Thailands Phimai Historical Park

In the center of Thailand in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, sits a temple set in historical parkland on the edge of the town of Phimai. The buildings date back to a time in ancient history and are believed to be around a thousand years old. Phimai was once an important city in the Hindu empire, but this temple was built as a Buddhist temple. 

Above Image Creative Commons License (CC-BY-SA 3.0)  Author: Benh Lieu Song

The ruins here at Phimai were first assessed over a century ago in 1902 when a geography professor from France told the Thai government of the temple's historical importance. The government then placed the ruins under a protectorate. Work began on restoring the temple in 1964 and lasted for five years. The project was assisted by the French government and once the restoration work was completed the buildings and historical park lands were handed over to the Fine Arts Department. The park was officially opened to the public in 1989 and attracts many tourists and visitors despite its remote location. 

The area of Phimai lies on the historic Ancient Khmer Highway, which begins in Angkor and ends here in Phimai. It is well visited by tourists probably because it lies on this ancient highway where shrines and temples are a plenty. When tourists come here to visit the historic gardens and temples they must first cross through the old town of Phimai, which lies to the south of the park. Tourists will then cross a river about half a mile short of the temple before entering through a massive north gate, large enough to allow an elephant to walk through. 

In the above Image, supplied by this site, you can see an example of how during the time of the Khmer empire they became well skilled craftsmen who were adept at building with sand stone, brick and stone made from soil types rich in aluminum and iron. 

Phimai Historical Park is an attraction for tourists who are interested in history and ancient temples. The outer walls are made of sand stone and the historical park lands are the climax of ancient ruin tourist attractions along the ancient highway. The Ancient Khmer Highway actually begins in Cambodia, where the ancient city of Angkor starts and ends in Thailand's historical parklands here at Phimai. The road is about 150 miles long but much of the road is no longer accessible to vehicles as it has become overgrown by tropical jungle and bush. The highway is however visible on topographical maps and aerial photographs.

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Attached Images:

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source 

Gogo Florsist is a Bangkok based Asian flower specialist. On their site they also offer a gallery and tips on living in Thailand and tourist information.