Bokor Mountain Palace Hotel

 

I was reminded today of a building I visited five years ago, a building that is one of the most fascinating I have ever visited. It's not a grand castle, artistic cathedral, or ancient world heritage monolith, but a rotting, dank and mouldy, derelict hulk from the high period of French colonialism. Perched on the coastal hills of Cambodia, Bokor Mountain Palace Hotel displays little of its colonial grandeur as a destination of relief from the stifling heat of the coast. If it did it probably wouldn't have gained a second of my attention, and I certainly would not of hacked through spiky rattan jungle for hour, where the road stopped, to get there. It is instead a palimpsest of history, bearing layers of graffiti, from the hands of locals and visitors, plastered on the slime of rotting cancerous concrete, replete with the scars of the Khmer Rouge, in a region known for its support to the bitter end. This building, this relic is most of what I love about the intersections history, art and tourism.  

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