Ancient Khmer Temples (and a Golden Buddha)

For the weekend, after a long week of meetings and work with the Khon Kaen government and university, and the SCC team was ready to explore the cultural highlights of the Isaan (northeast) region of Thailand.

Our quest was to visit two ancient Khmer temples – Phnom Rung and Muang Tam. While traveling we were also able to visit the Golden Buddha at Khao Kradong.

The temple at Phnom Rung was build on an extinct volcano between the 10th and 13th centuries A.C.E. and is one of the most beautiful and important ancient Khmer temples in Thailand.

It is well visited by both Thais and tourists….

Rob and a monk, among the serpent heads at the first Naga bridge

Rob and a monk, among the serpent heads at the first Naga bridge

The processional path leads up to the main tower, which dominates the courtyard and outer gallery, and is well decorated with carvings and statues representing Hindu deities…

The Khon Kaen SCC team at the Main Tower

The Khon Kaen SCC team at the Main Tower

The second Khmer temple that we visited was at Muang Tam, and is located on a line directly north from the giant temple complex at Angkor in Cambodia. It was built in a different style, with a grouping of five towers in the courtyard (of which the central tower has collapsed)…

The Group of Towers

The Group of Towers

The Golden Buddha, located at Khao Kradong, was our final visit on this busy day. The Buddha is located on another extinct volcano, which requires one to ascends a staircase that climbs 265m vertically. The view, and the Buddha at the top, are both impressive….

The Khon Kaen SCC team and the Khao Kradong Golden Buddha

The Khon Kaen SCC team and the Khao Kradong Golden Buddha

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