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Sdok Kok Thom Temple: Thailand’s Richest History of the Khmer Empire

Thailand has no shortage of temples. Some of the most popular include Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Rong Khun. However, one must not set aside the Sdok Kok Thom Temple, or also known as Sdok Kak Thom.

It is one of the country’s richest historical destinations as the temple housed a sandstone slab dating back to 1053. The ancient slab written in the Sanskrit language contained vital information about the Khmer Empire. Though the slab currently resides in the National Museum of Bangkok, the temple is still worth a visit.

Sdok Kok Thom Temple

The Sdok Kok Thom Temple. Image taken by Nattakan Phosamrong.

Sdok Kok Thom Temple

One of the inner structures of the Sdok Kok Thom Temple. Image taken by The Sdok Kok Thom Temple. Image taken by Nattakan Phosamrong.

Quite notable about the temple is its red sandstone and laterite façade. Sdok Kok Thom’s creation was dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, but was then converted into a Buddhist temple.

While the temple itself is one of the largest ancient ruins in the area, the complex is quite large—and you may even rent a bicycle to explore more of the woodlands surrounding it.

Sdok Kok Thom Temple

Another view of the Sdok Kok Thom Temple. Image taken by Nattakan Phosamrong.

Sdok Kok Thom Temple

The entrance to Sdok Kok Thom Temple. Image taken by Nattakan Phosamrong.

The 11th-century temple is found northeast of Aranyaprathet and is close to the village of Ban Non Samet.

Due to its proximity to Cambodia, the temple has been claimed by the government of Cambodia which is said to be disputed by Thai officials. Despite the alleged dispute, Sdok Kok Thom is still a peaceful site to visit, which is a stark contrast to the tourist sites close to the city of Bangkok.

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