Udon Thani is a northeastern province covering an area of 15,589 square kilometers. The provincial capital is 562 kilometers northeast of Bangkok. 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.
Attractions - in the city
Prince Prachak Silpakhom Statue
This monument in the heart of the city commemorates the military governor who founded Udon Thani in 1894 as part of what was then referred to as 'The Northern Province'.
Prachak Silpakhom Lake
Known locally as Nong Prachak, this vast stretch of water is named after the founder of Udon Thani, and is decorated with colorful flowering plants that lend the area much of its pleasant atmosphere.
Fragrant Orchid Farm
Located some 2 kilometers from town along the bypass, with a left turn at Nong Samrong, the farm is filled with, from early morning until about 1.00 PM, the sweet fragrance of Udon Sunshine orchids, a unique hybrid. Blooms, and Udon Sunshine perfume, are available at the farm, and in local product shops.
As the Chinese God and Goddess of Mercy, poor people revere Pu-ya and those encountering personal problems, believing they will be granted favors they seek. Two lakeside Chinese pavilions add scenic charm. The Pu-ya shrine is located near the railway on the east of the provincial capital.
Attractions - out of the city
Ban Na Ka
16 kilometers from the provincial capital, along Highway No. 2 (the Udon Thani- Nong Khai route), this village is well known for locally produced pha khit woven fabrics.
2 kilometers from Ban Na Ka, along the road to Amphoe Ban Dung, this village is equally well known for its pha khit woven fabrics and brocaded cotton.
Huai Luang Reservoir
This scenic spot, 25 kilometers from the provincial capital along the Udon Thani- Nong Bua Lam Phu route until Km. 15, and a further 10 kilometers by a branch road, is ideal for fishing, rafting and cruising.
Wat Pa Ban Tat
This forest monastery is located 16 kilometers south of the provincial capital via Highway No. 2 towards Khon Kaen for 7 kilometers and a right turn at the Ban Dong Khen crossroads for a further 9 kilometers. The complex is situated on a densely wooded hilly area surrounded by rice paddies. A concrete wall, which prevents easy encroachment, defines the monastery precincts, by abundant forest wildlife. The monastery is ideal for meditation and contemplation. The monastery is under the strict guidance of a disciple of Phra Achan Man Phurit-hatto, a widely respected northeastern Buddhist ecclesiastic.
Phu Phra Bat Historical Park
Located some 68 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, in Amphoe Ban Phu, via Highways No. 2, 2021 and 2348, this extensive area lies at the foot of the Phupan mountain range and contains caves, natural rock formations, rock terraces and has an 'other-worldly' atmosphere that hints at ancient civilizations.
Phra Buddha Bat Bua Bok
This stupa, focal point of the historical park, and probably constructed during the 1920s, shelters a Buddha Footprint (Phra Buddha Bat in Thai). Not far from the shrine are many interesting caves and rock formations. The caves are believed to have been the homes of Stone Age human beings who left 3,000-year-old rock paintings of hands, humans, animals and geometric designs.
Na Yung Nam Som Forest Park
Located some 100 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, beyond Phu Phra Bat Historical Park, in Amphoe Nam Som, this park is best known for the 40 meter high Yung Thong Waterfall which cascades down a steep cliff in verdant surroundings from the Phu-pan and Phu Ya U ridges.
Ban Chiang National Museum
Located some 56 kilometers east of the provincial capital along Highway No. 22 (until Km. 50 and thence along Highway No. 2225), this museum is currently open to the general public every day.
Ancient artifacts, including tools, utensils, pottery and jewelry, between 4,000 and 7,000 years old, were unearthed in the immediate vicinity. The distinctive pottery, with its fingerprint whorl decorations, is believed to be the world's oldest decorative earthenware. Nearby burial pits, left as they were after excavation, in the compound of Wat Po Si Nai, show how valuables, including earthenware pots, were buried with the dead. Evidence of primitive bronze casting technology was discovered in the area, and in 1992 UNESCO declared Ban Chiang a World Heritage Site.
Satellite Handicraft Villages
A potter village is located at Ban Kham O along Highway No. 22 at Km. 48. Another village, at Ban Pu Lu, villagers reproduce antique Ban Chiang pottery. At Ban Dong Yen, villagers weave glutinous rice containers from bamboo strips. Near the Km 55 marker on Highway No 22, the villagers of Ban Tat weave pha sam kasat, a fabric made with three kinds of thread.
From the 13th to 15th nights of the third lunar month (generally late February) an annual homage paying ceremony is held at Phra Buddha Bat Bua Bok.