Udon Thani

Udon Thani is a large province that serves as a center of transportation, trade, and tourism in the Northeast of Thailand. The province is a land of forest temples and a gateway to Laos. Udon Thani also possesses an archaeological site that is evidence of one of the world.

 

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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 : Udon Thani @ 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

Udon Thani

 

 

Waterfalls of Phu Phan, Dharma Park, Five Thousand-year Civilization, Land of Mi-khit Cloth, Wonderful Nong Prachak Place, and Scented Udorn Sunshine Orchids
Udon Thani, located in Thailand’s northeastern Isan region is a prime business center, particularly as a result of its proximity to Vientiane, the capital of Lao P.D.R.

Udon Thani is probably best known for its archaeological wonders, paramount among them the hamlet of Ban Chiang where the world's first Bronze Age civilization is believed to have flourished more than 5,000 years ago.

Udon Thani borders Nong Khai to the north, Khon Kaen to the south, Sakon Nakhon to the east and Nong Bua Lam Phu and Loei to the west. Consequently, Udon Thani is a major transportation hub for Northeastern Thailand.

Geographically, the province is located on a plateau which is approximately 187 meters above sea level. Most of the area is covered with rice fields, forests, and hills; the Phu Pan mountain range and the Songkhram River are the provinces two primary natural attractions.

The inhabitants of Udon Thani are mainly engaged in agricultural activities, and the capital city is a major agricultural market center for its neighboring provinces.

Udon Thani is a large province that serves as a center of transportation, trade, and tourism in the Northeast of Thailand. The province is a land of forest temples and a gateway to Laos. Udon Thani also possesses an archaeological site that is evidence of one of the world’s most ancient bronze-age civilizations. It is a province blessed with natural tourist attractions and is well known for its Khit-style textiles.

 

HOW
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TRAVEL TO UDON THANI

Options in Udon Thani, Thailand
As a major transportation center, Udon Thani can be reached a number of ways directly from cities around northeastern and central Thailand, including via private car, bus, train, or airplane. 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. local busses, songtaews, motorbike taxis, and samlors (three wheeled bicycle or moped powered cabs).

 

Getting to and from Udon Thani

By Train:
Train service between Bangkok and Udon Thani is available every day. For more details, contact the Travel Service Unit, State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Tel. 1690; 0 2220 4334; and 0 2220 4444, or visit www.railway.co.th.

By Car:
From Bangkok, travel along Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin Road), switching to Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap Road) at Km 107 in Saraburi, and then drive through Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen to Udon Thani. The total distance is around 564 km.

By Bus:
There are ordinary and air-conditioned busses servicing the route between Bangkok and Udon Thani every day. The busses leave from Bangkok’s Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit 2) on Kamphaengphet Road. For further information, contact the Transport Company Limited, Tel. 0 2936 2852-66, the Udon Thani Provincial Bus Terminal, Tel. 0 4222 1489, or visit www.transport.co.th

By Air:
Daily flights between Bangkok and Udon Thani are offered by the Thai Airways, Thai AirAsia, and Nok Air. For detailed information, contact www.thaiairways.com, www.airasia.com, or www.nokair.com.

 

Getting Around Udon Thani
Getting around Udon Thani is both easy and inexpensive; visitors can opt for public busses, songtaews (pickup trucks with benches in the back), motorbike taxis, or samlors (three wheeled pedal powered cabs).

Songtaews are the most common form of transportation in Udon Thani and follow different routes, designated by their number and color. There are no fixed “bus stops” per se; passengers simply hail them as they pass. Be sure to tell them where you are headed so as to get on the right songtaew. Fares should be fixed at around 6 baht for trips within and along the city ring-road and 10 baht for longer journeys. The price goes up to 15 baht after 7.00pm and songtaews are generally off duty by 8pm.

Motorized samlors (a type of tuk tuk) charge a negotiated fare based on the distance, while pedal powered samlors cost less and are more pleasurable, if slower modes of transport; always agree on a price before boarding. Samlors are the only way to get around after dark, as busses and songtaews stop shortly after sunset.

There are two city buses: white and yellow. Trips around town cost between 5 and 15 baht depending on distance.

