Bokor Hill Station

Bokor Maintain looms over Kampot and is the must see day trip on a moped out of the town. It rises up from sea level to 1048m, taller than anything in Ireland or England, but slightly less than Snowden, we’d heard from Ukrainian Kate that she cycled up there so we had to take on the challenge…

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The main climb is for 20km with an average 5% gradient, we were interested to see how the tandem was on such a climb. We did unload and pack light for the round trip… In the future we might have to take on something like this loaded up… but not yet!

We climbed steadily through the jungle road which the French built in their hey day. It was spectacular. On stops we were surrounded by jungle sounds including Gibbons and saw a huge toucan like bird which Annie identified later as a great hornbill. We didnt get the right camera lens on in time to take a close up but think we saw the same bird later on the climb.

  
The French built this road through remote and pristine jungle so they could have a casino at the top and a little church beside it: you lose all your money, walk out and choose between the altar and the sheer cliff face. It cost 1000 lives to build the road at the time but then, they did put a church up there…

Near the top there is also a huge painted buddah. We soon wished we packed more clothes for the summit! It was pretty misty and cool!

  
Now the Chinese have moved in (the summit was sold to them for $10m) and built a new bigger casino and hotel which is going to be coupled with a cruise berth in Kampot that will ferry idiots up there to gamble. The Japanese also had a base there during the war and it was on the frontline when the Vietnamese invaded in the 70s… Basically the top of the mountain is a huge and unnessary clusterf##k.

We did enjoy the view and 3 plates of local noodles however. It took us about 3.5hours with stops to get to the summit. Annie had a little sleep before we took off back down the road…

   

 

40 mins back to the start of the climb another 20mins back to our tent, a swim, beer and relax by the river by 4pm.

We decided the bike needed some tlc in the evening so we got the rags and toothbrushes out and gave her a good scrub down (the stove kerosene cane in handy for soaking the chains), then a few more beers and bed after a satisfying day.

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