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21 Aug 2017 104 views
 
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photoblog image Ray's Thai Tours #14

Ray's Thai Tours #14

The triple Prasat Ta Meung Antiquities are right on the Cambodia:Thailand border due South of our house, and have be subjected to disputed ownership by both countries for quite a few years...although soldiers from both countries presently co-operatively co-habit the sites, there have been occasions when I was not allowed by Thai soldiers to get closer than about 5km as bullets were being fired in both directions.

 

I love Ta Meung...three distinctly different sites within about 2 kilometres of each other...in rainforest settings...almost completely unknown to the Tourist facilitators...amply populated with exotic butterflies...

 

And, it is close enough for me to ride my bicycle there, as I have done a few times [and which Ben and I did during this Tour].

 

Ta Meung

Ray's Thai Tours #14

The triple Prasat Ta Meung Antiquities are right on the Cambodia:Thailand border due South of our house, and have be subjected to disputed ownership by both countries for quite a few years...although soldiers from both countries presently co-operatively co-habit the sites, there have been occasions when I was not allowed by Thai soldiers to get closer than about 5km as bullets were being fired in both directions.

 

I love Ta Meung...three distinctly different sites within about 2 kilometres of each other...in rainforest settings...almost completely unknown to the Tourist facilitators...amply populated with exotic butterflies...

 

And, it is close enough for me to ride my bicycle there, as I have done a few times [and which Ben and I did during this Tour].

 

Ta Meung

comments (14)

It looks like this place has all you want...
Ray: I like to note the differences in style and substance, Larry, but Ta Meung certainly is a satisfying visit for me.
Excellent, Ray!
Ray: Thank you, Elizabeth.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 21 Aug 2017, 06:54
This is a great tour and I enjoyed also the music experience you showed on Saturday. Wonderful series of pictures.
Ray: I am delighted you are enjoying it, Astrid.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 21 Aug 2017, 07:21
I think that mortar courses seem rather lacking. There's a slight lean to the structure in the lower image; I can't see that staying up long - wretched builders.
Ray: Funny, innit...the Romans were doing decent cement/concrete work more than 1000 years before the Khmer threw up these structures, but the Khmer never did learn about cement/concrete.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 21 Aug 2017, 07:22
Fascinating. Do you think the dispute will ever be settled?
Ray: It seems to World Court has a deliberately slow-moving process...hoping, no doubt, that the arguing parties will get sick of waiting and will work out an acceptable bi-lateral deal.
You are lucky to have such a gem in your backyard
Ray: Ta Meung is a brilliant place, Bill.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 21 Aug 2017, 08:03
You really discovered this grandious antiquity.
Ray: Our house is a functional hub for visiting a surprising number of these wonderful old places, Philine.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 21 Aug 2017, 08:09
Imagine having this virtually on your doorstep, Ray. I remember your mentioning it before, and it must have been good to share with your son
Ray: I love showing off these wonderful ruins, Lisl.

Next Sunday I am participating in a challenging bicycle race that takes in both Ta Kwai and Ta Meung.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 21 Aug 2017, 08:22
Fascinating yet, dark heavy and depressing.
Ray: I think it is the laterite rock that is getting to you, Chad...much less refined and pretty than sandstone.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 21 Aug 2017, 10:58
I read your comment about the cement/concrete. I have a theory, I just thought up, al though part is based on African experience. In Africa, apart from a few odd places like the north near the Sahara, Egypt and the Zimbabwean Ruins, there is no architectural legacy left by African people, for archaeologists to study. What is known of the sub-Saharan peoples during the past ages, was the result of contact with Egyptians, Romans, Arabs and Europeans. The lack of artifacts is described by anthropologists as the result of the warm temperatures in Africa. Most peoples lived temporarily at a place and when land became poor, they moved on. Structures to live in was built from clay, branches and grass. It did not take long for nature to recover such an area to its original natural state.

I believe that older inhabitants in Europe experienced bad winters and they needed to fill the cracks between building blocks - could be the origin of cement and stucco. Thailand temp is even warmer than Africa - so no filling required.

But that is just theory.
Ray: I like your theory very much, Louis, and feel it might stand up well under scrutiny by those who study these things,

Most of the Khmer buildings would have been simple affairs of timber, bamboo and grass thatch, and have have long vanished. These Stone structures are to do with royalty and religion, and many still have ingenious roofs made from cantilevered stone slabs...some were so well made that they still keep out the rain after 900+ years.
The bottom is much like a stupa.
Ray: The bottom shot is Ta Meung...a single structure on its own about 1km from Ta Meung Tot. It is believed to be something like what we might call a B&B these days, Mary. One end does look very like a Stupa, and still has its massive sandstone capstone. What makes it different from a Stupa is the long extension on its East side, which is not visible in this image
You're living in the centre of history it seems Ray. I think the idea from Louis regarding Africa is probably not far from being the truth.
Ray: There is a lot of old structures all around us, Brian.

I like the hypothesis Louis has articulated.
A fascinating place, Ray.
Ray: It is as you say, Frank.
Looks like a wonderful setting.
Ray: Surrounded by tropical rain-forest, Tom...lovely and green right now, and there are some beautiful trees nearby.

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