Im planning to visit Korat around June, and will be spending around 2 days in the province. A bit worried though, having heard about the demonstrations happening in Pattaya which I hope aren't spreading to other area. Do you think the city/the provicence safe enough?
Other than that, my plan consists of spending 2 days in the province, with objective being to visit Phimai Park first. Afterwards, I might want to visit Phanom Rung and Muang Tam -- if im not mistaken, those two are actually located in Buriram , farther east from Korat. Is it true that I have to leave Phimai first and get back to Korat again to enable me to take bus/train to Buriram? So, there's no direct bus whatsoever from Phimai to Buriram, isn't there?
I havent made decision yet whether I should go to Korat by bus or train, perhaps you could advise me which one's better? If I finally decide to go by bus, which bus will take me from Korat bus station to Phimai, are there any specific bus numbers and where should I get off?
Furthermore, do you think 2 days would be enough to visit Phimai & the two Khmer temples above? (assuming i'll be arriving in Khorat around noon).
I'll be backpacking so buses would be, obviously , my main mode of transportation.
I know this is a bit insane, since the gunfight had just happened in Preah Vihear, but it's the only place in Si Saket I'm interested in going. Do you think it's OK to follow the trip in Phimai to Si Saket? (Is there a direct bus from Buriram to Si ) -- and how do I get to Preah Vihear? Should it be arranged by travel agency or i can go on my own?
well, I hope i don't seem to be asking too much -- because in fact, I'm keen on gathering as many an information as possible on this northeastern area. Really feel excited to visit it :-)
ps: anyone going on the same direction on the same time, maybe? :-D
thank you so so very much,
Phanom Rung and Muang Tam are best visited together (there's only a short motorbike ride apart. The ruins at Phimai are best visited from -- you guessed it -- Phimai. From Phimai you can also do a tour to Phanom Rung and Muang tam (through one of the guesthouses) It's a long day tour, and you'll not see the temples at dawn nor dusk, but it is a good way to see them with a minimum of fuss. If you want to see the ruins at dawn or dusk, stay at Nang Rong.
You don't want to use Khorat as a base as it is close to none of the above.
Preah Vihear -- wait and see if it is open when you get there. It's easily visited from Si Saket (either direct or via Kantharalak and Phum Saron.
Good idea on visiting the North east! I will be going to Phimai in January so can't comment on that but the other 2 places you mention are really worth a look. Like Somtam says above, it’s not worth staying in Korat because they are much closer to Buriram. Nang Rong is just up the road from my in-laws village is and is actually about halfway between Korat and Buriram. The next time I travel to Nang Rong from Bangkok I will be taking the train to Korat and getting picked from there but you could get a bus to Nang Rong as I have before.
Nang Rong is a small, typically-Thai town with little to interest people and is probably only worth stopping here as a base for visiting Khao Phanom Ruang and Prasat Muang Tam. Also, a little drive away is an ‘Ancient Kiln’. When we went it had no visitors and didn’t seem to be that well kept but it may be of interest and the drive there trough the little villages is quite nice.
Have a good trip,
Hai Somtam & JOn,
thanks for the information. Sory I couldnt check travelfish for some time lately to get back to you sooner.
Given what happened in the border, it's unfortunate time I think to visit Prah Vihan. But it's ok, maybe I'll go there someday when the situation's better. My plan is: I'll arrive in BKK on 4th June in the morning (say, 8 or 9 AM), and leave BKK on 8th also in the morning at around 8. Tight timelime, isnt it? :-D
Now, as Ive narrowed down the choices, which one is d u think the most probable or better option?
A. BKK- Buriram /NangRong- Phimai -Khorat-Phitsanulok (is there a direct bus from Khorat to Phitsanulok?) for Sukhotai-BKK
B. BKK- Sukhothai /Phitsanulok(by bus)- Buriram/NangRong (if there's bus)- Phimai-BKK
I can see that Sukhothai will require an overnight stay, as it takes around 7hr from BKK. However, I hope it's possible to visit & explore Phanom Rung & Muang Tham from very early in the morning up to around lunch time before leaving for Phimai.Once at Phimai, it can be visited in the afternoon, then quickly take bus back to Khorat, connecting with bus to BKK. Or, i may stay a night at Phimai should I get there in a bit late in the afternoon. Then the nextmorning, visit Phimai until lunch time, leave, get on the bus to BKK.
