Road Trip Up to Bokor Mountains and Thansur Bokor, Part 1

All Around Cambodia, Kampot / Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Finally. I got around to downloading all pics and videos from this road trip. I’m usually very enthusiastic about taking photos and vids during road trips but once the excitement of the trip simmers down, I’m really really lazy about downloading and editing photos. And this one made me extra lazy coz I couldn’t stop myself from taking photos, and I brought with me three cameras = gazillion photos. Yes, I am really an OC person.

I’m breaking down this whole thing into two parts as I have tons of photos even after I spent a lot of time deciding which one to post. This first part would be about the road trip up and some snapshots of Thansur Bokor Resort. Part two will be some snapshots of the scenes around Bokor Mountains.

For so long, we’ve been planning on going up to Bokor National Park well, ever since we got here three years ago. But in the end, this trip always took the backseat coz before this year, the roads weren’t really good, and while we do like to rough it up sometimes, we also have a kiddo to think about, so her comfort takes precedence. But when we heard that the new casino/hotel had its soft opening last March and the roads are now immaculate, we then gave it a go.

Signage – National Road 3 to Kampot

Bokor National Park is located some distance from Kampot. Main attractions would be the ruins scattered in the old French hill station built the French during the 1920’s. Its easy to guess why they picked this place, its super scenic and offers a great respite from the heat of Cambodia’s plains. Free airconditioning. Ha!

Knowing this much, I was very much excited and ready to be impressed by the scenery. I am and always will be a huge fan of nature and fantastic panorama. So we packed our bags for the trip and left Phnom Penh about 7 am. The trip going to Kampot is easy, with pretty scenes of the countryside, occasional towns like the one below..

small Cambodian town along N3

And before we knew it we were in this turn..

..turning right to Phnom Bokor Resort

From here we drove on towards Route 4 for about 8 km and the turn to Bokor National Park came up. There were a lot of workers about the turn, planing the road sides with colorful bougainvilla shrubs. I’m starting to imagine how this place would look like when these plants are big and blooming.

Road Turn to Bokor National Park


Entrance to Bokor National Park

What followed was a drive on a wide, winding road with very very pretty scenery. I did have to stop myself from asking hubby to stop the car so I could take photos. If I did that, we probably would have reached the hill top at night time. So I held back and just took snapshots from the car.

Winding roads going up to Bokor


Gorgeous views this shot can’t even begin to capture

But it was just gorgeous! You can see long, stunning stretches of the coast and the plains below that I know these pictures doesn’t really do it justice.


..more pretty views..

old bridge still intact..

Here’s a video of the road trip up:

After an hour or so of driving up, we came upon a short junction with an empty rest-stop, and  a small shrine where travelers can pray for safe trip.

praying for safe trip..

Turning left, we drove on some more and before long we were looking at the hill top’s latest addition. The ginormous Thansur Bokor Resort. I’m not really sure how I feel about this huge complex built in here. On one side, I think I find it a little garish and I have the feeling it doesn’t belong among the eerie and sad ruins on the hilltop but the passive side of me thinks, oh well, its there. And drawing visitors again.

Thansur Borkor Resort

The hotel/casino is actually now operational although there were still a bit of construction and fixing going on in some parts. You can check out their website at Thansur Bokor Resort and bookings can be done there too. We opted not to stay there for the night and just go down instead to Kep, but we do plan stay there at least overnight next time we go.

Thansur Bokor Resort Reception

Thansur Bokor Resort, Bokor Cambodia

Bokor can be really chilly and foggy but it was a really welcome treat coming from the super hot and humid Phnom Penh. See the photo below of the Thansur frontage? That’s not some sort of photo effect, its just all fog.

fog. fog. fog all around.

We drove around the area for a few hours and I’ll be posting the photos on the next part.

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