Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok, Thailand
In north central Thailand, some 60 kilometers north-west of Udon Thani and 50 kilometers south-west of Nong Khai, is situated the little known but fascinating sacred hill of Phra Bat. A holy place long before the arrival of Buddhism, the lightly forested hill is dotted with great boulders and small caves. Pre-historic paintings of wild animals and cryptic symbols still adorn these caves, in silent testament to the shamans and mystics who long ago sought communion with the spirit world. While Buddhism is now the primary religious focus of the site, the feelings of the pagan past linger strongly in the forests of this mysterious hill.