Food Updates, some good, some not

Nang Rong has seen an explosion of restaurants and food outlets over the last few years. So many new places have opened that it’s hard to keep count but we’re trying our best to taste everything!!

Let’s start with the good.

White Cottage is a cafe style restaurant on the main road through Nang Rong. If heading towards Bangkok it’s just after Siam Commercial Bank, in the same side. It’s beautifully decorated and has a selection of coffee, shakes and some rather fabulous cheesecake. It’s reasonably priced and is a lovely place to sit and chat.

Just two slices of cheesecake!

Just two slices of cheesecake!





Comfy Chairs

Comfy Chairs













Farm Mania is aimed at a similar client base to White Cottage. It’s located within the PTT Station on the road to Pakham, about 5 minutes out of Nang Rong. They offer a good selection of cakes and drinks with birthday cakes of various sizes available.

ICE 33 is on the northern side of town, close to the main Police Station and the

Pizza at ICE 33

Pizza at ICE 33

Agricultural College. They offer a selection of food including some rather good pizzas and some delicious desserts. Service is good and it’s become a favorite with many local people.





In a previous post about fitness, we mentioned the new gym at SoFit. This also has a very good restaurant which offers mostly Thai food, at a reasonable price. It’s comfortable and friendly and a good place to chat with friends whilst eating.

On the other side of the coins are two restaurants which are struggling. I’m going to lump them together as, for the same reasons, I think they won’t be around too long.

Love (previously On The Way) and Overtime both have superb locations but are failing to attract customers. Both have tried promotions with beer, sexy girls and music. In my opinion, what they lack is edible food. I’ve eaten and both and, to be honest, I think they need to change their chefs. It’s a shame as I hope they succeed but, as a restaurant, your first priority should be the food!!

Dessert at ICE 33

Dessert at ICE 33


Some local places to stay (update)

Two places we haven’t looked at before in Nang Rong and one new resort out in the countryside.

As you drive around Nang Rong there seem to be ‘resorts’ appearing on a fairly regular basis and sometimes you drive past them without much thought. Below are two of these whose signs I have seen before but I’ve never viewed. This week I took the time to have a look.

Firstly, there is the RujNar Resort, located behind Nang Rong Hospital and opposite the new Nong Lee Market. They are 40 rooms, a mixture of twin and double rooms and the rooms are functional but not spectacular. They offer wifi and there is a restaurant onsite. They also have parking in front of every room. Prices start at B400 per night for a room with air conditioning. Double Room

Secondly there is the Smile Home Resort, a small site just a few minutes from the main Nang Rong Bus Station. They have eight room, some double bedded, some twin bedded. There is wifi too and prices start from B400 for a/c and B300 for a fan room. Rooms looked clean and comfortable but there is no restaurant. They offer bicycles and motorbikes for rent and this would be useful if staying here. The resort certainly looks bright with its multi-coloured rooms.

Smile Home Double Room

Smile Home Double Room

Smile Home Colourful Resort

Smile Home Colourful Resort








Finally, I went to view the recently opened Waterland Park and Resort, which is located about 10kms north of Nang Rong on the way to Buriram. I was intrigued by the name as there is a water park now in Prackonchai (30kms to the east of Nang Rong).

OK, it’s not exactly a water park but it has a large pool with a slide and a mushroom in the pool (!). It was opened this year by a Swiss/Thai couple and they’ve obviously invested a fair amount of money in building this. There a 5 regular rooms with a/c at B900/night and a family room at B1500. They have a rather nice bar and offer breakfast too. There is parking  at the resort and they staff were very friendly and chatty. The only problem I can see is the location. It’s great if you’re visiting friends close by but you’ll need to know how to find it!

Inside the Room

Inside the Room

The rooms

A well stocked bar

A well stocked bar

Mushroom in the Pool!

Mushroom in the Pool!

Waiting for Buriram International Airport

TRAVEL operators have urged authorities to upgrade Buriram Airport to international status to increase the number of South-East Asian tourists travelling to the North-East of Thailand.

International: Coming Soon

International: Coming Soon

A former president of the Professional Tourist Guide Association in Buriram province, said that tourism operators such as hotels and travel companies wanted the government to promote Buriram Airport as an international airport as well as add a new cargo terminal to the airport in order to attract more domestic and international airlines.

Buriram has been a favoured destination for sports fans due to the success of Buriram United and we can now add to that the Chang International Racing Circuit.

Big matches at the stadium, particularly Asian Champions League fixtures, have brought both youth and families to the province while local organisations had identified Buriram as a meeting and cultural destination due to 60 ancient castles there and six inactive volcanoes.

