Travel tips you can trust
Prasat Hin Phimai
This nearly one-thousand-year-old temple complex is a classic example of ancient Khmer architecture. And it's in reasonably good condition for its age.
world-famous Angkor Wat
In the 11th to 13th centuries, much of what is today's northeastern Thailand was ruled by the Khmer Empire. Its capital was the city where Angkor Wat resides.
Phimai was a major regional administrative center for the kingdom. So naturally, the Prasat Hin Phimal temple complex was built in the Khmer architectural style. Consequently, the Angkor Wat and Prasat Hin Phimai temple complexes have similar designs and layouts.
Which came first, the religious complex in Cambodia or the one here? Some scholars say Cambodia's. Others think that Prasat Hin Phimai was first - and that it influenced Angkor Wat's design. The jury is still out.
Click Angkor Wat to read my web page on this gold medal winning wonder.
For reasons unknown, the Prasat Hin Phimai temple drifted from being Hindu (the faith of the early Khmers) to Buddhist during the 11th to 13th century span.
More Prasat Hin Phimai pointers
It doesn't get a whole lot of visitors because it's five hours by road from Bangkok and off the beaten tourism track.
It was done in the 1960s, but wasn't officially reopened until two decades later.
The main tower is as high as a modern 8-story building.
When to photograph
The temple faces southeast, so arrive early in the morning when the sun's low-angled rays bathe the front facades in golden reddish-orange hues.
Location in Thailand