Udon Thani

Photo © edandsuet

Travel Guide Asia Thailand Northeast Thailand Udon Thani Province Udon Thani

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Introduction

Udon Thani in the morning

Udon Thani in the morning

© All Rights Reserved Budai

Udon Thani is one of Thailand's largest towns, set in the plains of the agricultural Isaan region in the northeast of the country and is the provincial capital of Udon Thani Province. It is a major trading centre, and enjoys its proximity to the Lao capital Vientiane, across the Mekong river from Nong Khai.

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Sights and Activities

  • Ban Chiang Museum

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Events and Festivals

  • Khit Fabric Annual Fair - December

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Getting There

By Plane

Udon Thani Airport (UTH) has several 50 min daily flights to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi [BKK]) (Thai Airlines: around 2,500 baht) or (Don Mueang [DMK]) (Air Asia from 500 baht and Nok Air from 1,250 baht if booked well in advance). There are also direct flights to Chiang Mai, Loei and Phuket (Air Asia flies to Phuket with tickets often around 1,000-1,200 baht, which is comparable to a 2-night bus/train trip via Bangkok).

To get to the city there is a limousine service (actually a minibus) for 80 baht/person that will drop you and other passengers at the location of your choice. Minibus tickets are available in the booth just to the right as you leave the terminal building. If there are more than two of you, it may be cheaper to call a taxi (Tel. +66 42 323239). Taxis are not permitted to wait for passengers at the airport, but some do it anyway, asking 200-400 baht for the 4 km journey. Some hotels have pickup services and may take an extra passenger or two if space permits. Some long distance buses to Khon Kaen were seen in the airport, with numerous people boarding them. No local Udon Thani songthaews have been seen near the airport.

By Train

Daily trains go to Nong Khai (45 minutes for just a bargain 11 baht) and over the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River to Laos. Trains are also frequent to Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok. The overnight express sleeper to Bangkok is scheduled to take 9.25 hours, but usually takes longer. Nevertheless, it is still quite comfortable and pleasant, especially when taken in a sleeping berth or compartment. A daytime express train to Bangkok traverses a causeway over the large and scenic artificial lake created by the Pa Sak Jolasid Dam (in Lopburi Province). Connections to the major centres of southern Isaan (Buriram, Surin, Si Saket and Ubon Ratchathani) can be made in Nakhon Ratchasima for those who like to travel by rail.

In all, there are daily daytime trains, and three daily nighttime trains from Bangkok to Udon Thani and vice versa (most of which normally originate or terminate at Nong Khai), and several local trains to other destinations, including Nakhon Ratchasima.

By Car

It takes approximately 7 hours from Bangkok to reach Udon Thani.

By Bus

There are airconditioned buses from Bangkok taking around 8 hours. Buses also go to and from Nong Khai (1 hours) and the capital of Laos, Vientiane (2 hours).

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Getting Around

By Car

Car rental is available from the major international players as well as local operators.

By Public Transport

Tuk-tuks, three-wheeled motorcycles, are readily available in most commercial areas. Negotiate a price for your journey before you get in. Note that in Udon Thani the locally made vehicles (called Skylabs) differ from those in most of Thailand outside Isaan in that their fronts are adapted motorcycles. If you travel to Laos, you will also see such vehicles (called "jumbos") there. Tuk-tuks prowl the streets on the lookout for tourists. Apart from long journeys the price should be around 30-50 baht. If you get into the bus station early in the morning and need a guest house they may pretend they can't speak English, drive you around in a small circle "looking" for guesthouses before dropping you around the corner from the station; however, some may not speak English and are just trying to be helpful. They will then ask for 100 baht for a 30 baht journey. There is plenty of accommodation within walking distance of the station.

Udon Thani has a bus-like network of numbered pick up trucks with 2 benches in the back songthaews; cost is 8 or 10 baht per trip (10 baht outside the ring road).

By Foot

Walking around is just as pleasant as taking public transport and distances are not to big.

By Bike

Bicycles are available for rent at the northeast corner of Nong Prajak Park. 20 baht/hour.
Bicycles can also be rented by the day from Asia Backpackers and SPM House.

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Eat

Street vendors abound throughout the city. Satay, noodle soup (beef, pork, chicken and duck are common), pad Thai, som tam, grilled chicken, meat on a stick, various sweets and rice dishes are available at nearly all times. Udon Thani has a large range of buffet restaurants including Korean-style cook it yourself BBQ in a raised dish over a charcoal burner in the centre of your table.

  • Bongkotch Restaurant (ร้านอาหารบงกช) (At the top of Soi Suphanthanit). Popular Thai restaurant with good food and low prices. 40+ baht.
  • Fuzzy Ken's, 298/15 Sayoutis Road (Opposite 7-Eleven on Sayoutis Rd; 1 min walk from central bus station 1 or Central Plaza; 10 min from railway station), ☎ +66 86 011 4627, e-mail: fuzzyken@hotmail.com. M-Sa, 08:00-late. Closed Su. A wonderful hybrid: a restaurant serving Thai and Western food, a used bookshop, and a shop selling hard-to-find Western foodstuffs (Bovril, Marmite, Heinz beans, Vegemite, meat pies). A Brit, Ken is a terrific source of local info. Serves beer and wine. Good website. Free Wi-Fi. Huge breakfast, 145 baht (Aug 2017).
  • The Good Corner Restaurant and Bar, Nutty Park, Prachak Rd (Just around the corner from the "bar street"; across from UD Residence), ☎ +66 98 2065125. Daily, 08:00-23:00; kitchen closes 22:00. Owned by a Danish lady, serves breakfast, pizza and Thai food. Great quality and decent prices.
  • Maeyaa (ร้านอาหารแม่หยา), 79-81 Rachapasadu Rd (ถ.ราชพัสดุ) (Just S of Phosi Rd and W of Amphoe Rd, about 3 km from city centre). Terrific family restaurant, an Udon institution. Three floors, crowded with Thais at mealtimes. Extensive photo menu and have an English menu available. Thai and Western food, but best to stick with the Thai. Also known for their extensive ice cream selection including banana splits. Air conditioned.
  • Diary Restaurant, 128/17 Ban Lao Rd., Soi 6 Udon Dutsadi, Udon Thani 41000 (Opposite Gomen City Estates), ☎ +66 042-241-471, e-mail: diaryudon@gmail.com. 10:00-21:00 Tuesday to Sunday. International and Thai food, great quality & affordable prices. Serving Isaan food, Vegetarian food, Thai curries, Western breakfasts, Mexican & Italian food. Online ordering & delivery available.

