And The Hill Town of Bokor
25.06.2009 - 27.06.2009
I arrive at 10am - a time of day not seen for 8 days - and proceed to pass out in my beautiful burgundy hotel room until about 4:30, when the sun is just beginning its decent. I find myself in a small town largely unconcerned with and unchanged by visitors, a distinct change from Sihanoukville. I get some dinner and visit an internet cafe, but beyond that there really isn't much else to do.
The next day I hired a moped and after one minor spill in the back roads of the town (A woman and her baby pulled out in front of me - not my fault!) I drove down to Kep; an even quieter seaside town. So quiet, in fact, that I didn't even stop, continuing round the circle road along a partially made gravel road that it was tortuous to keep my balance on.
Bokor was a French colonial outpost on the very top of the hill that overlooks Kampot. Built in the 30's and abandoned in the late 70's only the shells of buildings remain. It's a spooky site, especially as the fog rolls over and into the husks of houses left behind. At the very top of the hill, with views that stretch down to the coast and the twinkling blue sea sits a grand hotel once used to entertain the French colonials missing their home luxuries. Downstairs the ballroom is mildewed and bullet holes peppering the wall remind you why the building was abandoned. Continuing upstairs it is difficult to make out which room belongs to which and everywhere there are tears in the plaster of the walls where cables have been ripped out. The smashed glass in the window frames is still sharp and the building feels very haunted. It feels like the hotel in The Shining.
The next day my visa for Vietnam becomes valid & I can escape; a buttock crunching 2hour moto ride to the border through stunning rice paddies and out of season salt flats and I wave Cambodia goodbye.