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Top 25 Things to See & Do

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Your Guide to the Best Sites & Activities

Here is our list of the Top 25 Things To See & Do in and around Udon Thani.  Use this to help plan your trip, a weekend or even just the next few hours.  We have included all attractions within a 90 minute drive from the centre of Udon Thani including sites in Nong Khai and along the Mekong River.

Something for Everyone

Nature Lovers can marvel at the Red Lotus Lake or enjoy walks around Nong Prajak and Phu Foi Lom National Parks.  Those looking to cool off will find an abundance of water fun including lunching on Nam Pan Lake’s Rafts, waterslides at Usotel Waterland or an inland beach at Tanita Tara Beach.  History Buffs will delight in the UNESCO Heritage Site at Ban Chiang, the Phu Phra Bat Historical Park or visiting Ho Chi Minh’s old home in Udon.  Shoppers will also find there are many things to do including modern Malls and Night Markets.

There are also many religious sites to see.  The new Blue Temple, Wat Pa Phu Kon, is the most recognised of many temples for its visual splendour but there are also many other treasures here.  Visiting Wat Kham Chanot, which legend claims sits on the home of the Grand Naga, is well worth visiting as are the fantastic concrete sculptures at Sala Keoku Buddha park.

If you can, time your visit to coincide with one of the many traditional festivals here such as the Naga Fire Ball Festivals, the thousand year old Rocket Festival or get drenched  in a water fight at Songkran.

So, please do enjoy our list of the Top 25 Things To See & Do Udon Thani and do let us know if we have missed your favourite or what you thought of each attraction.

1. Red Lotus Lake

The Red Lotus Lake, more formally known as Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake, is a perfect, stunning and serene natural wonder. It is now recognised as one of the priceless jewels of Unseen Thailand and often featured in international media. Every Udon visitor should visit the Red Lotus Lake at least once.

2. Ban Chiang UNESCO Site

Ban Chiang, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1992, is considered the most important prehistoric settlement in South-East Asia. The site contains the earliest evidence of farming, manufacturing and use of metals in this region. It is seen to also represent an important leap in human cultural, social and technological evolution.

3. Wat Pa Phu Kon (The Blue Temple)

Wat Pa Phu Kon is magically located on a hilltop in the Na Yung-Nam Som National Forest Reserve giving this spectacular temple a spectacular setting. Its stunning blue roof and 20m marble reclining Buddha statue that lies in the main hall make this a must see.

4. Phu Phra Bat Historical Park

The park contains many unique rock formations created by weather and erosion. The parks interest though lies in the many remains, spanning thousands of years, that different civilisations have left here including prehistoric cave paintings and an ancient Stonehenge.

5. Phu Foi Lom National Park

Phu Foi Lom is an ecotourism park built to protect a number of rare flora and fauna. Here you can stroll around landscaped gardens, trek across the park's many trails and enjoy photogenic landscape scenes. There are also many dinosaur statues. Well worth an early rise in the winter to enjoy misty mountain scenes.

6. Baan Khiri Wong Kot

Khiri Wong Kot Village is an eco-tourism experience with an emphasise on Traditional Isan Life. Often taken as two day/one night trip e-karts take up into the remote parts of the mountain where you can enjoy nature at is finest with waterfalls and misty mountain views in winter. Food on the trip is always traditional and delicious.

7. Wat Kham Chanot (Naga Island)

Wat Kham Chanot is a temple located at Wang Nakhin on a small island surrounded by a lake. The Wat is famous for the legend that the Lord Sisotho, Overlord of the Naga, lives in a secret chamber under the lake. The monks of the temple also worship Nagas. A sacred tree in the Wat is rumoured to bring good luck to lottery players!

8. Nong Prajak Park

Nong Prajak Park, named after the city's founder Prince Prajak Sinlapakhom, is a colourful, vibrant and well loved treasure in the North West quadrant. Wander the many paths, or exercise on the running/cycling track, the Park is full of surprising delights including its own instagram star - a family of bright yellow ducks.

9. Naga Fireball Festival

Experience the mystery of magical fireballs rising up out of the Mekong. Legend says these red fireballs are breathed out by the Nagas that live in the river to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent. Combined with fireworks and a wonderful festival, this event now attracts over 200,000 people each year so book early.

10. Sala Keoku Buddhist Statue Park

Also known as Wat Khaek, Sala Keoku Park features giant sculptures based on both Buddhist and Hindu scripts. Some are spectacularly high at over 25m. To wander around the park is both a spiritual experience, from the message that park gives, as well as awe-inspiring from the scale of the statues themselves.

