Khmer Ruins in the Middle of Thailand
Seeing the ancient ruins at the Prasat Muang Sing Historical Park really puts the power of the Khmer empire perspective. Muang Sing (City of the Lion) is nearly 600 kilometers away from the Angkor Wat and 120 kilometers past Bangkok. In the 13th century, the powerful Khmer empire spread throughout Thailand and into Laos and Vietnam. Nothing lasts forever, and the Khmer Empire receded in power, leaving Muang Sing behind for Thailand to enjoy.
Approaching the Muang Sing Historical Park outside Kanchanaburi was a little surreal to me. I had been living in Cambodia for two years, and the differences between that country and Thailand are striking as soon as you cross the border. So to see a rather grand Khmer ruin so far away from Angkor Wat was fascinating.
There isn’t much left of the ancient city aside from its walls and a couple religious structures. It’s a big area that practically demands a motorbike to get from one end to the other. The ruins wouldn’t at all look out of place back in Cambodia, but the biggest difference here was the quality of the grounds. The park was well maintained and even the grass was watered. This is unlike most of the ruins in Cambodia, unfortunately.
Muang Sing is worth a visit even though if you’re remotely interested in Southeast Asian history (I’m way into it) of if you’re in Kanchanaburi and on your way to other sites, such as Hellfire Pass. It’s just a little out of the way and admission is only 100 baht, or about $3.25.
I'm an American freelance writer who spent a couple years living in Cambodia. Now I'm on the move again and traveling all over the place. I'm willing to try any bizarre liquor that's presented to me. Any recommendations?