After landing in SIem Reap, this was my very first stop. Well to put it in a nutshell, I could have spent the whole day there! The hike up the hill to get to the sculptures is not too bad. I was there today, and it was pleasant with no sun though a bit humid. There are a couple of short stretches that are a bit challenging but not too difficult. I am not a great hiker and I was abit worried reading some of the reviews. But I made it alright and in fact enjoyed the hike. I also saw a few senior citizens some with walking sticks making it up there. So it cannot be that difficult. On a scale of 10, I would rate it a 6 in terms of difficulty. It is through some wonderful forest area with overgrown vines all around, boulders of all shapes and sizes, and generally very pleasant hike.
Well, there are 2 aspects to visiting this place. One is the hike itself that alone is a reason to visit. Second is what you get when you reach there. Be prepared to be underwhelmed becaue otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment. This is essentially a tantric place with sculptures of Shiva and Shakti along with the trinity, and various other creatures (frog, crocodile etc.) associated with Shiva. It is the worship of the linga, the male form in all its beauty. The river (more like a brook) is itself very soft flowing, and the waterfaall at the bottom is one of the cutest, smallest waterfalls I have seen.
It will be impossible to see all of the small sculptures carved into the river side, and some into the river bed, without the help of one of the local guys who will accost you in a very gentle way. Let him show you around, and give him a handsome tip at the end. You will earn merit!
This place is not for the masses that throng Angkor Wat. It is for the discerning individual who wants a different experience.
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