|Back to Back Issues Page|
Bangkok Travelbug Jan 2022 Khmer Shrines in Sa Kaeo
January 20, 2022
Contents (click on the link to go directly to the topic)
We started our exploration on our second day in Sa Kaeo at Tambon Khlong Nam Sai, a sub-district south of Aranyaprathet that's bordering Cambodia. We drove along a road through thick forest, then walked up a long flight of steps before we reached our first destination, Prasat Khao Noi Si Chompu about 12 km south of Aranyaprathet.
Road to Prasat Khao Noi
The long flight of steps up the hill
This ancient shrine is located on Khao Noi, a hill that's 130m high and it took 254 steps to reach the top. It was constructed in 7th C AD and consists of three prang (towers). The central prang still stands, the other two are only left with their bases.
The three prang
Close up of the base of the prang on the left
Artefacts from this prasat, consisting of pottery and stone inscriptions dating back to 637 A.D are believed to be oldest inscriptions in Thailand. Prasat Khao Noi was declared a national monument by the Fine Arts Department in 1935.
View to the east
The lintels and statues found at this site are now displayed at the Prachinburi National Museum. I was lucky to have photos from this museum taken during my visit in 2014, please see Prachinburi National Museum
7th C Khmer art from Prasat Khao Noi on display at the Prachinburi National Museum
Prasat Muang Phai
Our second location after Prasat Khao Noi was Prasat Mueang Phai just 5 km south of Aranyaprathet. We spotted a signboard that pointed to an isolated track and followed the track all the way. It led us to a farmer's house!
The track we followed
I got down to ask for directions. The farmer was kind enough to stop his work and took me on a short walk just outside his land. He pointed to an empty field with a small grass mount which we passed on the way in.
All that remains of Prasat Muang Phai at the site
He explained that all the artefacts here have been taken away for preservation. Later I found out that the Fine Arts Department had removed these artefacts for display in the National Museum in Bangkok. This would give more people a chance to view these historical items.
This prasat is estimated to date back to the 12th – 14th C A.D.
Prasat Sdok Kok Thom
On the third day we visited Prasat Sdok Kok Thom in Tambon Khok Sung 40 km north of Aranyaprathet. This is the biggest, best organised and the most impressive site so far. This site also has the most complete ruins as well.
Wall with sign at the entrance to Prasat Sdok Kok Thom
The Information Centre
Map of the temple complex
The way to the complex
View of the front wall
In the inner courtyard facing the prang with the shrine
Prasat Sdok Kok Thom, the biggest shrine in Eastern Thailand, was built in 857 A.D. The stone inscriptions on lintels are kept in the National Museum in Bangkok. There are some displayed in the Prachinburi National Museum as well.
11th C Khmer art from Prasat Sdok Kok Thom displayed in the Prachinburi National Museum
Prasat Khao Lon and Prasat Ban Noi Huai Pa Ya
We left the visit to Khao Lon till the last day, the day before our departure. This sanctuary is the almost 50 km from Aranyaprathet, the furthest location.
We had to ask the way and a kindly resident led us on her motorcycle to the track leading to Prasat Khao Lon. Unfortunate heavy rain the night before turned the track into a muddy mess which may not be passable to non-four-wheel drive vehicles. Anyway, we didn't want to take the risk of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere!
Here are some photos of the state of the tracks.
Track leading to Prasat Khao Lon
Prasat Ban Noi Huai Pa Yai which is just 19 km from Aranyaprathet was no better. One look at the state of the track and we turned around.
Track to Prasat Ban Noi Huai Pa Yai
In the end, we had to settle for three out of five sanctuaries in our visit list, which I guess isn't too bad.
With that my dear readers, we complete our exploration of Aranyaprathet and Sa Keao. For those who are celebrating the Lunar New Year on 1 February, I wish you a healthy, prosperous and successful Year of the Tiger.
Map of Khmer Shrines in Sa Kaeo
If the map doesn’t appear, click on this link
How to get there
From Bangkok get onto the Sirat Tollway – highway 7 (Bangkok- Chonburi New Road – route 314 – route 304 – route 33 which takes you all the way to Sa Kaeo, Aranyaprathet and the Thai-Cambodian border.
Scenic beauty in Lopburi
See you then. Have a healthy and happy year in 2022
If you enjoyed reading this e-zine, please forward it to a friend. If you received this from a friend and found it interesting, please subscribe at Bangkok Travelbug.
What do you think of the Bangkok Travelbug?
We love to hear from you
What other subscribers have said
Tour Bangkok Legacies
Find us on Facebook
Bangkok’s Hidden Treasures – the other faces of Bangkok
This is my third e-book which is a journal on my travels in Bangkok from late 2011 to early 2018. It’s a journey to the less travelled and lesser-known places in Bangkok, places that are treasure troves of history, art and culture of the diverse communities that make up Bangkok and Thailand.
This journey will take us from the rice fields of Nong Chok near the eastern city limits of Bangkok across the city to the canals in Thawi Wattana in the west.
Let's uncover these gems in Bangkok's hidden treasures together.
Copyright@2008-2022 Tour Bangkok Legacies
All rights reserved
|Back to Back Issues Page|