Prasat Muang Tam, an ancient Khmer-style temple complex built in Buriram Province, Thailand.

© Artaporn Puthikampol/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Prasat Muang Tam

Top choice in Buriram Province

In the little village of Khok Meuang, the restored Khmer temple of Prasat Muang Tam is an ideal bolt-on to any visit to Phanom Rung, which is only 8km to the northwest. Dating back to the late 10th or early 11th century, this is generally considered Isan’s third most interesting temple complex in terms of size, atmosphere and the quality of restoration work, but because so few people visit (you might have it all to yourself) it is some people's favourite.

The whole complex, built as a shrine to Shiva, has an unusual layout. Most significantly, the five towers (the main one could not be rebuilt) are grouped three in front and two in back rather than the expected quincunx cross shape. Also, Muang Tam is the only Khmer temple to have four L-shaped ponds at each corner.

Begin your visit across the road in the small information centre, next to Baray Muang Tam (a 510m-by-1090m Khmer-era reservoir), which has good displays about the site.

Motorcycle/car taxis will add Muang Tam onto a trip to Phanom Rung for another 100/200B.

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