We visited a LOT of temples on the first 2 days of our stay in Siem Reap. On the third day, we decided to do something different and went to visit the Phnom Kulen National Park. It’s located at the Svay Leu District and a 2 hour drive from Siem Reap. If you are planning to visit the park, you must take note that you are allowed to go up until noon and only possible to go down after midday due to the narrow roads.
The first stop of our visit was the Preah Ang Thom. It’s a massive reclining Buddha carved out of a sandstone rock. You have to go through a series of stairs before you can get to the reclining Buddha.
The way leading to the reclining Buddha.
A monk at the base of the stairs leading to the reclining Buddha.
The reclining Buddha
Next we went to visit the River of a Thousand Lingas. The river bed contains a series of stone carvings with lingam-yoni designs which were carved by hermits from 11th until 12th century.
The lingam-yoni design in the River of a Thousand Lingas.
An old lady enjoying the water flowing over the sacred lingas.
Lastly, we went to the waterfalls. There are two waterfalls in the park. The first waterfalls is about 5 meters tall while the second waterfalls is about 25 meters tall. A lot of local people visit the waterfalls and have picnics especially during the weekends. One can rent a cottage by the waterfalls or eat at the restaurants while enjoying the view.
Locals cooling off at the first waterfall.
Going to the second waterfalls was challenging. You get to climb down a wooden stairs with some steps a bit rickety or it’s missing. But it’s all worth it when you are greeted with a beautiful view of the waterfalls with a jungle backdrop.
The second waterfalls at Phnom Kulen.
All smiles after seeing the second waterfalls.
I enjoyed the trip to the park very much and if you are templed out in Siem Reap, this is a good alternative.