Located near the Mekong River in Thailand’s northeast, an area of the country the Thais call “Isaan,” Wat Phra That Phanom is the latest incarnation of an ancient temple whose origins are thought to date back to the 6th century AD. As noted in my Timeless Heritage of Thailand book, the temple’s famed chedi or stupa, though a 20th-century reconstruction, is emblematic of a kind of graceful coalescence of disparate elements and varied influences that characterizes so much of Thailand’s cultural heritage.