Ubon Ratchathani
Ubon Ratchathani province features plateaus and mountain ranges with the Mun River running through the middle. The region where Ubon Ratchathani borders both Cambodia and Laos has been coined.


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ISAN is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Korat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River (along the border with Laos) to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima. To the west it is separated from Northern and Central Thailand by the Phetchabun mountain range.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been officially known as Isan, a term adopted from Sanskrit Ishan, meaning in a “north east direction.” The term "Isan" was derived from Isanapura, the capital of the Chenla kingdom. The Lao-speaking population of the region, who comprise the majority, distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of Laos but also from the central Thai by calling themselves Khon Isan or Thai Isan. The Khmer-speaking minority and Kuy (Suai), who live in the south of Isan, speak dialects and follow customs more similar to those of Cambodia than either the Thai people or the Lao people. Agriculture is the main economic activity. Production lags behind the rest of the country due to the socio-economic conditions and the exceptionally hot, dry climate. Isan remains Thailand's poorest region.

The main language is Isan, which is a dialect of the Lao language. Currently written with the Thai alphabet (instead of the slightly different Lao alphabet), Isan belongs to the Chiang Seng and Lao–Phutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the Tai languages of the Tai–Kadai language family. Thai is also spoken by almost everyone. Khmer, the language of Cambodia, is widely spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket. The people are aware of their Lao ethnic origin, but Isan has been incorporated into the modern Thai state. Several Thai prime ministers have come from the region. Prominent aspects of Isan culture of include Mor Lam, an indigenous type of folk music, Muay Thai boxing, cock fighting, and celebratory processions. Isan food, in which Sticky Rice (Khao niew) and chiles are prominent, is distinct from Thai cuisine. Sticky rice is a staple of Thai Northeastern cuisine, and it accompanies most meals.



ISAN MAP : Ubon Ratchathani @ Thailand Loei Nong Khai Nakhon Phanom Udon Thani Sakon Nakhon Nong Bua Lam Phu Khon Kaen Chaiyaphum Kalasin Mukdahan Maha Sarakham Yasothon Amnat Charoen Nakhon Ratchasima Roi Et Buriram Surin Sri Sa Ket Ubon Ratchathani Bueng Kan

Ubon Ratchathani



A City of Beautiful Lotuses, a Two-colored River, Delicious Fish, Beaches and Rapids, Thai Scholars, Devout Buddhists, Finely Carved Candles, and Pre-historical Rock Paintings.

Located on the banks of the Mun River, Ubon Ratchathani is a large, provincial capital city whose history dates back around two centuries, officially in 1780 when King Taksin the Great appointed the region’s first ruler and awarded the city its name. The city was governed by four semi-autonomous rulers until 1882 when it was appointed a governor as part of the Kingdom Siam.

Located in the lower region of Northeastern Thailand, 629 kilometers from Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani province features plateaus and mountain ranges with the Mun River running through the middle. Sandstone cliffs along the Mekong River serve as a natural border between Thailand and Laos. This region, where Ubon Ratchathani borders both Cambodia and Laos and the Mekong flows into Cambodia has been coined “the Emerald Triangle” in recognition of its magnificent green landscapes. Adding to Ubon Ratchathani’s natural appeal, Phu Chong Nayoi and Pha Taem National Parks are two of Isan’s most unspoiled and unvisited natural preserves.

Ubon Ratchathani province features plateaus and mountain ranges with the Mun River running through the middle. The region where Ubon Ratchathani borders both Cambodia and Laos has been coined “the Emerald Triangle” in recognition of its magnificent green landscapes. Adding to Ubon Ratchathani’s natural appeal, Phu Chong Nayoi and Pha Taem National Parks are two of Isan’s most unspoiled and unvisited natural preserves. Ubon Ratchathani, the north-east's largest city, is also a wonderful place to witness the annual candle festival, a charming Buddhist celebration.



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Options in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
As a major provincial capital and transportation hub for Southwestern Isan, Ubon Ratchathani can easily be reached via private car, bus, train, or plane. Once there, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk.


Getting to and from Ubon Ratchathani

By Train:
Regular trains depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Railway Station to Ubon Ratchathani every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information.

By Car:
1. From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road) to Saraburi and then Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) to Nakhon Ratchasima; finally, take Highway No.226 to Ubon Ratchathani via Buri Ram, Surin, and Si Sa Ket, a total distance of 629 kilometers.

2. From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road) to Saraburi and then Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) to Sikhio, turning onto Highway No. 24 and proceeding to Ubon Ratchathani via Chok Chai, Nang Rong, Prasat, Det Udom, and Warin Chamrap.

By Bus:
Buses depart from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) to Ubon Ratchathani every day. Contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information.

