Category Archives: udonthani

Things from the places I visited (Part 1)

I love to buy local things which represent the place whenever I travel. In Laos for example, a Beer Lao T-Shirt is a must. Collect souvenirs will make me remember back the places I had been. Some of my souvenirs were given to me by my friends who travel. I got a p*ssy purse keychain from my sick Japanese colleague. He bought it when we went back to Japan for a holiday. Well, here are some of my collections.

Handkerchief from Ban Chiang

Beer Lao T-shirt from the Friendly Bridge

Sabai Dee T-shirt from Vientiane

Kelantan FA Football kit from Bukit Jalil

Arai Arai Kor Kuu T-shirt from Saphan Phut

Thai Airways keychain from Japan

Unique handkerchief from Japan

Sexy purse keychain from Japan

Plate from Ayuthaya

Lao Khao (white wiski) T-shirt from Nongkhai

Pirated DVDs from the Friendship Bridge

Beer Singha boxer from Bo Bae

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Filed under ban chiang, bangkok, Indonesia, laos, thailand, the friendship bridge, Travel, udonthani, vientiane

Phu Phrabat Historical Park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์ภูพระบาท)

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I visited Phu Phrabat Historical Park this year during Songkran Festival. The whole family gathered together and we planned to have picnic and visit the historical park. On the second day of Songkran, we went over with 2 pick-up trucks. 1 for the veterans and 1 for the younger generations. We climbed up the truck with water guns and 2 buckets of iced water.

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Before we reached the Udonthani – Nongkhai Highway, we were already wet since the whole city was in the water festival. From Udon, it is located around 70-80 km and we took around 1 hour to reach the historical park since we slowed down to splash water onto villagers and also residents of Ban Phue.

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Phu Phrabat Historical Park is located in Ban Tio, Tambon Muang Phan, Ban Phue District at the foot of Mount Phu Phan. This historical site is also considered as an archaeological features a large number of ancient buildings and ancient objects of both prehistoric and historic times. Mostly are of Dvaravati, Lop Buri, and Lanchang style. Within the site are many rocks of peculiar shapes which resulted from glacial movement millions of years ago. It can be seen that most of the ancient buildings and objects found in this area were modified from what was naturally available and not built entirely by human beings.

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Phu Phra Bat Historical Park covers the entire area of the Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok, Phra Phutthabat Lang Tao and Caves and Stone Shelters. I was attracted by Phra Phutthabat Bua Bok which has a very unique design. Noon told me that it was built by a village head who had a pretty daughter. The purpose was to keep his daughter there so that nobody knows about her and marry her.

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We then walked around the area which is quite big. You might get lost if you did not follow the signs. And I was lost for few times before I managed to join back my family members. It was so confusing. We then walked around and explored the surrounding hill. Bring at least a small bottle of mineral water and I can guarantee that you will finish it before you finish exploring the area.

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Once we reached the top of the hill, some of my aunts and uncles sat under a hut which is built for resting. With the smooth wind, I don’t feel like going down. The view is very beautiful. We used the other route to go down as we followed the sign. It was quite dangerous and slippery. Right before we reached the exit/entrance, we came across few caves which presumed to be shelters of people in the stone age. There were few pre historic paintings in the caves with the figures of animals, humans and few other figures which are quite special which I do not know what it was. Poor thing that my camera is out of order on top of the hill. เช็งโวย!!!

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Once we reached the car park area, rain started to pour heavily. The younger generations including Noon moved to the veterans'(Ta Toi) pick-up truck as Ta Toi’s truck has roof behind and left me, P’Nat and Pee on Ta Aem’s truck which is an open air pick-up. P’Nat finished up 2 bottles of LEO before we arrived in Udon. I don’t blame him as it was freezing and before we can enter Udon, we were trapped in the massive traffic jam due to Songkran Festival for almost 30 minutes.

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The admission fee is 100 Baht and it is free on Songkran.

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Filed under Information, phu phrabat historical park, thailand, Travel, udonthani

Ban Chiang (บ้านเชียง)

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Ban Chiang is well known for its archaeological wonders. It was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1992. Ban Chiang is located in Nong Han District and is about 55km from Udon. Ton and Kai came to pick us up at about 2pm and we headed to Highway No 22 (Udonthani-Sakon Nakorn Route) before turning into Highway 2225. After about 30 minutes, we arrived at Tambon Ban Chiang where the main museum is located. The ticket to enter the museum is 30Baht per head for Thai. I am not sure about foreigners. In the museum, there are many antiques and old artifacts.

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Ban Chiang was the origin of a pre-historic civilization. It is believe to be 5000 years old. We went into the museum and look around. It was amazing to see old artifacts and antiques which is about 5000 years old. The time we went, there were only few local tourists. The museum is open everyday except for Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 4pm. Noon and I were still looking around with few other tourists and a staff appeared from nowhere told us that they are about to close the museum because it is almost 4pm.

