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Posted by on Apr 5, 2010 in Asia, Thailand

Khorat, Phimai, Phanom Rung, and Surin – Festivals, Ruins, and Silk!

Khorat, Phimai, Phanom Rung, and Surin – Festivals, Ruins, and Silk!

 

For a little trip. Jackie and I went to the Phanom Rung Historical Park, in the Northeastern region of Thailand to watch silk getting made. But conveniently, April 3-5th is 1 of 4 festivals in this region at the ancient Phimai Khmer ruins because it is when the sun becomes properly aligned.

The 15 doorways of the ancient Shiva temple was used as an astronomical device, as they were built in a straight line which allows the sunrise/sunset through all doorways of the temple. This event happens 4 times a year: The sunrises straight through 15 doorways; twice in April and September, and the sunsets through the doorways twice; in March and October.

      

Phimai is an ancient town that has existed since 1100 AD, from the time of the ancient Khmer Kingdom.  While most temples face the east, this temple faces southeast towards Angkor Wat, Cambodia. There is a straight road that goes directly from Phimai all the way to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

How to get there: Take a bus from Buriram city to Ban Ta-Ko and then take a songtaew to Phanom Rung.

We also saw some of the largest Banyan trees in Thailand. That tree is ALL one HUGE tree. It has lots and lots of trunks and it just creeps all over the place. It is pretty neat.

We walked around some back streets until we encountered a silk making factory. The silk making factory was beautiful. There were 4 ladies per machine working on two different floors. In total they can only make about 4CM of fabric a day. They have to dye the silk as well and that takes 3 months to complete. It takes a VERY long time to make ONE scarf which sells here in Thailand for about 15$ CAN. It is insane how hard they work for such beautiful items but the prices do not warrant the work they provide!