There are many ruins or remains of ancient Khmer (Cambodian) temples (or wats) across Thailand especially in the north eastern part.
We were taking a long way home from Issan to Chiang Mai to check out the Golden Retriever Kennels in Korat, that is roughly 259 km from Bangkok, and this ancient sanctuary was nearby.
We made a detour off the main highway 2 to visit Prasat Phanom Wan which is in Ban Makha, Tambon Pho, around 15 kilometres from the city on the Nakhon Ratchasima-Khon Kaen road. It was challenging to find with little signage.
This is an interesting Khmer sanctuary. It is believed that it was built in the 15th Buddhist century. Later during the 18th-19th centuries, a stone building was built over it. From inscriptions found at the site, it is known that the sanctuary was used in the Hindu religion and later became a Buddhist site.
Although most of it is in ruins the square main pagoda, multi-tiered pagoda, and the path linking the two structures are still in good shape. There is a clear form present, like the square main pagoda facing east and a tiered pagoda in front, as well as a path linking the two structures. To the southwest is a building of red sandstone called “Prang Noi.” Inside is a large stone Buddha image. A roofed sandstone walkway and a laterite wall go around the sanctuary.
A Gopura (a sanctuary doorway or porch) in the form of a tall tower is situated in all 4 directions. Around 230 metres east of the sanctuary are traces of a moat and an earth hill that was the site of another Khmer building called “Noen Oraphim.”
My fondest memory beside the unique architecture was the swarm of bees I stirred up when taking pictures around the site – a number of bee stings later we departed – and a bit sore and sorry. But I like the pictures.