Buriram is originally called ‘Nakhon Roi
Prang’ (Hundred Prang City), the province boasts of having the
most Khmer stone sanctuaries, most of which are concentrated in the
southern part, with magnificent Phanom Rung Stone Sanctuary being a
popular tourist attraction and the most beautiful example of Khmer
architecture in Thailand. And no wonder, since this province
bordering present day Cambodia was once a prosperous Khmer city. The
modern name of Buri Ram means “city of peace”.
It is one of the largest and most populated provinces in Isan
(the northeastern region).
Buri Ram is 410
kilometres from Bangkok. It has an area of 10,321 square kilometres.
The province is divided into the following districts: Muang Buri
Ram, 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, Chaloem Phra Kiat,
Chamni, Non Din Daeng, Chaloem Phra Kiat, Ban Mai Chaiyaphot, Ban
Dan, and Khaen Dong.
Khao Kradong Forest Park
Khao Kradong Forest
is 6 kilometres from the city on the Buri Ram-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 that is believed to be the mouth
of the volcano. Around the area are several plant species worth
studying. Also at the summit is Phra Suphattharabophit, an important
Buddha image of the province.
is in Buri Ram Rajabhat Institute. It has collections and displays of
artefacts 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 Isan
Pottery and Chinese ceramics found in Buri Ram.
The centre is open
from Monday to Friday, from 09.00-16.00 hrs. It is closed on weekends
and holidays. For more information, please contact tel. 0-4461-1221 ext.
is 66 kilometres south of Buri Ram. Historical sites in this district are
Stone Quarry Site
Quarry at Ban Kruat is 6
kilometres into the way to Lahan Sai. The hill is littered with large
and small rocks, 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.
here constitute one of the most important pottery-making centers of the
ancient Khmer Empire. The kilns date from the 9th-14th
century. The pottery made here was supplied to cities in the empire. The
Fine Arts Department 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 studies.
Ku Suan Taeng
in Ban Don Wai can be reached by using the Buri Ram-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
discovered here and is now kept in the National Museum in Bangkok. The
lintel proves this site dates from the 12th century.
Phanom Rung Historical Park isa grand
and majestic Khmer site over a thousand years old. Built on an
extinct volcano, it was originally a Hindu religious site but
was later transformed into a Buddhist one. During the 10th-13th
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 were 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 was surmised that the pagoda,
the stairway and the Naga bridge were built during the 12th
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 Buri Ram
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 1 accommodation near the site.
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.
Suan Nok (bird park)
Huay Talat Reservoir, a wildlife reserve. To get there, take the Buri
Ram-Prakhon Chai Road for 12 kilometres and take a left-hand 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.
Nong Hong Sanctuary
is another Khmer sanctuary about 100 kilometres south of Buri Ram town
near Lam Nang Rong Dam. The sanctuary comprises of 3 brick
pagodas built on the same laterite base and surrounded by a laterite
wall and a moat. It dates from the 11th century.
Ban Khok Ngiu Sanctuary
is 3 kilometres before Pakham, or 75 kilometres from Buri Ram on Highway
No. 218 and Highway No. 348. This ancient Khmer site is in Wat Khok Ngiu
and it acted as a sort of local health office in ancient times. King
Jayavoraman VII ordered its construction in the 13th century.
Muang Tam stone
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 was made of sandstone and consists of
one long, narrow continuous corridor, called Rabiang Khot.
The outer wall was made of laterite. Lintels adorn the 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