"learn the local wisdom and trace the evidence of the khmer culture over the N/E of Thailand"

 
   The general statistic of Thailand in 2007 reports about 64 million Thai citizen resides within over half million square kilometers  
   size of land. one/third of its land and also the population lies on the north-eastern region. The residential number increased  
   steadily during the last 100 years after rails and roads were completed to connect the then forgotten area to the central  
   development. In fact, this big piece of land posseses varieties of charmful attractions from nature to historical sites. Many  
   are even older than the history of the country. The real barriers which block visitors out are the long distance of one attraction  
   to others, and also its huge land coverage which make it difficult to decide from where to get start. To solve such problems,  
   we have designed our trips into different routes. Hereunder is the journey to the lower North-eastern region.  
     
     
   
         
           
 
       
 
       
           
           
                                 

 
 Learn the ancient wisdom at wat Salaloi and Dan Kwain pottery market
 
   Eventhough the blessing from 'Yar Mo' was ineffective last night, our respect to her  
   never declines.This morning we visit the temple which she patronized during her living.  
   After death, her ashes was kept in this temple 'Wat Salaloi'.  What confronting us at  
   the moment are the architectures which deviate from any traditional styles of buddhist  
   temples. Simplicity is mainly emphasized to replace the delicacy but high maintenance  
     cost the traditional temples are always built with. No mural painting is painted on the    
     internal wall, also no stucco work or wood carving decoration is worn externally. Only    
     a set of terracottas that tells the buddha's story covers the west end of the main chapel.    
   It is the work from the Dan Kwain pottery village,on 13 k.m. away from town. We pay  
   homage to the 'Yar Mo's chedi which keeps her ashes after the cremation in this temple.  
   In the ancient time, Dankwain village was only the travellers' breakpoint during their  
   journeys to the central provinces. Potterywares were made to replace the broken from  
   hard journeys. Its popularity once was stagnated due to its outdate design, until a  
   professor from the local university designed an owl earthware to put in a garden. That  
     really re-boosts its fame. Now more designs and techniques are applied in production    
     to fulfill both the domestic and international demand.    
     Plenty of earthware stores are located on both sides of the Dan Kwain roadside market.    
   They sell from small to gigantic items. Most are produced in the local village nearby.  
   There is a factory at the back of the market producing items daily from the export  
   orders. Guests are always welcome to see the whole production process.  
 
 Trace the influence of the Khmer culture on their ruins
 
   Buriram is a province on the edge of the korat basin, one from the two basin of the  
   north-eastern plateau. Its geography is generally an uplift plain with only inactive  
     valcanos emerging up. Panomrueng is the highest of all. A hinduist temple of the same    
     name is built on the top hill over 900 years ago by the cousin of Suriyaworaman II,the    
     great Khmer king who ordered the construction of the Angkor Wat (7th wonder of the    
   world).  
   We believed the Khmers lived at the foothill since the mide of 11th century.They made  
   a temple closeby their dwelling. No evidence has been discovered to give any idea of the  
   community. The hint on hand is only the temple design which we can refer to the big  
   temple in cambodia to determine its age.  
   Since this temple is on the foothill,we just name it 'Muangtam--lowlandtown'.The plan of  
     the temple describes the hinduist cosmology. five towers at core represent the 5 top of    
     the Krailas peak, the dwelling of Shiva god on the Sumeru mountain. The inner gallery    
     which surrounds the buildings marks out the mountain area. Outside the gallery,we can    
   find 4 L-shape ponds on each corner. They are the oceans that surround the mountain.  
   The Kopura or the entrance gate on each side of the outer gallery are the 4 continuents  
   lived by the living creature. The southern gate is 'chompoo tawep'.In theory we suppose  
   to live here.  
   In the early 12th century, Suriyaworaman II took the throne of the Khmer kingdom by  
   military force. His cousin, Narentaratit, played a big role at war to hand the crown to  
     him. To avoid any political issues, Narentaratit decided to leave the Angkor and settled    
     down at Muangtam.    
     The Panomroong temple was constructed over the old temple on tophill.The plan and    
   decoration are of the royal art. Similar to other Khmer temples,the decorative details  
   mainly tell the story of their Hinduist god and also the great epics of Hunduism--  
   Ramayana and Maha Parata.Yet,certain parts also tell  the life Narentaratit himself and  
   the ceremony in action that period.The outstanding ceremony is engraved on the two  
   small half gables on side of the main building. It is about the Virginity sacrifice. On  
   April during sunrise and on October during sunset every year, visitors will come up to  
     witness the ancient architectural knowhow, when the sun shines straight through all the    
     15 gates of the temple complex.    
     Pimai temple is a good sample of the Khmer Buddhist temple in Thailand. It is located    
   in Pimai-- a district on north of the Korat city. This temple already existed before king  
   Chaiworaman VI was in power during the mid of the 11th century. Its main entrance  
   face southward to the Angkor, rather than eastward as in most of other Khmer temple.  
   It shows the loyalty the then Governor paid to the central power.  
   Studying on the Khmer architectures, we can see the development of their designs. The  
   roof of the Khmer temples before the 12th century are leveled up diminishingly like a  
     pyramid. They are lower and closer to the ground. The main building in the Pimai    
     santuary turned the design to another face. The roof is uplifted higher. They are still    
     leveled up but the motifs on the edge of each level are curvely inclines to the peak. It is    
   more bushlike. This design is great influence in constructing the Panomrueng temple,  
   and finally the Angkorwat.  
   The external look of this temple is like all other Khmer hinduist temples. Its adornment  
   are dominated by the hinduist gods and their great epics. What really signifies the  
   Buddhist temple is the engravement on the inner lantels. They tell the story of the  
   Buddha and the Bhodhisat as mainly emphasized in Buddhism of the Tibetian chapter.  
     The sitting buddha under the protection of a spreadhood serpent is the principle in the    
     main building. He is franked by the Awalokitesuan bothisatva on the left building, and    
     the goddess of wisdom-- Pratchaya paramitra on the right building. The bothisatva    
   image is sitting like a fat man in the middle age. It may be Chaiworaman VII, the last  
   Khmer great king, who changed this temple from hinduist to buddhist.  
   We leave the monastery from the serpent bridge which,in belief, connects the heaven to  
   earth. It functions like rainbow in the western belief. Korat city is just 60 km.down from  
   here. On our way back, we pass the Pimai salt factory.Its salt is taken from underground  
   on the mining system. Then it is filled into bottles for sale in markets. Part of them may  
     proceed further to the protash production. The final products from this process is the    
     fertilizer.    
     We go on bed early tonight and dream of the monkeys of God in the Ape town--    
   Lopburi which is next on our schedule to visit. Wait me my friends.Tomorrow I will  
   come to see you as soon.