Another 2 weeks to Chinese New Year! This weekend gonna make my favourite snacks – don’t know what’s it call but it’s the small roll thingy that contains sambal prawn. Sedapssss! <3
Before I start, I need to warn you – this post contains lots, lots photos! This place is different from the other temples we’ve covered. This needs our physical strength.
Hidden up in the hill of Kulen, tuck away from the city of Siem Reap, there is this popular retreat place for the King in the past, and also the hiding place for Khmer Rouge troup during war.
The place is known as Kbal Spean.
Kbal Spean is not a temple, nor a building constructed up on the hill of Kulen. It’s a carved riverbed. You might be thinking, whyon earth we had to climb a hill since it’s a carved riverbed. Well, that’s a food for thought then. Kaka!
The journey up there supposedly takes 40 minutes, took us an hour instead. We were slowwwwww.…
The route are the combination of proper stair steps, long flat soil and steep, rocky trails. Along the way, we heard birds chipping and felt breeze blowing. We stumbled upon weird, twisting vines and gigantic plants. One of the interesting yet unexplainable thing is the big stone being supported by tree branches and twigs like the photo below.
At certain part of the route, we could hear the sound of waterfall.
Siya then told us, “did you hear that? That’s the waterfall and we’ll go there later.”
With DSLR hang around the neck while walking, we couldn’t resist the temptation of camshadowhoring.
Btw, do the word even exists?! LOL.
Finally, after sweating like cows, we reached THE PLACE.
To be frank, I thought that we’ll be seeing a small temple when we reached. Or a small building for prayers like the small Chinese alters since there’s no ‘wat’ in the name. So, to see carvings on the stones and on the riverbed instead of walls of building is an eye-opener!
If you’re wondering what’s the bell shaped thing carved on the riverbed, that’s the lingas. It’s said that there are a thousand of lingas carved along the stream, thus the name – “valley of 1000 lingas”. The lingas were carved in hope to fertilise the water that flows from the peak to the East Baray and finally to the rice fields nearby.
One must becareful while walking around there. If not, you might find yourself suddenly ‘shorter‘ than your friends because of these holes.
I don’t know if because I was feeling tired because of the hike or because of the sun shone through the leaves, but the place looks rather mystical. Hmm.
We crossed the stream by stepping on the exposed stones to get to the other side of the land to see more carvings. While crossing, the ‘pros’ decided to stop in the middle and take pictures of the water. I did too. Some even washed their feet with the ‘holy’ water.
I squatted down to take closer picture of the water. Something made me touched the water. It was cool and refreshing. At that moment, I was thinking – if the water is purified by the lingas, will the linga-water purify my skin and heal it as well?
No, I didn’t dip my entire hand into the water to see if that’s effective.
After everyone satisfied with taking pictures there, Siya led us downstream. There we could see more and more lingas! It was really a spectacular sight to behold!
The water looks so inviting that I even thought of taking a dip there. Keke. Too bad or should I say thankfully, I didn’t bring extra clothes there. Or probably they don’t allow people to ‘wash’ up there. LOL!
Following the stream, we walked lower and lower, and found ourselves to be closer to the waterfall as the sound of the waterfall getting louder! Animals and deities carvings are spotted along the stream prior to the waterfall.
Don’t mind the blurness of the picture above. I know it isn’t clear – but still I want to show out the carvings!
Couple more steps then we realised that we were standing on the top edge of the waterfall. At the side, there are big stones that looks like cave. Offerings were seen on the floor of the inner side of the cave.
Seeing that, I quickly put my palms together, paipai-ed and walked away.
To get to the bottom, one needs to use the wooden stairways. However, one need to becareful of their steps as some of the wooden planks have been infested with moss.
We walked down the wooden stairways and tadaaaaa! Waterfall!!!
Very sui (pretty) leh!
It’s said that the King used to bath there! Probably the King felt that the water ‘running’ through the lingas and then to him will make him feel more ‘man’ and ‘holy’ since you know, the water is for fertilization and purification purposes.
Couple of local and tourists stood at the waterfall and let the water washed over them. The hot sun made me sweat so much that I thought of joining them too! But then, after thinking that the ‘water’ coming down from the people who dipped their feet onto the water and then pouring onto my head and body turned me off immediately.
Ohya, Ailing’s Nike shoes decided to take a dip too, and thus the nick “the holy shoe” sprouted from there.
From the waterfall, we descended to the entrance gate. The journey down surprisingly pleasant too, although sun was blazing its heat above our heads.
Once we reached the entrance gate and walked heading to our van, we were ‘ambushed’ by local sellers. Luckily, they’re not the persistent type like the young kids in Angkor Wat.
Ohya I forgotten to tell about the young kids in Angkor Wat, let me tell a bit here.
The kids are cute, cutely annoying. @.@ They would approach you and then ask you to buy something from them, say a bracelet or postcard set of 10 cards. Because you don’t feel like buying things, you would smile at them and say, “no thank you” or “don’t want, thank you.” They would continuously walk alongside with you and keep persuading you to buy it. They would even initiate small talk with you. Like, “why you don’t want to buy from me?” and “big sister, you don’t like small sister. You don’t want to buy from me” and “I don’t believe you. Show me the stuff” when you tell them that you have already bought the stuff.
Some would even go the length of wearing the bracelet on your wrist and tell you that “see, it’s pretty.”
Cute right? Cute until you don’t know how to say no. Therefore you’ll buy something from them.
UNLESS, you show grim face and ignore them at all, then probably they would be scared and run away! Aha!
Okay, back to the story. We got back to our van feeling very hungry and tired. Luckily, we were brought to Borey Sovann Restaurant which was situated along the way back to Angkor City.
This lunch is included in our package, which is a blessing in disguise because if we were to pay on our own, it would definitely cost a bomb! So, thank you Mr. Kunn!
See how happy and thankful we were?
Ailing looked sleepy and tired in the picture, and she needed food to energise her up! Hoho!
Though the drinks weren’t included in package, the price of the drinks, ie a coconut won’t do much damaged as compared to paying the whole meal here.
The dishes came and we ate like one pack of wolves!
All finished in within a minute! Okay, that’s too much. But we ate very fast.
Though someone did bising about the insufficient food, but for the rest, the food was enough to make the tummy stop growling.
Next : The red building…