Newin Chidchob, owner of Buriram United Football Club, has created and established a number of eye-catching landmarks in Buriram, including the I-Mobile Stadium, a FIFA standard football stadium with a capacity of 32,000 seats; the Buriram United International Circuit (BRIC), also known as the Chang International Circuit, for all motorsport, being the first standard FIA Grade 1 and FIM Grade A in Thailand and with a huge capacity of 50,000 seats; and Amari Buriram United, Thailand's First Football-Themed Hotel. All of these venues have become major selling points to Buriram that have enhanced the local economy.
Newin Chidchob explains, “We have designed these landmark destinations in Buriram to create jobs and income for so many people in this city. The newest is Buriram Castle, which will increase Buriram’s valued assets in the surrounding land area. These venues bring in new numbers of tourists with scheduled activities. In the past, Buriram was merely a city to pass through. Previously our tourist numbers were only about 600,000 people a year. The Buriram United Football Club brought this up to 1.8 million tourists a year. After the racetrack opened, now followed by Buriram Castle, the city’s tourism has become even more integrated and tourist numbers should surpass 2.5 million more people per year spending an average of 2,000 baht, which brings in at least 4-5 billion baht per year.“
Buriram Castle is located between I-Mobile Stadium and the Chang International Circuit (BRIC). The design is modelled after village settlements which thrived around the stone castle in the past. The Buriram Castle was built under the name "Thunder Castle" as the centre of a new community. The creation of “Thunder Castle" was achieved as a reconstruction of a Khmer Hindu temple complex, which were originally built by artisans who hand carved blocks of stone with a delicate and meticulous arrangement of every piece. It was also perfectly calculated so that the sunset shines through the door exactly as at the Phanom Rung Castle. Inside the castle is a Trophy Hall of Fame for which the people of Buriram people can take great pride.
Buriram Castle is also a noteworthy hang-out for football fan club “Buriram United”, GU12 fans of the team Buriram United. Shopping in Buriram Castle provides a special discount privilege for GU12 just for wearing a t-shirt bearing a logo of Buriram United. There is no need to show a membership card. This community centre is designed as a place for meeting and entertaining, especially for all who love football as well as to provide privileges for GU12 members.
Buriram Castle, as a Lifestyle community mall, offers unique dining with well-known restaurants and a food court that has gathered leading providers of quality food. The mall is also brimming with shops, souvenirs, Buriram Mega Store, a Spa and Beauty Zone with a Health & Wellness World and event activity spaces with a playground for kids coming soon. All zones comprise a total area of 35,268 square metres and provide an excellent support to the expansion of tourism. Visitors will be able to shop for souvenirs developed by the Buriram brand located right at the entrance.
Another highlight is the "12 Shiva Garden" park, a green space consisting of large, colourful gardens containing orchids and rare plants. It is also the location of the "Great Siwa Leung", a lingam carved of sandstone which is over 9 metres tall, making it the largest in the world. It is surrounded by a stone garden containing Karma Sutra carvings depicting the sacred lovemaking of the gods which represents the birth of the universe. A jogging path allows visitors and exercise enthusiasts to make their way around the castle and enjoy the beauty.
The city is looking to get no less than 2.5 million visitors per year in the foreseeable future, by becoming a tourist centre of Khmer arts and culture and offering career development, education and health as well as economic stability and social harmony.