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Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second largest province in southern Thailand, lies 780 kilometers south of Bangkok along the Gulf of Thailand within the lush interior of the Isthmus of Kra. Nakhon Si Thammarat played an important role in the history of Thailand, including its role as an important center of Thai Buddhism perhaps as early as the Srivijaya Period or earlier in the 3rd century C.E. Nakhon Si Thammarat was also a major region of trade between merchants from the Indian, Arabic, Dvaravati, and Champa states and later for merchants from British, Portuguese and Dutch empires.
After the fall of Angkor, habitation and development of Buri Ram resumed in the late Ayutthaya period as a protectorate of Nakhon Ratchasima. The city was also inhabited during the Thon Buri and early Ratanakosin periods. Finally, in 1933, there was restructuring of the regional administrative system, which turned Buri Ram into a province as it remains to this day. The town and province of Buri Ram are excellent places to experience authentic, rural Thai life and are ideal for immersing yourself in no-frills Thai country culture or an authentic Isan city atmosphere. However, while the town itself has limited attractions and activities for visitors, the provincial countryside is filled with ancient ruins, many of which are no more than rubble, but include the Khmer sanctuary of Phanom Rung, one of the best preserved Angkorian temples in Southeast Asia and a premier destination for witnessing sunrises and sunsets when the sun is aligned with the doorways of the temple.
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