Kbal Spean (KS)
Located 45km north of Siem Reap city, Kbal Spean is an Angkorian era archaeological site in the western part of the Kulen Mountain Range involving a 40-minute walk through the forest for about 1500m uphill along a path before reaching the first site, a waterfall, where the carved sculptures start appearing in the river bed known as the Valley of a 1000 Lingas” or “The River of a Thousand Lingas”.
Located a bit further from Kbal Spean base there is a dry Deciduous Forest that is good for two hours of morning birding for many endangered species including Black-headed Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Burmese Nuthatch, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, etc.
Also situated within the Phnom Kulen National Park and close to the river outfall, is the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity. The Center rescues illegally hunted birds and animals, providing a refuge until they can be returned to the wild.
On the way back from Kbal Spean, there is Banteay Srei, a temple built in the 10th-century dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power and territory. This small pink sandstone construction displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art, the walls densely covered with some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple.