Friday, December 5, 2008

The haunted Palace

The Bokor Palace Hotel - desolate and disturbed
On a recent visit to the top of Bokor mountain along Cambodia's southern coastline, I reeled off lots of photos of the ruined Bokor Palace Hotel, that sits on the lip of the mountain overlooking the Gulf of Thailand with some gorgeous views, especially when the clouds are high in the sky. However, often with low cloud, the summit of Bokor is enveloped in fog and the Palace Hotel ruins take on an altogether different air, invoking stories of ghosts and hauntings of old and more recent vintage. The city of Bokor began life in the 1920s and well-heeled Khmers and the colonizing French elite used it as their personal playground. The gambling and casino types were very much in evidence and those who lost fortunes at the tables were prone to throw themselves off the cliff to escape their woes. During the civil war, the Khmer Rouge forces fought pitched battles against both the Vietnamese and Khmer armies in the area and the Park Rangers now refuse to stay in the hotel after dark, for fear of those spirits left behind. Here are some shots of the Bokor Palace Hotel from the outside; many more photos to follow.
Approaching the Bokor Palace from the north, along the edge of the cliff-face
Overlooking the Gulf of Thailand from the edge of the mountainside
The bleak and eerie Bokor Palace Hotel
Approaching the Palace Hotel from the front
Up close and personal with the Bokor Palace Hotel
A far-off view of the Hotel and telephone masts taken from the Catholic Church

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hotel was also immortalised in the Korean horror film R-Point - a fitting setting in my opinion!

December 5, 2008 at 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy,
Ain't nothing about old temples and heritage sites in or around Bokor? Is the place really worth a visit? Looks quite desolate... Thanks for any clues, Aisha

December 6, 2008 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Aisha,
sorry for not replying sooner. It is quite desolate but that has its own charm. It gets considerably more desolate and bleak when the cloud and fog rolls in and covers everything. Then it looks like something out of a horror movie, a real pea-souper as we call it in England. There's nothing of ancient historical interest on Bokor (as far as I'm aware)- its more about the 1900s heritage era on the summit and the remains/ruins of what once was a city on top of a mountain. I have seen one of the old Kings' films set on Bokor and to see that and then compare it with what you see today, makes for a fascinating comparison.
Andy

December 8, 2008 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Andy. As you were wondering the other day, I am a regular reader of your blog - that is, I read it everyday, sometimes twice a day, and that for the past 1 1/2 year... Or koom thom thom again, Aisha

December 11, 2008 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Aisha,
So I have at least 1 regular reader and I'm pleased its you Aisha. Many visitors to my blog don't comment, when I actually welcome comment, good and bad, as I don't always post all the information I have in my blog posts, and your views can give me the opportunity to provide more in-depth details. However, hope you keep coming back every day Aisha.
My best, Andy

December 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Derby said...

"Yo no creo en las brujas. Mas que elas hay, elas hay..."
This hotel is so much strange!
I'll never stay in this place at night...

January 3, 2009 at 2:08 AM  
Blogger tahera said...

hay can u tell me is this in apace people stay or jus empty.. looking for shhoot in some haunted place ..
so lemme know
tahera.syed@gmail.com

November 4, 2009 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Megan Brownrigg said...

Hi Andy,

This is fascinating, I wish I'd seen Bokor in this state but unfortunately I saw it in its newly developed 'glory' the other day.

I was wondering if you might be able to help me out with any history you might know about Bokor? I'd love to speak to someone who stayed at the original hotel.

July 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM  

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