Kulen Mountain (its name means “Lychee Mountain”) is around 60km north of Angkor Wat and one of the holiest places in Cambodia. The waters of the Siem Reap river, so important for the Angkor Empire, Flowed from this mountain, and visitors can still see the fertility symbols carved into the riverbed centuries ago to ensure continued prosperity. Holy men study here and ascetic hermits live in ancient pagodas. It was at Kulen that the Devaraja cult was born, turning the human rulers of the Khmer into gods. Pilgrimages are still made to the mountain, And visitors can swim in the clean, cool water and examine the carvings, waves of butterflies swooping past and off into the lush jungle around. Kulen Mountain is also the sight of the Reclining Buddha monument, a massive statue carved whole out of the mountain top in the 16th Century. During the Indochina War, bombs were dropped all around the Buddha, but none destroyed that statue. It is now a popular place for Khmer to make picnics.
Visiting Kulen Mountain can be combined with visiting Banteay Srei and Beng Mealea or Kbal Spean