27 August 2019 15:54
Thailand is the newest addition to MotoGP’s ever-expanding calendar with the Buriram International Circuit now playing host to top-level two-wheeled action. If you’re making a trip to the country’s MotoGP round Motorsport Live takes a look at what else is worthy of a visit whilst your there.
Thailand joined the schedule in 2018 at the newly-constructed Buriram International Circuit, giving MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 riders a new challenge to get their heads around, spurred on by a passionate fanbase, as is usual in the bike-mad Asian countries. Its place on the MotoGP calendar is assured long-term and is worthy of being your destination of choice - and if you do, then why not check out what Thailand has to offer?
Major airlines fly direct from a host of European countries to Thailand's capital Bangkok and the 10-hour flight, not to mention the time zone shift, means you'll want to spend plenty of time soaking up the culture and nuances of an intriguing country, one of the most-visited in Asia.
If you're in to temples then Bangkok has plenty of choice. The jaw-dropping Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is the most popular, while also high on the list is the ornately-constructed Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), the focal point of which is a 70-metre tower decorated with tiny shards of coloured glass. The five-ton solid-gold Buddha is found inside the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) while the 14th century Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is stunningly beautiful, each structure with their own history and appeal.
Once in Bangkok the scenic Chao Phraya river is the unmissable delta that traverses the city, with boat tours possible from a range of outlets, providing an insight into the mixture of the old and new present throughout Thailand's capital city. And Bangkok's waterways are structured in such a way that one of the city's iconic attractions are the Floating Markets, with food and drink vendors traversing the water to reach their customers amid an array of colour, noise and spectacle.
A local connecting flight - or if you're more adventurous, an epic road or rail trip - will take you to the Buriram Province in which the circuit is located. One of its top visitor attractions is the Khao Kradong Forest Park, a tranquil area of natural beauty that provides stunning vistas of the nearby region, including the aforementioned MotoGP circuit, if you can manage the climb all the way to the top! Inside the park you'll find a Volcano Trail Run, a swing bridge and variously well-kept buddha statues, the most famous of which is the 'Big Buddha', a gold-inspired structure that dominates the area, and which is regularly visited by spiritual monks. Don't miss out on the Khmer-era Phanom Rung temple, a Hindu shrine that is several centuries old, and which was heavily restored through the 1980s.
If religious monuments and history takes your fancy then be sure to check out the relatively new Wat Pa Khao Noi temple, the King Rama I monument and Buriram Castle - which doubles up as a favoured location for the locals through the weekend. Its open areas transform into an array of food and market stalls, featuring a mixture of local and international flavours, as well as activities to keep children occupied and amused. But for a proper taste of the regional custom then head to Lively Market for a range of indoor and outdoor bars and restaurants that provide traditional Thai food and drink, as well as live music.
And once you've made the long trip to Thailand why not explore once of its neighbouring countries? Inexpensive short-haul flights are available to Cambodia and Laos, as well as Vietnam, each with their own cultural identities and regions just waiting to be explored.
Don't miss out on a visit to the Buriram International Circuit and an exploration of one of Asia's most popular cultural destinations. Check out all 2019 Thailand MotoGP ticket options and packages available at Motorsport Live.