The Khmer temple complex, Phanom Rung in Buriram Province in north east Thailand has been submitted to UNESCO in the hope that it will receive its recognition. Buriram is part of a larger region known as Isan. It has already been recognised by many tourists on holiday in Thailand already. It is situated on the edge of a 400 metre high extinct volcano and its construction took place between the 10th and 13th Century. It was dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu God, symbolising his home in heaven, Mount Kailash. Later it became a Buddhist temple and there were several buildings added between the 15th and 18th Century.
Its construction is in laterite and sandstone. It went extensive restoration through the 70s and 80s. A Thailand travel guide aims to identify highlights in the Country and Phanom Rung bears consideration.
How to get there
There are domestic flights into Buriram but because the road trip from Bangkok is little over 3 hours it is not seen as economical to have a domestic flight on that route. There is a rail connection and bus services are well organised as well so a holiday in Thailandis easy to arrange.
Best time to visit
Rainfall can be unpredictable though the vast majority falls in the monsoon season, May to October. In the early weeks it may just be daily showers but the later in this period the more prolonged and heavier the rain before it finally stops quite quickly. The average high is around 30C with lows of almost 20C though there are extremes at both ends. Those on Indochina tour packages know to expect climatic variations.
Things to see
Thailand travel packagesshould include this great complex.
From the first of three terraces there is the first glimpse of the main temple; Phlab Phla otherwise known as Elephant House which was a royal dressing room leading to a 160 metre walkway with short sandstone columns either side. It is easy to imagine the processions that walked down there towards three Naga bridges. Five head snakes look in all directions and have done so since the 12th Century.
The first bridge is the link between earth and heaven. A stairway follows leading to terraces.
The second bridge is smaller but much of this area has disappeared.
The third bridge again a smaller copy of the first leads to the sanctuary and the main tower. To the north east of the tower there are two brick sanctuaries dating back to the 10th Century. Another smaller sanctuary from the 11th Century is in the south west while there are still two rectangular buildings from the 13th Century which housed the library.
Khorat is the closest significant town and there are plenty of guesthouses and hotels to choose from. While Thailand has become very popular with westerners, Isan, close to the Laos border is only just being discovered though clients wanting it included in Thailand tour packages can get their wish.