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Trail of Khmer Architecture in north-eastern Thailand - Buriram & Korat (12 to 14 September 2008)
12 Sep 2008
After long Friday work ended, we left Bangkok and headed northeast on the Highway no. 2 (Mittrapab Road) to Korat. September is a wet season. There was a meteor shower when we departed office. On the way we had got many light and heavy rainfalls. With wet and slippery road, and our car which was very new some 20 years back and its right side windshield wiper broke and felt off in the dark just before the rain started pouring, and driver who is more familiar with riding motorbike, we managed to get Pak Chong town safely around mid night. We spent the night at Phupaya Hotel.
13 Sep 2008
It seemed to be a good day. No sign of rain yet. We made the best use of one wiper by moving it to the middle, now it served as straddled wiper.
We started our second day trip at 9 a.m. We took the Highway no. 2 and changed to No. 24 to Nang Rong district. Trees and grass along the way looked very green. There were floodings. In some places the paddy fields were immersed in water. We were going to Khmer temples: Prasart Phanom Rung and Prasart Muang Tam in Buriram. We went south about 28 kilometers from Nang Rong town and passed the back entrance of the hilltop Prasart Phanom Rung at the top of extinct volcano. We wanted to visit Prasart Muang Tam first and planned to return to Pranom Rung in the afternoon.
Prasart Muang Tam is 8 kilometers from Phanom Rung. It is located at Baan Coke Muang, Tambon Chorakae Mak, Prakhonchai district of Burirum. Muang Tam means lower city. It is at the foot of the volcano where Phanom Rung was built. The site was constructed around the 11th centuray A.D. in Baphuon style. It is believed to have been a sivaite Hindu sanctuary as apparent from the discovery of linga, a symbolic image representing God Siva, the supreme god of the sivaite Hinduism. The significance of this sanctuary seems to have declined since the 13th century A.D. before it was eventually deserted. It was not until 50-60 years ago that a number of people from Nakhon Ratchasima, Surin, and Ubonratchathani came to settle down in this area (again).
Having located inside the community, this sanctuary brings in income from tourism business and helps local economy. The village was found to be well prepared for tourists. There is a home-stay service and rural tour available. A night stay with villager host including local foods and tour costs 300 Baht at the time of our visit.
We spent about one hour and a half walking around and finding angles for shooting photo.
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