Kbal Spean is a sacred river situated in the foothills of the Kulen mountain range. In addition to the many unique sculptures that are found on the river’s bed and surrounding rocks, there are also a variety of religious shrines that have been built next to it.
Kbal Spean is located 50 kilometers north of Siem Reap. To reach there, go through Banteay Srei for about 12 kilometers and look for a sign and parking space on the left. You may combine your visit to Kbal Spean with a visit to Banteay Srei, which takes about a half-day. The area’s entrance often closes around 3 p.m.
Kbal Spean also has a little, charming waterfall — though it’s not as dramatic as Kulen Mountain, it’s more for feet-dipping than swimming, and there are a few small water holes nearby if you need a blessing. The linga carvings, on the other hand, are enormous and spread across many floors, with numerous sculptures and inscriptions to be found.
Kbal Spean is great for those who want a bit more adventure, along with the historical relevance of the location and the appeal of understanding all the phallic symbolism going on here.
There are magnificent views of the forest around halfway up, but don’t expect any from the top. This 45-minute trek isn’t difficult for the fit and active, but good footwear is recommended because you’ll be clambering over a few rocks. Another reason it may appeal to nature lovers is that it is home to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), which welcomes tourists.
Kbal Spean, unlike Kulen Mountain, is covered by the Angkor Pass for the Park.