Buriram is a land of ancient Khmer prosperity. The southern part of the province has a number of Khmer sanctuaries, the most magnificent being Phanom Rung, regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of Khmer architecture in Thailand.
Buriram is 410 kilometres from Bangkok. It has an area of 10,321 square kilometres. The province is divided into the following districts: Mueang Buriram, Nang Rong, Lam Plai Mat, Prakhon Chai, Phutthaisong, Satuek, Krasang, Ban Kruat, Khu Mueang, Lahan Sai, Nong Ki, Pakham, Na Pho, Nong Hong, Phlapphla Chai, Huai Rat, Non Suwan, Chalerm Phra Kiat, Chamni, Non Din Daeng, Chaloem Phra Kiat, Ban Mai Chaiyaphot, Ban Dan, and Khaen Dong
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Nakhon Ratchasima, then use Highway No.226 to Buriram, a total distance of 384 kilometres.
Buses depart from Bangkoks Mochit 2 Bus Terminal to Buriram every day. Contact Transport Co.Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information
Regular trains depart from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Buriram every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.
Thai Airways flies from Bangkok to Buriram every day. The Buriram airport is at Amphoe Satuek, 40 kilometres north of the town. Call 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 for more information.
Visitors to Buriram usually buy silk and beautiful cotton fabrics from Ban Na Pho (78 kilometres north of Buriram). They can also be purchased from silk stores in town.
Ban Kruat is 66 kilometres south of Buriram. Historical sites in this district are as follows:
Quarry This is 6 kilometres from Ban Kruat into the way to Lahan Sai. The hill is littered with rocks large and small, some with traces of rock cutting. It is believed stones taken from here were used to construct a large number of sanctuaries in the lower Northeast.
Ancient Kilns These ancient kilns constitute one of the most important pottery-making centers of the ancient Khmer Empire. The kilns date from the 14th-19th Buddhist century. The pottery made here was supplied to cities in the empire. The Fine Arts Department has renovated 2 kilns called Tao Sawai and Tao Nai Chian, 5 and 10 kilometres from Ban Kruat, respectively. The kilns are ideal for those interested in archaeology.
Ku Suan Taeng
This khmer sanctuary at Ban Don Wai can be reached by using the Buriram-Phayakkhaphum Phisai road (Highway No. 219) for 70 kilometres, then left onto Highway No. 202 to Prathai for about 40 kilometres where there is a left-hand road to Ku Suan Taeng. This is another Khmer site with 3 brick pagodas on a single laterite base. The famous Narai Banthom Sin lintel was discovered here and is now kept in the National Museum in Bangkok. The lintel proves this site dates from the 17th Buddhist century.
Phanom Rung Historical Park
This is a grand and majestic Khmer site over a thousand years old. Built on an extinct volcano, it is originally a Hindu religious site and later became a Buddhist one. During the 15th-18th Buddhist century, several additions were made.
The first thing visitors see when they arrive at the site is the grand stairway from the foot of the hill up to the top. Most of the buildings of the sanctuary are made of laterite and sandstone, all with elaborate designs. The buildings are lined all the way to the main pagoda. This layout is according to Hindu belief of the layout of the heaven of the god Shiva.
The main pagoda is a large one with a square base and facing east. The designs on the pagoda, columns, doorway, and lintels are exquisite, most telling a story of gods in Hinduism. From these designs and the architecture, it is surmised that the pagoda, the stairway and the Naga bridge were built during the 17th Buddhist century. Each building has descriptive designs telling people the purpose for its construction, its usefulness and the beliefs of ancient people.
Phanom Rung is open daily from 06.00-18.00 hrs.
Getting to Phanom Rung by car is easy. The sanctuary is 64 kilometres to the south of Buriram town. There are 2 ways to get there. Visitors can proceed from Nang Rong to Prakhon Chai (Highway No. 24) and upon reaching Ban Tako, there is a 12-kilometer road to Phanom Rung. Alternatively, if visitors proceed from Prakhon Chai, there is a road from there to the sanctuary with a distance of 21 kilometres. This route passes a branch road into Muang Tam sanctuary. Visitors can rent air-conditioned vans in town.