Im not so sure about it, but maybe if there's bus connecting Buriram & Phitsanulok, i'd be a bit faster instead of going to BKK first (should I make Sukhothai the last destination).
thank you so much
ps: Somtam2000, I see that your location is in INdonesia. I assume it'd be in Jakarta, isnt it? :-)
I've done what you're intending to do. But, I used a rented car.
I strongly suggest that as your time is limited, you search out a car/motorbike option to visit the areas.
As SomTam suggests " Phanom Rung and Muang Tam are best visited together (there's only a short motorbike ride apart)".
Without the motorbike you'll be in trouble trying to see anything (all are off the main road). Or, you'll be paying tuk-tuk's or taxis, about the same sums of money as a motorbike hire charge might be.
Also, try and get to Phanom Rung VERY early in the am. Not only is it smelly of dog urine, by mid-morning the stench is horrible, and the ambience 'intruded' upon by bus loads of people.
Hi Bruce...thanks for the latest info. Yeaaa it's so short time anyway, so I think, yeah, I'm gonna need to rent a car or motorbike to explore the temples. I hope it makes for an efficient trip.
Hai SomTam: I live in Jakarta, the bustling hot-weathered capital hehehe
One possibility is to rent a car from BKK airport, and go from there.
I've used several hire car companies, and generally booked online before I leave (Australia). That way, I've been able to just go from the international airport (and return) without the 'hassles' of going into BKK central etc.
But, the other thing I've found is that there is a lot of time wastage if you have to go into BKK central, then organise buses, etc. In effect, you're half way there by renting from the airport.
Maybe you could check out that option.
It's great to get information from you all. I think, yes, having recalculated the length & time it takes to reach these destinations & taken your information into consideration, I would say that I think I will start the journey at NangRong -- as Ant said that there's bus from BKK to Nang Rong, I think it's gonna make it easier. Since I will leave BKK around lunch time (hopefully can be earlier than that), estimated arrival in NangRong is around 3 or 4 which I hope will spare me some time to visit Muang Tam up until around sunset. Of course, I'll spend overnight @ Nang Rong so I can go to Phanom Rung the next morning.
Will start very early in the morning to Phanom Rung (avoid tourists while trying to get rid of smelly dog-urine smells -- thanks for informing this Bruce, now I know even more what to deal with there :-D)and leave in the afternoon to Phimai . If I can get to Phimai while the sunlight is still abundant, I might go directly to Phimai temples - at sunset is also a good sight, isn't it? or otherwise, visit it the next morning until the afternoon before finally returning to Khorat to catch up bus to BKK.
Now, i hope the overall trip will sound more reasonable. The only thing is, by going that way, I may skip the visit to Sukhothai park. But then again, i only have short time, so definitely I have to sacrifice one over the other.
I stayed at the Honey Inn in Nang Rong in December 2008 - nice place, big rooms (!), very clean, and they have motorcycles to rent if you're interested. I didn't actually rent one (me driving a motorcycle would be scary!) but they arranged a driver for me instead.
I don't remember Phanom Rung being "smelly of dog urine" - I'm fairly certain I would've noticed that. We got there early but not ridiculously so, and there were some other people there but not huge crowds. (But again, I was vising in December and not June, so that might make a difference.) I got to Meuang Tam around noon or so, and had the entire place to myself. It was amazing, even without any gorgeous sunrise/sunset lighting.
You can buy a combo ticket for both sites but I think you might need to visit both on the same day. (I also don't think the combo ticket really saves you any money - just gets you through the ticket booth a little faster.)
I had been planning to go to Phimai on my trip, too, but I was advised by someone more familiar with Thailand that it would be a bit of a let-down after seeing Phanom Rung. Just a heads up. I'm sure there are a variety of opinions on this!
You should really try getting to Sukhothai if possible. I loved it! Especially some of the sites outside the main park. But the whole place was great.
Have a great time! I envy you - can't wait to go back!
#11 Diane85 has been a member since 25/4/2009. Posts: 1