The view is that if Buriram Airport is promoted as an international airport with a cargo terminal and a customs office, it should attract more domestic and foreign airlines to operate flights there and it will result in an increase in tourists visiting the province.

At the moment, only Nok Air and Thai Air Asia use the airport and more than 80% of tourists travelling to the region are from other provinces.

If the airport were upgraded, other provinces in the lower North-East region such as Surin, Sisaket and Ubon Ratchathani could expect to attract more visitors, especially from South-East Asia.

A leading travel company owner in Nong Khai in the upper North-East of the country, said that most tourists visiting the province were from Vietnam, China, and South Korea. Also a large number of  retired expats from Japan and Western countries live in the province and would welcome the upgrade.

(with thanks to The Nation)

Thai Premier League Half Time Report

As we passed the half way point in the Thai Premier League, few would have expected Muang Thong United and Bangkok United to be so far ahead. Even fewer would have expected the mighty Buriram United to be stuck down in 4th place, a whopping 15 points off the pace!



One or two things stand out here. Firstly, is the form of the defending champions, Buriram who have endured a tough few months, losing their unbeaten home record on a wretched night to their fiercest rivals, Muang Thong. It was a total thrashing and at 0-3 it sent a few shockwaves through the league. Since then, the team from south Isaan have lost a further two homes games and drawn against some of the Thai Premier League’s weaker teams.

On the flip side, some credit must go to the team from Muang Thong who have managed to win 15 out of their 17 games which is a fabulous run of form for any team. Chasing MT all the way are Bangkok United who have added to their squad this year and look good to push on for a title challenge. In between the leaders and Buriram we find Bangkok Glass, making a trio of teams from north Bangkok at the head of the table.

As the season continues, we expect Buriram United to close the gap as MT’s players will undoubtedly suffer when we come to the international break as most of their team will be travelling around Asia with the Thai National Team in the World Cup Qualifiers. Buriram have invested in a host of new faces and welcome back Diogo Luis Santos, last season’s top scorer, for the 2nd half of the season.

Also pushing for top half finishes are Ratchaburi, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai. (Maybe it’s just an orange thing and so can we ask Nakhon Ratchasima to start performing again please!) Sukhothai, newly promoted to the TPL have been a surprise to many people. They have a star player in Jon Baggio and some of the best and loudest fans in the country, bringing a raucous atmosphere with them to every game.

At the other end of the table, BBCU appear to be doomed to return the Division 1 after just one year, Osotspa are struggling despite some great home support and Chainat maybe also go but have invested during the transfer window and my yet escape, with a few teams lying within reach.

The biggest disappointment this year is possibly Suphanburi who flew high last year but have not been able to repeat that form, and are now on their 3rd coach of the season.

If a couple of results at the top go against the top 2 and the chasing pack stay in touch, we could be in for an exciting climax to the 2016 season.


Have you ever visited these??

Have you ever visited some of the less well know Khmer Temples in Buriram Province. Most tourists head to Phanom Rung and Muang Tam, some venture to Wat Khao Angkarn but very few see more than those.

Located in Non Din Deang, the southern most part of Buriram Province in Prasart Nong Hong. It’s next to the reservoir know as Lam Nang Rong (which isn’t in Nang Rong so don’t be confused!). As you follow the track from the main road this Hindu Sanctuary is on the right hand side in the grounds of the local college and is not difficult to locate. It comprises of three brick towers on a laterite base, with all the towers facing east. It’s believed that this sanctuary was built in the 11th century as it’s constructed in the Baphuon style.

very atmospheric

very atmospheric

This is a small site but it makes for some great photographic opportunities and is free to visit. While you are here, continue to the reservoir at Lam Nang Rong and enjoy some fabulous food. In the hot season large numbers of locals come here to enjoy dining by the water as well as cooling off in the reservoir.


Twenty minutes north from here in Pa Kham, on the way to Nang Rong, we found the site of Prasart Khon Ngio (Ngiu). It’s signposted as you leave Pa Kham heading north. As you turn into the modern temple site look to the far right hand corner. If you find the monks’ accommodation then the temple site is hidden behind that!

Wander and climb all around

Wander and climb all around

It’s a small site with one main structure, built as a Mahayana Temple, with a square wall surrounding it and evidence of a small pond to one side. There are large numbers of rocks all around the outside which look like they were once numbered but you feel some more excavation work needs to be done. It’s officially a medical station, one of many built during the reign of King Jayaraman (1181-1218). Again, it’s a good place to climb around and take some photos.

