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(Sleep: WiFi is the preferred WT standard)
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* <sleep name="The Pannarai Hotel" alt="เดอะพรรณรายโฮเต็ล" address="19/8 Sampantamit Rd, Udon Thani" directions="300 m from Central Plaza shopping mall" phone="+66 88 057 6875, +66 42 345-111, +66 42 344-999" url="http://thepannaraihotel.blogspot.com/" checkin="13:00" checkout="12:00" price="1,280+ baht includes breakfast" lat="" long="" email="thepannaraiud@hotmail.com" fax="">Beautiful city view with private swimming pool and restaurant. Two meeting rooms and private car park. Five minute walk to bus and train stations. Located in the middle of Udon Thani, next to night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="The Pannarai Hotel" alt="เดอะพรรณรายโฮเต็ล" address="19/8 Sampantamit Rd, Udon Thani" directions="300 m from Central Plaza shopping mall" phone="+66 88 057 6875, +66 42 345-111, +66 42 344-999" url="http://thepannaraihotel.blogspot.com/" checkin="13:00" checkout="12:00" price="1,280+ baht includes breakfast" lat="" long="" email="thepannaraiud@hotmail.com" fax="">Beautiful city view with private swimming pool and restaurant. Two meeting rooms and private car park. Five minute walk to bus and train stations. Located in the middle of Udon Thani, next to night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Silver Reef Bed &amp; Breakfast" alt="" address="338/8 Prajack Rd" directions="5 min walk to Robinson Shopping" phone="+66 42 344-081" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" prajack="Prajack" markhang="Markhang" udon="Udon">Central, close to the bus station and Robinson complex. New, rooms have 29” TV, air-con, Wi-Fi. Cheerful theme with cartoon characters. Canadian management. 500+ baht.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Silver Reef Bed &amp; Breakfast" alt="" address="338/8 Prajack Rd" directions="5 min walk to Robinson Shopping" phone="+66 42 344-081" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" prajack="Prajack" markhang="Markhang" udon="Udon">Central, close to the bus station and Robinson complex. New, rooms have 29” TV, air-con, WiFi. Cheerful theme with cartoon characters. Canadian management. 500+ baht.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Top Mansion" alt="" address="35/3 Sampantamit Rd" directions="200 m from Central Plaza shopping mall" phone="+66 42 345015" url="http://goo.gl/maps/gUun" checkin="" checkout="" price="450 baht" lat="+17.407" long="+102.802" email="topmansion@yahoo.com" fax="">Convenient to bus and train stations, night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital. On the street with foreigner-oriented bars, pubs, and other accommodations.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Top Mansion" alt="" address="35/3 Sampantamit Rd" directions="200 m from Central Plaza shopping mall" phone="+66 42 345015" url="http://goo.gl/maps/gUun" checkin="" checkout="" price="450 baht" lat="+17.407" long="+102.802" email="topmansion@yahoo.com" fax="">Convenient to bus and train stations, night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital. On the street with foreigner-oriented bars, pubs, and other accommodations.</sleep>
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* <sleep name="Karin Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="Watthananuwong Rd" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="460 to 800 baht" lat="" long="">Somewhat aging, but cheap and convenient location (between Nong Prajak and Robinson/train station).</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Karin Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="Watthananuwong Rd" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="460 to 800 baht" lat="" long="">Somewhat aging, but cheap and convenient location (between Nong Prajak and Robinson/train station).