The historical jewels of the Thai Isan region

The historical jewels of the Thai Isan region

When I visited Thailand for a second time, I wanted to explore Isan more. Isan, also written Isaan or Esan, is the northeastern region of Thailand. I’d say that it’s a less touristy and therefore more off the beaten track destination in Thailand which really appealed to me. And I really wanted to see two of the historical parks located in Isan, namely Phimai and Phanum Rung. The third one, Prasant Muang Tam, was a lovely unexpected addition to my itinerary while I was travelling to Phanum Rung.

December 29, 2017 –┬áRound the world trip – Day 151

While devoting a lot of time to my working holiday visa application every single day (yes, it’s a pain), I finally went and saw what I came here for.

Unlike Ayutthaya, Sukhotai and Angkor Wat in Cambodia which are packed with tourists, the Phimai historical park offers a more off the beaten track atmosphere. Not too many people, mostly Thais, it makes for an interesting visit.

Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park

Built in the 11th and 12th centuries, the architecture matches that of Angkor which, however, was built later. It was a throwback to my visit of Angkor last year. Smaller in size, yet impressive.

It’s located in the heart of the city so you can see its busy streets while strolling in the park or just escape the city and relax in this amazing oasis.

Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park
Phimai Historical Park

January 14, 2018 – Round the world trip: Day 167

Hitchhiking made easier! Thank you Ammy! My second time hitchhiking in Thailand. A bit more than 50 km to see two historical sites and get to a city with more transport options. I was incredibly lucky again. Four rides. Two within a minute or two.

Hitchhiking to Prasat Muang Tam
Hitchhiking to Prasat Muang Tam
Prasat Muang Tam
Prasat Muang Tam
Prasat Muang Tam
Prasat Muang Tam
Prasat Muang Tam

The first ride – I was sitting at the back of a pick-up car driven by a policeman (not on duty). Mornings being cold I was freezing at the 60+ km/h speed. The second ride – a family of four in the car. The third ride – two monks with a driver. The monks didn’t look too friendly although one of them probably made the driver stop. The fourth and the longest ride – a woman on a motorbike. One of the things I love about travelling in SE Asia is being a passenger on a motorbike.

Hitchhiking to Phanom Rung
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Phanom Rung Historical Park

Historical sites in the Isaan region of Thailand are amazing. Being away from the main tourist trail they were definitely worth my while! Prasat Muang Tam and Prasat Phanom Rung. When I arrived at the former, I was the only tourist there. I owned the place. Only later did a group of three Thai people arrive. Amazing. Loved both of them.

My hitchhiking tools
My hitchhiking tools
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