Buriram United get a new coach

At the forefront of Thai football: Ghotbi leading Buriram into bright era

Many foreign residents of Thailand are familiar with the visa run to Malaysia. Afshin Ghotbi had barely arrived in the Land of Smiles before he was off to Kuala Lumpur.

It was the end of a hectic few days but a quick trip south gave the former Iran head coach time to absorb the fact that he is the now in charge of Buriram United, perhaps the biggest club in Southeast Asia.

“We will be challenging for trophies and every game we will play better football. Professional football is first about winning and then entertainment.”
– Ghotbi

Well, in charge as much as you can be in a club owned by Newin Chidchob, the former politician who relocated Provincial Electronic Authority to the north-east of Thailand in 2009 and then built a club, a stadium and a team that has won three of the last four Thai league titles.

So accustomed have United been to success that a dip in the league this season, and a dire performance in the group stage of the Asian Champions League, saw Brazilian Alexandre Gama leave after two largely successful years.

“I was very interested in Buriram’s story ever since I heard about the owner,” Ghotbi told FourFourTwo. “He has tremendous love for the club and the city and has the resources, both financial and political, to make this one of the best in Asia.”


Back to the top? Buriram have the ambition and the means to rule Asia again

Similarities abound

Ghotbi knows all about Asia. The 52-year-old, who left Iran in 1977 for California, where he started coaching, returned to the continent in 2001 to be part of Guus Hiddink’s coaching staff in South Korea.

After the success of the 2002 World Cup, he was back as an assistant to Dick Advocaat in 2005 and then Pim Verbeek a year later. In 2007, came the call from his homeland. At the end of his first season with Persepolis, he delivered a first league title to the Tehran giants in six years.

Our intention is to win everything domestically and then go the next stage and go where they have never been in the Asian Champions League.

– Ghotbi

Up next was a stint in charge of the Iranian national team and a last eight place in the 2011 Asian Cup after which he was off to Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan.

Ghotbi likens Thailand’s situation to Korea in 2001 with the country and its leading club ready to explode: “Professional football is growing and developing and I wanted to be part of that.  I have been impressed with the Thai players. They have open hearts and open minds and they want to do a job.”


Ghotbi’s immediate task is to salvage Buriram’s Thai Premier League season

There is plenty of work to do though this is a club still in the title race. After 44 league games without losing, Buriram tasted defeat twice in the space of three weeks in April and May and are eight points behind rivals Muangthong United.

The team has, Ghotbi feels, reached a plateau. “I saw half a dozen games before I said yes, I felt it had lost confidence, physically did not seem sharp enough and wasn’t tactically organised enough. I felt I could come and change things quickly, get a few good results and turn the season around.”

Room for expansion

A first game ended in a 1-0 win over Nakhon Ratchasima. More than most clubs in Asia, fans will expect more of the same. They are accustomed to success. Ghotbi is ready for the pressure.

“There was the same pressure in Persepolis. Buriram have fans in every city in Thailand. I welcome that expectation and it will bring the best out of me. I like pressure and I like to win.”

In Japan with Shimizu, the club often sold its best players. “One of the frustrating things at S-Pulse was that my ambition was greater than the club’s.”

There’s plenty of ambition at Buriram. “Our intention is to win everything domestically and then go the next stage and go where they have never been in the Asian Champions League,” he added. That would be going past the quarter-final reached in 2013.


After a difficult start, Buriram’s season is beginning to look up again

The return of injured star striker Diogo is expected soon and there will be more additions. “They have already decided what changes they will make in the transfer window. I will have to work with what is given to me. My approach is always first observe, then learn, listen, think and then try to find the solutions to improve the team. It is a step by step process.”

A winning mentality

Professional football is developing and I wanted to be part of that. I have been impressed with the Thai players. They have open hearts and open minds

– Ghotbi

It is certainly a challenge. “We will be challenging for trophies and every game we will play better football. Professional football is first about winning and then entertainment. My job is to create a team that, regardless of which player is available or not, sets a certain standard.

“I am impressed with the love the fans have for this club. I can feel how big this club is, it is massive. When you are outside, you don’t perhaps realise how big football is in Buriram and the owner can take the credit. He built something from nothing. He could have bought a club in Europe but invested in his own country and built something. That is an inspiration for everyone.”

“All over the world, coaches are judged by their last result, it is part of our industry and part of our job. We have to learn to live with it and welcome it. I enjoy the excitement that it brings. I am ready for the challenge.”

