Road to Top of Bokor Mountain Under Way

The road leading to the top of Bokor Mountain is now closed to tourists, as the reported $1-billion re­development plan for the long-abandoned hill station got underway this week.

The first phase of the plan by the Sokimex-owned Sokha Hotel Group is to build a new $20 million road, which the firm estimates will take around two and 1/2 years to complete.

Svay Vuthy, secretary to Soki­mex CEO Sok Kong, said Thurs­day that the road would be closed to tourists until the construction phase finished, for fear of accidents taking place.

“We don’t know when tourists will be allowed to go up again.”

First established during the French colonial period, the former moun­tain-top resort had become one of the most popular tourist at­trac­tions in the Kampot area in re­cent years.

Several tour operators brought as many as 50 people a day up the badly damaged road to the fam­ously eerie summit of Bokor, which has breathtaking views of the coast.

Despite the road closure, some tour operators are already offering a two-day trekking tour to reach the summit.

Kampot Deputy Provincial Gov­ernor Khoy Khun Huor said the road closure on Bokor would only have a small effect on tourism in the area.

“We want tourists, but we also want safety,” he said. “If tourists have an accident going up while construction is underway then we will be blamed.”

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon welcomed the beginning of work on the Bokor project, which he said would be good for the entire coastal region. Only a small number of people have been visiting Bo­kor up to now, and there were very few facilities, Thong Khon said.

“It will be a great destination and help bring large numbers of people,” he added.

Angela Vestergaard, owner of Bliss­ful Guesthouse in Kampot, said that some tourists may be disappointed by the Bokor closure but Kampot had plenty of alternative places to visit.

“[I]n the long term the Bokor re-development will benefit Kampot,” she added.

Related Stories

Latest News