By Air:
Both Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways have daily flights connecting Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani. For more information, contact Thai Airways at tel. 0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000 / www.thaiairways.com, or ThaiAir Asia at 02 515 9999 / www.airasia.com.


Getting Around Ubon Ratchathani
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Public busses, songtaews, motorbike taxis, and tuk tuks are available for getting around town or to other towns around the province.


Ubon Ratchathani has a few tourist activities for visitors to participate in, particularly visiting the natural and cultural attractions around the province.

As a principally rural area that is known for forested monasteries, Ubon Ratchathani has tourist attractions primarily associated with the cultural and natural beauty of the province. However, those with an interest in handicrafts, Buddhism, or history will enjoy the following attractions:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Lion Pulpit at Ban Chi Thuan
Located in a sermon hall of Wat Si Nuan Saeng Sawang Arom, the pulpit was elaborately crafted in the form of a lion upholding a tower. This Vietnamese-style pulpit was built in 1925 by a Vietnamese artist. The site is located approximately 26 kilometres from the district town. To get there, travel along Highway No. 23 (Ubon Ratchathani Yasothon) for approximately 24 kilometres. Upon reaching the 268-km. marker, turn left to the village and proceed for another 5 kilometres.


Places of Worship

Wat Thung Si Muang
Wat Thung Si Muang was constructed during the reign of Rama III (1824-1851) to house a replica of the Buddha's footprint. Perhaps its most beautiful feature is the wooden tripitaka library (Ho Trai) that sits on stilts in a pond. It was designed in such a way to prevent insects (ants and termites) from reaching the palm scroll materials inside. The architecture is a mixture of Lao and Rattanakosin styles (Rattanakosin refers to the era after 1782, when Bangkok was the capital of Thailand).

Alongside the tripitaka library is the Ho Phra Buddha Bot. Adjacent to that is the Viharn (secondary chapel).

Wat Maha Wanaram
This is an old temple, which hosts a highly referred Buddha image, called Phra Chao Yai Indra Plang. However, this is a rather busy temple with lots of people and traffic. The name of the temple was also Wat Pa Yai on one of the maps we used.

Wat Tham Kuha Sawan
This temple is on Highway No. 222 about 6 kilometers before reaching Khong Chiam District. The temple was built in 1978 by Luang Pu Kam Khaning Chula Mani and was his residence and place of meditation during his lifetime. Despite the fact that he passed away many years ago, his body remains in perfect condition. Along the route to the temple are numerous scenic spots for visitors to admire the beauty of the Mekong River and the Laotian border.

Wat Chaeng
Wat Chaeng, on Sapphasit Road in the municipal area, has one of the oldest ordination halls in the province that is well preserved and illustrates the perfect northeastern style.

Wat Nong Bua
This is the only temple in this province that has a rectangular Chedi, which is an imitation of Chedi Buddhakhaya of India. The temple is located on the outskirts of Ubon Ratchathani on Highway No. 212 (Ubon-Amnat Charoen). At the 3-km. marker on the highway, turn into a side road and proceed for 800 meters to the temple.

Wat Supattanaram
This is a royal temple of the Dhammayut Sect in the northeast. The temple, built in 1853 on the bank of the Mun River surrounded by beautiful and tranquil scenery. There is a Thai-Chinese-European style ordination hall, which houses the principal serene Buddha image of the temple.


Nature & Wildlife

Pak Mun Dam
Constructed from stone and reinforced with clay soil, this dam has a width of 17 metres and a length of 300 metres. The dam, which facilitates agriculture and generates electricity, is located approximately 75 kilometers from town, or about 6 kilometers from the area where the Mekong River meets the Mun River.It is possible to travel along the top of the dam wall as a short cut from Khong Chiam District to Amphoe Sirinthon without driving back to Phibun Mangsahan District. Cruising along the beautiful Mun River is possible from the end of the dam to the Bicolored River, where the Mun River joins with the Mekong River.

Tham Heo Sin Chai
This cave is on Highway No. 2222, about 7 kilometers before reaching Amphoe (district) Khong Chiam, turn left and proceed for about 2 kilometers. This cave, which is on the same route as Kaeng Tana, is a Buddhist center with a beautiful reclining Buddha image.In addition, there is a waterfall cascading down the cliff to the area in front of the reclining Buddha image making the place very cool and beautiful.

Tham Muet
Tham Muet means dark cave. It is at Ban Sa Som, is a cave approximately 4 meters wide and 6 meters high. Within the cave are many carved Buddha images, indicting that it used to be a place for religious ceremonies.