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Drink

Udon Thani has a variety of karaoke bars, beer bars and Western bars. "Farang bars" tend to be concentrated in the area between Central Plaza and the railway station. Bars close sharply at midnight as the police are strict. Police set up roadblocks at the hour to look for drunk drivers. If you are driving a motorbike and over the limit it will cost you a night in a very uncomfortable Thai jail, most of the next day, and 3,000 baht.

  • Day and Night Bar Complex (Next to the Pannerai Hotel). Noon till midnight. About seventeen beer bars in this open air, but covered, bar complex.
  • Nutty Park. L-shaped alley containing a dozen or more small bars popular with tourists and expats. Nutty Park contains what may be the best farang-oriented bar in Udon, the Good Shot Bar. It's clean and well lit, with nice hostesses and two pool tables. Serves Thai and Western food from two nearby restaurants.

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Sleep

Udon Thani has a plethora of city hotels ranging from basic fan-cooled rooms to more international hotels with restaurants, pools and airconditioning.

Budget

  • Paradise Hotel
  • Ban Chiang Hotel: Centrally located with aircon rooms.
  • Napalai Hotel: Centrally located with aircon rooms.

Mid-Range

Upscale

  • Green Gecko, a luxury Thai villa in the traditional Thai style. In a rural location, this imposing villa has a private swimming pool and offers fully catered and serviced holidays. Sleeps 2-4.
  • An elegant Thai holiday villa for rent, Rice Paddy Villa and its private swimming pool directly overlook the adjacent rice paddies. Sleeps two-four guests. Finished in the traditional Thai style, this vacation rental offers all modern conveniences and a genuine experience of Thai village life.
  • Grand Chareonsri
  • Charoen Hotel

View our map of accommodation in Udon Thani or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are countless internet bars across the country in big and small towns. Internet cafés are widespread and most are inexpensive. Prices as low as 15 baht/hour are commonplace, and speed of connection is generally reasonable, but many cafes close at midnight. Higher prices prevail in major package-tourist destinations (60 baht/hour is typical, 120 baht/hour is not unusual). Keyloggers are all too often installed on the computers in cheap cafes, so be on your guard if using online banking, stock broking or even PayPal. Remember that in the smaller towns and more traditional areas the owners and staff of internet bars prefer if customers take off their shoes at the entrance and leave them outside. This might seem strange although this gesture goes a far way to make friends and give a positive image of foreigners to Thai people.

Outside the most competitive tourist areas, free Wi-Fi is not as common as in neighbouring countries in many budget hotels and guesthouses and they may charge small fee for Internet by LAN or Wi-Fi even if you bring your own laptop. Wi-Fi is commonly available in cafes and restaurants serving Westerners.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international code for Thailand is 66. 999 connects to all emergency services. Standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. 911 for Tourist Police Department, English available.

For mobile phone users, Thailand has three GSM mobile service providers - AIS, DTAC and Truemove - which may be useful if you have a mobile phone that will work on either one or both of the GSM 900 or 1800 frequency bands (consult your phone's technical specifications). If you have one, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for any of the Thai carriers in any convenience store for as little as 50-200 baht and charge it up as you go. Using your own mobile phone while on holiday with a Thai pre-paid SIM card can save a lot of money and lets you give your number to family back home, so they can have an emergency contact number.

Post

Thailand Post is the Thai postal service that deals with all local and international mail in Thailand. The business is operated from local post offices. Post offices are easy to recognise with their red white and blue motifs and the words 'Thailand Post' in English and Thai above the entrance. They are open from Monday to Saturday, usually 8:30am to 4:30pm (main ones until around 8:00pm), though keeping shorter hours on Saturdays (usually until 1:00pm). They are generally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Each post office offers a comprehensive service which includes an Express Mail Service (EMS) and parcel post. They also have a price calculator for letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. They also have a track and trace system and money transfer services. If you want to send packages, it might be a good idea to check with private courier companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and generally quite competitively priced.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 17.407499
  • Longitude: 102.793098

Accommodation in Udon Thani

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Udon Thani searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Udon Thani and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as janecollin (3%), Peter (2%)

Udon Thani Travel Helpers

  • iMush

    Hello สวัสดีครับ! I have been living in Thailand for almost a year now, worked and settled in Udon Thani for three months and I would be glad to give some clues to fellow travelers if they need help. I was able to learn the language and I am completely capable of speaking (basic conversation) reading and writing Thai, of course I am still practicing on vocabulary and other things so, feel free to holler at me if you're going or planning to go there or other nearby provinces and you need some suggestions about what to do/see in the Isan region!

    Ask iMush a question about Udon Thani

This is version 21. Last edited at 10:39 on Aug 14, 18 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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