November 2012
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The Phimai historical park is situated in the town of Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima province – Part 2

The Phimai historical park is situated in the town of Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Overview of Phimai Historical Park

• This park encloses the most important Khmer temples and one of the unique temples of Thailand.
• The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor.
• 1020x580m is the area of this park that is comparable with that of Angkor Wat.
• Phimai must have been an important city in the Khmer empire.
• French geographer Etienne Aymonier did the first inventory of the ruins.
• It was done in 1901.
• This inventory is under governmental protection which was announced in the Government Gazette, Volume 53, section 34, from September 27, 1936.
• From 1964 to 1969, most of the restorations were carried out which was a joint Thai-French project.
• The Fine Arts Department now manages this historical park.
• On April 12, 1989, it was officially opened by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
• The ancient Khmer city is surrounded by a moat.
• This city is adjacent to the Mun River which is on the east and north boundaries.
• Largest Khmer ruins can be found in Phimai complex in Thailand.

It comprises of an:
– Inner moated city,
– 565 by 1030 meters,
– This was constructed in the 11 – 12 C with further additions in the 13 C.
– The Temple City was enclosed a laterite wall.
– This wall is about 3,350 feet by 1,900 feet.
– The Temple is enclosed by two walls.
– The outer measuring 900 feet by 720 feet.
– The innermost wall 272 by 243 feet.
The complex includes
– usual structures
– naga terraces
– gopuras
– pavilions
– library
• The key feature of this complex is the inner court yard.
• It encloses three towers.
• The central and principal tower was constructed in 11 – 12 C.
• This tower is made of sandstone.
• The outer walls are decorated with lintels and bas-reliefs.
• These walls depict the scenes from the Ramayana.
• It depicts the war that took between Ravana and Rama.
• The southern side has bas-reliefs of Shiva and its interior has bas-reliefs of Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Mara.
• The Temple was part of the Mahayana school which was prevalent in the Mun Valley from the 7 C onwards.
• Phimai has large and small ponds to represent the oceans.
• The central sanctuary is enclosed by narrow corridor galleries.
• Cruciform entrances or Gopuras are installed at cardinal points.
• Carvings of Hindu Gods ornament the pediments and lintels of these entrances.
• Within the sacred area the central tower or prang culminates in a lotus bulb shaped finial and represents Mount Meru.
• This is built out of sandstone.

Best time to visit / climate

• Thailand is largely tropical.
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F).
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest.
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map
Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+Nai+Mueang,+Phimai,+Nakhon+Ratchasima+30110,+Thailand&hl=en&geocode=Fc4_6AAdTO8bBg&hnear=Phimai+historical+park,+Nai+Mueang,+Phimai,+Nakhon+Ratchasima+30110,+Thailand&t=m&z=16

How to get there?

• It is about 60 km from Korat city.
• From the Highway No. 2, turn right to Road No.206.
• Passing a bridge, the Museum is on the left.
• And the Sanctuary on the right.
• Local buses run approx. every 20 minutes (06:00-19:00) from the nearby provincial capital of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Khorat).
• The local bus may stop on the road leading to the Khmer ruins; if you see a Khmer temple, by all means get off.
• From points north, get down at Talad Kae, and wait for the local bus as above.
• The fare from Nong Khai is 200 Baht to Talad Kae, and then 13 Baht from there to Phimai.

How to get to Thailand?

1. By plane
• The main international airports in Thailand are at Bangkok and Phuket.
• Both are well-served by intercontinental flights.
• Practically, every airline that flies to Asia also flies into Bangkok.
• International airports are also located at Hat Yai, Krabi, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.
• Kuala Lumpur and Singapore make excellent places to catch flights into these smaller Thai cities.
• The national carrier is the well-regarded THAI Airways with Bangkok Airways filling in some gaps in the nearby region.
• Bangkok Airways offers free internet access while you wait for boarding to start at your gate.
• Chartered flights from and to Thailand from international destinations are operated by Hi Flying group.
• They fly to Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui and Udon Thani.

2. By road
– Cambodia – six international border crossings.
The highway from Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor via Poipet to Aranyaprathet.
– Laos: The busiest border crossing is at the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong between Nong Khai and the Lao capital Vientiane. It’s also possible to cross the Mekong at Chiang Khong / Huay Xai, Nakhon Phanom /Tha Khaek, Mukdahan / Savannakhet, and elsewhere.
• Vientiane / Udon Thani
• A bus service runs from the Morning Market bus station in Vientiane to the bus station in Udon Thani.
• The cost is 80 Baht or 22,000 Kip and the journey takes two hours.
• The Udon Thani airport is 30 minutes by Tuk Tuk from the bus station and is served by Thai Airways, Nok Air and Air Asia.
– Malaysia and Singapore: Driving up is entirely possible.
• Main crossings between Thailand and Malaysia are Padang Besar (Padang Besar) and Sadao (Bukit Kayu Hitam) in Songkhla province, Betong in Yala province, and Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat province.
• There are regular buses from Singapore to the southern hub of Hat Yai.

3. By train
Thailand’s sole international train service links to Butterworth (near Penang) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, continuing all the way to Singapore.

4. By ferry
• It is possible now to travel by ferries in high season (Nov-May) from Phuket and island hop your way down the coast all the way to Indonesia.
• This can now be done without ever touching the mainland, Phuket (Thailand) to Padang (Indonesia). Islands en route:
– Ko Phi Phi
– Ko Lanta
– Ko Ngai
– Ko Mook
– Ko Bulon
– ko Lipe
– Langkawi.
– Penang

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Phimai historical park

Blogs at
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Images and photos of Thailand – Phimai historical park

Images at
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Videos of Thailand – Phimai historical park

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