In a nutshell
Buriram is a provincial capital of the namesake province in the Northeast of Thailand. Even if the town itself lacks significant tourist attractions, you might decide to use if as a base for exploring some of the archaeological sites that can be found in the province.
Why go to Buriram
For centuries Buriram has been part of the Khmer empire and one of most spectacular evidence of this is Phanom Rung, which can be visited as a day trip from Buriram and it’s considered to be the most stunning Khmer monument in Thailand.
But the main reason why Buriram is famous among the Thais has nothing to do with the ruins – and it is football! The local team, Buriram United FC, is considered one of the best teams in Asia and local supporters literally go crazy on game days. If you’re a football fan and you happen to be in town during the season, don’t miss the chance to watch a Thai football game at New I-Mobile Stadium.
If you’ve been travelling in Thailand for a bit and you feel confident about your communication skills, you’ll be disappointed once you get here; Buriram province is part of the Isan region and the language they speak is quite different from the official Thai; it’s a dialect derived from Lao and even if everyone can understand and speak Thai, in every day’s life nobody will do it.
When to go to Buriram
Attr: John Shedrick (cc by)
There are three seasons in Isan provinces; winter from October to February, which is usually dry and pretty cold at night and it’s the best time to visit; summer, from February till May which can be extremely hot and dry; and rainy season from May till September when the region will be hit by regular thunderstorms which are usually stronger in August. Buriram province usually experiences a lighter rainy season compared to its neighbours so even if you can travel only during those months it will not be a problem.
Where to stay in Buriram
Buriram is not a tourist-oriented town so you will not find any cheap backpackers guesthouse serving western food and the staff is unlikely to speak any English.
The best place to search for a hotel is the area around the train station. Just walk around and ask to take a look at the room before you take your decision; you’ll probably be shown the best room available to convince you to stay. You can easily find a decent air-con room with private bathroom and hot shower for THB500/THB600. Reservation is not necessary, but keep in mind that rates could be a bit higher on the day of football match.
Where to eat in Buriram
Since you’re in Isan region, you have no choice but try what is considered one of the finest cuisines in Southeast Asia. And even if nowadays Isan food can be found everywhere in Thailand, in Buriram you can’t go wrong with it and you can be sure you’re going to have the most authentic experience.
Expect to have sticky rice instead of the usual plain rice to accompany most of your dishes and be prepared to an absolutely new level of spiciness. Our recommendation? Try the grilled pork neck with sticky rice and papaya salad on the side. There is a popular night market on Romburi Road that opens every day at 4pm – the perfect place to eat your way through the Isan food.
How to get around Buriram
Buriram city centre is small enough and this very walkable. If you need to travel between the train station which is in downtown and the bus station which is few km away, you can use one of the pink songthaews (THB20).
There are plenty of places where you can rent a motorbike for THB250. You can also decide to rent a car if you want to visit the province by yourself; ask your hotel for the closest shop or rent it at the airport if you’re flying in; rates start from around THB1000 for one day.
How to get to and from Buriram
Buriram has a small airport located 35 km north of town. Nok Air has currently two flights per day from Bangkok’s Don Mueang (one in the early morning and one in the afternoon) and tickets start at THB1500 one way. They also offer a shuttle transfer to town at THB275 which might seem quite expensive, but since it’s not a busy airport options are quite limited.
The bus station is located a few km west of the city centre but to get there you have several convenient options. A motorbike taxi or a tuk-tuk will charge you THB40 or if you wait for the pink songthaew it will cost you THB20.
Several buses depart every day from Morchit bus station in Bangkok heading to Buriram. The trip takes 7 hours and ticket price varies from THB200 to THB500 depending on the class of the bus. The first bus is at 8am and the last one around midnight.
Even if it’s not a big bus station, it is well connected with many other places in Thailand, both within the Isan region and further afield. Direct buses travel every day to/from Pattaya, Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat), Khon Kaen, Surin, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ubon Ratchatani and Rayong. Schedules and prices vary depending on the season, so you better check directly at the bus station.
Minivans depart every hour to Nang Rong which is the closest town to Phanom Rung. Tickets are THB40 and it will take one hour to get there.
Travelling by train is really convenient since the train station is located right in the city centre. Buriram is a stop for almost all the trains traveling along three of the major lines connecting Bangkok to Isan provinces: Ubon Ratchatani, Surin and Nakhon Ratchasima. All the trains depart from Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station and the trip to Buriram takes roughly 7 hours. Tickets start from THB70 for a third class hard seat and go up to THB10000 for a second class sleeper. The first train from Bangkok is at 5.45am and the last one at 10.30pm.
Is Buriram a safe place to visit?
Even if there are not a lot of tourists visiting it, Buriram is a relatively safe place to travel. Just use your common sense in any situation and you’re not going to face any problem.
For any emergency there’s a hospital located within walking distance from the train station.
Buriram station guide
Buri ram - train
Buri Ram or Buriram Railway Station is part of the Northeastern line under the supervision of State Railways of Thailand. It was opened on April 1, 1925 and serving as the main railway for Buri Ram Province. The station has an estimated traffic of over 10,000 passengers per months in all of its 3 platforms. There are 25 trains coming to this station every day.
The train station is located in Niwas Rd, Buriram structured near the center town's clock tower fountain.
Buriram - Bus
The capital of one of the largest, driest and poorest Isaan provinces, Buriram offers limited tourist attractions. However, the city provides an ideal base from which to travel to one of Thailand’s most impressive Buddhist temples, Wat Prasat Phanom Rung.