</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Nuntiya Terrace" alt="" address="549 Prachasanti Rd" directions="city centre" phone="+66 42 321-282" url="http://www.NuntiyaTerrace.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Central, close to UD Town. New, clean, TV, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, parking. Daily rate and monthly rate are available.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Nuntiya Terrace" alt="" address="549 Prachasanti Rd" directions="city centre" phone="+66 42 321-282" url="http://www.NuntiyaTerrace.com/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Central, close to UD Town. New, clean, TV, air conditioning, WiFi, parking. Daily rate and monthly rate are available.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Phimonrat Mansion" alt="" address="Phimonrat Mansion 38/9 M.5 Robmuang Rd Nong Bua" directions="crossing of Mittraphap, Nong Bua Rd 100 m Eastwards Nong Bua Rd" phone="+66 42 243389" email="" fax="" url="http://www.phimonrat.com/en/index.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="350 baht"> Rooms with air conditioning, TV and fridge, Wi-Fi inside and outside. Thai food & drinks are available (30-200 baht) and laundry is done on-site. Staff speaks little English but good Japanese. Thai owner visited Europe extensively.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Phimonrat Mansion" alt="" address="Phimonrat Mansion 38/9 M.5 Robmuang Rd Nong Bua" directions="crossing of Mittraphap, Nong Bua Rd 100 m Eastwards Nong Bua Rd" phone="+66 42 243389" email="" fax="" url="http://www.phimonrat.com/en/index.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="350 baht"> Rooms with air conditioning, TV and fridge, WiFi inside and outside. Thai food & drinks are available (30-200 baht) and laundry is done on-site. Staff speaks little English but good Japanese. Thai owner visited Europe extensively.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Ruysuk Mansion Hotel" alt="" address="249/1 Adunyadet Rd" directions="phone="+66 42 325533" url="http://www.infoudonthani.com/hotel_udonthani" checkin="" checkout="" price="From 300 baht" lat="" long="">Popular inexpensive hotel for long and short stay with English speaking management. Discount for long stayers. Wi-Fi available. Air-conditioned rooms.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Ruysuk Mansion Hotel" alt="" address="249/1 Adunyadet Rd" directions="phone="+66 42 325533" url="http://www.infoudonthani.com/hotel_udonthani" checkin="" checkout="" price="From 300 baht" lat="" long="">Popular inexpensive hotel for long and short stay with English speaking management. Discount for long stayers. WiFi available. Air-conditioned rooms.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="Tanita (Lagoon) Resort" alt="" address="113 Baan Nong Huaw Mue, Nadee" directions="2 km from airport" phone="+66 81 884 6334" url="http://www.tanitaresort.com/lagoon.htm" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Nine standard air-conditioned rooms in big area surrounded by a nice lagoon and beautiful gardens. Wi-Fi available. The resort is equipped with a Thai restaurant and also provides Western breakfast. The very friendly owners provide transportation to the centre or to the sights around Udon Thani. Hotel owners speak enough English to communicate well.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Tanita (Lagoon) Resort" alt="" address="113 Baan Nong Huaw Mue, Nadee" directions="2 km from airport" phone="+66 81 884 6334" url="http://www.tanitaresort.com/lagoon.htm" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Nine standard air-conditioned rooms in big area surrounded by a nice lagoon and beautiful gardens. WiFi available. The resort is equipped with a Thai restaurant and also provides Western breakfast. The very friendly owners provide transportation to the centre or to the sights around Udon Thani. Hotel owners speak enough English to communicate well.</sleep>
  
