In March 2015, Thailand became the latest Asian country to host a world-class motorcycling event, with the Superbike World Championship held at the state-of-the-art Chang International Circuit. The venue was opened in 2014, earning FIM Grade A and FIA Grade 1 classifications, and now strives to attract the biggest names in two and four-wheel motorsports. 2018 will mark the first year MotoGP™ makes its way to the International Circuit, to host a motorcycle Grand Prix.
Why we love Thailand and Buriram
Most people who visit this beautiful and enchanting South East Asian country with its fantastic food, tropical climate, distinctive local culture, stunning countryside, lush forests and incredible beaches, leave Thailand wishing they could stay longer – and in some cases forever! Thailand has become a magnet for tourists from around the world, many of whom flock to the country’s famously frenetic capital city of Bangkok - known locally as Krung Thep. Meanwhile, the former capital of Siam, Ayutthaya, is a historical city recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Buriram area is one of the North-eastern provinces of Thailand, while the town of Buriram has approximately 30,000 inhabitants and sits 400km (a five-hour drive) to the northeast of Bangkok. Visitors can expect to enjoy a warm welcome from the enthusiastic and friendly locals, and an ever-increasing passion for motorcycle racing evident.
Full name: Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand Capital City: Bangkok Time zone: GMT +7 Currency: Thai baht (symbol: ฿, code: THB) Electric plug type: A, B, C, O
Websites: Circuit: http://www.bric.co.th/ Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport: http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/ Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport: http://www.donmueangairportthai.com/en Tourist board: http://www.tourismthailand.org/home Local transport: http://www.tourismthailand.org/About-Thailand/Travel-around-Thailand
Weather: MotoGP™ will visit Buriram in late August to mid-October during the regions ‘cool season’, with an average daily high temperature below 31°C (88°F). It is also the rainy season though, so expect high humidity and those predictable afternoon showers. September is the wettest month, with an average total accumulation of over 220mm.
Finding the right accommodation
If you want to stay close to the circuit, you will be in or around the town of Buriram itself and while there is a decent amount of accommodation available be sure to book well in advance of the race weekend as hotels do get fully booked with the organisers, teams, and fans rolling into town. Booking online and in advance will usually get you a much lower price. Guesthouses are the cheapest option and expect to pay 500 baht (USD 15) per night for a private room with internet access, plus daily room service – however, you may find that some only include shared bathroom facilities. Local style Thai hotels are priced around 200 baht-800 baht ($6 - USD 23) per night with the higher end of this scale meaning you get air conditioning and a TV in your room, plus the benefit of a private bathroom. Hotels catering more towards tourists cost around 1000 baht (USD 29) per night and may offer a swimming pool for guests. Business-centric or hotels at the luxury end will cost from 4000 baht ($116) per night and are indistinguishable from top quality hotels elsewhere in the world.
Exploring Buriram city and province
Once you arrive in the town of Buriram, head out to start exploring the shops and restaurants – taking the opportunity to sample the nightlife of Sro Ground (Walking Street), from the south end of Romburi Street to the Romburi / Phi-thak intersection, which is closed off to vehicles in the evening.
If you have the opportunity to venture further afield, there is Prasat Phanom Rung 40km to the south of Buriram – a Khmer temple situated on top of an inactive volcano. The site is home to an extensive collection of Khmer sculptures, glorifying the Hindu god Shiva and three rare Naga bridges, the only examples of their kind in Thailand.
Tips for visiting Buriram city and province
Primarily classified as rural, Buriram province is located in the Isan region (Northeast Thailand), and much of the local economy outside of Buriram city itself is still agricultural.
Situated off the more well-known tourist paths around Thailand, Buriram has a very traditional air to it. However, that doesn’t detract from the area warmly welcoming those that visit. The opening of the Chang International Circuit means increasingly more people are discovering the rustic charms of the province. Buriram Airport is the only airport in Buriram Province and is served by Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport. The town of Buriram can also be reached by car from Bangkok in just a few hours. Once in the city, it is easy to get about in with tuk-tuks (small local taxis), or on rental motorbikes or cars. Governed by rules only known to the locals, Thai roads can also come with substantial amounts of traffic, so ride or drive with caution and cover longer distances during daytime to be safer. Hiring a driver can help solve this for those wanting to use a car. Thai food offers up a large variety of rice and noodle-based dishes, soups, curries, and salads. In Buriram, the local Isan cuisine is distinctly different from central Thai food. Examples of the best-known dishes are Som tam (spicy salad made with papayas) and Gai yaang (roast chicken).
Did you know?
The Chang International Circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, who also designed tracks such as the Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), Circuit of the Americas (USA) and MotorLand Aragon (Spain).