Saturday, 28 June 2014

Buriram Phanom Rung and Muang Tam

Buriram Phanom Rung and Muang Tam

Thursday 05.06.2014 Bangkok to Nong Ki

From Sathorn, take MRT to Kamphengphet and from there walk (25 minutes) to Mor Chit 2 bus station. This station is poorly connected to public transport, no MRT (it would have taken just one more station after Bang Sue), railway line is close but only few trains stop (Pahonyothin station, but far away from Pahonyothin road), some bus lines (but no direct line from Sathorn, however line 77 passes Silom and has many buses).

Considerably larger than any other bus station I know. Most signage is in Thai language only. Nong Ki (my friend’s place) is not a major stop, but most buses to Buriram, Surin, Srisaket pass through on highway 24. Don’t buy ticket at the first counter, they will sell you ticket for their bus (might not be the earliest or fastest or most comfortable). The first counter I ask at has a bus in 1 hour, the next counter in 10 minutes.

Trip uneventful (scheduled departure 11:30, real departure 11:43, arrival in Nong Ki 16:31). My friend (an encounter in Sunee Plaza) picks me up on his mocy and takes me to a resort near his family’s home. Rooms are 300 Baht per night.

The dark spot on the wash basin is a frog.

First I thought a previous customer left a used tea bag (that’s what it looked like) but I noticed it moves, and found another frog as well. When I put it down to the floor, it took less than 5 minutes to climb back. Another day, one of them climbed to the upper corner of wall/ceiling. Then one was gone, and I saw the other heading to the drain and being gone later, so they seem to come in through the drain (not covered).

The water tap was leaking, and made some eerie noises due to vibrations caused by flowing water. First I thought a cow is mooing outside, but then I found the sound changed depending on the position of the water lever, and finally found a position that made no sound. 

When you stay in star hotels, you miss all the weird and funny and memorable stuff.

Have dinner, drive around on his mocy, back to my room, do adult stuff.

Unless you know someone in Nong Khi, there is no reason to stay there. The town closest to Phanom Rung is Nang Rong.

Friday 06.06.2014 Phanom Rung and Mueang Tam

My friend convinced me to hire a driver for a day for 1000 Baht. First I had a tentative plan to do the trip (over 50 km each way) on his motorbike, but car was a good decision.

Leave Nong Ki 11:00, pass Nang Rong 11:25. Highway 24 had two lanes until Nang Rong, now just one lane in each direction, making traffic slow (queues behind slow trucks waiting to overtake). 11:44 leave hwy 24 and turn left to local road that leads to Phanom Rung. 12:01 arrive at customer parking. You could to the trip by public transport (even directly from Bangkok Mor Chit 2 on buses that go to Surin or Srisaket, about 5 hours) up to the point on hwy 24 where the local road to Phanom Rung starts. But from there, I saw no signs of public transport. From there it’s about 13 km by road, hitchhiking should work (a lot of traffic from locals who go to Phanom Rung).

A wat on the premises has mural paintings of Buddhist hell on an outside wall:

Albino turtle in a pond at the wat:

(There is a museum as well, didn't take pictures). Wat and museum are free, but for the temple you have to pay entry: Farang 150 Baht, Thai 30 for combined ticket Phanom Rung and Muang Tam. Even speaking Thai and showing my (expired) identity card from my workplace didn't get me in at the Thai price. Water is sold at 15 Baht for 600 ml bottle, better bring your own.

The famous lintel that was stolen, shipped to the US, and then given back to Thailand:

There are minuatures of Phanom Rung at Ancient City in Samut Prakarn (walk-in miniature), and in Mini Siam in Pattaya (look only), I have been to both before.
We continue to Muang Tam (13:44 ex Phanom Rung, 13:57 arrive Muang Tam). Similar in size, but completely different style, worth visiting both.

The wall has a pink hue, doesn't show well on picture:

Weirdly shaped tree:

Leave 14:40. Wat Angkarn was on my list, but by friend says it’s closed. But I think he is just lazy, so I insist on going there (don’t forget I pay for the trip). It’s a slight detour (about 10 km) on the return trip, and our driver had to ask locals for directions (but the Wat is a famous one in the province, and there are signs more than 50 km away). My friend was right, there is a military road block just a km before the wat. It’s located on top of a mountain, so I can see it, but cannot go there. The officer tells us something drug related is going on (as far as I understood), and it will be open on 10th (but then I will be back in Bangkok).

Return and spend the rest of the day in Nong Khi (market, park, drive around on mocy, dinner, adult stuff).

Saturday 07.06.2014

Bus to Buriram, from there bus to Roi Et, continued in posts about Buriram below.


  1. IF you have the time for it, take bus 136 from KlToey (garage or market) to the Mochit, via Ratchda road. With luck its still free. Or any of the dozens of free red buses from both sides of road at MOchit BTS/MRT- east side has more buses.

  2. Next time I go to Mor Chit bus station, I will try bus 136. The time I need to walk to Klong Toey, I will save it because I don't have to walk from MRT to bus station (or pay 50 Baht for taxi/mocy).


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