Wat Phu Thok is not an easy place to visit due the remoteness of this destination being about a 2.5 hour drive east of Nong Khai. The Temple is at the base of a large sandstone outcrop that juts steeply out of the Thailand Isaan Northern Plains. You see the outcrop long before you arrive for it is quite prominent in the surrounding landscape. The Temple is only the gathering point for the Monks of the Temple and many of the Monks spend their days on the Mountain meditating.
If you do not let the drive discourage you, you will not be disappointed but be prepared for a bit of a Climb. Most of the temple area is not on the hill and the temple area on the ground is also a pretty nice experience. But behind the temple rises these cliffs which have a walkway built into. I have no idea how safe the walkway really is but for me it looked pretty scary. I am sure people have various tolerances for these types of things and you can choose the really scary or a somewhat less boring trail around the other side. Once on top, you afforded amazing views of the surrounding area.
Just southwest of Phimai in Northeast Thailand, you will find the small park of Prasat Phanom Wan. The park is home to an ancient Hindu temple, which was constructed during the 13th and 14th centuries on top of another brick structure that is said to date back to the 10th century. The older structure is likely to have been built during the height of the Khmer Empire, along with other ancient Hindu temples found in the region.
The Hindu temple was later converted by the Thais into a Buddhist temple. Throughout the site you will find many Buddha images as well as an impression of the Buddha's Footprint. The Buddha's Footprint is a common icon found in many Buddhist temples. Originating in India, the original footprint was copied and transported to Buddhist sites throughout Asia, for the faithful to worship.
Located in Nakhorn Ratchasima Province in Northeast Thailand, Phimai National Historical Park is one of the best preserved examples of an ancient Khmer temple network found in the country. On entering the park grounds you will discover that its similarity to Angkor Wat in Cambodia is striking. In fact, some of the buildings are even older than those found at Angkor Wat.
The main shrine is nearly 30 meters high and is constructed of fine white sandstone. It is estimated that work on the shrine began during the reign of Khmer King Jayavarman V in the late 10th century. The park contains some of the best examples of Khmer architecture in the world and underlines that the area was once an important trade route to the Khmer kingdom.
Northeastern Thailand (Isaan)
Awesome destinations in Northeastern Thailand. Click here to view a list of Articles about Destinations in Northeastern Thailand.
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