“. . . With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure.
Shall tomorrow find its place.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Angkor ruins dot the entire area surrounding the Cambodia border, but there was one in particular that I wanted to see: Prasat Phanom Rung. One of the largest in Thailand, this Hindu-Khmer monument stands at the peak of an extinct volcano.
Rather than renting a bike and making a day trip from Surin, I figured that it was time to move on and hopped a bus headed toward Nang Rong. This ended up being a much better idea, as the trip took nearly 3 hours, much longer than would have been comfortable for a motorbike round trip.
While there is an odd branch of the world-famous Cabbages and Condoms in Nang Rong, I opted for the Honey Inn, a small family run guesthouse. This was an immensely comfortable and welcoming place. My room had air-conditioning and I was able to finally get all my laundry washed that had been stinking up my backpack since Chiang Mai. On top of that that, they had free wifi and rented motorbikes to their guests.
It was middle afternoon by the time I arrived in Nang Rong, so I arranged to stay for 2 nights and rent a bike first thing in the morning for the trip.
I spent the rest of the day checking out Nang Rong, which isn’t a lot. The town is essentially a highway stop on the long road between Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani. There was not much in the way of nightlife, though there was a festival of some sort going on in the town’s park. I grabbed a couple light snacks there and played a few games (no prizes won) before heading back to the guesthouse.
I got back just in time for a family style dinner prepared by the owners. All the guests were there. Consisting of multiple courses and a large variety of dishes, but my personal favorite was the stuffed fish. Prepared in a grilled/smoked style typical of many vendors, I had been reluctant to try it in Bangkok, primarily due to the horrid condition of the many canals. Here, I figured it might be a little bit fresher.
After dinner, I spent a good deal of time speaking to a German couple over a couple of Changs. They seemed to be going the opposite direction I was. They had just come from Bangkok and were heading further east, but were there for the ruins as well.
I went to bed happy at the thought I would be off on the road tomorrow (in fresh, clean clothes) to get my first glimpse of the Angkor civilization ruins.