Penang National Park is located northern part of Cambodia just west of the central part of the country. It is almost directly north of Phnom Penh, and just 27.9 miles (45 km) northeast of Siem Reap. The national park covers an area of 144.31 square miles (373.76 sq km).
The full official name of the park is Preah Cheyvaraman-Norodom Phnom Kulen National Park; however, it is most commonly just referred to as Phnom Kulen National Park. The park combines natural characteristics with historical and cultural features that elevate the appeal for many visitors.
There are two waterfalls that fluctuate in size depending on whether it is during the rainy season or not. One of the falls reaches a height of 16 feet (5 m) with a width of 82 feet (25 m), whereas the second falls reaches a height of 65.6 feet (20 m) and has a width of 49 feet (15 m).
The majority of the appeal of the park is directed at the cultural and historical features. Most of these are integrated into the natural setting adding a picturesque nature to the historical and cultural significance.
The valley of Chup Preah provides visitors with a series of statues that were created in the 16th century. Kbal Spean, affectionately known as the “Valley of a Thousand Lingas,” displays numerous figures carved along the rock wall of the riverbed.
The Terrace of Sdach Kamlung displays the rubble of a temple that was situated in the middle of the terrace, which was previously covered in lava.
Phnom Kulen Highlights
The majority of people travel to Phnom Kulen to experience the combination of cultural and historical features that have been intertwined into the natural landscape of this beautiful area.
Preah Ang Thom features a 26.2 foot (8 m) tall Buddha reclining and reaching the state of nirvana. This is a holy place for locals who may come and worship in the area. There are several other religious and cultural statues located in the park.
Trails of Phnom Kulen National Park
Kbal Speak Trail: This is a just under 1-mile (1.5 km) trail along the riverbed and through the jungle giving trekkers sights of small waterfalls and views of the numerous figurines carved into the riverbed.
Phnom Kulen Highlights
- Statues and rock carvings of Kbal Spean
- Statues of Chup Preah
- Preah Ang Thom
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- Culture Trip, A Brief History of Phnom Kulen, the Most Sacred Mountain in Cambodia, https://theculturetrip.com/asia/cambodia/articles/a-brief-history-of-phnom-kulen-the-most-sacred-mountain-in-cambodia/, retrieved March 2020.
- Siem Reap, Phnom Kulen National Park, https://www.siemreap.net/visit/attractions/sightseeing/phnom-kulen/, retrieved March 2020.
- The Telegraph, Beyond Angkor: Inside the lost world of Phnom Kulen, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/cambodia/articles/Beyond-Angkor-Inside-the-lost-world-of-Phnom-Kulen/, retrieved March 2020.
- Tourism Cambodia, Phnom Kulen National Park, https://www.tourismcambodia.com/travelguides/provinces/siem-reap/what-to-see/78_phnom-kulen-national-park.htm, retrieved March 2020.