We will come and pick you up from the hotel and begin our trip to the 40km-long mountain range, Phnom Kulen. We must be there before 11am because it has only one small road. It is located about 50km north of Siem Reap town and it was the source of sandstone to build temples during the Angkor period. When driving up the steep hills, we will see the most beautiful landscape ever seen.
It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Phnom Kulen is also a protected area as a National Park by the Cambodian government. There are many interesting sites to visit on Phnom Kulen. We will see the elegant waterfall that is divided into two parts. The top is a 5m high and 20-25 wide waterfall, and the lower part is a 15-20m waterfall that used to film Tomb Raider. It is a good place for relaxing and swimming.
We will go to visit Preah Ang Thom, a 16th-century giant reclining Buddha, measuring up to 8 meters. The statue was carved into a huge sandstone. Preah Ang Thom is considered as a holy place to worship in Phnom Kulen. We will also see a big foot-print of Preah Bat Choan Tuk near Preah Ang Thom.
We then will visit the River of 1000 Lingas or Kbal Spean, located 1.5km from the waterfall. To access Kbal Spean, we have to walk on a small path into the forest. There are many figures of Lingas and Yoni and other carved Hindu Gods into the rocks of the riverbed.
Then, we will hike back to the mountain to see the Terrace of Sdach Kamlung or Terrace of Leper King, meaning in English. There is a small wrecked monument built of bricks in the middle of the plain terrace.
After a long day of walking, will find a good place near the waterfall to stop and rest for lunch before we drive down the mountain to visit Banteay Srei temple. We will head to Banteay Srei which is about 10km from Phnom Kulen. The meaning of this temple in English is “Citadel of Women”, and it is known as the “Precious Gem of Angkor”. It is a must-see temple because it is unique as it was built from pink sandstones. Most parts of the temple remain in good condition, so the details of the finest ancient Khmer carvings are still seen today.