21st century archaeology and the Cambodian landscape in all its splendour. Known as Mahendraparvata at the time of the Khmer Empire and located 40 km northeast Angkor, Phnom Kulen hit the headlines in 2013 as a ‘lost city’ revealed through the use of high-tech aerial LIDAR data.
Make the most of these newly accessible locations with an overnight homestay in a local village on Phnom Kulen.
Meals: lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Homestay at a local village on Phnom Kulen
We will leave Siem Reap in the morning and travel to Phnom Kulen, the sacred mountain that was the birthplace of the Khmer empire. It was here that Jayavarman II proclaimed independence from Java in 802AD, setting the stage for the glories of the Angkor-era that was to follow. This plateau was known as Mahendraparvata and was an early capital of the Khmer empire. We will travel by vehicle to the busy settlement of Preah Ang Thom before being transferred to the back of a motorcycle to make the most of our exploration.
We will also wander around some remote jungle sites on the sacred mountain, including the brick temple of Damrei Krab and the early pyramid temple of Rom Cheng, which is believed to be the temple where the devaraja (god-king) ceremony actually took place, where Jayavarman II proclaimed himself the earthly incarnation of Shiva.
We will continue to the incredible rock formations of Poeng Tbal, which include a number of holy carvings. These sites date from the 9th century and the reign of Jayavarman II, pre-dating the relocation of the capital to Angkor by almost a century.
Later we will head to the striking stone guardian animals of Sra Damrei, which include a life-size stone elephant, and then we will descend to the ‘bat cave’, a complex of Hindu and Buddhist shrines hidden beneath the rock face. Time to ascend afterwards to an impressive point that offers great panoramic views of Siem Reap Province’s lowlands.
After our adventurous day, we will leave to a local village at Anlong Thom where we will experience the hospitality of local villagers for the night, including a traditional dinner.
Meals: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: not included
This morning we will have the chance to enjoy another trek to an old temple site before visiting the River of the Thousand Lingas, where small phalluses are carved into the riverbed itself and representations of Shiva and Vishnu. There is also a small, jungle-clad temple called Prasat Krau Romeas and a waterfall that can help us to cool off.
If we wish, we can also check Wat Pre Ang Thom, a focus of pilgrimage for Khmers during religious festivals, with a large reclining Buddha carved into a huge sandstone boulder from where we can get spectacular views across the lush jungle.
After a local lunch we will return to Siem Reap.
|Group Size||Price per Person|
|2 pax||444 USD|
|3 - 5 pax||380 USD|
|6 - 8 pax||342 USD|
* Prices valid until 1st October 2019.
* Would you like to adapt the itinerary, accommodation or any activity as per your needs and preferences? Then just get in touch with us with your comments at email@example.com.
* Special prices for groups of more than 2 people and for children and the possibility to connect the trip with other stages of your trip around Indochina, by contacting us.
* A private trip for a solo traveller is also available with a surcharge.