It is possible to hire a car from one of the many rental companies in Udon Thani, either with or without a driver. Daily rental fees vary between 1,000 and 1,500 baht, more if you wish to have someone drive you. Be aware that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars that you operate (as opposed to limited personal third party only insurance or having a Thai driver). Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Most car rental companies in Udon Thani also offer motorbike rental too; for around 150 baht per day you can hire your own motorbike, which will typically require you to leave your passport as a deposit. Be sure to inspect bikes prior to rental and drive with extreme caution as rental motorbikes are not normally insured and accidents are frequent. Helmets are required by Thai law.

 

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

Attractions
As one of the premier tourist destinations in Thailand, Udon Thani has a wide variety of attractions, ensuring that visitors with nearly any interest will find something to keep them entertained on their Udon Thani holiday. The following are some of the most popular attractions on Udon Thani:

Art, Culture & Heritage

Krom Luang Prachaksinlapakhom Monument
The Monument of Krommaluang Prachaksinlapakhom This Monument is located in the heart of Udon Thani city. Born in 1856 as a son of King Rama IV (Phrabat Somdet Phra Chomklaochaoyuhua) and the King’s Consort Sangwan (Chao Chom Manda Sangwan), Major General Prince Prachaksinlapakhom (Phon Tri Phra Chao Borommawongthoe Krommaluang Prachaksinlapakhom), as a regent to King Rama V, ruled the Northern Circle (later called the “Udon Circle”) during 1893 – 1899. As the founder of Udon town in 1893, he set out the civil administration order and served important official duties for the public benefits. The Monument symbolizes the highest tribute paid to the prince by the people of Udon Thani and the ceremony to worship him is held on 18 January every year.

Udon Thani Museum
Udon Thani Museum Located on Pho Si Road in Rachinuthit Building, this museum was initiated by Mr. Chaiporn Ratananaka, governor of Udon Thani province. It displays background aspects of Udon Thani, ranging from history, archaeology, natural science, geology, folk history, arts and culture, to the biography and honorable deeds of Krommaluang Prachaksinlapakhom, the founder of Udon Thani town. Opening hours are from 08.30 – 16.30 hrs. Admission fees: 10 Baht for adults and 5 Baht for children.

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park
Situated in Ban Phue District, this archaeological site features a large number of ancient buildings and ancient objects of both prehistoric and historic times. They are mostly of Dvaravati, Lop Buri, and Lanchang style.

The site is located in a thriving forest called Pa Khua Nam. In addition, within the site are many rocks of peculiar shapes which resulted from glacial movement millions of years ago. It can be seen that most of the ancient buildings and objects found in this area were modified from what was naturally available and not built entirely by human beings. For instance, a rock was decorated to make a stupa or was chiseled into the shape of a foot.
The site was declared a historical park by the Fine Arts Department in 1991.

rcheological evidence found at the site includes Phra Phuttabat Bua Bok, Phra Phuttabat Lang Tao, Phra Phutta Bat Bua Ban, religious buildings modified from rocks, sandstone bai-sema (leaf-shaped stones marking the limits of a Buddhist temple), sandstone images and idols, cave paintings and stone axes.

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park covers the entire area of the Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok which is around 1,200 acres. In addition to the beautiful landscape, caves and caverns, rocks of different sizes and shapes dot the area. Moreover, pre-historic paintings over cliff faces have been discovered, although many leave only the faintest of traces.

Visitors are recommended to explore Tham Non Sao Ae, Tham Woa Daeng, Tham Chang, and Tham Sung to see the paintings that depict the livelihood of pre-historical community which can be traced back to approximately 2,500-3,000 years ago.
The sandstone bai-sema, sandstone images and idols of Dvaravati era are also discovered at Poeng Hin Po Ta Luk Koei.

Admission fee is 100 baht.


Places of Worship

Wat Pho Si Nai
It is the site of the open museum section of the Ban Chiang National Museum where the conditions of the archaeological excavations have been maintained in order to illustrate how earthenware pots and other items were buried along with the dead.

Wat Ban Tat
This temple is located off of the center of the province. Take Highway No. 2 (Udon Thani-Khon Kaen) and make a right turn at Ban Kong Keng and proceed for 9 kilometers. The temple is teeming with trees and small, wild animals. It is here that one of Thailand's most revered monks, Luangta Maha Bua, resides. As the place is set in a tranquil ambience conducive for practicing meditation, a numbers of Thais practice insight meditation (Vipassana) at this temple.

