot province have been turned into "Bokor city", a new administrative area slated to become the province’s second municipality located in the midst of the 150,000-hectare Preah Monivong Bokor National Park.
The area of Bokor National Park in the Preah Monivong region has been earmarked by the government for development into a historic tourist destination that appeals to both national and international visitors.
Speaking at the announcement, Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara said plans were underway to transform part of Bokor Mountain into a smart city and historical site, surrounded by greenery, natural mountain landscapes and a coast blessed with a pleasant sea Cool climate.
Details of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction's project were revealed in a master plan entitled “2035 Bokor City Masterplan” during a workshop at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel on August 29th.
In his speech, Chea Sophara, who is also Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said specific guidelines and a legal framework that will help create a city that meets all needs.
He said the master plan will examine the need for housing, relaxation, employment, study and business, all in an environmentally friendly environment to advance the development project.
These initiatives aim to create a luxury high-end tourism destination for local and international tourists, he added. The ministry's study found that Bokor National Park's location in Cambodia is unique and has the potential to be a top international travel destination.
Chea Sophara, who is also the chairman of the National Committee on Land Management and Urban Planning, said that under the leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, peace is vital and must be maintained for stable and beneficial development of all sectors in the kingdom.
"Bokor has a favorable climate and a unique location for housing, tourism development and environmental protection that enables sustainable development in the region," he added.
He urged Cambodians to get involved in the project, saying, "If Cambodians don't support this project, please don't complain that this place is only for foreigners."
"Within 10 days, the project has already sold 4,000 lots to Cambodians at an affordable price. Up to 10,000 pieces of land could be sold to locals next week to give the middle and low income group an opportunity to own land here."
He also urged the Cambodians to take advantage of the project, as Bokor is Khmer land and the government would like young Cambodians to support it, as the location has good infrastructure and pleasant weather with a pleasant environment.
The area includes the geographical areas of Kampot, Preah Sihanouk and Kampong Speu with a land size of 27,943 hectares, which is 18.09 percent of the 154,542 hectares of the Preah Monivong National Park.
The development of the Bokor City project aims to cover a wide range of legal and technical aspects that allow for proper coordination between the different sectors that are the economic drivers for sustainable development in the region.
The project was designed in response to increasing demographics, land use needs, housing development and development at all levels, taking into account current and future needs.
It will ensure the protection of natural and underground resources, ecosystems, the environment and natural resources, especially the preservation of historic urban sites.
The master plan aims to ensure the effective management and control of the proposed city of Bokor by integrating and developing quality assurance, balance, equity and sustainability.
According to the master plan, nine key areas for residential, commercial, mixed-use areas, traffic, tourism, administration, public spaces, green spaces, cultural and religious areas and areas of technical infrastructure were defined.
The residential area is contained in eight development areas and comprises approximately 3,390 hectares, or 37.85 percent of the total land that can be built as part of the proposed development project in Bokor City.
Bokor Town Hall and other administrative offices will be in Boeung Touk commune, which is just across the boundaries of Kampot town’s Andong Khmer and Troeuy Koh communes, from north to south.
According to the Kampot Provincial Administration, Sokha Hotel Co Ltd, an investor in many large projects for the Bokor Mountain area, will provide the building to serve as Bokor Town Hall. Located near the checkpoint on the access road to Bokor National Park, the building formerly functioned as the provincial Department of Environment, it said.
On June 7, provincial governor Cheav Tay inspected the premises and gave the go-ahead to transform the building into the new town hall, calling on Sokha Hotel to work with officials and relevant authorities to start the construction process soon.
Mines are not common and have been cleared from the top of the hill twice (as of March 2011) (but it is still advised you stay on existing paths). Tigers are very rare but still avoid trekking into the bush at dusk and at night when they are most active. Poachers hunt deep in the park, hire a ranger when trekking in these areas. The park is huge with many trails which are not marked or maintained. Hire a ranger if you have any doubts about your route.
The Dâmrei Mountains was formerly a Khmer Rouge controlled area, but in 1993, Preah Monivong National Park was inaugurated along with most other national parks in Cambodia. It is one of only two ASEAN Heritage Parks in the country. Preah Monivong National Park is well known for the abandoned Bokor Hill Station, a remote settlement build by the French colonialists in 1921. They also built a Catholic church nearby in 1928, a very rare sight in Cambodia. The park is named after King Sisowath Monivong who used to visit the area and eventually died here in 1941. Monivong ordered the construction of a Buddhist temple in the area in 1924. In recent times the national park has become a popular tourist destination and now includes Thansur Bokor Highland Resort, a large luxury hotel built in 2012. In 2010, a large statue of Lok Yeay Mao was constructed in the area. Lok Yeay Mao is a mythic heroine from Cambodian Buddhism and is said to protect travellers, hunters and fishing men. At 29 metres, it is the tallest Yeay Mao statue in the country. In 2019, the government released a "Master Plan for Bokor City Development Project until 2035", by which 18,987 acres of the park are to be developed for residents, tourism, and businesses.
Cambodia is rich in wildlife and a variety of amazing species are in this country’s incredible collection of fauna. It is home to a wide range of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Sadly, many of these wonderful species are endangered and are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data list. Some of the endangered species of this country are pangolin (scaly anteater), clouded leopard, kouprey (jungle cow), tiger, soft-nosed turtle, Asian elephant, pileated gibbon, and guar (large wild ox). Species like Indichine Tigers have become functionally extinct in Cambodia which is one of the most crucial wildlife species in the country. However, Cambodia has been developing ecotourism and there are many initiatives across the country to conserve nature and protect the species. They have definitely made progress in improving the wildlife population of particular species.
The new city is being developed by Sokimex Investment Group Co Ltd, who was granted a 99-year lease in 2012 of 18,987ha of land within the national park boundary.