(for the combined ticket to the Phanom Rung Castle 150 THB)
Although not as famous as the Phanom Rung Castel, Prasat Muang Tam is another gorgeous Khmer ruin in Buriram that you will not regret seeing. Moreover, it is located only 8 kilometers away from the great Phanom Rung, making it a perfect visit if you already have a plan to head that way.
The architectural style of this castle is the same as of Cambodia’s Ankor Wat as well as its sister Phanom Rung greatly influenced by the Baphoun art. The beauty lies in the delicacy of carved stones that tell the stories of the Hindu gods, like that of the Indra sitting with his left knee on top of the three-headed Erawan elephant. The main materials used are also sandstone and laterite.
The overall atmosphere is perfect for learning history, appreciating the architecture, and relaxing all at the same time. Even though the main stupa only left us with the remain of its base in the center and its smaller stupas in all four directions, the central pond guarded by the five-headed Naga serpent takes the role in keeping the sacredness of this ancient sanctuary quite well.
Another factor that makes Prasat Muang Tam stand out is the villages that are scattered nearby. These locals have been living here for so long that they feel the temple is a part of the community. Sometimes it feels like they bring Prasat Muang Tam back to life just by being there. It is the kind of magic that you have to explore.
From Buriram city center, take Highway No. 23 heading to Prakhon Chai District for 44 kilometers. Then follow street signs to Chorakhe Mak Village, you will see the castle on the way.