kamphaeng-phet-title-2

Kamphaeng Phet and the Aranyik Forest Temples

Fresh from the dry plains of Old Sukhothai, the riverside town of Kamphaeng Phet made for a picturesque and pleasant change. Still, the reason I was here was the same. Like other neighboring towns such as Si Satchalanai and Phisanulok, Kamphaeng Phet also has a number of Sukhothai-era ruins, however it is much less visited…

sukhothai-dawn-of-happiness-lost-cities-title

Sukhothai: Dawn of Happiness, Dawn of Thailand

Local legends tell of a Golden Age that once existed in the histories of Thailand. After throwing off the shackles of the Khmer Empire, one Thai kingdom stood strong, independent, and united. Its name was Sukhothai, the “Dawn of Happiness” and it is credited as being the beginning of true Thai history. Of course, like…

chansen-ancient-city-title

Chansen Ancient City: Inland Island of the Dvaravati

View Larger Map The fields were burning as I stepped off the 30 cent train. In front of me was a small Chinese temple and an even smaller clock tower. The train pulled away northward into the smoky flatlands, leaving me in this town so small there was not even a room to rent. It…

The main street through the village of Hanlin.

Travel Theme: Ancient

  Ancient sites are a big reason of why I love to travel.  Unfortunately, in SE Asia, while there are plenty of old sites, there are not too many ancient sites.  Most of the ruins of Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia are contemporary with Medieval to Renaissance Europe.  So that rare time I do happen upon…

preah-vihear-lost-cities-title

Preah Vihear: Ruins Victim to Conflict

*Due to the tumultuous political nature of this archaeological site, this post might already be outdated. View Larger Map It’s one of those mornings.  Slightly hung-over and it is raining.  It shouldn’t be raining.  It’s the hot season in the driest part of Thailand.  “You picked a good day to go,” a Thai woman says…

Curves  Another highlight of my recent time in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is the largest intact structure from the original city.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

  Another highlight of my recent time in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is the largest intact structure from the original city. The wat (Buddhist temple) served as a private chapel for the ruling family of the Siam nation. These three, very large, exceptionally curved stupas served as the centerpiece monuments of the temple.  Each…

Contrast  Straddling the Cambodia border, atop of the extinct volcano of Phanom Rung, is one of the most magnificent Angkorian structures outside of Cambodia . . . To this day, Buddhist pilgrims come and honor this site, a symbol of the religion from which their stems.

Travel Theme: Contrast

Straddling the Cambodia border, atop of the extinct volcano of Phanom Rung, is one of the most magnificent Angkorian structures outside of Cambodia.  Prasat Phanom Rung is a temple dedicated to Shiva and on a major pilgrimage route stemming from Angkor Wat to Phimai in Thailand. To this day, Buddhist pilgrims come and honor this…

Up  These stairs leading up to the central temple are unleveled, eroded, and in odd states of disarray. Throw in the fact that they are immensely steep and not always wide enough for an entire foot . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

After a disappointing turn around by a military blockade in the disputed border region of Cambodia/Thailand on my way to try and see the ruins of Prasat Preah Vihear, I was aching to see something in the realm of Lost Cities. So, leaving Si Phan Don a day early and returning to Pakse in southern…

Green  I had wasted nearly an hour travelling the wrong direction down an Isan highway.  My destination was the various Khmer ruins hidden somewhere to the south.  As I was already skirting the Cambodian border, my initial misdirection gave me pause . . .

Travel Theme: Green

I had wasted nearly an hour travelling the wrong direction down an Isan highway.  My destination was the various Khmer ruins hidden somewhere to the south.  As I was already skirting the Cambodian border, my initial misdirection gave me pause to check the vague maps I had with me. So, cooling off with a green…