Phnom Kulen - The Mountain of Thousand Linga in Siem Reap

Kulen mountain in Siem Reap is considered as a mecca with Cambodian people and the original place of the great Khmer Empire. Here King Jayavarman II declared independence from Java, gave birth of Angkor country and built the first capital. Kulen Mountain today becomes an attractive sightseeing destination. Here are some places to visit on Mount Kulen.

Kbal Spean River with thousands of linga

Kulen is regarded as the Khmer Empire’s cradle. Kulen Phnom is a mountain, which far from Siem Reap about 50 kilometers to the North. This is a very new sightseeing destination in Cambodia’s tours. The mountain owns a very diverse ecosystem and unspoiled natural landscapes. But the most attractive thing for tourists is Kbal Spean where is called the Thousands of Linga River. In 1050, King Suryavarman I prevented this spring from the top and asked for sculpturing thousands of linga, yoni statues with carved reliefs of Apsara God, beauty God of Laksmi. Cambodians believe that if they can bath on this spring, their life will get much luck.
Kbal Spean River with thousands of linga in Kulen Park

Lingas in the river of Kulen Mountain
Thousands of Linga River in Kulen Mountain.

Waterfalls in Kulen

There are many streams in Kulen Mountain creating the magnificent waterfalls with white foam rolling that look very majestic. This is also one of the rare places of Cambodia’s sightseeing destinations which have natural waterfalls. Many tourists after the trip through jungle also choose the waterfalls as a stopover for camping, lodging and eating. Then they will be struggled in the cool waters to feel completely pristine fresh air of the mountain scenery here.

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Waterfalls in Kulen National Park
Waterfalls in Kulen National Park.

Bat Cave

Bat cave is home for thousands of bats in Mount Kulen area. Inside the bat cave also has a small Buddhist temple. The entrance road to the bat cave has very narrow stages, travelers should be careful when entering this area. Cave’s ceiling has some not very high positions. This is a favorite destination for adventurous travelers.
Small temple inside Bat Cave
Small temple inside Bat Cave.

Preang Thom pagoda in the Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap

The entire Kulen forest has total 37 temples, thousand-year-old ancient temples, but the most special temple still is Preang Thom where Buddha statue was carved directly into the rock. This statue is 9.7 meters long, 3.3 meters high. The old legend said that when building Angkor wonder, the Khmer received lots of help of the gods and this place has still preserved footprint till now which according to the legend was the God’s first right footstep with size of 2-meter-long and 0.4-meter-deep. The left footstep is on top of Mount Ba Kheng – far from Kulen mountain about 50 kilometers.
The giant reclining Buddha statue in Preang Thom Pagoda in Kulen
The giant reclining Buddha statue in Preang Thom Pagoda.

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Things to know about Phnom Kulen
Stretching over an area of about 37,500 hectares, visitors can reach Phnom Kulen National Park by car, truck or tuk tuk and it takes about two hours to get here from Siem Reap. The famous Angkor Wat is only 30 km away. There is a private path leading to the park's main attractions. However, the area has been demolished, visitors should go with a tour guide to enter deep inside.

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