Wat Matchimawat (Udon Thani)
This temple is located in Tambon Mak Khaeng. During the reign of King Rama V, Krommaluang Prachaksinlapakhom commanded the construction of a new temple to replace Wat Non Mak Khaeng, the old deserted temple, and named it “Wat Matchimawat.” Within its Wihan building, there is a white stone Buddha image under Naga (serpent) protection, or commonly known as “Luangpho Nak,” which has been highly respected by the people of Udon Thani.

Wat Phothisomphon
Wat Phothisomphon This temple is located on Pho Si Road in Tambon Mak Khaeng. It was built in the late reign of King Rama V. Maha Ammat Tri Phraya Sisuriyaratchawaranuwat (Phothi Netiphothi), Lord Lieutenant of the Udon Circle persuaded the villagers of Mak Khaeng to build the temple, which was commonly called “Wat Mai.” Later, Phra Chao Worawongthoe Krommaluang Chinnawonsiriwat, the Supreme Patriarch, Wat Ratchabophitsathitmahasimaram, named the temple as “Wat Phothisomphon,” to commemorate Phraya Sisuriyaratchawaranuwat, the temple builder. Inside, there is also a museum of revered monks famous for meditation.

Wat Thipphayaratnimit
This temple is located on Naresuan Road, Tambon Mak Khaeng, off the main road into Soi San Chao Mae Thapthim and opposite to a polytechnic school. It is another forest temple in the area of Amphoe Mueang and has a pleasant shady atmosphere. There is a large pagoda which contains Lord Buddha’s relics. The pagoda is shaped like “Thanan,” a utensil used in ancient times to scoop Lord Buddha’s relics. A portrait of Luang Pu Thira Chitthammo, the present abbot, is displayed with basic living utensils for Buddhist monks in the pavilion. On the fourteenth waxing moon day of the twelfth lunar month, Thot Kathin (robe offering ceremony) and merit making to celebrate the abbot’s birthday anniversary are held every year.

Wat Pa Ban Kho
This temple is located in Tambon Khuea Nam. Here, there is Phra Maha That Chedi Chaloem Barami Phra Nawamin, a pagoda that contains Lord Buddha’s relics. Inside the pagoda, sculptures depict the history of Lord Buddha, jataka stories, and Buddha images in different attitudes. The temple is ideal for practitioners of Dharma (Buddha’s teachings). It has been designated by the Udon Thani Administration Office as the Udon Thani Chaloem Phra Kiat Mind Development Centre. Both Thais and foreigners usually come to practise Dharma here. From town, drive along Highway No. 2 (Udon Thani – Nong Khai), turn left at Km 13 to Highway No. 2021 (Udon Thani – Ban Phue) and go further for 20 km. Then, turn right and take another 3 km towards the temple.

Wat Pa Phu Kon
A Buddhist park located in Ban Na Kham, Tambol Ban Kong, the temple covers an area of 1,000 rai of teeming forests. The place is perfect for practicing Buddhist meditation. Located next to the temple is the Prathom Rattanamahaburaphachan Chedi where the holy Buddha relics are enshrined. The chedi is of Lanka style, is 25 metre high and is decorated with golden mosaic.

Chao Pu - Chao Ya Chinese Spirit Shrine
This large and beautiful Chinese spirit shrine is located on Nittayo Road behind the train station near Nong Bua Market. Here, there is a small garden beside a lotus pond. Two Chinese pavilions stand in the pond, serving as a view point in pleasant and shady surroundings. The golden dragon of 99 m long, to be used during the Thung Si Mueang annual fair in December, is also kept here.

Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok
This is where the Buddha's Holy Footprint was found along side with various Buddha images of Lanchang style that can be dated back to 2025 Buddhist Century. Later in 1920, the Chedi resembles to Phra That Phanom was built on top of the footprint. Nature-loving trekkers may take a hike around the area, which takes around two hours. The Park is located on the Udon Thani-Nong Khai Highway. Turn left at the 13-km. marker to Highway No. 2021, which leads to Ban Phu and proceed for 42 kilometers and along Highway No. 2348 for 12 kilometers. There is a right-entrance that leads directly to the site. It takes approximately 2 kilometres.

