The modern countries of South-East Asia are the successors of a wide array of kingdoms, principalities, chieftancies and trade empires which dominated the region in pre-colonial times. Most people who travel to South-East Asia have never heard of Sriwijaya, Lanna, Kedah or Champa, but these kingdoms and many others contributed a vast amount to the architecture and art of the whole region. And understanding something about them can throw up all sorts of interesting insights into the politics of the region even today. For example, the top-down, hierarchical governing style of the modern elites has its roots in the elaborate court culture of the deep past. This is a travel blog, but one that explores the past as well as the present, looking at the legacy of this ancient kingdoms in terms of temples, palaces, art and culture.