Phnom Kulen ភ្នំគូលេន – Mountain of Lychees – is about 48 kilometers to the north from Siem Reap. It is the holy mountain where King Jayavarman II proclaimed independence from Java in 802 as well as the Angkor Empire. This mountain plateau served as capital of the first Khmer Empire for more than half a century before it moved to Roluos.
About 20 minor temples are situated around the plateau, including Rorng Chen temple, the first pyramid built by an Angkor King. However, most of them are a little bit tricky to access. The area is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage – Tentative List on September 1, 1992 in the Cultural category. Nothing can be more refreshing than the Phnom Kulen waterfalls to cool off after a long hot day. The first waterfall is about 4-6 meters tall and 15-20 meters wide (depending on the season) and the second waterfall, hidden in a beautiful jungle scenery is 15-20 meters long and 8-10 meters wide (depending on the season).
It is allowed to swim there and it is a popular spot among locals for weekend trips. On the other side of the footbridge that crosses the river, is a small sandstone shrine where we like to go to.
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