 
'''Out-of-town'''
 
'''Out-of-town'''

Revision as of 17:52, 16 November 2012

Udon Thani (อุดรธานี, also Udorn Thanee) is a city in the Isaan region of Thailand. Often referred to as simply Udon or Udorn (อุดร), the city should not be confused with Ubon Ubon Ratchathani in southeastern Isaan.

Contents

Understand

Founded in the 1890s by Prince Prajak Silapakom, Udon Thani, with a population of about 230,000, is the 4th largest city in Thailand.

Udon was home to a major USAF airbase during the Vietnam War that increased its wealth and importance. Surrounded by one of the major agricultural areas of the country, Udon Thani has become a regional hub for agriculture, commercial distribution, shopping and a fledgling tourism industry.

Because of the U.S. presence (the airbase until 1976, a consulate until 1995, and, now, a Voice of America station) many Thais were well-paid and learned English, making them more marketable to foreign labour recruiters. Udon has a large number of its citizens who have or are working overseas, particularly in Middle East oilfields. This has contributed both to the wealth of the area and its desirability as an expat destination. More than 5,000 expats from Europe, Australia, and North America have settled in the area.

Get in

By plane

Udon Thani International Airport (UTH), newly refurbished in 2006, has numerous daily flights to Bangkok (50 min)(Suvarnabhumi [BKK]) or (Don Muang [DMK]). Flights to Chiang Mai and Phuket come and go. As of September 2011 there are no international flights to Udon Thani.

To get to town there is a limousine service (actually a minibus) for 80 baht/person that will drop you and other passengers to the hotel/apartments/other place of your choice. If there are more than 2 of you, it may be cheaper to call a taxi (phone 042-323-239). Minibus tickets are available in the booth just to the right before you leave the terminal building. Taxis are not permitted to wait for passengers at the airport. Some of the hotels have pick up service and may take an extra rider or 2 as space permits.

By bus

There are now two bus stations in the City (as of Nov 2011). Bus station #2 is in the city centre, near Central Plaza, a large mall, and a more active area. Another is in the outskirts of town on the road in from Loei towards NongKhai (bus station #1).

From Nong Khai, there is a bus station on Prajak Rd which has buses that go to both Udon stations. Close in price. However, they go to very different areas of Udon: 40 baht to station 1 (not preferred). Old bus, no A/C, you will be far from the city centre, and it makes many stops. 45 baht on a newer, first class bus to station 2.

If you end up at station 1 and want to go to station 2, there is a songthaew for 10 baht (it may go very slow to pick up other riders) or you can catch a tuk-tuk into town for around 80 baht.

Buses from Bangkok (Mo Chit), an 8-hour journey, arrive at the BKS station in the city.

Buses depart at least once per hour after 11:00 to Nong Khai (40 baht, 1 hour, non-air-conditioned 3rd class bus on the Lao border.

You can follow the locals and hop on the waiting #6 songthaew to the bus station or take a tuk-tuk.

There are six express buses a day direct to the Morning Market in Vientiane (80 baht, 2 hours, air-con 1st class departures at 08:00, 10:30, 11:30, 14:00, 16:00, and 18:00). These cross-border buses will carry passengers who have not obtained their Lao visas in advance, but may NOT wait long enough at the border for a visa on arrival to be applied for and issued. This isn't a problem when the queues are short, but at busy times passengers who don't already have their visas may be left behind and have to continue by local bus or tuk-tuk.

By train

Daily trains go to Nong Khai and over the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River to Laos. There are also frequent trains to Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok. The overnight express sleeper to Bangkok is scheduled for 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 railcar 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 (Buri Ram, 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.

Get around

Navigation around Udon Thani is made easier by three large roundabouts on the central road, Highway 2 - the clock circle, the fountain circle and Prince Prajak Circle. It's also possible to orient yourself with Central Plaza, UD Town or Nong Prajak Park. There is a bypass road that goes around the city.

By taxi

The main bus station, near Central Plaza has a taxi stand.

By bicycle taxi

Udon Thani has many samlors (three-wheeled bicycle taxis), although as elsewhere, they are slowly succumbing to the pressures of internal combustion.

By tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuks, three-wheeled motorcycles, are readily available in most commercial areas. Negotiate a price before taking the ride. 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 see such vehicles (called Jumbos) there, also.

By songthaew

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 ringroad).

By bus

There are limited city bus routes.

By bicycle

Bicycles are available for rent at the northeast corner of Nong Prajack park for 20 baht/hour.

By motorcycle or car

Motorcycles or cars are for rent at numerous locations.

See

Udon has a variety of sights, both in the city and the province, although most visitors make a beeline for Laos or the bronze age excavations east of Udon at Ban Chiang.

