Just about all travellers to Southeast Asia know of Angkor Wat near the city of Siem Reap in today's Kingdom of Cambodia. But many do not know of the Angkor Empire that was a vibrant and powerful civilisation for over six centuries (from 802 through 1431 CE). And among those who do, most are not aware that the Angkor Empire (also known as the "Khmer Empire") covered most of the Southeast Asian mainland at its apogee (including all of today's Cambodia as well as much of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar).
Southern Esarn, being immediately north of the capital city of "Angkor" (derived from "nagara" which is a Sanskrit word meaning "the city"), was, in fact, an integral part of the empire's core area. There are many noteworthy ancient Khmer "Prasats" here. The most outstanding is "Prasat Phanom Rung" located at the summit of a long-dormant volcano in Buriram Province. Other impressive monuments are:
1. Prasat Muang Tam (situated very close to Prasat Phanom Rung 2. Prasat Hin Phimai and Prasat Hin Phanom Wan in Nakhon Ratchasima Province 3. Prasat Sdok Kok Thom in Sa Kaew Province.
Furthermore, there are numerous smaller "Prasats" scattered all across Surin and Sisaket Provinces.