One of the most important archaeological sites found in the Khwae Noi River basin is the ancient city named Muang Sing (which means city of lions); the sprawling site is believed to have been an outpost of Angkor as it was mentioned in the Prasat Phra Khan inscription made during the reign of Jayavarman VII, a king who reigned over the Khmer empire from 1181-1218. Important discoveries made near this historic site include human skeletons together with metal tools, vessels and ornaments believed to date from the 13th century.
When I was researching material for my novel, Pursuit of the Golden Lily, this magical place provided the perfect setting for an important component in the plot. It was a thrill to personally visit Muang Sing, after only seeing it in photos and on Google Map. I was surprised to find it much as I had described - except for one very crucial detail, which I shall be sure to change in the final draft! Look in the footnotes at the end of the novel to see what it was! Built of laterite, an attractive, reddish stone, the buildings are surrounded by tall trees, some that literally grow into the walls.
There are statues scattered throughout the temple, such as this one of Avolikitesvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. In Mahayana Buddhism, bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, is dedicated to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Just for fun, I left a message for Zen, tucked away in the ruins....find out why when you read the book.
Of course we all wonder if he'll find it and give me a call!
I'm waiting with baited breath!
Thanks to Ruby and Marjorie for the photos!
See more photos on Pursuit of the Golden Lily - The Journey - Flikr Page