When my parents came over, we wanted to take them somewhere where they hadn’t been. This was their fourth visit to the kingdom. We decided to take them to Buriram. Buriram means the ‘city of happiness.’ Buriram is located at the southern end of the Khorat plateau. This area is also home to some extinct volcanoes.
I knew very little of the place except that the Khmer Empire was once dominant in this area and it was this fact that attracted us to this area. I knew my parents were interested in history too.
So, after Christmas, we set off. The flight from Don Mueang too around about an hour. We’d hired a car to make travelling around much more accessible. We had from the 26 December to the 30 December to make the most of it.
Prasat Phanom Rung
The first place we visited was Prasat Phanom Rung. The complex was built between the 10th and the 13th centuries. This is a Hindu Khmer Empire temple.
This looked like an almost complete complex. The exquisite architecture was almost still complete. Many of the lintels were in excellent condition, so were the nagas.
The temperature was too hot for my parents. They were both 77 years old. They for most of our tour stayed in the shade. Both were not too clever on their legs. We had purchased a wheelchair for my mum. My dad reluctantly walked around before either the temperature got too much for him or before his legs began to ache.
There was certainly lots to see there. Ruins, like all ruins, are fascinating to see. Many of the places where I imagined the windows to be had all been bricked up. Much of the stonework looked to be balancing there precariously.
I took my photographs, as usual, trying to get a fantastic viewpoint. The Allee Processionelle was excellent and so was the Escalier inferieur. Thailand had really done a grand job attempting to preserve these ruins as they had done. I just hoped they’d used the correct methods in doing so.
The Prasat Muang Tam
We visited this temple on the same day as the previous one. We knew the time would be tight.
The Prasat Muang Tam temple complex was built in the Khleang and Baphuon styles, in the 10th and early 11th century. Shiva and Vishnu were worshipped there.
To me, this was more interesting than the previous ancient temple, precisely because it was what I was expecting.
Again, I attempted to get photographs, trying to get everything central and balanced. With archways after archways, this was quite easy to achieve.
The ruins could be quite haunting at times. It was hard to perceive what these temples might have actually looked like in their day.
Annie (my wife) always took a great photograph. Again, like Prasat Phanom Rung temple complex, the lintels were excellent considering their age.
Khao Phra Angkhan
Later we travelled to Khao Phra Angkhan. Khao Phra Angkhan is the site of an extinct volcano. It was this reason that attracted us to this place. I knew, like many people know that there are no active volcanoes in Thailand.
At this site, there was the attractive Wat Khao Angkhan. This was a delightful 50-year-old red-clay building with an ordination hall which has a khmer style gateway leading up to a Sri Lankan style bell-shaped chedis.
The complex is surrounded by large seated Buddha images.
We arrived here. Yes, it was a quiet place. The Wat Khao Angkhan itself was a beautiful building. My dad was tired by this time. My mum was still eager to look around.
Again, I went off in an attempt to take some extraordinary photography. After wandering around the temple, I went off to look at the crater. Where I presumed it should have been was just a small looking pond.
There was a footbridge there, made out of cables. This swayed from side-to-side as you walked on it. The views from up there were excellent, but would have been made much better if it hadn’t had been for the haze or was that smog.
Later, just before we headed back to our resort, we went to see traditional silk weaving. This was interesting, especially when I originally came from the part of the world-famous for its weaving.
There is not much really that can beat Huddersfield Fine Worsteds. The weaving slow and cumbersome. The weaver confirmed that she got 300 baht (£6) a week for her work. My dad bought a silk shirt which looked nice on him. Unfortunately, they didn’t have one in my size.