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The Khmer Masterworks: Exploration of various architecture along the Royal Road in Northeastern Thailand

This coming February, join us on a weekend trip to explore various architecture along the Royal Road in Northeastern Thailand. The trip will be led by Professor Emeritus Dr Momrajawongse Suriyavudh Sukhasvasti.

The Dharmasala Route (Royal Road) from Angkor to Phimai

The Preah Khan inscription from Angkor describes how Jayavarman VII (AD 1181 – 1218) had 121 “houses with fire” built along the major roads of his empire. On the road from the capital to Vimaya (Phimai) were constructed 17 such buildings. Research indicated that this road was dotted with shelters (Dharmasala), hospitals (Arogyashala) and temples (Pasada). The final destination for the travelling pilgrims and traders was Phimai.

This programme is sure to be the most insightful and memorable. The prospective sites are:

Phimai Historical Park was originally started by Khmer King Jayavarman V in the late 10th century and finished by King Suriyavarman I (1002 – 1049) in the early 11th century. The main shrine, 28 metres tall, of cruciform design, is made of white sandstone, while the adjunct shrines are of pink sandstone and laterite. The lintel sculptures over the doorways to the main shrine are particularly impressive. The Phimai temple, like many other Khmer monuments in this part of Thailand, predates the famous Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. When the Angkor empire was at its peak and encompassed parts of Thailand, Phimai was directly connected to the Angkor capital by road.

Phimai National Museum is a new museum dedicated to Isan culture. It houses many of the best lintels and statues from Phimai, Phanom Rung, Phanomwan and other Khmer sites in Thailand as well as ceramics from nearby Ban Prasat.

Prasat Ta Muean Group; Distinctive example of Khmer architectures built during the reign of Jayavarman VII on the Royal Roads.  The Prasat Ta Muean Group consist of three important architectures; Prasat Ta Muean Thom (The prasada is used for religious ritual and god worshipping); Prasat Ta Muean Toj (Arogyashala held the role of a hospital) and Prasat Ta Muean (The rest house or the Dharmasala)

Phanom Rung Historical Park is dramatically situated on top of a dormant volcano, 383 metres above sea level. This distinctive “stone castle”, the most architecturally advanced in Thailand, is one of the most important Khmer monuments on the route between Angkor and Phimai. The craftsmanship and the narrative quality of the decorative elements, such as lintels, pediments, doorframes, moldings, pilasters, and antefixes are outstanding.

Prasat Hin Muang Tam or the “lower city” stands at the foot of Khao Phnom Rung and was built of brick, sandstone and laterite between the 10th and 12th centuries.


Friday, 17 to Sunday, 19 February 2023


Professor Emeritus Dr MR Suriyavudh Sukhasvasti


See information below

Or contact Khun Thun


The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Friday, 17 February: Bangkok – Phimai (Nakhon Ratchasima province)
Meet at The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Road, Sukhumvit 21, Bangkok
08:00 Depart The Siam Society for Phimai Historical Park, Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima province.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant in the Phimai district
After lunch: Visit Phimai Historical Park and Phimai museum


Check in at Phimai Paradise Hotel

Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel

Day 2: Saturday, 18 February: Prasat Huay Khaen – Prasat Ban Bu – Prasat Tha Mo – Prasat Ta Muan
Breakfast at the hotel
08:00 Check out of the hotel and proceed to visit some of the remains of the Khmer architectures built during the reign of Jayavarman VII on the Royal Roads, which are believed to be shelters (Dharmasala), hospitals (Arogyashala) such as Prasat Huay Khaen, Prasat Ban Bu, Prasat Tha Mo.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant
Afternoon: Visit a group of Prasats at Ta Muan, one of the best examples of Khmer architecture along the royal road.


Check in at Phanomrungpuri Hotel

Dinner and overnight at the hotel

Day 3: Sunday, 19 February: Buriram – Phanom Rung Historical Park – Prasat Muang Tam – Bangkok
Breakfast at the hotel
08:00 Check out and proceed to Phanom Rung Historical Park
Visit Phanom Rung Historical Park and Prasat Muang Tam
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant in Nang Rong district
After lunch:


Depart Nang Rong district for Bangkok

Arrive at The Siam Society

                   The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.


The contribution of THB 14,500 (THB 15,500 for non-members), single room surcharge THB 1,000, will cover transportation, meals as mentioned in the programme, accommodation for 2 nights (two persons per room), entrance fee, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. In addition, basic travel insurance is included. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to “The Siam Society”. Transfer can also be made to The Siam Society travel account at TMBThanachart Bank (ttb), savings account no. 053-2-18000-7 or by scanning the QR code on your right. Once payment has been made, please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.

Important note:

The Siam Society may utilise photos taken from study trips, lectures, performances, and other activities as part of its public relations and marketing communication campaign. These photos, which may sometimes contain image(s) of activity participants, can also be featured on the Society’s website and other online social media channels.

For further information and bookings please contact Khun Thun Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 205, Fax 02-258-3491 or email: The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday.

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