Phnom Kulen National Park Trekking Tour, Cambodia

A new exploration in Cambodia is the Phnom Kulen National Park Trekking Tour.  What sets it apart from the standard visit is its departure from the typical experience of driving to the top to see the usual sights. Instead, the trip starts and ends with a hike from the base of the mountain, allowing for more stops and exploration of lesser-trodden marvels.

To accomplish this adventure encompasses visits to secluded spots such as the Grand Reclining Buddha in Preah Ang Thom. This 16th-century, 8-metre-tall marvel — carved directly into a sandstone boulder — is one of the largest of its kind in Cambodia. The statue’s sheer size and intricate craftsmanship evoke a sense of wonder, emphasizing its cultural and spiritual significance in the country’s history.

The tour also features an intriguing stop at the River of a Thousand Lingas in Kbal Spean. This sacred site features a series of stone rock reliefs in sandstone along the riverbed and banks, showcasing motifs predominantly of lingams — a phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. These period carvings are believed to bless the water that flows over them, purifying and imbuing it with spiritual power.

Both sites serve as a testament not only to ancient Cambodia’s artistry but also to its architectural ingenuity, which was considered cutting-edge at the time and remains impressive today. Throughout the journey, guides offer valuable insights into crucial conservation efforts. By educating participants about the park’s cultural significance to the nation’s illustrious past, the tour aims to foster a sense of stewardship that leads to a more meaningful visit.

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