Located north of Buriram on Niwas Rd, the bus terminal has regular buses to Bangkok’s Mochit bus terminal, Korat and several other main Isaan destinations. Facilities at the bus station include: toilets, four ticket offices, large TV screen, and a small shop selling snacks as well as beverages.
Travellers wishing to visit the brilliant Prasat Phanom Rung should take the bus to Chanthaburi. After10 kilometres, get off at the village of Tako. From here, numerous motorcycle taxis follow the route to the temple, a distance of about 12 kilometres.
The railway station is situated in the city centre. From Buriram there are daily trains to Hua Lumphong station in Bangkok (via Korat) and Ubon Ratchathani (via Surin). Operating one runway, Buriram Airport is the province’s only air hub. There’s a daily flight to and from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, operated by Nok Air.
Buriram’s best accommodation facility, the Thai Hotel has comfortable air-conditioned rooms and can be found on Romburi Road. During the evening many food stalls along Thani Road offer cheap meals. A number of decent restaurants are also situated on Romburi Road.
Phanom Rung - Bus
Phanom Rung is the name of a historic park centred on one of Thailand's most important and impressive Khmer temples. It took about three centuries to build this Hindu temple honouring Shiva on top of a volcano, and 17 years for the National Fine Arts Department to restore Phanom Rung to its original 13th century splendour.
Phanom Rung Historical Park is situated in a rural part of Buriram province between its two nearest towns and bus stations, Nang Rong or Prakhon Chai. Both towns offer motorcycle taxis and songthaews for rent, but hiring a taxi for a full day may be a more comfortable way to travel to Phanom Rung.
About 10 buses travel between Nang Rong and Bangkok's Mochit station; half are 'fast' buses and make the trip in five hours. Halfway through the journey, the buses stop for 20 minutes at a company owned rest stop with restrooms and food. Passengers can also board buses for Korat, Ubon Ratchathani, and other nearby cities from Nang Rong.
One Nang Rong hotel, Honey Inn, has motorcycles for hire. Visitors who prefer cycling can receive both bicycles and advice from the owner of a modest Nang Rong guesthouse called California. Phanom Rung's main pink sandstone tower and its surrounding smaller brick towers are best seen during sunrise solar alignments which happen in early April and September, or sunset solar alignments taking place in early March and October.
Khu Mueang - Bus
The district of Khu Mueang is located in the northern section of northeast Thailand's Buriram province. Buriram may be one of the nation's largest provinces in terms of both size and population, but Khu Mueang is a fairly rural district which most tourists have yet to discover.
The town of Khu Mueang contains many basic amenities like a hospital, technical college, and bus station where passengers can begin or end the 410km journey to Bangkok. The area's one significant place to stay is the Wieng Kam Farm and Resort, whose main amenities are air-conditioning, hot water, and private parking. Buriram town is 33km away for more options. The province of Buriram is most famous for its December kite festival, extinct volcanoes, and ancient ruins.
Nang Rong - Bus
Nang Rong is around 300kms east of Bangkok by road and the nearest town of any size to the wonderful Khmer temple of Phanom Rung. There are about 10 direct buses a day in each direction between Mochit terminal in Bangkok and Nang Rong bus station. The journey takes between five and six hours and there is a 20-minute break midway.
Nang Rong’s station also receives buses from towns in the Isaan region including Ubon Ratchathani, Buriram and Surin. There is a stall at the station selling snacks and drinks. There are usually a few tuk-tuks or motorcycle taxi drivers to take arriving passengers to their final destinations. Places to stay within easy distance of the bus station are Phanomrung Puri Hotel and Honey Inn.
Prakhon Chai - Bus
Located in Buriram province in Thailand’s northeast, Prakhon Chai is a town of more than 18,000 inhabitants. Route 24 running from Nakhon Ratchasima to Ubon Ratchathani passes through the town, with VIP, first-class and provincial busses stopping along the way. Local buses from the city of Buriram, around 50kms to the north, operate frequently throughout the day
VIP buses also leave Bangkok’s Mochit station en route to Roi Et at regular intervals daily, with the journey to Prakhon Chai taking around four and a half hours. There are food and drink vendors and several 7-Elevens on the town’s main street, while various forms of taxis are always found at the bus drop-off point.
Khaen Dong - Bus
Khaen Dong is a district situated 56kms north of the city of Buriram in northeast Thailand. Three buses currently travel the 384kms between Khaen Dong and Bangkok's Mochit station on a daily basis. Notable temples around Khaen Dong include Wat Ban Dong Yen, Wat Pa Dong Kheng, Wat Dong Yai Pao, and Wat Ban Muang.
Far more tourist attractions and accommodation choices, however, are found in the bigger city of Buriram. The upscale Benelux Resort is less than a 40-minute drive away from Buriram Airport, while the three-star Paradise Resort Buriram stands closer to central Buriram. Buriram's major symbol, a gigantic Buddha, stands on top of an extinct volcano at Khao Kradong Forest Park.
Satuek - Bus
Satuek stands in the northeast section of northeast Thailand's Buriram province. The Satuek bus station is situated directly across the Mun River from the neighbouring province of Surin, less than 410kms from Bangkok. The Mochit terminal in Bangkok takes just over seven and a half hours to reach by bus from Satuek.
Moon River Resort and Valentine Hotel are situated on Satuek's Jawpho Vanggood Road, but Pho Ngeon Hotel and Ban Suan Rom Reun Resort are two more noteworthy local hotels. The closest rail station and airport can be found 42kms south of Satuek in the 'pleasant city' of Buriram, an old city surrounded by over 60 ancient sandstone sanctuaries.