There are two sights of interest in the friendly town of Sakhon Nakhon. Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is a beautiful temple complex with a large bot and wihan, a 10th-century Khmer prang, and a whitewashed, 80-ft (24-m) Lao-style chedi built during the Ayutthaya period. The old prang is reached through a door in the wihan. Etched into the prang’s base is an ancient Khmer inscription, and around it are Lao and Khmer images of the Buddha. Also in the compound is an interesting display of luk nimit, which are Brahmin foundation markers that somewhat resemble giant cannon balls.
The five-layered, 11th-century Khmer prang of Wat Phra That Narai Cheng Weng was built as a Hindu monument. The name Cheng Weng is taken from the princess responsible for its construction; Narai is a Thai and Khmer name for Vishnu. The most important lintel – over the only entrance, to the east – shows Shiva dancing to the destruction of the universe, as he tramples the head of a lion. On the northern portico is a splendid depiction of Vishnu, with a lotus and baton in two of his four hands.