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Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday Drive - Nok Ok

Nok Ok (Thai: นกออก) is a subdistrict in Pak Thaong Chai District about 30K south of Korat which contains several interesting historic structures. Although close to home I'd never heard of it until I saw a poster promoting it in my local coffee shop. (Nok Ok is the Thai name of a type of sea eagle. In the past there were a large number of these birds in the area.)

Poster promoting Nok Ok. The Thai words on top mean, "Go so Nok Ok".

Unfortunately, the locations shown on the map are approximate. There are no signs in English in the area and very few in Thai. We managed to find these places by doing some research using Google Earth and then adding the locations to a GPS application on the iPad. Otherwise it would have been very difficult.

Here's the location of Nok Ok.
View Larger Map

Old Library Building at Wat Nok Ok. The temple libraries were once built over water to prevent termite damage to the texts which were written on palm leaves.

Only a couple of the sites in this post had explanatory signs and those were in Thai and had very limited information. Not easy to find out about this stuff. The sign at this site said that it was a Mon religious site. The Mon were in this area about the 7th century.

Sema Stone at Wat Nok Ok. Sema Stones are boundary stones which mark the sacred area of the ubosot (ordination hall) of a temple. They are usually made of a single stone in the shape of the leaf of a Bodhi Tree. However, the Mon people sometimes used Sema Stones in the shape of a square or octagonal pillar. Perhaps this Sema Stone reflects Mon heritage.

Old (200 years) Ubosot (ordination hall) at Wat Nok Ok.

One of two giant elephant statues at Wat Meuang.

Buddha Footprint at Wat Mueang.

Sema Stone at Wat Phra Pleung.

Old wooden farm cart at Wat Phra Pleung.

Interior of old ubosot at Wat Kok Sri Saket.

Old Chinese-style plates decorate the entrances to the ubosot at Wat Kok Sri Saket.

Ubosot door at Wat Sri Saket.

Ubosot at Wat Kok Sri Saket. The building is about 100 years old.

Sema Stone at Wat Kok Sri Saket. 

Mural on ceiling of building at Wat Kok Sri Saket.

Mural on ceiling of building at Wat Kok Sri Saket.

Khmer Prasat (temple) at Ban Prasat Prang. This structure, mostly collapsed now with only the tower standing, was probably sort of a hostel used by travelers. It was probably built by the Khmer in about the 13th century.

Rice drying on the road near the Khmer Prasat pictured above.

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