  • Udon Thani Provincial Museum. Excellent range of displays of the archaeological and historical past, plus geology and folk history. The museum is housed in an interesting somewhat elderly building, which was originally a girl's school. Entry by donation. Prosri Rd, in the government centre.
  • Udon Sunshine Orchid Farm. Famous for a variety of orchids, orchid derived perfumes, and plants that "dance to music".
  • Nong Prajack Park. A large recreational area within the city and the primary site for locals to exercise and chill out. Consisting of a large lake/reservoir with several small islands, it features pleasant grass areas and activities such as nightly aerobics (to Thai pop music) and feeding bread crumbs to the fish. For the more active, it's also popular for jogging around the outside of the lake.
  • Nong Bua. Another park with a lake just to the east of the railway line. It is noted for its Chinese pagodas over the lake and the dragon pole.
  • Ban Nakha, 15 km north of Udon along Route 2. A village famous for selling home woven silk and cotton garments. It is somewhat commercialized but a walk back from the road into the village can net some great bargains on silk and cotton.
  • The Ban Chiang archaeological dig is a UNESCO World Heritage site about 35 km east of Udon. Both buses and inter-village songthaews will drop you off at the Ban Chiang turn-off.
  • Phu Foi Lom Eco-Park, 40 km south-west of Udon, located high on a ridgeline. Numerous trails and rainy season water falls are within the park. South of Udon is a large wetlands area/lake called Khumpawapi. In the October time frame traditional dragon boat races are held on the lake. Within Khumpahawapi is a city park with a large troupe of monkeys that have been living there for over a hundred years.
  • Phu Phrabat National Park, 60 km north-west of Udon near the Amphoe of Ban Phue. A marvelous ridgeline with numerous sandstone edifices several thousand years old. Bronze age cave paintings are also within the park.

Do

Buy

There is a large night market that opens about 17:00 just west of the train station.

UD Town, just south of the train station, is a walking mall with a food court, Tesco Lotus store, 3 different Oishi restaurants, McDonald's, Swensen's Ice Cream, Pizza Company, WaWee Coffee and numerous retail businesss, etc.

Central Plaza, formerly Chareonsri is Udon Thani's largest indoor shopping mall, featuring 5 floors of shopping, including a Robinson's Department Store, Tops Supermarket, Sizzler Steakhouse, KFC, Pizza Company, Swensen's Ice Cream, Boot's Pharmacy, IT products, mobile phones, Major Cineplex, etc.

On the eastside is a Makro store (cheap for bulk purchases) and a Big C shopping centre (groceries and department store) with cheaper prices than Robinson's.

On the bypass road are numerous big box stores: Home Mart, Global House, Tool Pro Plus, Home Products Company, Index Living Mall, Premium Outlet Mall, Tesco Lotus (x2), Big C, Tang Ngee Soon Superstore.

Throughout the city and around are 7-11s and other convenience stores. Many automobile service and filling stations have coffee shops, public toilets, convenience stores, car washes, restaurants, etc.

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.

All of the shopping and strip malls have food courts and many have restaurants.

There are many Thai restaurants throughout the city. Some are small and specialize in a few dishes while others are large and have extensive menus, although sometimes only in Thai.

Italian, British, Australian, American, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese food is also available.

There are many nightspots, most with food; discos, beer bars, restaurants with music, and frequent fairs and festivals at UD Town and Thung Sri Muang in the city centre.

Drink

Udon Thani has a variety of karaoke bars, beer bars, and western bars. The area between Central Plaza and the railroad station houses some of these. Bar names and ownership are fluid, particularly for western bars.

Many of the hotels in town have lively nightlife with restaurants and music.

Sleep

There are many hotels in town. Prices vary, and as with most things, you get what you pay for. Rates can range from 200 to 2,000 baht or more per night. Apartment rentals from 1800 baht/month. Private pool villas can be rented for catered stays of two nights or more.

