Prasat Phanom Rung – a little-known gem in Buriram, northeastern Thailand
400+km north of Bangkok in Buriram Province lies the historical Kmer site of Prasat Phanom Rung. Prasat Phanom Rung is a Khmer temple complex set on the rim of an extinct volcano at 402 metres (1,319 ft) above sea-level in Buriram (Issan) northeastern Thailand. The temple was built of sandstone and laterite in the 10th to 13th centuries by the Khmer who reached into Thailand a thousand years ago to expand their mighty empire. Prasat Phanom Rung is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Shiva, and symbolises Mount Kailash (in the Gangdisê Mountains in Tibet), Shiva’s heavenly dwelling.
The road to Prasat Phanom Rung is a narrow road that gradually winds up the mountain/volcano until you eventually arrive at a large carpark, just down from the temple complex itself. From the top of the mountain you can look across the vast rice paddies all the way to Donrek Mountains of Cambodia in the distance.
Dongrek Mountains, Cambodia
In 1971 Thailand’s Department of Fine Arts started a 17-year project to restore the complex to its original state after years of plunder and neglect. On 21 May 1988, the park was officially opened to the publc by Princess Maha Chakr Sirindhorn.
Inscriptions in the area indicate that Prasat Phanom Rung was created by ‘Narendraditya’, a descendant of the ‘Mahidharapura dynasty’ related to ‘King Suryavarman II’, the creator of ‘Angkor Wat.’ If you want to see intricate, authentic Khmer architecture but can’t or don’t want to go to Cambodia, then Buriram is the place to head for. Buriram is still somewhat off the tourist trail and offers a glimpse of the real Thailand. Easily accessible by car or bus, the Town of Nang Rong is the closest town to the Complex of Prasat Phnom Rung and it offers decent hotels and guesthouses where you can rest up after a long days drive before you head off for a day of sightseeing the following morning.
Buriram City is only about an hour away from Prasat Phanom Rung and offers a better class of hotel to those who prefer a bit more luxury
Young Buddhist Monks
visiting Prasat Phnom Rung,
Buriram, northeastern Thailand
There are actually two Khmer sites in this area – Prasat Phanom Rung sits at the top of the mountain /volcano, and its sister site, Muang Tam, sits at the bottom. Both sites are a good way to spend a relaxing and interesting day and are well worth the effort of getting there. The best time to visit to avoid the Thai crowds are weekdays.
If you do happen it to make it Buriram to see Prasat Phanom Rung & Prasat Muang Tam, then you might be lucky enough to take in a Home ‘Buriram United’ game at the another revered Temple – the iMobile Stadium in Buriram City. Buriram United are one of Thailand’s top teams and the amazing fans make every game an occasion. A Buriram United game is a must see activity if you are lucky enough to be in the vicinity at the time any are getting played.
for Buriram hotels see here
Prasat Phanom and Prasat Muang Tam Gallery
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Copyright © 2017 Raymond Carroll