Trip Start Sep 18, 2004
69Trip End Jun 05, 2005
Khorat was one of the US air bases during the Vietnam War. Supposely quite a few veterans decided to stay in Khorat after the war. Today, Khorat is a busy industrial town with bad traffic. We did not see many foreign tourists, the two Caucasians we saw around town were both unfriendly deranged looking men. We were not sure if they were veterans or not, but we were too scared to find out.
We had breakfast at the VFW cafe right next to our hotel. The Lonely Planet guide said that this cafe is where the veterans hang out. Although we didn't see any veterans, the cafe did offer the cheapest western breakfast we've had in Thailand (14 Baht for two eggs and toasts!). The place looked like a run down diner with greasy booths and tinted windows
Phimai, sixty kilometers north of Khorat, was built around the tenth century by the Khmers. It first served as a Hindu temple, and later became a Buddhist temple when the Khmers converted to Buddhism. The Thai Fine Art department had fully restored Phimai twenty years ago. Personally, I felt that the restoration work was not so great. Not all the pieces fit together, we found piles and piles of old looking stones, carved pediments and pillars sitting outside of the main complex. The white plastic drop ceiling installed inside of the sandstone temple was perhaps the worst offense. Jesse, on the other hand, was not bothered by the creative restoration. He thought that at least it gave us an idea how high the ceiling was at that time. From now on, I should never trust Jesse to do any restoration work on our house. (Editors note: Jesse has impecable taste and the author doesn't know what she's talking about.)
Banyan tree and lucky eels
A couple of kilometers outside of Phimai stands the largest and oldest Banyan tree in Thailand. As banyan trees grow larger they send branches back down to the ground, effectively created more trunks
After Khorat, we took a bus to Buriram to see Phanom Rung, the largest Khmer monument in Thailand. (See next entry.)