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 Thanis provincial seal depicts God Wetsuwan, King of the giants and keeper of the Northern Heavenly
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: Mueang, 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 bahts for regular buses (260 bahts 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 bahtsfor regular buses (146 bahts 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 Bangkoks 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 bahts, 2nd class is 219 bahts and 3rd class is 95 bahts 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 www.thaiairways.com.
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. Call 1318 or book online at www.nokair.com
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
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 bahts.
The car rental places opposite the Udon Hotel offers sedan, jeeps and vans for hire starting at around 1,200 bahts.
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 bahts to 15 bahts per
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