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Day trip to Bokor National Park, Southern Cambodia

CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 4 June 2008 | Views [1215]

We signed on to a day trip to go to Bokor National Park, near Kampot in Southern Cambodia. We travelled up there in a mini-bus along a dirt red road which wound its way up the Elephant Mountains. The road was bumpy, as is often the case in Cambodia outside of the main towns. Half way up the mountain we were stopped from going any further by 4 or 5 construction vehicles that were busy digging up the road. We waited about an hour while they (quite literally) created a road for us to drive on.

We continued to travel up the winding road, slowly reaching elevations that brought us level with the clouds. During the morning we visited a number of ruins that have just barely survived from days of French colonialism in Indochina. I am constantly amazed by the complete disregard which foreigners have for the cultural heritage of another country...in this event, it was the fact that previous visitors had graffitied all over the interior of the ruins. I just don't understand, WHY DO IT?

The latter half of the day was spent visiting the local waterfalls and then going for a boat ride. A trek through the jungle was supposed to be included to, but we were having so much fun at the waterfalls that we ran out of time for the trek.

Having seen the Erawan waterfalls and Ko Chang island waterfalls in Thailand, I believe that these waterfalls were by far the best I had seen yet. We started at the top of the waterfall, and then climbed down the rocks in order to reach the pool at the bottom of the highest tier of the waterfall. Some people stripped off for a swim. Then we climbed down to the next tier of the waterfall, where I was able to walk all the way to the edge of the waterfall so that I was sitting on the precipice (obviously being very careful not to be swept away by the currents).

We then climbed down to the pool at the bottom of the waterfalls, where most people went for a swim and climbed under/behind the cascading water. I didn't feel any great urge to go, having been to a number of waterfalls very recently, so I stayed on the rocks and just took photos.

Our evening was concluded with a sunset boat ride across a lake, which was very nice indeed - although maybe slightly too cloudy along the horizon to enjoy fully.

We were all very hungry by the time we returned to Kampot. Stephen, I and two others who were staying at the same guesthouse went to a very nice restaurant just opposite the pier where the boat dropped us off. Although the food was slow, I tried the 'amok trei' for the first time (amok trei is a dish indigenous to Cambodia which is a coconut curry with fish). Although the 45minute wait was frustrating, the dish itself was absolutely delicious. (I am writing this journal entry on the day before I leave Cambodia, 21st June 2007, and I can say that this was the best amok trei that I had throughout my time here in Cambodia.)

Well, trying to balance a camera tripod on uneven rocks at a good angle is never going to produce a great photo...but there I am.

Well, trying to balance a camera tripod on uneven rocks at a good angle is never going to produce a great photo...but there I am.

Tags: bokor, waterfall, waterfalls

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