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Phnom Kulen

Phnom KulenPhnom Kulen when translated from Khmer language means “mountain lychee”. Currently it is a national park found at the distance of 50 km from the town of Siem Reap. It is considered to be one of the most unique and historically as well as religiously significant sites in Cambodia. This sacred place has enormous energy and is reputed to be among the pilgrims' the place of true and pure Buddhism. The power and pureness of this place is also seen in the jungle surrounding the site. 

On the plateau of this great mountain back in year 802 took place the unique act for the history of the whole country. At this year the ruler Jayavarman II has proclaimed himself the Devaraja (the only god-king). It is considered that from this exact point in time came into existence the country of Cambodia. Therefore Phnom Kulen is considered unique and great place, it bares the sacred and also somewhat mystical status and thus became the destination for many local religious residents and pilgrims. At the highest point of the mountain Kulen there is a Buddhist ancient temple and monastery, and the peak of this mountain has a carved statue of the reclining Buddha.

The Thousands of Lingams river

In the park Phnom Kulen flows the sacred river of the Thousands of Lingams that indulge in Siem Reap River. Lingam is a phallic symbol representing the male principle. Lingams were carved on the bottom of a river and thus waters flowing through it, according to Hindu belief become sacred. Stream of thousands lingams is a unique place, even though some people may feel quite embarrassed when they first hear about the origin and unique carvings on the bottom of the stream, but the place is special given that Jayavarman II himself bathed here, and then he set aside the water of the stream giving the possibility to the carvers to create the image of him on the stone at the bottom of the river.

Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen waterfall

The stream ends with the 15 meter waterfall. At the end site there is a Phnom Kulen waterfall pond, you can have a free dip in these sacred waters, getting some relief from your exhausting and sun-heated journey to this place. Also the park amazes with its infrastructure you will have the opportunity to taste some local cuisine in the cafes or restaurants, drink beer, and later have some sleep in a hammock.

How to get there

Phnom Kulen. Waterfall of Phnom Kulen is a 1.5-hour very picturesque drive from the city of Siem Reap. If you have already visited the main temples of Angkor, then it is time to relax in the shade of the jungle and take a dip in the waters of a large waterfall Phnom Kulen! You can rent a car and easily get there without any maps, as numerous signs will show you the exact way. 

Phnom Kulen temple

Now let’s talk a little about the Buddhist temple that is found there. Some of the basic but very important highlights include:

·         The temple’s original name is Preahangthom

·         It is fully operating and welcomes guests and pilgrims in its walls.

·         The current Buddhist temple Preahangthom follows the old rules of the Buddhist religion, and therefore for all the visitors the shoes, shorts, T-shirts are prohibited.

At present it is a national park, the entrance to which is for foreigners is $20. Rouge also have to pay to enter the park, so any questions related to the cost of entry must be negotiated with the taxi drivers in advance. To get to the mountain is only possible on the car or on a motorcycle.

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