11. Wat Pa Ban Tat

Known as the Buddhist Monastery in the Forrest, Wat pa Ban Tat was established the 1950s by the famous Thai meditation bhikkhu Venerable Ajahn Maha Bua. The Monastery remains today an important place to learn and practice mediation. Though the forest has mainly gone it still remains a popular to visit due to its famous founder.

12. Wat Pa Dong Ra (Lotus Flower)

Wat Pa Dong Ra is a temple shaped in a lotus flower that sits on a manmade island 50m away from shore. Built purely from donations, the temple also has an ornate internal dome ceiling. The temple is quite dazzling when viewed at twilight or at night when the remote location give a wonderful starry backdrop.

13. Erawan Cave

Erawan Cave sits halfway up Phu Pha Tham Change Mountain at the top of 621 concrete 'heaven' steps. Inside there is a spacious hall that legend holds was Nang Phom Hom's home while she lived here with her Elephant father. You can also see stalactites, stalagmites and a roof hole casts beautiful shower of light into the cave.

14. Wat Phothisomphon

Established in the late 1800s to celebrate the reign of Rama V, Wat Phothisomphon is a collection of buildings the most interesting of which are an ornate bell tower and a large pagoda topped by a four-sided golden chedi that shines over Nong Prajak Park’s lake. This is a major temple in Udon Thani famed fir its role in developing mediation.

15. Udon Thani Museum

Recently renovated, Udon Thani museum is well organised with information in both Thai and English. Free to enter, the museum showcase provincial arts, culture & archeology along with Udon Thani's history. A small tour bus picks up and drops off from Central Plaza.

16. Udon Night Market

Not one but three night markets that merge together next to the Railway Station. At 5pm everyday, this is a converging point for the whole city with an abundance of food and clothes on offer. Come here to people watch, hunt for bargins and enjoy great Isan street food.

17. Wat Pha Tak Suea Skywalk

Wat Pha Tak Suea is a temple located in beautifully forested mountains a short drive from Nong Khai and 90 minutes from Udon. In 2016 the temple added a 'U' shaped glass skywalk to attract visitors by offering stunning views of the Mekong River in the valley below. Both the temple and skywalk are worth visiting.

18. Rafts On Nam Pan Lake

Nam Pan Lake, in Sang Khom District, is a perfect way to escape summer heat and enjoy being in water. This large lake has recently become popular for its fleet of rafts and shoreside restaurants. Once hired, your raft is towed to the centre of the lake to enjoy a day of swimming, eating, relaxing and staying cool.

19. Usotel Waterland

Usotel Waterland was the first water park in Isan. If offers fun for all the family in three zones: Lazy River, Children's Zone and Adventure Zone (which houses the bigger slides). Waterland is relatively inexpensive to enter and good quality food is available on site. Not as grand as water parks elsewhere but still packed with good honest fun.

20. Nong Khai Aquarium

Nong Khai Aquarium is a short 45 minute drive from Udon Thani. This is not a modern aquarium similar to those in Bangkok or Phuket but it is still charming for those with an interest in the underwater world. You will also find several species, many endangered, from the Mekong which you can not see in other aquariums.

21. Day Trip to Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane, capital of Laos, is easily accessible from Udon Thani across the Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai. Suitable for a day trip or extended weekend there is much to see including climbing Patuxai (The Victory Gate), The National Museum, Cope Centre and Night Markets. There is also a TinTin themed Belgium restaurant for kids!

22. Thai-Chinese Cultural Centre

Thai-Chinese Cultural Centre was opened in 2013 with the aim of preserving the history, culture and philosophy of the Thai-Chinese community in Udon. It is a delight to visit with its stunning gardens, koi fish ponds, interactive museum and a surprising wonderful tea garden. It sits on the edge of Nong Bua Lake.

23. Tanita Tara Beach

Yes there is a beach in Udon Thani and it is a wonderful way to escape the summer heat. Tanita is a three room resort to the West of Udon Thani though the main reason for going there is to enjoy the man made beach surrounding the lake. Enjoy lunch in a beach hut, swim in the fresh water or enjoy a day fishing.

24. Udon Sunshine Fragrant Orchid Farm

This Orchid Farm is one of those unexpected delights. The farm focuses on growing Udon Sunshine Orchids which has a unique and lovely sent perfect for making perfumes. The farm though is also famous for breeding an Orchid that responds and dances to music especially enjoys Rock Music. Certainly worth an hour or so.

25. Ho Chi Minh Historical Park

In 1927, Ho Chi Minh spent a brief period living and teaching in Udon Thani. The Ho Chi Minh Historical Park now sits on the location where he lived just 10km West of Udon. Here is a surprising well stocked museum as well as a reconstructed buildings where the Vietnamese leader lived for his time here.
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