:: BURI RAM

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.

:: Attractions

Situated atop a dormant volcano, the Phanom Rung Stone Sanctuary was once an important place where Brahman priests conducted Hindu religious rites. The sanctuary underwent supplementary construction for many eras. Derived from the Khmer language, 'Phanom Rung' means' Large Hill' , and faces eastward, towards the center of the former Khmer Kingdom. The main P rang (tower), centrally located within the inner complex grounds, features an intricate carving of the Hindu Narai God etched on the pediment atop the front entrance. This piece was the center of controversial since a missing part that had broken off had appeared in a museum located overseas and many years of negotiation was involved in its eventual return. Signs written in English and Thai posted around the wonderfully restored structures make it an enjoyable and informative walk.

The Phanom Rung Historical Park is comprised of the popular stone sanctuary and a Historical Museum that houses a wonderful collection of Khmer art and artifacts and provides comprehensive information about the stone sanctuary.

About 8 km from the Phanom Rung Historical Park is the Muang Tum Stone Sanctuary. Though it contains no evident proof of its true age or founder, the excavated artifacts date from two periods during the Khmer era of 965-1012 and of 1007-1109, or roughly over 1,000 years ago. In addition, depictions of Hindu gods in majority of the etched paintings indicate the sanctuary was built during the 11 th -13 th century for use as a site for Hindu religious ceremonies.

Excavation of the Ancient Earthen Kilns Site revealed numerous primitive earthen kilns and aged-old potteries dating from the 10 th -15 th centuries. The kilns were used to produce Khmer-style potteries that were sold and supplied to other towns in Khmer Empire.

The Napo Village Silk Weaving Handicraft Center has received H.R.H. the Queen's royal patronage from her SUPPORT Foundation for producing high-quality silk products. The center develops the local handicraft process according to the established standard in the areas of design, pattern production and coloring/dying techniques, which uses a natural dying process. The high-quality, finished products can be purchases at the front of the centre.

:: City attraction

Lower Northeastern Cultural Centre 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 Months Ceremony of the Isan people.
    • 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. 159.

Khao Kradong Forest Park 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.