- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
- Off the beaten track
I discovered Prasat Phnom Rung thanks to a friend I was staying with in the area. It is a little jewel of Khmer architecture. The temple dates from the 10th century, from a time when the Khmer Empire extended over most of what is now modern day Thailand. This historical complex is located on a hill from where there are views out over the countryside of Isan, an agricultural region of Northern Thailand.
I didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the site and I was impressed when I saw the long path and the steps along it leading to this very well preserved temple. I'd already been to visitthe temples in Angkorand therefore had something with which to compare the building's architectural style.
I was greeted by statues of lions . The ponds oneach side demonstrate the mastery that those who created them had over the elements all that time ago, able to transformthe crater of this ancient volcano into a water source as they did. A visit to this temple is definitely an off-the-beaten-track experience ; there are plenty of people there, but most of them are Thais interested, like me, in exploring and learning about their heritage.
I was lucky enough to visit Prasat Phanom Rung, an isolated, and not at all touristy, temple in the east of Thailand, not far from the border with Cambodia. It is a Khmer style temple and a cause of dispute between the two countries. At the time, I was spending a few days in the area and a French guide took me to see it.
Prasat Phanom Rung temple is just superb! There was hardly anyone else there during my visit, apart from a few monks, who made my photos even more picturesque! The sculptures and friezes are in a really good state of preservation and when I visited Angkor a little later, I was aware of how lucky I had been to see this temple, which was at least as beautiful and a lot less touristy.
All around is jungle and stern looking soldiers. It doesn't encourage you to go off the paths, especially as the soldiers aren't far away. I left by the same route as I came, to continue my journey with my head full of images of this temple...an unforgettable moment in my journey around Thailand.