Thursday, March 24, 2011

Isaan Odyssey, Part 13: Prasat Muang Tam

The central enclosure that houses the five chedi at Prasat Muang Tam

[This is Part 13 of a series. If you found this via a search or just happened upon it some other way you can find parts 1 through 12 by scrolling down the Labels in the right-hand column and clicking on "Isaan Oddysey".]

About five miles (8Km) from the mountain top ruins of Prasat Phanom Rung are the ruins of another Khmer temple: those of Prasat Muang Tam. Also located in the Buriram area, in the Prakhon Chai district these are also worth a stop. Being less popular with travelers you won't find much there other than the ruins themselves, but we didn't see many people, either - and that's a plus in my book. There was a small shop with some historical displays, but not the full array of souvenir stalls.

Admission to these places is next to nothing (around $1US) for farangs and about 10 Baht for Thai people, and if you decide to visit both places in one day I believe I was told your ticket was valid at both places.

Being dry season it wasn't as green and pretty as I suppose it can be at different times of the year, but it was quiet and there really weren't many other visitors, unless you count the thousands of flying insects that were swarming above our heads in a couple of places on the grounds.

Nothing that landed near me (or on me, thankfully) so I couldn't identify what type of insect they were, but if you click on the image to the right and look near the blue arrow you'll see them. That's not dust on the camera lens... it's bugs. My uneducated guess was that they were cicadas, as they certainly were singing their mating calls from the trees around the area.

This site also began as a Hindu temple, again built in the late 10th or early 11th centuries by the Khmer who lived in the area at the time. Almost all of it but the central linga-like chedi have been restored to some degree, and the entire area has been carefully maintained.

It was so peaceful there that I could have wandered around longer than we did. I have a few clips I took there and I'll check them and see what I can get uploaded for part 14. Then we'll close out our visit to Muang Tam and be on our way to Udonthani.

No comments: