Buriram is a province to the east of Thailand. It’s also called Isan, or at least a part of Isan. The distance with Bangkok is around 400 km. By bus it takes you over 6 hrs for a cheap 280 baht including some food. Nowadays more people choose to take a 40 minute flight to save travel time. Many of the citizens in this area speak the Cambodian Khmer language beside Thai and Isan languages. This dates from Buriram being a part of the Khmer empire. Lots of destruction as at the temples of Angkor at Siem Reap, Cambodia, can still be seen. The original name of Buriram was Muang Pae. It changed into Buriram early 19th century.
Don’t think that Buriram is some kind of underdeveloped part of Thailand. You will be surprised by the infra structure and activities that can be done. From its Khmer history there are several ruins, temples and/or castles to visit. One castle lies at the west side of the soccer stadium. Between the stadium and the racing circuit. With the castle itself, where you can occasionally see a Thai wedding couple photo shoot, there is also a tower in the middle of the sand area next to the castle and gardens with ponds to throw coins to make a wish fulfilled. The circle around the sand area and tower has 12 rocks with kamasutra postures carved in it.
The racing circuit of Buriram has a length of around 4.5 km and a capacity of 50.000 attendance. The circuit was built in 2014 and became the first official motosport grade A circuit of Thailand. Although the circuit can be nice for some racing fanatics, it is definitely a disturbance for the peace of Buriram. When you live or stay in a hotel around the bus station area, you might notice the continuous noise. But when you live or stay near the soccer stadium and castle, and therefore the circuit too, you wake up with the sound of racing machines and will hear that the rest of the day.
The main attraction of Buriram town and even province is possibly the football club, Buriram United. The soccer stadium is quite impressive for a place in the middle of nowhere. With the given name ‘Thunder Castle’ it should scare the opponent team enough to lose the match. You would think so when you look at the ranking, where united usually is top of the league or 2nd. A visit to a match can actually be a disappointing surprise because of the poor quality of the players and a mere 2000 spectators in a 30.000+ stadium. Only a handful of fans seem to be fanatically singing, but more because of the six guys with drums and loud speakers in front trying to give an example rather than from own initiative. In other words… don’t compare the Thais and whole atmosphere with European football clubs and its fans.
The marketing side of the club does pretty well. You will see Thais and foreigners walking with the jerseys of Buriram United, which seems to change color every other season. A soccer shirt can be bought for just over 500 baht and t-shirts, bags and other items can be bought too. At the left backside of the stadium, to the castle, there is a small market. In front of the stadium is a food and drinks market. All in all, a visit to Thunder Castle is a great experience. Especially when you go in daytime to the stadium. You are allowed to walk around in the press room, the stadium from inside and more rooms.
An impression video of Buriram including the castle and stadium can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRmpjfNHwBA&feature=youtu.be