The Khmer Empire In Northeast Thailand
- The Khmer Empire had its beginnings in 790 when King Jayavarman conquered the Kingdoms in Kambuja until then under the yoke of the Javanese and founded four capitals. The consecration rites of Jayavarman at Mount Julen in 802 formalized the introduction of him as the God King and thereafter the cult of the Devaraja. Hariharalaya was the first settlement of the new Kingdom.
- By 889 this Khmer Empire held control as far as Ubon in I 'san in Thailand. By 944 after battles with the Cham, the Empire extended east to the Annamite chain, to Burma (Myanmar) to the west and the Gulf of Siam in the South. In the early 11th century this Empire expanded and levied tribute from Southern Thailand. By 1144 it expanded to the Burmese Kingdom of Pagan in the west, to the coast of Vietnam in the east and to the Malay Peninsula in the South.
- During the reign of Jayavarman VII from 1181 to 1220 the Khmer Empire expanded further to include the Korat Plain, the Menan Valley, Southern Malaysia, Northern Laos and Champa. It was not until 1430 when the Tai Ayutthaya Kingdom invaded Cambodia and sacked the capital of Angkor and enslaved its inhabitants and looted its wealth, did the decline of the Khmer Empire commence.
The Khmer 1000 Year Old Highways From Cambodia Into I 'san
- By the time of King Jayavarman 7th, of Kambuja (Cambodia), there were 7 major road systems leading into Thailand. These were paved by laterite, were wide and when necessary, built on embankments, sometimes up to 20 feet tall. One such road left the North Gate at Angkor Thom and reached Phimai in I ‘san (140 miles away). There were stopovers on route and these included, Ta Muen Thom and Phanom Rung (all listed as major places of interest for tourism).