A well preserved Hindu complex

Photo of Sikhoraphum, , Surin

What we say: 4 stars

Two of the towers are relatively complete, with the others missing their upper parts, but the whole site has been restored by the Thai Fine Arts Department -- some may think the site is on the over-manicured side, so this isn't one for those who love their ruins, well, ruined. Some criticism has been levelled at the restoration, though the site had been fiddled with during more recent centuries in attempts to give the Hindu temple a more Buddhist feel. Sikhoraphum is near a highway, surrounded by a town and has hardly any trees in its grounds, so don't expect to have the ‘out there' feel of Ta Muan and other ruins.

Decoration on the towers is minimal, but there are still a few carvings in good condition; some nagas and apsaras plus the highlight of the temple, a magnificent lintel over the doorway of the main shrine. There's also a superb 'dancing Shiva' lintel in red sandstone. Both are close to 1,000 years old but look way fresher.

The ruins are at the centre of Sikhoraphum town and are the village pride. During our last visit, dozens of school kids were practising a dance routine on the ruins -- charming but it meant we couldn't climb on them ourselves.

More details
35 km from Surin
Opening Hours: 07:30-17:00
How to get there: Sikhoraphum is 35 kilometres east of Surin and is just off Route 226, which is the main highway to Si Saket and Ubon so be prepared for some big trucks and dust if you motorbike it. Many songthaews and local buses can also take you here from the bus station or central market, or you can come by train. The town is tiny and the ruins are a short walk east of the train station.
Last updated: 1st February, 2013

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