Mukdahan (มุกดาหาร) is a city in Isaan.
Mukdahan is the 73rd province of Thailand. Its history dates from the late Ayutthaya period, over 200 years ago. At first, on the left side of the Mekong River, there was a large community called Ban Luang Phon Sin located by Phrathat Ing Hang, presently in Savannakhet Province of Lao PDR. The community was ruled by Chao Chan Suriyawong. His son was Chao Kinnari. He later built a new town at the mouth of Huai Muk on the right bank of the Mekong River in 1767. The town was completed in 1770 and named "Mukdahan" (moonstone or pearl) according to a propitious sign occurring to him while the town was under construction. That is why the locals call the town "Mueang Muk".
During the reign of King Taksin the Great, Chao Kinnari was promoted as Phraya Chanthon Si Surat Upparacha Manthaturat to be the first ruler of Mukdahan in 1778.
At first, Mukdahan was part of 'Monthon Udon' or Udon Circle. In 1907, the Circle was dissolved to become a province and Mukdahan was then an Amphoe of Nakhon Phanom province. It was promoted as Mukdahan province in 1982 as the country’s 73rd province and the 17th province of Isaan.
Actually, Mukdahan is a significant gateway to Indochinese countries. The local people of Mukdahan actually have had a long relationship with the people in Savannakhet Province of Laos, although they are separated by the Mekong River. Mukdahan is home to 8 ethnic minorities; namely, Thai Isaan, Phu Thai, Thai Kha, Kraso, Thai Kaloeng, Thai Yo, Thai Saek, and Thai Kula. It has abundant natural beauty. Mukdahan covers a total area of 4,339.830 sq km.
Mukdahan is 642 km from Bangkok. Take the route Bangkok - Saraburi - Nakhon Ratchasima - Amphoe Ban Phai - Maha Sarakham - Amphoe Phon Thong - Roi Et - Amphoe Khamcha-i - Mukdahan.
Another route is Bangkok - Saraburi - Nakhon Ratchasima on Hwy 2. Then turn right onto Hwy 207 at Ban Wat and go Amphoe Prathai - Amphoe Phutthaisong - Amphoe Phayakkhaphum Phisai - Amphoe Kaset Wisai - Amphoe Suwannaphum, then use Hwy 2169 via Amphoe Sai Mun - Amphoe Kut Chum - Amphoe Loeng Nok Tha, and Hwy 212 via Amphoe Nikhom Kham Soi to Mukdahan.
The Transport Co., Ltd. operates daily bus services from the Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak or Mo Chit 2), Tel. 0 2936 2852-66. There are also local buses connecting Mukdahan with other Northeastern provinces like Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani via Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Phanom via That Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, and Maha Sarakham. For more details, please contact the Mukdahan Bus Terminal at Tel. 0 4261 1421, 0 4261 1478, 0 4261 3025-9 or .
A minibus from Nakhon Phanom will cost 80 baht.
The terminal itself is on the main highway a couple of Km outside the main part of town. There are plenty of tuk-tuks however.
Trains leave Bangkok Railway Station or Hua Lamphong for Ubon Ratchathani daily. From there, Mukdahan is 167 km by bus. For more information, call the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020 or visit .
Thai Airways International does not operate any direct flight to Mukdahan. Passengers can fly to Nakhon Phanom or Ubon Ratchathani, then take a bus to Mukdahan. For more information, call THAI at Tel. 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000 or visit .
Use tuk-tuks. Yellow songthaew do a circuit around the town, including a stop at the bus terminal (10 baht).
Definitely visit the morning market for breakfast behind the Esso station opposite Mukdahan Hospital.
Haw Kaew Watthanatham: This tower which you can see from the river looks out over the city and the river providing a panoramic view of Mukdahan and a nice peek across the Mekong. Great information on local tourist attractions and some good displays of local ethnic groups as well as local history. One of the most charming of its kind in Isaan.
Considerable forest surrounds the nearby city so there are a number of natural attractions
The café Good Mook* is an oasis of Western retro design among everything Asian. Here you can have espresso-based coffee drinks and cookies, read design magazines or use Wi-Fi. They also have custom t-shirts and photos that look very nice for sale.
There is plenty of accommodation spread throughout the city at various prices. Some better budget alternatives to nearby Nakhon Phanom.
There is a car park on the Mukdahan side of the bridge. One night costs 100 baht. With the correct paperwork it's also possible to drive your car over to Laos. There are no pedestrian lanes on the bridge.
Visa-on-arrival is available at the border post for those nationalities that require one (see the article on Laos for more details). Additionally, the Lao border officials charge an "entry fee" (40-170 baht), "exit fee" (40 baht) and after 16:00, an "overtime fee" (40 baht) for stamping one's passport.