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12 Hidden Gems

Buri Ram – Dual Diversions

If you are looking for best preserve ruins, you should definitely go to Buriram Province. Buriram means city of happiness or peaceful city will give you a trip back in time upon visiting Ancient Khmer ruins at Phanom Rung, consider as most spectacular Angkor monument in the whole country. The trip to see these ruins is well worth especially to those who’ve already views Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Mention Buri Ram and the first thing that pops into the minds of many is undoubtedly Prasat
Hin Phanom Rung, one of Thailand’s most stunning Khmer archaeological sites. But as time goes by, the province has gone beyond its ancient Khmer ruins with the inclusion of several new tourist attractions and world class sporting facilities. Buri Ram today has become a city where glorious history blends harmoniously with modern-day attractions.

Nonetheless, the best place to catch a glimpse of the far past is still Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, a majestic sanctuary mostly made of laterite and sandstone at the Phanom Rung Historical Park (+66 4466 6251-2). Built a thousand years ago during the Khmer Kingdom on top of an extinct volcano , the sanctuary never fails to impress visitors with its elaborate designs and architecture, from the grand stairway from the foot of the hill up to the top , through to the elements of the pagoda, columns, doorways and lintels telling their stories of Hindu gods. The sanctuary is one of the best preserved Angkorian temples in Southeast Asia and a premier destination for witnessing the sunrise and sunset when the sun is aligned with the doorways of the temple. Another fascinating historical site in the province is Prasat Muang Tam (+66 4466 6251-2), highlighting the Baphuon style of Khmer architecture with intricately carved bas-reliefs of Hindu gods including one lintel portraying the God Siva holding his consort Uma on his lap and sitting on his bull Nandin. Also worth a visit are the L-shape moats at the four corners of the temple’s platform , with five-headed Nagas rising above the top edge of one moat , all bald-headed without any ornamentation, and made from sandstone.

Frequently mentioned when talking about Buri Ram today is another ‘Prasat,’ which has nothing to do with ruins or history. Prasat Sai Fah, meaning Thunder Castle, is the nickname of Buriram United F.C., one of the most successful soccer teams in the Thai Premier League with the largest football stadium in Thailand. Modeled after the grounds of leading teams in the English Premier League, the 32,600-seat i-Mobile Stadium (+66 4466 6448-9) is a must-visit place for football fans, where they will see tens of thousands of Thunder Castle fans pack the stadium, united in cheering on their team when Thunder Castle competes at home. Apart from the world-class football stadium, the province also wows motorsport fans with the Chang International Circuit (0 4460 4200) , the country ‘s first international-standard racing track where motorsport fans can join in the excitement of adrenaline-pumping major races throughout the year, including Formula One and MotoGP in future.

Buri Ram offers a number of other new attractions ideal for every member of the family. Play La Ploen Boutique Resort & Adventure Camp (+668 7797 4936) combines fun-filled activities, comfortable accommodation and a flora learning centre all in one place. Here, visitors can see scaled-down versions of famous landmarks from around the world including the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Tower Bridge of London and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then browse through a huge variety of beautiful flowers and plants from across six different zones .

A trip to Buri Ram would not be complete without visiting Wat Khao Angkhan , which is the most aesthetic and significant temple in the city. Sitting atop an inactive volcano, the temple holds a number of interesting details such as the ruins of ancient monuments and sandstone boundary markers dating from the Dvaravati period around the 8th – 9th centuries, and Buddhist chapels displaying unusual architectural styles. Inside the chapels are mural paintings depicting the Jataka stories in English. The temple also houses a Chinese-style pagoda and a 29-meter reclining Buddha, and affords beautiful views of the surrounding mountains .

Other important attractions include a Khmer architectural site Prang Ku Suan Taeng, the City Pillar Shrine, Khao Kradong Forest Park, Lower Northeastern Cultural Centre and Sroew Ground Walking Street.

Phanom Rung Fair
The Phanom Rung Sanctuary was once a sacred Hindu shrine which was later transformed into a religious site for Buddhism. During the time it was deserted, a replica of the Buddha’s footprint was taken to be enshrined at Prang Noi. It has since become a tradition for local people to ascend to the mountaintop to pay respect to the Buddha’s footprint, and to apply gold leaf. Every year, on the full moon day of the 5th lunar month, an annual festival is held to pay respect to the site. As Phanom Rung is such a historically important site, the province also organizes an annual festival on the first weekend of April, with a colourful parade following ancient royal Khmer tradition, as well as a light-and-sound show at the Phanom Rung Sanctuary.

Getting there
Nok Air ( has one daily flight from Don Muang Airport to Buri Ram and vice versa. Rapid, express and ordinary trains serve the city from Bangkok daily, either via the Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani or Bangkok – Surin route ( Air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Chatuchak or Mo Chit 2) everyday ( .

For more information, contact the TAT, Surin office on +66 4451 444 7-8,
+66 4451 8529 , +66 4451 8530