Udon Thani is a large province in the North East of Thailand, the area which is known as Isan. Its capital Udon Thani town has developed into a regional center of the North East. The town is often used as a base to get to Vientiane and Vang Vieng in Laos. Udon Thani has a relatively dry climate. It is a rural province; many of its inhabitants are involved in farming. The area’s history goes back thousands of years. Both the prehistoric site of Ban Chiang and Phu Phra Bat Historical Park contain traces of ancient civilizations in the area. Udon Thani town grew considerably during the Vietnam war, when the Americans build an air force base in the town.
To do & see in Udon Thani
Udon Thani province hosts a number of historical, cultural and natural attractions.
Ban Chiang archeological site
East of Udon Thani town is Ban Chiang, a prehistoric village and burial site, which was inhabited from about 1500 BC until 300 AD. Today Ban Chiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thousands of items have been excavated including skeletons, ax heads and large numbers of pottery and bronze ornaments like rings and bracelets. The Ban Chiang National Museum exhibits items excavated at several pits; one of the excavation pits is open to visitors.
Phu Phra Bat Historical Park
The Phu Phra Bat Historical Park near the Thai - Laos border is located on a forested hill where traces can be found of several civilizations spanning thousands of years. Visitors can see rock formations in the shape of caves with rocky overhangs used by prehistoric man as shelter, prehistoric rock paintings, 1200 years old boundary stones that marked the sacred area of Dvaravati temples and rock carvings made by the Khmer about 1,000 years ago. The Wat Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok temple enshrines a footprint of the Buddha.
Nong Prachak park
Nong Prachak is a large well kept park and a large lake with several islands that are connected by bridges. The park is located in the North West part of Udon Thani town. Local people use the park to relax and exercise, have picnics and feed the fish.
Ban Na Kha village
Ban Na Kha village is located on Highway 2 about 20 kilometers North of Udon Thani town. The village is known for its handwoven silk and cotton products, which can be bought in the many shops in the village.
Udon Thani provincial museum
Udon Thai provincial museum is located in a beautiful colonial style building constructed in the 1920’s as a girls school. The museum exhibits items related to archeology, geology, folk history, local culture and Buddhism, as well as local handicrafts and arts. The museum is located on Pho Si road near Nong Prachak park. It opens daily from 8.30 am until 4 pm.
Wang Sam Mo forest park
Wang Sam Mo forest park is a small park protected by the Department of National Parks. The forested area South East of Udon Thani town features ponds, creeks, rapids and several caves.
Getting to Udon Thani
Udon Thani is located at a distance of 565 kilometers North of Bangkok. You can get there by air, train or bus.
The easiest and quickest way to get to Udon Thani from Bangkok is by plane. Udon Thani airport is located a few kilometers South of town. To get from the airport into town, take a minibus at 80 Thai Baht per person or arrange hotel pick up.
Thai Airways serves Udon Thani airport multiple times daily from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. Flights take 1 hour and 5 minutes, starting at 1,450 Thai Baht one way. For more information, check the Thai Airways website.
Nok Air offers multiple flights daily from Bangkok’s old airport, Don Mueang. Flights take 1 hour and 5 minutes, starting at 835 Baht one way.
Air Asia offers several flights daily from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport. Flights take 1 hour, fares start at 1,083 Thai Baht.
Bangkok Airways serve Udon Thai from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. Fares start at 990 Baht one way, flights take 1 hour and 5 minutes. For more info, check their website.
Udon Thani is on the State Railway of Thailand’s North Eastern route, which continues to Nong Khai and Vientiane, Laos. Trains depart from Hualamphong station in Bangkok. The 569 kilometer trip takes between 10 and 12 hours depending on the type of train. The earliest train departs at 8.20 am and arrives in Udon Thani at 6.05 pm. Fares are 95, 219 and 457 Thai Baht for third, second and first class respectively. For more information, check the State Railway of Thailand website.
Ordinary and air conditioned buses depart from Bangkok North Eastern bus terminal Mo Chit 2 on Kamphaeng Phet 2 road and arrive at Udon Thani bus station on Sai Uthit. The trip takes about 8 hours, one way fare is about 500 Thai Baht.