Dis­cover Buriram

From an­cient ru­ins to high-oc­tane events, the "City of Hap­pi­ness" has plenty of re­wards for those will­ing to ex­plore off the beaten track

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE - Tourism Author­ity of Thai­land 1600 New Phetch­aburi Road, Makkasan Ratchathevi, Bangkok 10400, Thai­land; tel: 662 250 5500; www.tourismthai­land.org

De­spite its en­tic­ingly cheer­ful moniker, Buriram Prov­ince "The City of Hap­pi­ness" is still one of Thai­land's best kept se­crets, with a wealth of hid­den gems to dis­cover. How­ever, the se­cret is about to get out. Next month around 400 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide will be tun­ing in to Buriram’s Chang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit to watch the thrilling per­for­mance of mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ers in the Mo­toGP cham­pi­onship.

Opened in 2014, this world-class rac­ing track is Thai­land's first FIA Grade 1 and FIM Grade A cir­cuit, and has al­ready at­tracted in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion host­ing events such as the World Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onships and the Ja­panese Su­per GT, with whis­pers that it will also be host­ing For­mula One in the near fu­ture...

When this premium 50,000-spec­ta­tor grand­stand hosts the Moto GP in Oc­to­ber – Buriram will be firmly on the in­ter­na­tional map.

Then again, foot­ball fans have long had an­other rea­son to visit, with Chang Arena be­ing the best, in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed sta­dium in the coun­try and of­fer­ing plenty of premier league ac­tion.

But while crowds flock to these mod­ern­day am­phithe­atres to wor­ship their sport­ing he­roes – a calmer kind of ex­al­ta­tion can be found in the an­cient ru­ins of Buriram's tem­ples and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites.

A trea­sure trove of relics dat­ing back to the Kh­mer civ­i­liza­tion (and be­yond) are scat­tered through­out the re­gion. A must-see is the awe-in­spir­ing Phanom Rung Tem­ple Com­plex, perched on the top of an ex­tinct vol­cano. Con­structed in Angkor-style, from the 10th to 13th cen­tury, the stun­ning Hindu site of­fers the same wow-fac­tor as its Cam­bo­dian coun­ter­part, but with­out the tourist hordes. For an ex­traspe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence, try to catch the “so­lar spec­ta­cle” (the next one will take place from 5-7 Oc­to­ber), when the align­ment of the Earth means sun­light shines through all fif­teen door­ways to dra­matic ef­fect.

For the trav­eller that thrives on get­ting un­der the skin of a des­ti­na­tion and soak­ing up its unique iden­tity, then your first stop will be the North­east­ern Cul­tural Cen­tre, which of­fers a com­pre­hen­sive in­tro­duc­tion to the lo­cal area’s his­tory, tra­di­tions and high­lights. After that, head out to the north­ern tip of Buriram prov­ince to visit Am­phoe Na Pho – the silk weav­ing vil­lage that has been spon­sored as a Royal Project. You’ll learn ev­ery­thing there is to know about the fas­ci­nat­ing silk worm, ad­mire the sig­na­ture range of spe­cialised tie-dye silks with geo­met­ric pat­ters, turn your hand to silk weav­ing your­self, and even have a nib­ble on silk worm lar­vae – should you feel so in­clined…

How­ever, don’t eat too many as you’ll want to save your­self for the more ap­petis­ing lo­cal de­lights. Ev­ery­where in Thai­land is a foodie par­adise, and in Buriram the high­lights of lo­cal Isaan cui­sine are no dif­fer­ent. You’ll find these (and more) at the lo­cal Night Bazaar on Rom­buri Road. Fin­ish off your evening with a stop at “The Square” - a pop­u­lar nightlife area for for­eign­ers and lo­cals alike.

CLOCK­WISE THIS PAGE FROM TOP:Chang Arena; Thai silks and silk weav­ing at Am­phoe Na Pho vil­lage; Prasat Muang Tam tem­ple

LEFT PAGE FORM TOP: Chang In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit; and Phanom Rung tem­ple com­plex

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.