By Military Jeep to Phnom Kulen
By Military Jeep
to Phnom Kulen
A trip to the top of Mount Kulen is an experience. A narrow road to the top brings visitors
to a collection of pre-Angkorian reminders on the richness of Khmer history. We will
do this by using old military jeeps to add some nostalgia to your tour.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Blissfully etched on top of one of the spiritual inclines outside Siem Reap, it is an elating experience of nature, alongside Khmer history and culture at this National Park that draws a small crowd of true explorers to the Phnom Kulen. This popular retreat for locals is geared up with picnic spots, hammocks and shaded areas.
It holds significance as it is where King Jayavarman II proclaimed the birthplace of the Khmer Empire. Kulen is home to a mountain range with a temple at the top, a stunning waterfall and the “River of a Thousand Lingas” where lingas are carved into the riverbed. To up the ante, this day excursion is operated by using restored military jeeps.
08:00 - 15:00
We leave in the morning on board an old military jeep and your English-speaking guide and head through the endless rice fields for around 50 kilometres before we reach the entrance to the top of Mount Kulen. Semi-covered and coming with all bells and whistles just like these camouflage-coloured vehicles were once seen in a more abundant number, it is part of the journey up the mountain that just is as thrilling as reaching your destination on this day.
Translated as the “The Mountain of Lychees”, it is the famous city of King Jayavarman 2 who moved his capital from Roluos group in 802, Mahindrapura The city of the gods or holy city. The sculptures and carvings on the rock in the depth of the waterfall are very well known as attractions to this site. Also known as Kbal Spean, the River of a Thousand Lingas has been given its name due to its lingas (phallic symbols) carved into the riverbed. This Angkor-era archaeological site northeast of Angkor and deep in Kulen National Park is reached with an uphill hike through the jungle passing spectacular carvings of Hindu deities including the god of Shiva and god of Vishnu. The path leads to the carved animal images at the top of the waterfall, which has a wooden staircase to allow the easy descent to the boulders at the bottom.
Lunch will be served picnic-style near the mountain.
Outside the ruins and the view from the top of this impressive sandstone plateau, thousands of Lingams were erected up with the statue of Vishnu reclining on the Naga Ananda and the lotus from his navel supporting a sitting Brahma statue. When time permits, the waterfall may give you a refreshing bath before we head down via the only way down. We expect – after yet another 50-kilometre drive onboard a military jeep to reach your hotel at around 3 pm.
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