Some of these sites can be fairly difficult to reach without your own transport so if you don't have a car or motorbike you could consider taking one of Pirom's excellent tours. You could also combine some of the minor ruins with a trip down to the fascinating Phanom Rung and Muang Tam ruins in southern Buriram province.
Closer to town, Surin's provincial museum contains well laid out exhibitions on the local ethnic groups, Suay, Khmer and Lao, on rice farming and on the Angkor period in Surin as well as a general outline of Surin history and culture. A handful of exhibits display cloths, art and tools from all of the above, and there are even a few English descriptions. The museum is worth a peek if heading towards the Khmer ruins as you'll acquire some knowledge that may help put the ruins into the historical-cultural context of the area.
If you do have your own transport then just cruising around the friendly local villages can be fun and plenty more spots offer noteworthy sights such as the Ban Bu Thom basketry village (12 kilometres east of Surin), the Ban Tha Sawang silk weaving village (10 kilometres north of Surin) and Khwao Sinarin Handicrafts village (silk and silver, 18 kilometres north). Arm yourself with a free TAT map and off you go.
travelfish.org/sight_profile/thailand/northeast_thailand/surin/surin/328">Ta Muanand Sikhoraphum, there are numerous other smaller Khmer ruins in Prasat and Sangkha districts, and many are hard to find. Indeed some of the more interesting ones have no signs whatsoever whereas some of the best signposted ones are of little or no interest such as Prasat Muang Thi on the way to Sikoraphum and Prasat Trapaeng Tia in Lamduan district.
By Mark Ord.
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