With thanks to

Time to get some exercise

If you live in Nang Rong or you’re here on a visit and you feel it’s time to get some exercise, then this is for you. We already know about the lake where you can take a walk around and the public swimming pools for a little recreation but now we also have something new.

Recently, a new gym and fitness centre has opened in Nang Rong and it’s got the funky name of the SoFit Fitness Centre. It has a fully equipped gym (with bikes, running machines and a whole lot more), a large outdoor pool, a studio for dance and exercise classes and a restaurant with a meeting area too. There are trainers available for all exercises and it’s open from 10.00 a.m. to late in the evening. Classes can be booked at the centre and if you want to attend on a certain day we recommend reserving your place.

Anyone for exercise?

Anyone for exercise?

It’s been open for a few months and offers a variety of membership packages, both monthly and yearly, depending on which facilities you need to use. Friends of ours who have been say it’s quite busy for classes in the evenings and if you’re a swimming fan, like me, and enjoy doing lengths of the pool then go in the morning as it’s virtually impossible in the evening. There are still some promotional offers for new members offering a trial and a taste of the healthy lifestyle.

Get fit, meet some friends and have a delicious meal afterwards in their lovely restaurant. There’s a good selection of healthy food (isn’t most Thai food healthy?) all at very reasonable prices.

(The centre has a Facebook page but I don’t suggest you use the map to find them. It’s a little out of place! Try calling the number and asking for directions.) It’s actually very close to the main traffic lights in the centre of town, of the north-west side.

The Car Park!

The Car Park!

Thai Premier League – 10 years from now.

Where will

Buriram's new player?

Buriram’s new player?

we be in 10 years time. Well, the Thailand League of Premier (as it’s now called) is based in Issan as all the teams in BKK have quit because their fan bases disappeared when gold was discovered in Kalasin making this the richest place in the world. The Udon Down Unders are the new guys on the block, with a complete team of players with one Thai parent and one Australian parent. Each team has become a representative of their local population with the Buriam Brits still the team to beat, although they are now being run by the next generation of the Chidchob dynasty from their safe house in Kensington, London. The Khon Kaen Canadians reflect their heritage and are still trying to convince people that playing on ice is more fun and practical in the summer. The Sakon Nakorn Swiss are climbing the mountain that is success at the newly sponsored Chang Ice Cream Cup. Finally, the Nakon Nowhere boys are still trying to locate their fathers!

Back in Bangkok and there is an attempt to bring football back but since Thai Port’s PAT stadium was over taken by the rising waters of the Chao Praya River and Chonburi had to move their ground further inland, all the way to Poipet (they are now the Poipet Porpoises) there seems little chance of a revival happening.
In the real world, Buriram United have completed their 15th consecutive treble season but have not yet managed to get out of their AFC Champions League group, despite being drawn against teams from Borneo, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.
Enjoy Songkran and stay wet!

Fun with the new Premier League Season in Thailand

It’s a few games into the new season and it’s feeling like silly season with an International break already disrupting play.

The table has a familiar look and so, with time on our hands and with thanks to Chonburi FC, a few expat fans have gone all fantasy, not picking teams but much more than than. Please have a quick look at the Chonburi FC site via this Fantasy League and give us your thoughts.

Chaos in the Thai Premier League



The confusion as to who will actually play in the Thai Premier League in 2016 continues. After initially deciding that the league would consist of 20 teams, the TPL decided it would remain at 18. That meant that BEC Tero, Thai Port and TOT would be relegated to Division 1.

However, Saraburi have confirmed that they are unable to meet the TPL financial regulations and have dropped into Division 1,allowing BEC Tero to remain in the Premiership. But who actually comes up is anybody’s guess.

Police United were runaway winners of Division 1 but it is believed that they owe 50,000000 bht in unpaid wages and the TPL are concerned that they will not be able to fulfill the financial criteria. Second placed Pattaya United have been taken over and the TPL are again concerned that the new owners may not meet the financial requirements as well.

BBCU F.C finished third but the two sides below them, Sukhothai and Nakhon Pathom did not complete their fixtures when their match last May was abandoned due to floodlight failure. This game is now being played on February 9 so nothing can be sorted until then.

Although BEC Tero have now stayed up, they also have new owners and many of their top players have left in the belief that they would be in Division 1 . Thailand have important World Cup qualifiers later in the year and it is vital that all of the squad are playing in the Premier League.

So all in all, it’s a bit of a mess. We will do our best to keep you informed. We have also published the first 6 months Buriram fixtures in a previous article, we will let you have a complete list when everything is cleared up.

Thanks to Graham Dressler at the Buriram Times for this.