Buriram might not be one of the “Big 4 Cities” in Isaan, but when it comes to football it’s the number one by far. The little 30,000 citizen town some 410km northeast of Bangkok is home to one of Thailand’s best football clubs: Buriram United.
It was in 2012 when Khun Newin, a former deputy Prime Minister of the Taksin government, successful business man and football fan, has decided to make big investments and promote his home province Buriram to become one of the most well known places in Thailand. He started with the football business by merging the former Buriram PEA and Buriram FC to Buriram United.
During the same year, Khun Newin built the biggest private owned football stadium in Thailand and at the same time a monument for himself: The Chang Arena with a capacity of 32,600 seats. Also called “Thunder Castle”, it has a similar architecture and thus atmosphere like the big stadiums in England. One of the things that make it special is that it is built 100% of metal rather than concrete and overdrawn by a blue glass facade.
During my recent visit to Buriram I had the chance to watch a Thai League 1 game, thanks to my Thai friend who organized the tickets (150 Baht each). It was even the top match of the league: Buriram United vs Muangthong United (0:0).
The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic as the fans of both teams were enthusiastically supporting their teams throughout the match. The Thai football might still be way behind the standard in Europe, but speaking about the overall experience for the fans with the great atmosphere, it is just about as exciting. I can’t wait to attend more Thai League games in Thailand and for sure will be back in the “Thunder Castle”.
Below are some of my best pictures as well as a video I took during the match.
Location of the Chang Arena (Thunder Castle)
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