The Khmer Empire is one of Asia’s if not the world’s greatest kingdoms. Their legacy continues to live on today, evident by the temples in Angkor and in other parts of Southeast Asia. Ever wondered about their origins? Sometimes you have to go to the source to full understand greatness. Then head over to Phnom Kulen, the birthplace of the Khmer Empire. This is the exact spot where in 802 AD that Jayavarman II proclaimed himself a god king and the mighty Khmer Empire was born.
The importance of Phnom Kulen to the Cambodian people can not be underestimated. It is considered one of the most sacred spots to them. Pilgrimages to the hill range occur frequently, but can be very colorful especially during holidays and the weekend.
It is quite amazing that an historical and significant site like this garners few visitors. That’s a good thing, right? The mountainous national park, with a high peak of about 490 meters, is a natural haven filled with green trees and rivers. Sitting side by side peacefully with this nature is some great creations from man, Kbal Spean.
Kbal Spean is a unique site. Also known as the temple of a thousand lingas, it consists of a series of stone carvings in and around the Stung Kbal Spean river that also stretches out to one of the waterfalls. The waters are considered sacred by the locals because Jayavarman II used to bathe there.
With the area’s abundance of trees, refreshing pools of water and historical sites, Phnom Kulen offer you a varied hiking experience. You will also get a chance to swim in the refreshing waterfalls or have a picnic lunch next to it. Just a short distance away is Phrea Ang Thon where a colorful shrine houses an eight meter sleeping Buddha.
Boy do we have a Cambodian day trip for you. Not only will you be walking the very grounds of the Khmer Empire’s birthplace, you’ll also get a chance to explore Beng Mealea, a jungle-covered temple, where you will likely have the place to yourself to clamor among trees and temple. Its all to savor with our Beng Melea & Phnom Kulen Excursion. This trip makes a great extension to our Cambodian tours. See what’s out there in Khmer Land.
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