Ban Pluang, which dates from the second half of the 11th century and was once an important stop on the road between Angkor and Phimai, is a square sandstone tower built on a laterite platform. The surrounding moats and ponds have been turned into an attractive garden to very pleasing effect. By contrast Sikhoraphum, which has also been carefully restored, consists of five brick prangs on a square laterite platform surrounded by lilyfilled ponds.
The lintel and pillars of the central prang are beautifully carved with heavenly dancing girls, or aspires, and other scenes from Hindu mythology. Finally, further along Route we come to the heavy laterite sanctuary of Prasat Kamphaeng Yai. Unfortunately it is not advisable to travel to the site. Although on last motor trip to the area a few months ago, I was told I could make the drive but turned around and returned to Thailand when I heard gunfire.
If you have an ROH Fly-Drive program, you can leave the vehicles at the border and travel by bus to the ruin. You can do the whole trip in half a day, but it's a half a day you will never forget. There's one other Khmer site I'd like to mention, and that is Preah Vihear. It's located in Cambodia but access is through Thailand. Again, you can leave your rent-a-car at the border and hike to the site. I will write more about Preah Vihear in detail later as I think it is well worth a visit for those who are interested in Khmer temples and ruins.
Next week we will travel to Harry's New York Bar for a few drinks. But what Harry's New York bar is that? My wife read that the best time of the year to travel to Koh Samui is in the summer. I say that is the best time to travel to Phuket.
Can you settle the argument for us? Thank you, Rodger Kent , London. Dear Mr. Kent ,. The Northeast monsoons begin blowing in October and the weather can bring on wind and rain. Phuket then make a fine alternative. Of course, any time in Phuket is good. Note: The article is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited. Get Help. Search Search. Phimai, along with other Khmer-influenced temples in Thailand, were built mainly under the cause of the "Deveraja cult," or "the King that resembles a god.
Under this principle, Khmer rulers built temples to glorify the reign of the king along with the spread of Hinduism. The 10th century was the time of the reign of king Rajendravarman II AD , which was also a time when Khmer control was spreading into what is now northeastern Thai territory. Consequently, temples in Thailand with the Kleang and Baphuon styles remain as evidence of this Khmer heritage. These structures shared the same signature of having three brick towers on a single platform, for instance the Prasat Prang Ku in Si Saket province and Ban Phuluang in Surin province.
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Each individual building has its own special features or functions. For example, Prang Brahmadat was built of laterite blocks that form a square. Or the main sanctuary built of white sandstone that is almost 32 meters long. The southern lintel has a statue of Buddha meditating with "seven hoods of naga Muchalinda. Today Phimai is a well-known tourist attraction, especially among people interested in history and archaeology. Located in the middle of Phimai is a small rectangular gallery surrounding the courtyard, which has been newly rebuilt.
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Within the gallery there is a pre-Angkorean Buddhist inscription that tells the story of prince Siddhartha Gautama and his journey to becoming Buddha, along with other classic Buddhist stories. The prang symbolize that the area is a sacred space. When tourists enter the area of Phimai from the old town on the south, they have to cross a river about one kilometer to the south and enter an ancient laterite landing stage which archaeologists believe stood for the bathing place for the heroine in local myths.
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The north gate is the city main gate, also known as the "Pratu Chai," which has recently been reconstructed by the Royal Fine Arts Department. Its size is enormous; it is said that the size is big enough for a royal elephant to enter. The Royal Fine Arts Department also built an inner gallery which shows ancient Buddhist inscriptions and small sculptures as well as pieces of wrecked architecture. The rest of Phimai remains the same only with a little restoration by the Royal Arts Department.
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Having a lot in common with Angkor Wat, Phimai is an example of classical Khmer architecture. Ancient Khmer architects were best known for their superior use of sandstone over the traditional bricks and laterite architectures. Sandstone is used on the visible outer layer. Laterite on the other hand was used for the inner wall and other hidden parts. All the structures are huge sandstone blocks. There are many lotus-shaped roofs representing Mount Meru Hinduism's holy mountain.
Khmer temples in general, as well as Phimai in this case, were intended to resemble the universe. The main building resembles the peak of Mount Meru at the center of the universe.
The surrounding walls resemble the water and encircling mountains. The Khmer did not develop the technique of true vault architecture during their time, results in large areas at Phimai that could not be roofed over.
Minor Khmer ruins and other attractions
They instead developed the use of multiple chapels separated by open-air spaces. The Khmer learned how to use bricks, sandstone, and laterite effectively. They were the three principal structural materials. Builders generally cut the lintel at 45 degrees to produce a triangular wedge. Temple construction during the Angkorian period involved the deliberate deposition of layers of fill, which can clearly be seen in the stratigraphy of the site. Your email address will not be published. Blog Southeast Asia Thailand.
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Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat We headed to this Khmer-era set of ruins at around 5 pm, assuming it would be a good place to watch the sunset. Monkey streets The monkeys in Lopburi tend to stick to a few streets close to their temple hangout.
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Train tickets are really cheap — we paid 28 baht each for a ticket between Bangkok and Lopburi. How much do the ruins in Lopburi cost? The following two tabs change content below. Bio Latest Posts. A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.