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He told us to go to Wat Po Si Nai where the ancient pots and other old artifacts were found together with the bodies. They were buried together with the bodies. So we drove to Wat Po Si Nai which is just a walking distance from the museum. Before that, there are several shops which sell souvenirs. Noon went to buy ice tea from a shop there. The price is more expensive than in Udon city.

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We spent about 10 minutes in Wat Po Si Nai before all of us agreed to go back. We drove through the small town of Ban Chiang. It is a very quiet town. More like a village. If you wish to have a peaceful life, maybe Ban Chiang should be in the list. We followed the board leading us back to the main highway and passed by a busy market. The time is about 4:30pm. The night market was about to begin. There were a lot of stalls and people. The market is located in front of Wat Saked and its surrounding.

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The seller told us that they only set up the night market every Wednesday. I guess we were lucky since it was Wednesday on the day we visited Ban Chiang. Food and items are cheaper compared to the city. I bought my Bangkok Glass FC’s fake kit here for 77Baht. The original price was 79Baht and I only had 7Baht coins at that moment.

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Noon bought fishes to be grilled for dinner with 60Baht per kg. The fishes were still alive the time we bought. At around 5:30pm, we left Ban Chiang for Udon and arrive exactly at 6pm.

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Kamchanot (คำชะโนด)

DSC02468Located in Ban Dung, Tambon Wang Thong, about 100 kilometres from Udon town is an area called Wang Nakhin (Naga Palace) a place believed and regarded by the locals as a mystical and holy place where the door to the underworld of Naga is located. Covering an area of over 20 rai of land, Wang Nakhin (locally dubbed as Dong Chanot) is nothing but an islet surrounded by water. It is teemed with dense palm trees called Chanot. Traveling to the place is easy by Udon Thani – Sakon Nakhon route. At Ban Nong Mek, turn left and proceed approximately 84 kilometres to Ban Dung, and another 9 kilometres to Ban Kham Chanot.

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There is a story saying that during the 1980s, there were a group of movie makers who went to the area with a huge truck. During that time, they didn’t know that Wang Nakhin is surrounded by water. They paid money to a guide who brought them there. After everything ended, they suddenly found out that they were on an island and there’s no way out or in plus the island is full of Chanot trees. There’s immpossible to make a movie. The guide dissappeared and the money that they paid were all transformed into leaves. They called for help before they were assisted by the locals.

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From far, Kamchanot looks wild, fierce and also scary. Well, it is worth visiting.

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Udonthani (อุดรธานี)

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Udonthani is one of the lagest city which is located in Northeastern Thailand (Isan region – อีสาน) after Khon Kaen and Nakorn Ratchasima. Thais normally address Udonthani as Udon. It is located around 560km from Bangkok. A land journey will takes around 7 to 8 hours. Udon is near to the Lao border which is only 1 hour by car. Sometimes it might be less.

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Sometimes I go back to Udon through Laos. It saves a lot of time and cost depending on the air ticket. From Bangkok, travellers normally take express buses which depart from Mochit Bus Terminal. Ticket booths is located on the 3rd floor of the station. There are many bus companies. You can choose 24 VIP seaters, 32 seater etc. with different prices.

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From Vientiane, Laos, just head to Talat Chao and buy ticket to Udon for 80 Baht. It is better if you have Lao Kip because they might charge extra if you use Thai Baht. There are many Farang staying in Udon. Mostly are retired expats from Australia, UK and US. Prajak Road is also known as Farang Road in Udon since there are many Farang and their bars there.

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Udon has few big shopping malls and supermarket such as Tesco Lotus, Big C and Central Plaza. You might notice many cars from Laos in Udon as most of them cross the border to shop for household in Udon. Shopping is Udon is definitly better than the neighbouring provinces like Nong Khai, Sakon Nakorn etc. Udon has a large population of Chinese and also Vietnamese. There are many chinese gold shops in Udon where you can exchange your currency with a better rate than the one in the bank. Most of the Chinese and Vietnamese had already adopted Thai names and speak Thai. 

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There are also a lot of interested places outside Udon city which is located in other districts like Ban Chiang, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. So far, I only visited 3 places which is quite famous in Udon which are Ban Chiang, Kam Chanot and Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. I plan to visit more in the future. In Udon, Somtam is like a rice for me together with Kun Chiang, Mu Yong, Mu Yo and of course the Sticky Rice.

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Afterall, Udon is a nice place to stay. The city is not as busy as Bangkok. There are places where you can get your mind relax. The people are great. The city is not so big and yet not so small. So it is easy to get around. By bike is the best way to get from one place to another. That’s why many Farang choose to retire in Udon other than other city. You will never get bored in Udon.

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