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.
The 2020 AFC U23 Championship, featuring 16 nations from across Asia, is scheduled to take place in Thailand from January 8 to 26, 2020. The fourth edition of the championship will be played across three cities - Bangkok, Buriram and Songkhla - with the tournament kicking off on January 8, and the final to be played on January 26, according to the AFC. U23 Vietnam will face U23 UAE on 10/1/2020.
Moreover, Buriram hosted the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event in 2018 and will again in March 2020, and also has the Buriram Marathon every year.
When to Go to Buriram
There are three seasons in Isaan 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 in the area around the train station. Just walk around and ask to take a look at the room before you make 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 a 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 the football match.
What to Eat in Buriram
Since you’re in Isaan region, you have no choice but try what is considered one of the finest cuisines in Southeast Asia. And even if nowadays Isaan 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. Try the grilled pork 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 Isaan food.
How to Get Around Buriram
Buriram city center 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 a few kms away, you can use one of the pink songthaews (THB20). 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.
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.
Traveling by train is really convenient since the train station is located right in the city center. Buriram is a stop for almost all the trains traveling along with 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 5.45 am and the last one at 10.30 pm.
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.