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
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,
How To Get There
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 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.
Trains depart from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Udon
Thani every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more information. The
8.30 p.m. Nong Khai Express (No. 69) from Bangkok arrives in Udon
Thani at 6.33 a.m. on the next day. Rapid trains leave Bangkok on the
Nong Khai line at 6.15 a.m. and 7 p.m. arriving in Udon Thani at 3.56
p.m. and 5.15 a.m. The first class fare is 457 baht, 2nd class is 219
baht and 3rd class is 95 baht plus applicable charges for sleeper and
express services. In the reverse direction the No. 4 express leaves
Udon at 7 p.m.
Thai Airways has several daily flights connecting Bangkok with Udon
Thani. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel.
0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000 or visit their website at
Phuket Air provides daily flight services from Bangkok to Udon Thani.
There is also a flight on every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
leaving from Udon Thani to Chiang Mai. The flight time is 1.25 hours.
For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel: 0-2679-8999
or visit its website at www.phuketairlines.com
Nok Air offers three daily flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani. The
flight time is 1.05 hours. The airline also operate flights between
Udon Thani and Chiang Mai twice a week. Call 1318 or book online at
Air Asia operates two daily flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani. The
flight takes one hour. For more information, Call 02 515 9999 or visit
www.airasia.com for more details.
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 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
Ban Chiang Pottery
This ancient style pottery is made according to the findings of the
Ban Chiang Archeological Site in Nong Han District, which is a World
Heritage Site. Ban Kham Or, is Ban Chiang pottery sculpture center and
one of several villages where handicrafts are made. It is located
along the Udon Thani-Sakon Nakon Road. Ban Pu Lu is a pottery-painting
Na Kha Village, which is 16 kilometers from the province on Udon
Thani-Nong Khai route (Highway 2), is famous for its hand woven cloth
called "Khit" of which various types of products are made and sold.
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.
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
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.
Phra Phutthabat (Holy Footprint) Bua Ban is 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.
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.
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. Archeological 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.
This is a large cave high up on the side of a limestone mountain at
the back of Wat Tham Erawan. This temple is 2 kilometers north of a
turn-off between Km. 31 and 32 markers on Route 210 - near the village
of Ban Hong Phu Thawng, west of the town of Na Klang.
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.
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.
The huge reservoir under the oversight of the Irrigation Department
offers beautiful scenery. Call tel. 0 4224 5540 or 0 4224 2141 for
Krom Luang Prachaksinlapakhom Monument
This monument, built to commemorate the founder of Udon Thani, is
located in the center of the town.
This is a lake located within the province with an islet landscaped
with a great variety of trees and flowers as a public park in the
center. It is a popular place for recreation among the townspeople.
San Chao Pu Ya
This is a Chinese-style shrine located near Nong Bua Market within the
provincial town. It is a large beautiful Chinese shrine nearby the
pond. The shrine houses a 99 meter-tall replica of a golden dragon,
which is used in the annual festival at Thung Si Muang in December.
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.
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.
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.
This is a temple, which houses a white rock Buddha image that was
renovated in the reign of King Rama V. The monastery is located in
Tambol Mak Kaeng, Amphoe Muang, Udon Thani.
This temple, which is located within the province, was built at the
end of King Rama V era (around the early of 20th century).
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.
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
Yung Thong Waterfall is 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.
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
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 20 baht. The
museum has a parking area with toilets and village shops located
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.
Wat Pho Si Nai 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.
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.