Taken on: 17th September, 2007. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Captain_Bob's page of Flickr

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This spectacular temple sits atop a 383-metre high extinct volcano and is the closest thing to Angkor Wat you will see in Thailand.

As with the Khmer ruins of Phimai (near Khorat), it is suspected that Phanom Rung may have been a prototype for what eventually became Angkor Wat. Once built it was also used as a resting spot for pilgrims making their way from Angkor to Phimai.

The temple is the largest and best restored in Thailand (the restoration took 17 years to complete) and was originally built between the 10th and 13th Centuries, with the bulk of it being overseen by Suryavarman II. Unlike many Khmer monuments, both in Thailand and Cambodia, the stone structures of Phanom Rung are in excellent condition today thanks to limited overgrowth and never having become a battlefield.

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