Phimai (พิมาย) is a small town in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. It is home to the Phimai Historical Park, one of Thailand's most important Angkorian sites.
Local buses run approx. every 30 minutes (05:30-22:00) from the provincial capital of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat). The 60-km trip costs 50 baht and takes 70-90 minutes. Before entering the terminal which is on the outskirts, the bus may go through the town; if you see a Khmer temple, by all means get off.
From points north, disembark at Talad Kae, and wait for the local bus as above. The fare from Nong Khai is 200 baht to Talad Kae, and then 13 baht from there to Phimai.
The town itself is quite small and can be easily explored on foot. Sai Ngam, the banyan tree, is 1.5km from the ruins and is easily reached by bicycle or can be walked in 20 minutes.
- 1 Phimai Historical Park (ปราสาทหินพิมาย). Daily 07:00-18:00. The Khmer temples are among the best-preserved in Thailand and similar (if much smaller) than those at Angkor Wat. Parts of the park are older than Angkor Wat. Includes Khmer buildings, sculptures leading to the shrine, restaurant and gift shop. 100 baht for foreigners.
- 2 Sai Ngam is the largest banyan tree in Thailand. It is 350 years old and located 1.5km from the ruins outside the town centre to the northeast. It's a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bike ride.
The night market takes place every evening in the centre of town (16:00-21:00). The Monday market takes place each Monday on the outskirts of town, near the new bus terminal and the Phimai Inn. The 8 market takes place on the 8th, 18th and 28th of each month beyond the South Gate of Phimai, alongside the road leading to Baitey's and the Vocational School. Every day in the early morning hours and until around 8/9am, there is a morning market in Suriya Uthai Road.
The night market offers cheap, if sometimes unidentifiable, food.
- Baitey's Restaurant (1 km south of the city centre). Serves popular Thai and Chinese dishes, along with a few Western staples, in a scenic open-air setting.
- 1 Noi Papaya Salad. Serves all kinds of local and Thai food, not just papaya salad. Good quality and popular among locals. In Chomsa road between the main road and Sra Phlaeng (the square artificial lake east of the centre).
The most obvious choice for late-night entertainment in the centre of town is the restaurant next to the 7-Eleven and across from the night market. It serves beer and whiskey until 01:00-02:00, and is popular with young Thais (and foreigners), who gather for celebrations and musical performances. There's daily live guitar and singing. There are also various karaoke bars scattered in and around the city.
- Boonsiri Guesthouse, 228 Jomsudasadej Rd (50 m from Phimai Historical Park in the centre of Phimai.), ☏ +66 44 471159, fax: +66 44 471159, firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean and central. Social area upstairs, library and Thai cafe with Western breakfasts. Dorm, 150 baht; fan room, 400 baht; air-con room, 500 baht..
- Khru Pom Restaurant & Guesthouse, 276 Moo 2, Naimuang Rd (30 m down a small lane just beside the downtown 7-Eleven), ☏ +66 44 471541, +66 83 9930251. Clean, modern rooms with air-con. Excellent restaurant: try the fish fried with lemon grass. from 300 baht.
- Moon River Resort Phimai, ☏ +66 61 423 6939, email@example.com. Thai-style elevated bungalows with covered terraces line the river just opposite the National Museum. A ten minute walk from the town centre and the Khmer temple/Prasat Hin. Hot showers, TV, refrigerator, free Internet; breakfast optional. Owner Khun Chin speaks English and German. The river is safe to swim and great fun, too. Bungalow for two with air-con is 600 baht. Larger bungalows for 2 to 4 people from 800 baht.
- Phimai Hotel. In the heart of the town offers air-conditioned rooms.
- Phimai Inn. A slightly more up-scale lodging and has a swimming pool and restaurant, but is a hike from town.
- Phimai Paradise Hotel (200m from the night market), ☏ +644287575. Clean, well-organised hotel with rooms ranging from small singles at 500 baht to a triple family room at 650 baht. There is a swimming pool, which may have cleaning equipment in it when you visit, as at least one traveller reported seeing this. Great location near the night market and Phimai Historical Park. Very noisy in the morning. Phimai still has tannoy radio from 06:30 to 07:30, and there is much other noise within and from near the hotel. If you came to see the Angkorian ruins at dawn, you won't need an alarm clock! 500-650 baht.
You can either go back to Nakhon Ratchasima or take the road north to Khon Kaen. To visit another famous Khmer temple, Phanom Rung, go to Buriram or Nang Rong.
|Routes through Phimai|
|Nong Khai ← Khon Kaen ←||N S||→ Nakhon Ratchasima → Saraburi|