Pha Taem National Park
This park covers an area of 140 square kilometers, where plateaus and hills dominate the parks landscape. There are sheer cliffs, which resulted from earthquakes. Most trees are of the deciduous dipterocarp forest. Irregular shaped sandstone is found scattered throughout the area. Beautiful flowering plants grow among the rocky ground. Travelling can be made from Khong Chiam District along Highway No. 2134, followed by Highway No. 2112, and then turning right for another 5 kilometers. Places of interest within the park are:

Pha Taem and Pha Kham are located near the national park headquarters. On the cliffs surface are numerous prehistoric cave paintings dating back 3,000-4,000 years ago that offer insight into the way of life that existed during the pre-historic days and reflect the ancient lifestyle of the people who once lived in the area. These painting depict scenes of fishing, rice farming, figures of people, animals, hands and geometric designs. It should be noted that the most extensive site for cave paintings in the country is that of Pha Taem.
Home to one of the world’s oldest agrarian communities, Ubon Ratchathani is also the ’cradle of northeastern civilisation’. Recently discovered archaeological evidence suggests that humans settled in the region between 14,000 to 6,000 years ago.
Admission Fee: Adult 200 Baht Child 100 Baht
For more information, visit www.dnp.go.th

How to Get There:

Pha Taem National Park is 18 kms. from Khong Chiam. From Amphoe Khong Chiam, motorists can use Highway 2134, then 2112. Turn right at Km. 8 and continue for another 5 kms. to Pha Taem.

Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park
This was declared as a national park on 1 June 1987. Covering an area of 687 sq. km over mountainous areas in Ubon Ratchathani, the park is where borders of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia meet. To get superb view of the three countries, visitors are recommended to take hiking trails which lead on to the high plateau. The best view can be seen from the cliffs at Pha Pheung. Interesting attractions include: the 40-metre Bak Tew Yai waterfall, which is located approximately 4 kms from the park office, rock formations at Phlan Yaw and a group of springs in the forest at Bo Nam Sap.

Admission Fee : Adult 200 Baht Child 100 Baht
For more information visit www.dnp.go.th

Kaeng Tana National Park
This park can be reached on two routes. The first route is by taking Highway No. 2222 where visitors will be presented with a beautiful view of Kaeng Tana. On the other hand, visitors can take the route to the National Park Office along Highway No. 217 (Phibun Mangsahan-Chong Mek route) and turning left onto Highway No. 2173 and proceeding for another 13 kilometers.

Admission Fee : Adult 100 Baht Child 50 Baht
For more information visit www.dnp.go.th

Namtok Saeng Chan or Namtok Long Ru
This waterfall is only 1 kilometer from Thung Na Muang Waterfall. This is a very beautiful waterfall with a special characteristic of its own the small stream of water cascades down the face of the cliff through an opening in the rock resembling a hole. Visitors viewing the waterfall at noon when the sunlight shines through the hole will be presented with a view of the cascading water similar to that of the full moon shining onto the world. Travelling can be made from Highway No. 2134, followed by Highway No. 2112, and then turning right to the waterfall.

Namtok Soi Sawan
This is a big waterfall cascading from two sides of steep cliffs about 20 metres high and is located 30 kilometers from Khong Chiam District.

Maenam Song Si
Maenam Song Si or the Bi-colored River or the Mun Rivers alluvium, is the place where two rivers join: the brown Mekong River and the blue Mun River. It is located in Khong Chiam District, about 84 kilometers from Ubon Ratchathai City centre. Visitors can hire a boat from Khong Chiam district to see the alluvium.

Kaeng Saphue
Kaeng Saphue, which is the most beautiful cataract in Ubon Ratchthani, is in the Mun River near the Phibun Mangsahan District Office, about 45 kilometers from Ubon Ratchathani City center, on the left-hand side of Highway No. 217. This beautiful cataract of natural rocks is visible for half the year during the dry season.


Suburban Living

Ban Kan Lueang Archaelogical Site
This is situated in Wat Ban Kan Lueang, 3 kilometers from the town along Highway No. 212. Turn right onto Highway No. 2050 and proceed for 2 kilometers. In 1992, the Fine Arts Department excavated the site. Discoveries include artifacts, implements, ornaments, beads, pottery and iron axes. It is believed that this settlement dates back at least 2,000 years.

Ban Pa Ao
This village is situated at Tambon Nong Khon, 18 kilometers from the city on Highway No. 23. At the 273-km. marker, turn right and travel along the track for another 3 kilometers. This village is one of the oldest villages in Ubon Ratchathani. According to history, the villagers migrated from Vientiane, Laos during the reign of King Siri Bun San.The village is over 200 years old and has a special identity of its own which has been handed down from generation to generation by its ancestors, such as the craft of making bronzeware and weaving beautiful silk.


Recreational & Entertainment

Sao Chaliang
Sao Chaliang, which is 11 kilometers from Khong Chaim District on Highway 2112 is a place that is scattered with natural mushroom-like piles of stone slabs with a large amount of shells embedded in their surface.The area is believed by geologists to be a long dried up seabed (over a million years ago).




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