Phimai Historical Park
A bit east of town is Thailand's largest and oldest banyan tree, a 350-plus-year-old megaflorum spread over an island in a large...
Tha Nang Sa Phom
Tha Nang Sa Phom , a 13th-century landing platform constructed out of laterite is now on the grounds of the Fine Arts Department compound.
Meru Bhramathat is a brick chedi (stupa) dating back to the late Ayuthaya period. Its name is derived from a folk tale that refers to...
Appropriately decorated with some pseudo-Khmer carvings, this pleasant outdoor eatery, about 500m south of Pratu Chai (Victory Gate),...
Lonely Planet review
Started by Khmer King Jayavarman V (AD 968–1001) during the late 10th century and finished by his successor King Suriyavarman I (AD 1002–49), this Hindu-Mahayana Buddhist temple projects a majesty that transcends its size. It has been painstakingly reconstructed by the Fine Arts Department and is one of the most complete monuments on the circuit. It may well be wishful thinking, but the visitor centre suggests Prasat Phimai was the model for the much grander Angkor Wat.
You enter over a cruciform naga bridge , which symbolically represents the passage from earth to heaven, and then through the southern gate (which is unusual since most Khmer temples face east) of the outer wall, which stretches 565m by 1030m. A raised passageway, formerly covered by a tiled roof, leads to the inner sanctum and the 28m-tall main shrine built of white sandstone and covered in carvings of both Buddhist and Hindu deities. At the centre of the Brahmathat prang , in front of the main shrine, is a replica stone sculpture of Angkor King Jayavarman VII sitting cross-legged and looking very much like a sitting Buddha. The original is in the national museum.
A free brochure provides a good overview of the complex, and guides, a few of whom speak English, lead tours; the price is open to negotiation.