Phimai Historical Park – I was really impressed!
In Northeastern Thailand (It’s called “Isan” in Thailand), there are a lot of Khmer style ruins. The biggest ruins are Khao Phra Wihan, but we can only get there from the Cambodian side now, so we can’t really say that it is in Isan. Apart from Khao Phra Wihan, Phanom Rung is the biggest. However, Phanom Rung is a bit difficult to get to because it is located far from either Khorat or Briram. If you go there from Khorat or Briram, you probably will spend almost all day there. If you want to just casually see the Khmer style ruins in Isan, you might want to go to Phimai Historical Park. They are big and famous Khmer style ruins which you can see in Isan next to Phanom Rung. It is also not so far from Khorat. Even if you take a local bus, about 1 hour and half is enough to get there.
I was really impressed by Phimai Historical Park. When I went to Khorat about 25 years ago, I remembered what my friend said. He said if I get the opportunity to go to Khorat, I should definitely see Phimai Historical Park. Actually, I wasn’t interested in ruins at that time, but I had enough time to see if he was right or not. So I went there just to kill time, and I found out that he was right. I remember clearly that it was a very hot day, and was really quiet. After I went around the park, I sat on a flat stone and saw the ruins which were lying in the strong sunshine for a while. That high contrast image made me felt like I was in a daydream, and I also felt a little bit scared. I myself didn’t know what I was afraid of. I might have been affected by the heat, but it was a really strange sense that I had never felt before. Ever since then, I’ve gotten more interested in ruins, and I’ve been to many ruins in order to get that strange sense again. It rarely happens, though.
Anyway, I took these pictures about 7 years ago. Unfortunately, it was dull and cloudy, with occasional rain. In addition to that, there were a large number of Thai tourists because it was during some consecutive holidays in Thailand. So, it was a bit boring. Still I took a lot of pictures. I’m going to show the remaining pictures on another occasion.