Nang Rong is in no way itself a tourist destination, it is simply the nearest town to the Phanom Rung Historical Park and a convenient base for visiting the temples. That said, this perfectly normal Thai town's general lack of tourism makes it an interesting example of the elusive "real" Thailand.
The bus station has fairly frequent services to Bangkok's Mo Chit (northern) bus terminal. Buses also run south to Chantaburi via the border town of Aranyaprathet. The major towns of Southern Isaan—Buriram, Korat, Si Saket and Ubon Ratchathani—are all connected to Nang Rong by bus.
The tuk-tuk and motorbike drivers at the bus station are merciless with the few tourists that do show up and will not accept a reasonable fare for a short trip in the town. Fortunately, Nang Rong is small and if you know where you're going you can walk. Even more fortunately, in the bus station there are several boards that give information about the town and the region, one of these boards has a plan of the town with accommodation marked.
- Phanom Rung Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พนมรุ้ง) (east on Hwy 24 until the Ta Ko junction, turn right, then after a few kilometres turn left. The route from Nang Rong is well sign posted. Total distance about 35 km.). Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is a Hindu shrine dedicated to the God Shiva. It's an atmospheric pile in pretty good condition set on top of an extinct volcano. The surrounding land as far as the eye can see is flat plains, which make for some inspiring horizon gawking. 100 baht.
- Prasat Hin Mueang Tam (ปราสาทหินเมืองต่ำ) (8 km beyond Phanom Rung. The route is well marked.). A Khmer sanctuary with outstanding architecture. Today, anyone can find sanctuary in the peaceful gardens surrounding the ruins. Take a picnic. 100 baht.
A discounted ticket can be bought for both sites for 150 baht.
Rent a motorbike at Honey Inn and go for a country drive. The roads are in excellent condition. The drive up the hill to the temple has some brilliant viewing points. Isaan is poor and neglected region, so detour through the countryside and see rural Thailand. Arrange an early start and head out at dawn to avoid the scorching sun and tourist buses. Free maps and directions (enough to get you to the temples) are available at Honey Inn.
There's not much but there is at least a 7-Eleven.
There's a smattering of cheap, pleasant, nondescript eateries. You won't starve.
- Honey Inn, 8/1 Soi Sri Koon (from the bus station head to the main road (Rte 24) and head right. Turn left between the tile shop and the hospital. Where the road turns left there is another lane continuing straight, Honey Inn is on the right about 20 m up), ☎ +66 44 622825. Basic fan or air-con rooms, free Wi-Fi or use of a computer (20 baht/hour), laundry service, and breakfast served in the morning. Motor bikes are available for hire (300-400 baht), making the temples accessible without requiring scheduled transport or a driver. 250-350 baht.
- Nangrong Hotel, 243 Praditpana Rd (near the morning market, night market & 7-Eleven), ☎ +66 44 631014, e-mail: email@example.com. Free Wi-Fi. Comfortable rooms. Friendly and helpful but non-English-speaking staff. 500 baht.
- PhanomrungPuri Hotel and Resort, 212 Prachantakhet Rd (about 1 km from the intersection of Nang Rong’s downtown heading to Lam Plai Mat (Cham Ni) district), ☎ +66 44 632222, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A boutique hotel with Khmer architecture. Free Wi-Fi.