Cambodia – Siem Reap – Kulen Mountain

– DECEMBER 11, 2015

Today we venture out to Kulen Mountain, which is too far to see via a tuk tuk.  As such, we rented a driver and car for the day to cover the ground to see these sights.  The roads are terrible, so you have to drive slowly to avoid the multiple potholes on your path.

Kulen Mountain only allows visitors to drive up the road until noon, then traffic is only allowed to exit the mountain down to the base.  The road is only wide enough for one small car at a time, so two way traffic doesn’t work here.  The security team at the mountain base enforces the traffic flows.

KULEN MOUNTAIN – PREAH ANG THOM – BIG BUDDHA

Preah Ang Thom houses a large statue of Buddha.  It was built in the 16th century and is eight metres high.  Preah Ang Thom is the sacred and worshipping god for Ku Len Mountain.  It is the country’s largest reclining Buddha statue.  There are also two large Cham Pa trees nearby.  Besides Preah Ang Thom, Chhok Ruot, footprints of Preah Bat Choan Tuk, Peung Chhok, Peung Ey So and Peung Ey Sey, can also be seen.

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – BIG BUDDHA

KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

The Linga is along the river of Siem Reap and has a lot of figures of Yoni and Linga spreading out at the bottom of the river.

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – 1000 LINGAS

KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

Chup Preah is a stream flowing into the mountain’s valley.  Ku Len Mountain has two waterfalls.  The first is between four and five metres high and 20 to 25 metres wide.  The second waterfall is 15 to 20 metres high and 10 to 15 metres wide.  These sizes apply to the dry and rainy seasons.

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

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KULEN MOUNTAIN – WATERFALL

BENG MEALEA

Beng Mealea is a temple in the Angkor Wat period located 40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor, Cambodia, on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay.

It was built as a Hindu temple, but there are some carvings depicting buddhist motifs.  Its primary material is sandstone and it is largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush thriving amidst its towers and courtyards and many of its stones lying in great heaps.  For years it was difficult to reach, but a road recently built to the temple complex of Koh Ker passes Beng Mealea and more visitors are coming to the site, as it is 77 km from Siem Reap by road.

The history of the temple is unknown and it can be dated only by its architectural style, identical to Angkor Wat, so scholars assumed it was built during the reign of king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.  Smaller in size than Angkor Wat, the king’s main monument, Beng Mealea nonetheless ranks among the Khmer empire’s larger temples: the gallery which forms the outer enclosure of the temple is 181 m by 152 m.  It was the center of a town, surrounded by a moat 1025 m by 875 m large and 45 m wide.

Beng Mealea is oriented toward the east, but has entranceways from the other three cardinal directions. The basic layout is three enclosing galleries around a central sanctuary, collapsed at present. The enclosures are tied with “cruciform cloisters”, like Angkor Wat.  Structures known as libraries lie to the right and left of the avenue that leads in from the east.  There is extensive carving of scenes from Hindu mythology, including the Churning of the Sea of Milk and Vishnu being borne by the bird god Garuda.  Causeways have long balustrades formed by bodies of the seven-headed Naga serpent.

It was built mostly of sandstone: Beng Mealea is only 7 km far from the angkorian sandstone quarries of Phnom Kulen, as the crow flies.  Presumably sandstone blocks used for Angkor were transported along artificial water canals and passed from here.

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BENG MEALEA

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BENG MEALEA

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BENG MEALEA

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BENG MEALEA

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BENG MEALEA

Tonight has the local circus performance on our itinerary…should be fun!

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.