Phra Phutthabat (Holy Footprint) Bua Ban
Located on the Phu Phan hill, approximately 12 kilometres south of Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Also discovered and unearthed here at the sight are battlements carved in Dvaravati and Lop Buri arts.

 

Nature & Wildlife

Huai Luang Reservoir
This reservoir is located on the Udon Thani-Nong Bua Lam Phu Highway. Approximately at the km. 15 marker, get onto the road which leads directly to the reservoir and proceed for approximately 10 kilometres. With an area of 20,000 rai of land, the reservoir was built for agricultural, fishery, and electricity generation purposes. Activities for tourists include rafting, fishing, and canoeing. For those nature lovers wishing to relax amidst scenic backdrop, you can charter a boat that will take you to see interesting spots of the reservoir.

Yung Thong Waterfall
103 kilometers from the province, Located in Na Yung Nam Som National Park, it is a three-layer waterfall surrounded by number of trees and valleys.

Than Ngam Waterfall
A medium-sized waterfall situated amidst lush and pristine forests, the waterfall is more than perfect for swimming and relaxation. Traveling to the site can be done via Udon Thani Nong Bua Lam Phu or Udon Thani Khon Kaen route. For the first route, travel along the highway for approximately 45 kilometres, turn left to Nong Saeng District and proceed for another 5 kilometres. For the second route, travel along the highway for approximately 55 kilometres, turn right to Nong Saeng District and proceed for another 25 kilometres.

Na Yung Nam Som Forest Park
Yung Thong Waterfall located at Ban Sawang, Mu 2, Tambon Na Yoong, King-Amphoe Na Yung is a waterfall on the ridge of Phu Phan and Phu Ya Ou, where a stream flows through the steep rock cliff. Yung Thong Waterfall is three metres high and composed of water beautifully cascading amongst the stones, especially during the rainy season when it thunders down in torrents among the lush, green flora. Located 103 kilometers from Amphoe Muang, the route to the waterfall passes through Amphoe Ban Phue and Amphoe Nam Som. Upon reaching Amphoe Nam Som, there is a junction from Nam Suem Village, proceed on that route for seventeen kilometers in order to reach the junction that leads to the Reserve Park. The route is part of the project of the Office of Accelerated Rural Development, aimed at speeding up the development in the rural area which is in good condition and can be used all the year round.

Phu Foi Lom
Phu Foi Lom is an eco-tourism tourist destination which provides unique soft-adventurous activities for nature lovers. With an area of approximately 192,356 rai of Phu Phan Noi mountain range, Phu Foi Lom is part of the Pan Don Pa Ko National Reserved Park. Rare flora and fauna can be spotted here. As the place boasts diverse ecological systems, tourists can enjoy trekking along the provided trails. Phu Foi Lom is located approximately 35 kilometres from Udon Thanis town. Traveling there is not complicated, use Udon Thani Loei route, at km 9 marker, turn to Ban Lao and proceed for another 48 kilometres.

Than Ngam Waterfall
A medium-sized waterfall situated amidst lush and pristine forests, the waterfall is more than perfect for swimming and relaxation. Traveling to the site can be done via Udon Thani Nong Bua Lam Phu or Udon Thani Khon Kaen route. For the first route, travel along the highway for approximately 45 kilometres, turn left to Nong Saeng District and proceed for another 5 kilometres. For the second route, travel along the highway for approximately 55 kilometres, turn right to Nong Saeng District and proceed for another 25 kilometres.

 

Suburban Living

Ban Na Kha
This village is situated 16 kilometers from town on the Nong Khai route. It is a center of cotton, silk, and khit silk trading. To get there from the Udon Thanis city, take the buses operated on route Udon Thani Na Kha which leave from the stops in front of the Rajabhat Udon Thani Institute and Rangsina market.

The City Pillar
Located in the Tung Sri Muang field, in middle of the city, San Lak Muang was established in 1999. The place is where the city's guardian deity is believed to reside. Built in contemporary Isan style of architecture, the compound also houses God Wetsuwan, the provinces protecting God (as depicted in the provincial seal), along with the city pillar which is highly respected by the townspeople.

