Kampot: A sleepy, strange, but surprisingly lovely town

Kampot, Cambodia rests along the Praek Tuek Chhu river in the southeast corner of the country.  While I was there, nights out consisted of quiet dinners and drinks in quiet restaurants.  Days consisted of sight-seeing at the bizarre-but-lovely Bokor National Park, and a very quick trip to Kep.  Bokor National Park is one of the weirdest tourist attractions I’ve ever seen.  At more than 1,000 meters above sea level, it is a former hill station where elite French expats came to escape the heat of Phnom Penh.  It was developed in the 1920s, but has long since been abandoned and now is nothing more than a dilapidated hotel, palace, and church.  However, a Chinese hotel conglomerate purchased most of the hill in 2007 and is currently building a massive complex of hotels, casinos, villas, golf courses, and waterparks.  There are also a few temples, shrines, and a giant statue of Yeay Mao (see photo and caption below for more info).  The views from the top of the hill, when not obstructed by clouds, are magnificent and well worth the drive up.

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