Visitors traveling by bus from Nakhon Ratchasima can take the Nakhon Ratchasima-Surin bus and get off at Ban Tako (124 kilometres from Nakhon Ratchasima). From Ban Tako, a motorcycle service is available to take visitors to the site (fare according to agreement). There is an accommodation near the site.
Khao Angkhan Temple (Wat Khao Angkhan)
Wat Khao Angkhan is on an extinct volcano 20 kilometres from Phanom Rung. If travelling from Ban Ta Pek (between Ban Tako and Phanom Rung), use the road to Lahan Sai for 5 kilometres and onto a branch road to the temple for 10 kilometres. Wat Khao Angkhan represents an interesting mixture of architecture from various periods. Inside the main building are wall murals and stories of Buddhism told in English. Furthermore, many Dvaravati sandstone temple boundary markers have been discovered here.
Bird Park (Suan Nok)
This is a wildlife reserve at Huai Talat reservoir. To get there, take the Buriram-Prakhon Chai road for 12 kilometres and take a left-handed road for 2 kilometres. The park is the home of many waterfowls that include both local species and those that migrate from colder countries. They are prevalent during November to April which is Thailand's dry season.
Khao Kradong Forest Park
This forest park is 6 kilometres from the city on the Buriram-Prakhon Chai road (Highway No. 219). Khao Kradong is an extinct volcano that is 265 meters high. The summit of the mountain has a pool which is believed to be the mouth of the volcano. Around the area are several plant species worth studying and Phra Suphattharabophit, an important Buddha image of the province.
Lower Northeastern Cultural Centre
This cultural centre is in Buriram Rajabhat Institute. It has collections and displays of artifacts and is a local archaeological, historical and arts study centre. Exhibitions of the centre include:
- Geography, history and ancient community.
- Elephants and the culture of the Suai people, including tools used in capturing elephants, items in elephant rituals and photos of elephant corralling in the old days.
- Local woven clothes.
- Wall mural about the Twelve Month Ceremony of people in Northeast.
- Pottery and Chinese ceramics found in Buriram.
The centre is open from Monday to Friday from 09.00-16.00. It is closed on weekends and holidays. For more information, please contact tel. 0 4461 1221 ext. 159.
Nong Hong Sanctuary (Prasat Nong Hong)
Prasat Nong Hong is another Khmer sanctuary about 100 kilometres south of Buriram town near Laem Nang Rong dam. The sanctuary comprises 3 brick pagodas built on the same laterite base and surrounded by a laterite wall and a moat. It dated from the 16th Buddhist century.
Ban Khok Ngio Sanctuary (Prasat Ban Khok Ngio)
This stone sanctuary is 3 kilometres before Pakham, or 75 kilometres from Buriram on No. 218 and 348. This ancient Khmer site is in Wat Khok Ngio and it acted as a sort of local health office in ancient times. King Jayavoraman VII ordered its construction in the 18th Buddhist century.
Mueang Tam Stone Sanctuary (Prasat Mueang Tam)
This stone sanctuary can be reached by taking the road to Prakhon Chai for 8 kilometres and another 5 kilometres on a road on the right-hand side. This Khmer site has a square layout. Its main structures are 5 brick pagodas built on the same foundation and enclosed by two walls. The 4 doorways are perpendicular to each other and built of sandstone with beautiful designs. The inner wall is made of sandstone and is one long, narrow continuous corridor, called Rabiang Khot. The outer wall is made of laterite. Lintels adorn doorways and the main pagoda, recounting Hindu tales. Another highlight of the site is the 4 large pools between the walls. The edges of the pools have serpent designs with the head at the pool corner. The beauty of this Khmer site is second only to that of Phanom Rung.