Phnom Kulen, one of the great marvels in Cambodia lies 50 km north east of Siem Reap. It takes approximately 2 hours to drive to the hill top which opened up to travelers only in 1999. Not many travelers passing through Siem Reap visit Phnom Kulen, primarily due to the cost of getting there and getting back. However, we think that it should be on everyone's itinerary, which is why we have teamed up with our local host, a professional guide passionate about the potential of Phnom Kulen to design our own version of a Phnom Kulen getaway.
Kulen is considered by Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and it is a popular place for domestic visitors during weekends and festivals. The hill was used as the ancient capital city in AD 802 by the king Jayavarman II who declared himself as god king and announced independence from Java, then giving birth to present day Cambodia. On the hilltop there are 56 Angkorian temples made of bricks and volcanic stones, but most of them are in poor condition. The last attractive spot is a waterfall, it splits in two spots, the first waterfall is four or five meters heights and 20 to 25 in diameters during the dry and monsoon season respectively. The second waterfall is 15 to 20 meters in height and 10 to 15 diameters.
The water is considered holy and Khmers like to bottle it to take home with them. The source of water eventually flows in to Tonle Sap Lake and is thought to bless the water ways of Cambodia.
Morning visit: Leave from the hotel by 8:00 AM before reaching the mountain you will also travel along the valley "Mountain of Lychees". Once you reach the peak, you will see two waterfalls. The first is between four and five metres high and 20 to 25 metres wide. The second waterfall is 15 to 20 metres high and 10 to 15 metres wide. Near the falls, you can also witness the thousand Linga which runs along the river of Siem Reap and has a lot of figures of Yoni and Linga spread out at the bottom of the river. Finally Preah Ang Thom houses a large statue of the sleeping Buddha