Khmer Empire

The Khmer Empire prevailed in what is now northern Cambodia. It grew out of the former civilisation of Chenla and lasted from 802 to 1431. It is known as the Angkor period, after the empire’s most well-known capital, Angkor. The Khmer Empire ruled or subordinated most of mainland Southeast Asia and stretched as far north as southern China.

The empire was in decline from 1296 until its final defeat in 1431.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the world’s largest temple. It was initially a Hindu temple and then became a Bhuddist place of worship. Pragmatism in action. The initial design and construction took place in the first half of the 12th century.

More photographs and information from an extended trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Ayutthaya – Ancient Capital

The city of Ayutthaya is about 80 kilometres north of Bangkok. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. The park is on an island between three rivers.

It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Outstanding Universal Value.

We visited Autthaya on a day trip out of Bangkok.

Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Khao Lon

Prasat Khao Lon may be in a permanent state of “undergoing restoration”. It is little known and difficult to find.

More information and photographs.

Prasat Khao Lon was visited on the Isaan Road Trip during Songkran.

Prasat Phra Yuen, Khon Kaen

A small, disjointed collection of stones, rather than an ancient ruin, that is now used as a Buddhist temple.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Phra Yuen during a day trip to Thailand’s Stonehenge.

Prasat Phum Phon

Phum Pon is one of the oldest Khmer style Prasats in Thailand.

It was probably originally a Hindu temple devoted to the god Shiva, built of bricks. A stone inscription with south Indian and Sanskrit characters dating back to 7th-8th century was excavated on the site.

Prasat Phum Pon consisted of four structures. The only one remaining is in relatively complete condition. It is in the pre-Angkoran style. To the north of the remaining tower is a structure of which only the base and door frames are present. To the south of the remaining tower is a laterite base. It was probably an open pavilion with a tiled roof.

Further removed from the main tower is  the remains of a square building where a lintel from Prei Kmeng (pre-Khmer) times was found.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Phum Pon on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Prang Ku

Prasat Prang Ku consisted of three sanctuaries, extant but failing, aligned north-south on the same laterite base that faces east. The Prasat was surrounded by a moat. It has been dated to the 12th century and was built in the Angkor Wat style.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Prang Ku on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Phimai Historical Park

More photographs.

We visited Phimai Historical Park on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Si Khoraphum

This Hindu religious sanctuary was constructed in the Baphoun school of Khmer art of  the 11th-12th centuries. It was converted to a Bhuddist temple in the 16th century as evidenced by the roof structures of the prangs.

It features a brick tower on a laterite platform.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Si Khoraphum on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Ta Muen

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Ta Muen on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Ta Muen Thom (on Cambodian border)

Prasat Ta Muen Thom was built in the 11th century. It faces south and comprises a principal tower and two minor towers, two libraries, a pond, and a boundary wall with four entrances.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Ta Muen Thom on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Prasat Ta Muen Tot

This Khmer sanctuary was built in the 13th century  in the Bayon style of Khmer architecture. It was the chapel for a rest house in Mahayana Buddhism. It is made of sandstone and laterites.

The main Prasat was a rectangular building facing east. It has entrances on the east and west sides, five windows on the south side but no windows on the north side.

More photographs.

We visited Prasat Ta Muen Tot on our tour of the South East Corner of Thailand.

Phrathat Yakhu, Kalasin

Phrathat Yakhu is a chedi/stupa from the Dvaravati period. It is situated in the middle of a field, north of Baan Sema, in the Kamalasai district. It was the largest chedi in the ancient Khmer city of Fa Daet Song Yang.

More information and more photographs

Si Thep Historical Park

Si Thep Historical Park is in Petchabun Province, Central Thailand.

The ancient city of Si Thep was a Mon-Khmer town inhabited from around the third to fifth century until the thirteenth century. It became abandoned around the time the Thai-speaking cities of Sukhothai and later Ayutthaya emerged as new centres of power.

The World Heritage Site covers an area of 866 hectares. Despite this large area there are only three structures extant within the Inner City (two prangs and a ‘khao’) and two outside the Inner City (one prang and a ‘khao’).

More information and photographs.

Sadok Kok Thom Historical Park

Prasat Sadok Kok Thom is the biggest temple/castle in East Thailand and one of the oldest in modern day Thailand.

More information and photographs.

Sadok Kok Thom was part of the itinerary on the Isaan Road Trip during Songkran.

Sukothai Historical Park

Sukhothai was declared a World Heritage City in 2005. It is home to a vast number of historical sites and temple ruins. As the first capital of Siam, the Sukhothai Kingdom (1238 – 1438) was the cradle of Thai civilisation – the birthplace of Thai art, architecture and language.

More information and photographs.

We visited Sukothai Historical Park during our North Central Thailand Road Trip.

Wat Ku Kaew, Khon Kaen

A small interesting Khmer ruin outside Khon Kaen.

More photographs.

We visited Wat Ku Kaew during a day trip to Thailand’s Stonehenge.

Wat Ku Mithila, Maha Sarakham

It would appear that a relatively modern structure has been made on an old base to protect five ancient figures carved from laterite.

More photographs

Wat Phou (Vat Phou), Laos

Wat Phou lies at the base of Phou Kao Mountain, overlooking the Mekong River. The ancient Khmer temple complex is a World Heritage Site, built between the 5th and 15th centuries. Wat Phou is one of the largest archaeological sites in Laos. Its oldest structure is a sandstone temple dating back to the 5th century.

More information and photographs.

We travelled to Vat Phou during our visit to Pakse, Laos.

Wat Po Chai

An early construction (possibly a temple) has been preserved at Wat Po Chai. It is architecturally different to other contemporary and proximate Thai structures but no other information is available.

We visited Wat Po Chai during our Sea of Clouds Road Trip.

 

 

© Kim Epton 2023-2024
1260 words, yy photographs, zz images.

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