Ban Phue
This district, which is 42 kilometers north-west of Udon Thani, has an unusual mix of pre-historic cave paintings, fantastic geological formations and Buddhist shrines, the bulk of which are at Phra Phutthabaat Bua Bok, 12 kilometers outside of Ban Phue on Phra Bat hill. The area has been declared Phu Phra Bat Historical Park where nature-loving trekkers may take a hike around the area, which takes around two hours.

Ban Chiang Archaeological Site
This archaeological site is considered to be cultural property of outstanding universal value and was nominated as a World Heritage Site in December 1992. The Site is located at Ban Chiang, Amphoe Nong Han, 55 kilometers from the province on Highway No. 22 (Udon Thani-Sakon Nakon). Turn left at the 50-km marker to Highway No. 2225 and proceed for 6 kilometers.
Ban Chiang National Museum located at Ban Chiang, Tambon Ban Chiang, Amphoe Nong Han, is comprised of two parts. The first part stores antiques. Inside the building, old artifacts, ancient Ban Chiang culture, tools and utensils that showcase ancient technology and surroundings, as well as earthenware pots from 4,000 to 7,500 years old, are displayed. The second part is an open museum in the compound of Wat Po Si Nai. The Fine Arts Department has retained the conditions of archaeological excavations to illustrate how earthenware pots and other items were buried along with the dead. Ban Chiang National Museum is considered the first open museum in Thailand. As for the Ban Chiang earthenware pots, they are known world-wide because Ban Chiang was the origin of a pre-historic civilization. Archaeologists believe the designs on Ban Chiang earthenware are the oldest pot designs in the world.
Traveling to Ban Chiang National Museum is very easy. It is only fifty-six kilometers from Muang District. The route runs along Highway 22 and turns left onto Highway 2225 at kilometer 50, where a road sign indicates the way to Ban Chiang which is six kilometers away.

The museum is open to the general public every day, except Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

with an admission fee of 150 baht. The museum has a parking area with toilets and village shops located nearby.

On the way to Ban Chiang, visitors can stop at several villages where handicrafts are made. Ban Kham O located along the Udon Thani-Sakon Nakhon Road is a Ban Chiang pottery sculpture center while Ban Pu Lu is a pottery-painting place.

Ban Kham Chanot Wang Nakhin
Located in Ban Muang, Tambon Wang Thong, approximately 93 kilometres from Udon Thani's town is an area called Wang Nakhin (Naga Palace) a place believed and regarded by the locals as a mystical and holy place where the door to the underworld of Naga is located. Covering an area of over 20 rai of land, Wang Nakhin (locally dubbed as Dong Chanot) is nothing but an islet surrounded by water. It is teemed with dense palm trees called Chanot. Traveling to the place is easy by Udon Thani Sakon Nakhon route. At Ban Nong Mek, turn left and proceed approximately 84 kilometres to Ban Dung, and another 9 kilometres to Ban Kham Chanot.

 

Recreational & Entertainment

Udon Sunshine Orchid Garden
This is located in Soi Kamol Watthana on Udon Thani-Nong Samrong route (Highway No. 204). The garden produces and sells a new species of Thai scented orchid called Udon Sunshine. It is the only known vanda hybrid which is fragrant between the early morning hours and about 2 p.m., and it is the first orchid in the world to be made into a perfume. Please call 0 4224 2475 for more information.

Nong Prachak
Located in the Udon Thani Municipality, this giant pond has existed before the establishment of Udon Thani town. Lying to the west of the town, it was formerly called “Nong Na Klue” (pond of salty water) and later changed to “Nong Prachak” in honor of Major General HRH Prince Prachaksinlapakhom, the founder of Udon Thani town. In 1987, the Udon Thani Municipality improved the pond as a royal tribute to King Rama IX on the auspicious occasion of his 50th birthday anniversary. On an island in the pond, a small garden is filled with decorative and flowering plants, and there is a bridge linking the island with the mainland. Within the park, there is a fountain, a clock tower, and a playground. It serves as a place of recreation and exercise for the public.

 

 

 
 


 
 
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