Phnom Kulen Travel Guide

This former Khmer pilgrimage site is one of the most sacred and is always busy with interested tourists. It boasts stunning views due to its location on a mountainous road and the waterfalls here are impressive.

The reclining Buddha is a major attraction here as are the many wat. The riverbed is home to Hindu linga and although they are not as splendid as Kbal Spean, they are worth a look. There are many temples and statues of animals found at the top of the waterfall and many choose to swim in the pool at the foot of the falls to cool down in the heat of the sun.

There are many people selling food and drinks here and the site is often packed full of tourists by mid-morning. The water of the falls often thunders down the hills and can be seen for miles around.

There s only a small wire fence to protect you from falling over the edge in many places so do take care if you wish to swim in the falls. Access to the falls is simple on a set of wooden stairs, but be prepared to get wet as the spray from the falls is hard to avoid.

The linga on the riverbed are not protected from people’s footsteps and are in danger of becoming eroded away. Phnom Kulen is even busier during national holiday days and should be avoided during school holiday periods if you wish to avoid the crowds.

In brief

What is it? An important religious site that was highly revered during the Khmer period.

Opening hours: during the day, daily.

Entrance fees: US$20.


Where: part of the famous Angkor region close to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

How to get there: drive to Banteay Srey and head north for 30 minutes before joining a steep road for the final 15kms. Take a taxi, motorbike or tour bus from Siem Reap on a journey that takes around 1 hour. Flights between the Cambodian capital and Siem Reap take 25 minutes.