We will take you at your hotel at 8:00 am and drive 48 km northeast of Siem Reap to visit the natural day trip - Phnom Kulen (Lychee Mountain), a sandstone plateau considered sacred by the Khmers. This place is widely regarded as the birth place of the ancient Khmer Empire. Our vehicle will bring us by a steep dirt road near the top of the mountain, on the way up you will be able to admire a dramatic scenery. There, you will see the ancient sculptures on the riverbed by crossing the bridge, then a stair will take you to a pagoda nestled between large rocks where you will see the biggest reclining Buddha of the country, carved in the rock. Enjoy the view of the countryside from there. The hike will continue towards the 30 meters high waterfalls where you will have a picnic lunch. This is a very popular place for Khmer people to come and enjoy their weekend with a picnic. More carvings stand in the riverbed above the waterfall. After a good and refreshing swim with the locals, (don’t forget your swimsuits), we will continue to the temple of Beng Melea, 7 km southeast of Phnom Kulen.
Beng Melea jungle temple was built during the 12th century during the reign of Suryavarman II, at about the same time as Angkor Wat of which its layout and style closely mirror. However, Beng Melea is completely ruined and largely overrun by vegetation and competes with Ta Prohm for the “lost in the jungle” ambience. It is a tangle of trees, lichen-covered stones, broken towers and galleries. Many impressive sculptures are hidden among the rubble and the vegetation. This temple is very lightly touristed and offers plenty picturesque pictures’ opportunities. After the visit, we will drive to the south and along the national road 6 to reach Kompong Kdei bridge.
Phra Phutthos, better know as Kompong Kdei bridge because of its vicinity with the city of the same name, was constructed at the end of the 12th century during the reign of Jayavarman VII. This is an imposant stone structure with more than twenty narrow arches spanning 75 meters. Receiving few visitors, Phra Phutthos is notwithstanding the longest corbeled stone-arch bridge in the world and really worth the detour! After the visit, we will drive you back to your hotel.