Should I visit this historical Park?
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If you like culture, art, history and the non-touristy site…
We think the Phimai historical park is a good place to visit. The sanctuary landscape is very nice and clean. It is very pleasure visiting if you observe the place in evening or during cools season.
If you go to phimai before for continue for your trip to northeast Thailand such as go to Phanomrung , Surin or Khonkean . It is nice idea to add Phimai in your itinerary.
But if you expect that this is like Angkor wat, don’t go to Phimai Sanctuary. Phimai sanctuary is much smaller than Angkor wat but there is some differences point that visitors enjoy to observe.
Phimai during pre-Thai historical period
Phimai city was an ancient city in ancient period , so called Tarawadi Kingdom (before Khmer). It was a resident and ancient community in the old day. Later, Khmer empire had more influence over southeast Asia. Khmer ruled many areas in northeast of Thailand now a day and build a Khmer sanctuary in various places. Phimai was one of sanctuary which built right in the city center, which was a very big sanctuary created by King Suriyaworaman I in 11th-12th century to warship Hindu Gods. Later on, it was change to Buddhist sanctuary by King Chaiworaman VII.
Phimai Sanctuary Layout and Size
This Ancient city has a rectangular shape with 565 meters width and 1,030 meters in length. The is main building so called Prang. The Prang is surrounded by 2.35 meter width gallery. There are 4 entrance that can access the main prang (building). Various an original lintel and gable made by crafted stone which has fine detail of Hindu Gods story which is nice and keep in good condition.
Phimai Khmer sanctuary or Prasat Hin Phimai is made of white sandstone which is considered as one of the most beautiful places in Thailand by its proportion and scene.
Renovation and preservation
The Sanctuary has been magnificently restored by ministry of fine Art and coordination with France archeologist around 55 years (1964) ago by the France technique so called anastomosis. After renovating the art object that found in the sanctuary in Phimai and other sanctuary in northeast of Thailand are preserved as a National Phimai Historical Park.
Season of travel
The best time to visit is during November during the Loi Kratong festival to see lights and sound celebration, and long boat racing.
Location of Phimai city in Thailand, Phumai Thailand map
From the map , Phimai district is in Nakornratchasima province or Korat province. It is 50 kilometers from Korat, but over 300 kms from Bangkok.
The ancient city of Phimai is very near Moon river which is a big river that connect to Mae Khong River before lead to the ocean.
Getting to Phimai
There are very often bus to Korat city center and continue to Phimai by local bus for 1 hour.
Drive to Phimai will take around 3.4-4 hours from Bangkok
Go to Buriram
Flight landed at Satook city and take around 1.3 hours by private taxi to Phimai
Phimai historical park entrance fee : 100 Thb/person
Phimai National museum
The location of the museum is not far from Phimai sanctuary. This is a well designed museum, which try to display art object as it was. They try to make it look like where this object will be kept in the real site. Things that display here is including ornament made of bronze and stone, ancient skeleton, lintel, gable, stone crafted pillar , door gradient statue , ancient clay and pottery, tools and equipment , Buddha statue, and divinity statue.
Open (close Monday ) : 09.00-16.00
Entrance fee : 100 THB/person
Other Khmer ruins in Thailand
Not far from Phimai
Phanomrung, in Burirum , Pink san stone sanctuary on the volcano
Muang tam sanctuary in Burirum
Far from Phimai
Prang samyod, Loburi
Prasart Muang Sing, Kanchanaburi
Phrear vihear (in Surin Province , which on border Thai Cambodia, occasionally open from time to time)