- General Information
- How To Get There
- Travel Guide
Udon Thani, a northeastern province covering an area of 11,730 square kilometers, is a prime business center of I-San. Located 564 kilometers from Bangkok, it the world heritage site for the prehistoric culture of Ban Chiang.
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 Nongbualamphu and Loei to the west. The province is located on a plateau which is approximately 187 metres above sea level. Most of its areas are covered with rice fields, forests and hills, with the Phu Pan mountain ranges and the Songkhram River are the provinces 2 main natural resources.
The locals are mainly engaged in agricultural activities, with particular rising in wholesale and retail trading activities. That is why Udon Thani is an agricultural market hub or neighboring provinces.
Udon Thani's provincial seal depicts God Wetsuwan, King of the giants and keeper of the Northern Heavenly Gate.
The Vietnam War transformed the sleepy provincial city of Udon Thani into a booming support center for a nearby American airbase. Since the withdrawal of American troops in 1976, it has continued to grow as an industrial and commercial center within the region.
Today, Udon Thani is the transportation and communications hub of the upper Northeast with several tourist destinations and facilities.
Administratively, Udon Thani is divided into the following districts: Muang, Kumphawapi, Nong Han, Phen, Ban Phue, Ban Dung, Si That, Nam Som, Nong Wua So, Kut Chap, Non Sa-at, Wang Sam Mo, Chai Wan, Nong Saeng, Sang Khom, Thung Fon, Na Yung, Phibun Rak, Ku Kaeo and, Prachaksinlapakhom.
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to Udon Thani via Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen Provinces, a total distance of 564 kilometers.
Buses for Udon leave Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) throughout the day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The journey takes around 10 to 11 hours and the fare is 145 baht for regular buses (260 baht for air-conditioned buses). Contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0-2936-2852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th. for more information.
Buses leave the main bus terminal in Khorat every half hour during the day and arrive in Udon five hours later. The cost is 81 baht for regular buses (146 baht for air-conditioned buses).
There are buses running between Udon Thani and other provinces such as Nong Khai, Loei, Khon Kaen, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom and Ubon Ratchathani. The buses leave Udon Thani Bus Terminal every 40 minutes.
A 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.
A daily flight between Bangkok and Udon Thani is offered by the Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI). For detailed information, contact THAI, Tel. 1566; 0 2280 0060; 0 2282 0080; and 0 2628 2000, or visit www.thaiairways.com. In addition, there are low-cost airlines daily serviced by Thai Air Asia, Tel. 0 2515 9999 or www.airasia.com, and Nok Air, Tel. 1318 or www.nokair.co.th.
Travelling around Udon Thani
A hassle free way to get around the city is by the city bus. The most useful city bus for visitors is the yellow bus No. 2, which plies a route from the No. 2 bus terminal, south along Suphakit Janya road and then east along Pho Si road past the Charoen Hotel. The No. 6 bus runs between the No. 2 bus terminal and Rangsina Market, while bus No. 23 runs between bus terminals Nos. 1 and 2. The fare for all city buses is 4 baht.
The car rental places opposite the Udon Hotel offers sedan, jeeps and vans for hire starting at around 1,200 baht.
By Sam lor
Sam lors drivers in Udon Thani practically doubled their rates overnight when 50 Americans arrived to work on the VOA station outside the town in 1990-91, apparently the engineers were throwing their dollars around with abandon. With a permanent contingent of VOA employees in the area, just about any farang (foreigner) who happens to pass through Udon Thani will have to deal with this two tier price system. Reasonable fares are 10 baht to 15 bahts per kilometer.
Thung Si Muang Festival
Thung Si Muang Festival is held around December every year to showcase and sell local products. The Dragon dancing can be witnessed during the festival.Thung Si Muang Festival
Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok Worship Fair is held around December every year This annual fair is held during the13th - 15th waxing moon days of the 3rd lunar month with booths of goods and local products for sale. Many visitors from Udon Thani and nearby provinces come to join the fair.
Nong Prachak located within the province, the lake is centered by an islet arranged as a public park with a great variety of trees and flowers. It is a popular place for recreation among the townspeople.
Na Kha Village 16 kilometers from the province on Udon Thani-Nong Khai route (the Highway 2), the village is famous for its hand woven cloth called "Khit" of which various types of products are made and also put on sale.
Udon Saeng Tawan (Sunshine) Orchid Garden located in Soi Kamol Watthana on Udon-Nong Samrong route, the garden produces and puts on sale a new species of Thai scented orchid called "Undon Sunshine".
Phra Phutthabat (Holy Footprint) Bua Bok enshrined at the foot of the Khao (Mount) Phu Phan ten Kilometers west of Amphoe Ban Phu, which is itself some fifty kilometers from Udon proper, is greatly revered by the people. Celebrations are held from March 11 to 15 each year to pay respect to the 40-meter tall pagoda housing the Holy Footprint and a piece of Holy Relic.
Phu Phra Bat Historical Park covers the entire area of the Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok which is around 1,200 acres. Rocks of different sizes and shapes dot the beautiful landscape, with caves and caverns. Pre-historic paintings over cliff faces have been discovered, although many leave only the faintest of traces. Nature-loving trekkers may take a hike around the area, which takes around two hours.
Ban Chiang National Museum Located at Ban Chiang, Tambon Ban Chiang, Amphoe Nong Han, it comprises two parts. The first part stores antiques. Inside the building, old artifacts, ancient Ban Chiang culture, tools and utensils that show ancient technology and surroundings, as well as earthenware pots from 4,000 to 7,500 years old, are displayed. The second part comprises an open museum in the compound of Wat Po Si Nai. The Fine Arts Department has retained the conditions of archaeological excavations to show 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 many years ago. Archaeologists believe the designs on Ban Chiang earthenware are the oldest pot designs in the world.
Travelling to Ban Chiang National Museum is very easy. It is only fifty-six kilometers from Amphoe Muang. The route runs along Highway 22 and turns left onto Highway 2225 at kilometer 50 there, a road sign indicates the way to Ban Chiang which is six kilometres away. The museum is open to the general public every day, expect Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. The admission fee is 20 baht. The museum has a parking area. Toilets and village shops are located nearby.