Day Tour to Kulen Waterfall
We booked a day tour to Kulen Waterfall and Mountains with Siem Reap Shuttles, who we travelled with to Kompong Phluk. We were picked up from our hotel at 8am and transferred to the main office near the Old French Quarter. When we booked the tour we were advised to bring a swim suit (for the waterfall) and wear comfortable shoes as there would be a small amount of trekking in the mountain. The tour price of $35 included the entry ticket for Kulen Waterfall, pick up and drop off, English speaking guide and bottled water.
There were 8 people on our day tour which was the perfect size. Our tour guide, Bunny, was very open and frank with us about his journey to becoming a guide. He grew up in Battambang where there was lots of political and civil unrest and he witnessed a great deal of hurt and pain. He lived in the jungle for four months alone and then became a monk for six years to heal from the past. Bunny was then adopted by an Australian family and proceeded to study tourism at university before becoming a guide. Bunny was proud and humble and a pleasure to have as a guide to understand more about Cambodia as a country and, of course, Kulen mountain.
After leaving around 8.30, we arrived at an absolutely stunning view point at 9.45. Bunny showed us some amazing photo opportunities and was happy to take photos of the group. After admiring the view point and stopping for a bathroom break, we arrived at Kulen Mountain at 10.30. Bunny informed us that the name Kulen came from the trees and the fruit and there are more than 300 temples in the mountains!
The River of a Thousand Lingas and the Reclining Buddha
Our first stop was The River of a Thousand Lingas with many carvings (many based on fertility) covering its floor. It runs 11km long and the water is considered sacred Holy Water by the locals. We then started our gentle hike up through the mountains stopping off at a natural spring along the way.
There were several larger Buddhist temples up in the mountains and Bunny found a spot that was perfect for meditation. We spent 10 minutes silently taking it all in and listening to the sounds of nature.
After mediation we made our way to the reclining Buddha, which symbolises preparation for death.
We made our way down to the river where there are a number of small waterfalls with lots of local children splashing around having fun. We crossed the water but be careful as its slippery and there are a few rocks and holes. Over a hundred stairs took us down to the main Kulen Waterfall. There was a changing room ($0.50c) and lockers available to rent. Definitely go and have a splash in the river and head to the waterfall to see it up close.
At around 2pm we made our way back to the van to drive back down the mountain to our lunch spot, Rom Chang Angkor. The setting was lovely with a stream running through part of the restaurant. There were a number of local dishes on the menu, although they are double the price of the main town. We had a chicken with ginger and sweet and sour pork dish with two drinks which was $16.
A day tour to Kulen Waterfall with Siem Reap Shuttle Tours is well worth it and $35 is very reasonable. The mountains and waterfall are incredible and provide a different perspective of Cambodia than the centre and Kompong Phluk.
East London Girl: Kulen Waterfall
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