Phanom Rung

Trip Start Sep 18, 2004
Trip End Jun 05, 2005

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, April 9, 2005

Written by Nelly

Mr. Toi's Kindness
We arrived Buriram from Khorat around 6:30 pm by bus. The town center of Buriram was filled with sleazy hourly hotels and small medical clinics. I counted four clinics walking around one single block, two of them were packed with patients. Our guesses were either there were a lot of sick people, or the clinics were giving out free drugs and vaccination.

In the evening, we stopped by a super busy food stall with seafood on display. We were not quite sure what they were selling, but the food sure did smell good. A very kind man, Mr. Toi, spotted our confused faces and ordered two bowl of yummy fish soup for us, along with an awesome spicy seafood salad. Mr. Toi is a business man from Bangkok. He financs chicken farms around Buriram, and he travels to Buriram every weekend for work. After making sure we got our food, he went ahead and paid for our food too! What amazing hospitality!

Interesting Breakfast
On the second morning, we went out and looked for breakfast. We found a restaurant packed with people selling some sort of soup with rice. Despite ordering something completely different, the soup showed up with a full combination of pig inards and couple strips of chicken breast. It was rather unsatisfying since I was stuck having chicken soup stock with rice. Jesse didn't fare better, he ate the five strips of chicken with his rice and left the rest. It was our own fault, why the heck did we walk into a restaurant with all sorts of meat displayed on ice?

Phanom Rung
As usual, we rented a scooter to go to Phanom Rung. It was about 60 kilometers from Buriram. Along the way, we barely saw any traffic. When we pulled into the parking lot of Phanom Rung, we were shocked to see so many cars and tourists. It was great because for once the majority of the tourists were Thai, not foreigners.

Phanom Rung means big hill in Khmer, the temple was built on an extinct volcanic ring. Phanom Rung was also restored by the Thai fine art department. They might have learned from their mistakes in Phimai, since no plastic ceiling was installed inside of the sanctuary, nor were there any extra pieces of antique columns and lintels laying around. Some of the lintels over the gates were quite detailed and in nice condition. For every lintel, there was a sign in both Thai and English explaining the story on the lintel. Just like all other Thai historic parks, the grounds surrounding Phanom Rung were very well maintained. The grass was cut short, trash and leaves were quickly raked away by the workers on the ground. There was also an English booklet describing the temple. The park was very well run, but of course I didn't realize this until I visited Khao Phra Wihan on the Cambodian side, described in the next entry.
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