Thailand’s Hidden Gem: Burirum

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Welcome to Burirum Thailand’s international sports city.

Chang Arena

The first place my local friend brought me is Burirum landmark ‘Chang Arena’. This is the stadium of Burirum United Thailand’s top professional football team. Its nickname is thunder castle.

I’m very impressed there’s a photo of King Bhumibol here. So this is a logo of Burirum United, the picture on the top is Phanom Rung castle which is the famous sandstone castle here. All right, I see some trophies there.

What is GU 12? GU 12 is the player number 12 that means supporters of this team. GU is casual word means I in Thai. The capacity of it is 32,600 seats. It’s quite big compare to many stadiums in Thailand except Bangkok. What happened after it opened? They have many services like service hotel such as restaurant, so people come here more and spend their money.

Wow! This is their dressing room, everyone isn’t here. Diago Luis Santo is the famous striker for Burirum United. He got the top score. So on the normal day visitors can come here, have stadium tour for free and can go to every rooms that we came today. They have to buy ticket for ongoing match. It costs only 4 US dollars.

The souvenir shop here has Burirum United outfits from different seasons. This has become a symbol look of Burirum people.

Chang International Circuit

It’s just next to Chang Arena is a world-class circuit for automobiles and motorcycles ‘Chang International Circuit’. We’re very lucky today. That’s race practicing day. It is called ‘track day’.

It is very often about every week. So, it brought so many people in both the racers and tourists both from Thailand and International people. In this circuit, they got FIM and FIA certificates. How was different? They got both for motorcycles and automobiles. I have seen like people who race come from all parts of Thailand and come from abroad as well.

But how about the people who might be interested in this kind of sport but they have no  knowledge no experience about this sport. Can they come here? Yes of course. It’s for free just come and take a look at the pitch. They have to pay for tickets on competitive day.

King Rama I monument

I have an opportunity to pay respect to King Rama I monument built by local people in appreciation of His Majesty’s founding of Burirum over 200 years ago.

Burirum train station and nearby areas

Besides traveling Burirum by plane, we can also come here by train. Express train from Bangkok will take you around five hours and a half to Burirum.

And not far from the train station, there are local stalls selling meatballs where local people enjoy standing eating.

X2 Vibe Burirum Hotel

Talking about my impression about Burirum, one of those is accommodation so modern, spacious, convenient and the food is great. For sport lover, you can enjoy swimming and working out in the gym. Near by my hotel is also a nice cafe.

Huai Charakhe Mak Reservoir

Oh! It’s big reservoir. What is the name? It’s called ‘Huai Charakhe Mak Resevoir’ that means there are many crocodiles here. Be careful. So this is my first time here, I never knew before there are such a long biking route. How long is the route? 18 kilometers. People normally bike the whole route or they ride a part of it. Depend on them. Depend or their health or their strange, how about you? I can ride whole.

People always come here both in the morning and the evening.I can see we’re very close to nature. It’s about only 10 kilometers from downtown. If tourists come here and don’t have a bike, there are some rental shops in downtown. It’s cool.

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung

Today we’re at must-see place in Burirum; Prasat Hin Phanom Rung. Angkor style architecture created since the tenth century as a Hindu temple dedicated to Shivar. We have claimed up like fifty two steps of the stairs and before that we just walked pass 70 statues. It’s not that long, I am ok.

It’s a little steep. Yeah that why we ware sneakers, so it’s recommended I think to our friends who will come later. We’re now on the top floor of the castle. I’ve seen a lot of local people. Here’s other many foreigners. Now most of them are Thai but we are welcome foreigners to come. I think this is number one of the top attraction here. This place is related to Angkor Wat as well. They are at the same period. All right! Let go take a look.

Oh this one I know ‘Narai Lintel’. This is one of the most popular pieces of Arts of Thailand. It’s a beauty of the piece you see. There’s pink sandstone sculpture into the story of creation of the earth, so what we see right here is ‘Narai’ some people called ‘Vishanu’. He’s laying down on having Naga and above him is Brahma. So, this is the story of Hinduism. This is the first time that I came to see the real one. I heard about it for many years.

This building looks gorgeous. It looks like what I’ve seen in Siem Reap is the same as Angkor Wat style. It’s called ‘Principle Tower’. What is behind you? These called ‘the Guardian’ or the gate guardian. What’s inside? Shiva linga according to Hinduism everywhere. They come to pray for the linga.

The condition of the castle is quite perfect although it’s about a thousand years old. I’ve observed the hole on the rocks under the stones. They make the hole to convey the stone from distance. These sculpture stones were thirty kilometers away from here. That the hole they put, tie the rope and drag it.

Barai

What is the big pond here? It’s called ‘Barai’. Barai is a water body in Khmer style, symbolizing the sea of creation surrounding Mount Meru. I think everywhere that they have the sandstone castles. They normally have this kind of water space. This one is quite big.

Prasat Muang Tam

Prasat Muang Tum is actually also a religious place,  so they have some rules that we have to follow like this one. You should dress politely. If we dress normally, we’re not against the rules. No sleeveless shirt or too short shorts, no pet, no alcohol, no drink, no smoking, no drawing, and no painting. Don’t worry, we don’t do any of these.

I think this opened my eyes about Burirum because I always heard about Phanom Rung only and never knew before that only six kilometers away. They have such a beautiful place and well maintained as well.

When I walked in, I was so impressed with the cleanliness and coziness of the place. I don’t know you can feel like me the fresh air. You can take a deep breath right. It’s easy to walk and inside I saw like this four ponds that are quite well preserved. It likes in the ancient time and not many people.

Khao Kradong Forest Park

 

So here we are at Khao Kradong  in Khmer, they call it ‘Phanom Kradong’. This is not far from  downtown. We can drive from Chang Arena just 5 or 10 minutes. And this is on the top of the hill where we can see the view of the town. This is where the people hang out in the evening.

What is this? It is basalt stone. I learn this word in school but I never see it before. How is it special? This rock is like sponge that is very light weight. You put it in the water and it will float. Let see, it’s about 5 kilograms.

This is look so new and beautiful. This Buddhist image is about 50 years ago. This looks very new because we have renovation.

We are under special tree that has long story, but what strikes me is the look because it looks like something. In Thai we called ‘Yonee Pisat’ but it’s called devil’s vagina. It’s a kind of olive and they use this for medical purpose.

X2 Vibe Burirum Hotel

For dinner, we have fusion food. Hotel’s chef even has cooking show for us. Our menu includes ‘Spaghetti with fermented Prawns’ or ‘Kung Jom’, fried rice with mackerel, Pork Leg Quesadilla, and Pandanous Panna Cotta.

I’ve never expected such a great fusion food in Burirum. Moreover, ‘Kung Jom’and other local dishes can easily be found anywhere in the province.

 

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