Phnom Kulen is considered a holy mountain in Cambodia, of special religious significance to Hindus and Buddhists who come to the mountain in pilgrimage. It also has a major symbolic importance for Cambodians as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire, for it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarma II proclaimed independence from Java in 804 CE.
Phnom Kulen offers the rare opportunity to visit historical monuments inside a national park. It is located to the northeast of Angkor. The average height of the plateau is about 400 m above sea level, the highest point is 487 m. The water is considered holy and Khmers like to bottle it to take it home with them. The source of water eventually flows in to Tonle Sap Lake and is thought to bless the water ways of Cambodia.
Take the challenge to ride up to the holy mountain
Visit the carved phallic symbols a long the river bed
Have a bath under the waterfall
Visit the Archaeology and Development Foundation (ADF)
Discover some lost sites dating from Xth Century
Day 1 : SIEM REAP – PHNOM KULEN (Camping/L,D/40 km) Transfer and Cycling to the Phnom Kulen, the sacred mountain of the Khmer. You travel through countryside and villages surrounded by ricefields and palm trees. Afternoon, take a bath under the waterfall and visit the sculptured river and the pagoda on the summit of the mountain. Night in a tent or in the pagoda on top of the hill.
Day 2 : DISCOVER THE MOUNTAIN OF PHNOM KULEN (Homestay/B,L,D/40 km) Cycling across the jungle, the prairie of limestone and high grass to discover the exceptional site of Srah Dumrei, monolithic sandstone of 6 m high of Xth century, representing elephants and lions. Lunch in the village of Prehan Thom, heading after on the South route to a summit of the mountain, surrounded by the jungle and prairie to join the village of Ta Penh. Night in the pagoda of Wat Thmei. (Possibility to complete a loop of +40 km on top of the mountain)
Day 3 : PHNOM KULEN – KOH KER (Guesthouse/B,L,D/65 km) Early morning we get down the summit to cycle (cycling/transfer) to Svay Leu then transfer to an old capital in a remote region of the Province of Preah Vihear, the highest mountain temple of the Khmer Kingdom, called Koh Ker and it’s satelite temples. 3 years ago, this temple had still no access. Visit of this lost site and overnight stay in a guesthouse.
Day 4 : KOH KER – BENG MEALEA – SIEM REAP (Hotel/B,L/40 km) Transfer/cycling back to Siem Reap and on the way stop to Beng Mealea, the famous temple where the film “The 2 brothers” from J.-J. Annaud has been made. Visit of the temple, still hidden in the dense jungle. Arrive in Siem Reap at late afternoon. Distances during the trip are alternating between cycling and transfer.
The renting of the MTB with helmet
An english speaking cycling guide
Water/fruits during riding
Meals according to program
Accommodation according to program
An escort vehicle
What’s Not Included
Entrance fees for the sites and museums (approx 80 USD, which includes 40 USD for the Angkor Pass)
The meals not mentioned in the program
Drinks and tips
Cap or hat to protect you from the sun
A pair of sunglasses
A light polar shirt or equivalent for the nights homestay
Cotton t-shirts (short and long sleeve) OR equivalent (shirts, T-shirt technical material fast drying …)
Jeans and short
A swimming suit indispensable
Take a bag to gather your toxic waste (batteries, aerosols , batteries, ointment tubes …) to bring them back to your home country where sorting is done well and efficiently. It is best to consult your doctor before traveling to Cambodia for any health issues. Travel yes, but sustainable and responsible!
TO AVOID PLASTIC WASTE (WATER BOTTLES) TAKE YOUR OWN GOURD. BEDSHEETS HAVE TO BE PROVIDED BY YOURSELF.
Our head office, Terre Cambodge Co. Ltd, supports an innovative program implemented by the ADF* in Phnom Kulen since 2008, marrying archaeology with sustainable development. It includes a wide range of activities, from archaeological research to environmental protection and socio-economic development of local people. *The ADF Kulen is a non-profit Archaeology and Development Foundation (ADF). Please do not hesitate to contact us for more details.