4 Hours back in Srok Khmer
Ubon Ratchathani Travel Blog› entry 66 of 78 › view all entries
January 19th, 2007 – by: droonsta
The bus to Sisaket was about 1 hour, and I settled in at a local hotel, Sisaket hotel. None of the hotel staff knew any English, so when they spoke in Thai, I gave a puzzled look and as they were talking to each other and laughing I realised that they were now speaking Khmer. It turns out that all the hotel staff were in fact Khmer.
That evening I had a feast, which consisted 5B worth of rice, a Chicken sqewer and 4 different types of insects, a cricket, water beetle, dragonfly and another flying insect. I bought my feast back to my hotel room to quietly try these little critters. The cricket was actually nice, the rest weren't as good, even the chicken!... The chicken was um.. well it wasn't the usual chicken I was used to. As I bit into it, it was tough and did not taste like chicken, so I ran to reception and asked them what it was. They all exclaimed that it was chicken and I said it doesn't taste like it, and one of them laughed out.
The following morning I was on the road again. I was seeking out the Khmer ruins;
- Prasat Kampeang Noi (one of the small 100+ hospital chapels that were constructed during King Jayavarman VII, along the ancient Angkor Highway)
- Prasat Kampeang Yai (a fairly large complex that has been restored)
- Prasat Huai Thap Than (aka Prasat Ban Prasat, a 3 tower complex that has been slightl altered during the Laotian occupation of the area)
- Prasat Prang Ku (a three tower site)
- Prasat Ban Samo (anther hospital chapel or rest house that King Jayavarman VII built, it also contains a barely started lintel)
- Prasat Ta Leang
To visit these sites it cost me a whopping 700B, originally the motorbike taxi wanted 1200. At first it was a motorbike ride, until we were heading for Prasat Kampeang Yai, when he decided to take me around in his brand new ute.
Normally I would of just rented a motorbike and rode around myself, but I couldn't really find any places that rented them out. There were an extra 2 sites that I would of liked to visit, it will have to be another time.
That evening after visiting the sites, I caught a 4:00pm bus to Kanthalarak. At the bus station in Kanthalarak, the motorbike drivers were mucking around and trying out their basic English. As I agreed on a price to a hotel, I asked one of them whether he was Khmer and it turns out that he was. He of course didn't have the normal Khmer accent, as his lived in Thailand all his life. We discussed a price on visiting Prasat Preah Vihear (or as the Thai's like to call it Kha Phra Vihaarn), once again a price of 700B was quoted, but I managed to bargain it down to 550B for a whole day trip including visiting 3 other sites around the area.
The following morning I got picked up at 7:00am, and we headed to the Thai/Cambodian border. On the Thai side they had doubled the entry price from 200B to 400B OMFG! And this was just the price to enter the "Khao Phra Vihaarn National Park" not to the actual ruins itself. The ruins are located within Cambodia. After decades of disputes by both governments, the Cambodian King finally bought it up to the World Court and WON!
Within the national park on the Thai side, one could see cliff side carvings of Hindu figures and also 2 small stupas, Prasat San Top, before reaching the Cambodian border.
On the Cambodian side you also had to pay 200B, but I was fortunate enough that the didn't charge me, Ah-Kun... It was good to be home.
The hike up Prasat Preah Vihear was great, as along the whole way were sandstone steps, and several levels of gopuras that led to the main pavilian at the very edge of the cliff top.
I can only imagine how awesome it would look from a birdseye view. I already did some research and a helicopter to Prasat Preah Vihear would cost more than $2000US ARGHH LOL.
After just sitting around for 4 hours and admiring the view from the cliff top over into Cambodian terroritory, talking to some of the locals, I started heading back down. I stopped to have a few drinks at the girls stall a promised, and started talking to her. It turns out she was my age and with an added bonus she was very pretty HEHEHE.
As I said thank you and was about to head off, she asked for my number, and natural I gave my number to her.
The next few sites on my list are just very small ruins located within reasonable distance from Prasat Preah Vihear. The small ruin of Prasat Doan Tuan (a 10-11th Century) is located within the Khao Phra Vihaarn National Park. While Prasat Tanaksai, a very old brick tower was located further to the west. The final ruin was Prasat Phu Fai, located on Phu Fai hill, nothing remains except a pile of broken stones.
There were no buses from Kanthalarak to Surin, so I was trying to get back to Sisaket in time so I could catch a bus to Surin. Unfortunately I missed the last Surin bus so I had to stay another night in Sisaket. I returned to Sisaket hotel and stayed one last night.
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