Gambling with Kampot's colonial charm | Bangkok Post: news

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Gambling with Kampot's colonial charm

Architects and historians say a conglomerate's US$1 billion plan to build a gaming centre on Bokor Hill could mean it losing its unique French heritage

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Hidden in the clouds on a mountain overlooking the provincial capital of Kampot in Cambodia's south sits a relic of a long-gone French colonial era. For decades a Catholic church, possibly the oldest in the country, remained abandoned here as wars were waged for decades on the flat lands below. 

CHANGING TIMES: A monk takes a photo of the new casino on Bokor Hill. The proposed Thanksur Bokor Resort will cover most of the 105 hectare plateau and feature villas, a boating lake and a golf course.

Under the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge, churches _ alongside all forms of religious life _ were anathema and systematically destroyed, believers persecuted and clergy exterminated by the Communists.

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