Central Plaza, bus station, train station area

  • Centara Hotel & Convention Centre Udon Thani (formerly, Charoensri Grand Royal Hotel), (next to the main shopping centre), [1]. The main hotel used by foreigners. From 1,300 baht.
  • Charoen Hotel, 549 Phosri Rd. 250 standard rooms, 3 superior rooms, and 2 suites, on a 10-acre plot surrounded by gardens and beautifully landscaped with swimming pools. It is only a few hundred metres to the southwest of the central bus station. From 950 baht.
  • The Pannarai Hotel (เดอะพรรณรายโฮเต็ล), 19/8 Sampantamit Rd, Udon Thani (300 m from Central Plaza shopping mall), +66 88 057 6875, +66 42 345-111, +66 42 344-999 (), [2]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Beautiful city view with private swimming pool and restaurant. Two meeting rooms and private car park. Five minute walk to bus and train stations. Located in the middle of Udon Thani, next to night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital. 1,280+ baht includes breakfast.
  • Silver Reef Bed & Breakfast, 338/8 Prajack Rd (5 min walk to Robinson Shopping), +66 42 344-081. Central, close to the bus station and Robinson complex. New, rooms have 29” TV, air-con, WiFi. Cheerful theme with cartoon characters. Canadian management. 500+ baht.
  • Top Mansion, 35/3 Sampantamit Rd (200 m from Central Plaza shopping mall), +66 42 345015 (), [3]. Convenient to bus and train stations, night market, UD Town and Paolo Memorial Hospital. On the street with foreigner-oriented bars, pubs, and other accommodations. 450 baht. (+17.407,+102.802)


Around Town

  • Karin Hotel, (Watthananuwong Rd). Somewhat aging, but cheap and convenient location (between Nong Prajak and Robinson/train station). 460 to 800 baht.
  • Nuntiya Terrace, 549 Prachasanti Rd (city centre), +66 42 321-282, [4]. Central, close to UD Town. New, clean, TV, air conditioning, WiFi, parking. Daily rate and monthly rate are available.
  • Phimonrat Mansion, Phimonrat Mansion 38/9 M.5 Robmuang Rd Nong Bua (crossing of Mittraphap, Nong Bua Rd 100 m Eastwards Nong Bua Rd), +66 42 243389, [5]. Rooms with air conditioning, TV and fridge, WiFi inside and outside. Thai food & drinks are available (30-200 baht) and laundry is done on-site. Staff speaks little English but good Japanese. Thai owner visited Europe extensively. 350 baht.
  • Ruysuk Mansion Hotel, 249/1 Adunyadet Rd, [6]. Popular inexpensive hotel for long and short stay with English speaking management. Discount for long stayers. WiFi available. Air-conditioned rooms. From 300 baht.
  • Tanita (Lagoon) Resort, 113 Baan Nong Huaw Mue, Nadee (2 km from airport), +66 81 884 6334, [7]. Nine standard air-conditioned rooms in big area surrounded by a nice lagoon and beautiful gardens. WiFi available. The resort is equipped with a Thai restaurant and also provides Western breakfast. The very friendly owners provide transportation to the centre or to the sights around Udon Thani. Hotel owners speak enough English to communicate well.

Out-of-town

  • Paradise Hotel. Staff are friendly, but only speak a little English. Fan rooms with double bed cost 200 baht but smells a bit funny. Inclusive of two bottles of water per day and maps of the city. 200+ baht.
  • Rice Paddy Villa, (25 minutes from Udon Thani, from where complimentary transfers are offered), [8]. checkin: flexible; checkout: flexible. Looking directly over the surrounding rice fields, has a swimming pool and sleeps two-four guests. Finished in Thai style with modern conveniences.
  • Udon Airport Hotel, 14 Moo 1, Udon-Nongbua Lampoo Rd (50 m from airport), +66 42 346223/4, +66 42 346513/4 (, fax: +66 42 346514), [9]. On a 7-acre site surrounded by gardens and beautiful landscaping. 115 standard rooms, 3 superior rooms, and 2 suites. Standard rooms are air conditioned with mini bar, radio, colour TV and Internet access. From 800 baht including breakfast..

Contact

Get out

  • Nong Khai (หนองคาย) is well-worth a visit. To get there, take a bus from either bus station in Udon: the older one inside the city or the newer one a few kilometres distant.
  • Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is about one and a half hours away across the Mekong. Express air-conditioned buses leave the Udon Central Bus Station six times daily for Vientiane. Fare one way: ~100 baht. A visa on arrival for Laos at the Friendship Bridge costs US$35 for 30 days (two passport photos are required or there is an additional US$1 charge).


Routes through Udon Thani
Nong Khai  N noframe S  Khon KaenNakhon Ratchasima
Nong Khai  N noframe S  Khon KaenSaraburi



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