How to Get to Phnom Kulen Mountain

Getting to Phnom Kulen Mountain from Siem Reap is relatively straightforward but requires planning as there are several ways to get there that are affected by the season, weather and time of day.

In terms of transportation, there are three methods to travel to Kulen Mountain:

Taking a Shared Minivan

Taking a Shared Minivan: Participating in a join-in tour with a shared minivan tour. Kulen Revealed and other operators always travel this way. It is very convenient as we include pick-up and drop-off at your hotel and the van is spacious and air-conditioned. In addition, this is the most affordable option because of the shared cost.

The major downside is that you will have less flexibility in terms of the itinerary and timing. However, you will also have an experienced operator curating a meaningful experience – another reason it’s better to go with Kulen Revealed than travel on your own.

Rent a Minivan to Phnom Kulen

Hiring a Private Car

This option allows you to explore at your own pace and stop at various attractions along the way. The journey typically takes around two hours, depending on traffic conditions. Please note it is not recommended as the car does not include a guide, tickets (which they will typically require you to purchase at an increased rate). They will also charge you extra to visit Kbal Spean and expect to return at a specific time. For these reasons, we find our private tour to be an excellent value.

Traveling by Motorbike

For adventurous travelers, renting a motorbike in Siem Reap is an option. It offers the freedom to explore at your own pace and enjoy the scenic ride to Phnom Kulen Mountain.

However, we do not recommend this for several reasons: the first is that the hill is extremely steep and requires experienced drivers on manual bikes (Honda Clicks and other bikes will struggle on the mountain). The journey is also very far – if traveling safely its more than two hours in each direction, limiting actual time you can enjoy the mountain.

In addition, in the event there is an issue with the motorbike, it is almost impossible to find a repair person. You will need to hire a local to drive you to a mechanic. If you travel this way, wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, and be aware of the potential hazards. We have had many people tell us renting a motorbike ruined their trip. 

Motorbike to Phnom Kulen

Before You Go to Kulen Mountain:

Before embarking on your journey, it is recommended to check the condition of the road leading to Phnom Kulen Mountain. In some seasons, especially during the wet season, the road might be challenging due to rain and mud. In these cases, motorbikes are not an option. It is advisable to inquire about the road conditions with locals or your hotel staff before making your final transportation decision.

Make sure to depart early – the main road is one way and closed to travelers looking to ascend the mountain around 11:00am.

Note – if booking your own transportation – upon arrival at Phnom Kulen Mountain, you will need to pay the Kulen Mountain entrance of $20 per person at the ticket booth. The fee helps support the preservation and maintenance of the area.

Kulen Waterfall
Stunning views of the waterfall

Final Thoughts

Phnom Kulen National Park is a captivating destination with natural beauty, cultural heritage, and religious significance. It is a must see when you have a few days in Siem Reap. Choosing your transportation can have a critical impact on the trip. So do your due diligence and, as mentioned, consider joining our shared group tour or a private tour to Kulen Mountain to guarantee a safe, fun, and meaningful journey.

Leave a Reply