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Asia's Historic Hill stations Phnum Bokor National Park  Cambodia

Asia's Historic Hill stations

Vestiges of European colonial settlement remain throughout much of Southeast Asia, often contrasted against more traditional hill tribe villages and always set in (cooler) rolling mountain ranges.

These former frontier towns were once the summer homes of wealthy colonials looking to escape the heat of the lowlands and Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar are dotted with these high-altitude enclaves.

Sapa, nestled in the hills of North Vietnam is one of the best preserved towns of this era with its terraced rice fields contrasting against Bordeaux-style villas.

Borkor in Cambodia is a different type of hill station with a dark past. Abandoned in the 1990s, Borkor fell into ruin, giving it a distinct ghost town feel though as re-development has started in Bokor Hill, so plans to visit soon should be made fast.

In up-and-coming Myanmar, Kalaw has many old examples of British architecture, including Tudor-style houses and rose gardens, plus traditional villages, pagodas and a surprising number of curry houses, thanks to the area's Nepali population.