Buriram Tourist Attractions
Buriram, originally an early Khmer settlement and now principal town of Buriram province, lies on the southern edge of the Khorat plateau 265 km (165 mi.) from Bangkok. This part of the country on the periphery of the north-eastern region - Thailand's "poorhouse" - is characterized by sparse vegetation, merging into mixed forest as the uplands are approached. From Buriram (reasonable hotels) two in part well-preserved and important temples can be reached - Prasat Phanom Rung and Prasat Muang Tam.By car: from Bangkok via Highway 1 as far as Saraburi, then highways 2 (to Nakhon Ratchasima) and 226.Bus: from Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (also night-time service).By rail: Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani line.From the 8th c. onwards the Khmer peoples gradually moved closer and closer to what is now Thailand, one group settling early on in the Malay peninsula, another advancing west towards the Menam basin. That the Khmer developed their own distinctive culture has been clearly demonstrated by the wealth of archaeological finds from the late Mons Dvaravati period (c. 10th c.). From around the turn of the millennium until the end of the 12th c. the Menam basin and eastern Thailand in particular came under Khmer rule, administered by a viceroy from Lopburi. Exactly why the Khmer built several temple complexes at Buriram remains a mystery; perhaps the reason was simply geographical, the area lying on the direct route between Angkor Wat and Phimai.Some rare early examples of Khmer art were uncovered near the small village of Lam Plai Mat about 30 km (19 mi.) west of Buriram. One such find, dating from the 7th c., was a one meter tall stone Buddha in meditative pose, clearly revealing in its posture, facial expression and abundance of detail, the influence of the Indian Amaravati style (c. 2nd c. ad). This statue, well worth seeing, is now in Wat Utai Maggaram near Huai Thalaeng (Nakhon Ratchasima province). Another of the finds was a truly wonderful 8th c. bronze statue of Buddha, this time standing in the pose of a teacher. Now in the National Museum in Bangkok, the 110 cm (43 in.) figure, the largest yet discovered from the Dvaravati period, demonstrates Khmer mastery of the technology of bronze casting.