On our way back through Kampot, we decided to hire a bike again and visit Bokor Mountain Hill Station about 40km away at an altitude of 1,100m.
Bokor Hill Station was built by the French in the 1920's and used as a retreat to escape the heat of the plains below. It was originally a small resort town but was abandoned in the late 1940's leaving the buildings to become derelict. Its centrepiece was the grand Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino and there is also a Catholic Church up there.
In 2008, the whole site was leased out to a large petroleum company in Cambodia, Socimex, for 99 years and they have already started redeveloping it. One positive side to this, is that the road to the top is brand new so it was an easy ride up there. The negative side is that they have started renovating the Bokor Palace Hotel so it can no longer be seen in its original state. They have also built a brand-new hotel complex up there which looks completely out of place.
So there wasn't really much to see up there but the ride up and down was good fun and the views were fantastic.
We didn't spend too long there which left us enough time to go to Kep in the afternoon. Kep is a small fishing village about 20km from Kampot and is renowned for its crab market. We had lunch perched over the sea in a stilted, wooden shack (restaurant) whilst trying to teach the young waiter some English.