“The town of Roi Et has never attracted more than the odd traveller passing through but for the art history fan or Dvaravati relic-hunter, it has one treasure. On the grounds of a wat called Wat Neua there is a most unusual chedi“
– South East Asian Kingdoms
Roi Et is a town that has gained my interest lately. Located almost in the dead center of Isan, this small provincial capital hosts much more history than a pass over on a map would lead one to believe.
This, apparently, dates back to the Dvaravati, the oldest civilization of what would be the modern Thailand. The Dvaravati were the first group of Buddhists to enter South East Asia, coming from Burma. Setting up their center at Nakhon Pathom, about 45 km west of Bangkok, they spread through Thailand and Laos, and even into Cambodia.
Meanwhile, centuries later, the Khmer Empire would influence this area and leave ruins like Ku Ka Sing, the site that initially enticed me to this area. Despite not being located in Muang (the city of) Roi Et, these ruins had led me onto many more that I plan to investigate in the near future.
Since then, I’ve learned a good deal that the town itself has to offer. They are exceptionally proud of their lake in the center of the town, which hosts a very large image of the Walking Buddha. Otherwise, from pictures I have seen, it just looks like an overall more pleasant town than most in Isan I have seen.
The author of this reblog, southeastasiankingdoms.wordpress.com, has made it a point to raise awareness of those cultures that have eluded our modern recongition in this area. I look forward to reading more entries in this blog