Some of the best things to see and do in Udon Thani highlight the city’s traditional culture and exquisite nature. Interesting museums and temples are great for learning about its history, while markets, restaurants, and nightlife spots let you experience the lifestyle of its people.

    The best time to visit Udon Thani is during the winter season, which runs from October to April. Check out this list of what to see and do to plan your ideal holiday in Udon Thani. We’ve also included some must-know tips for those visiting the city for the first time.

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    Activities around Udon Thani

    Explore Udon Thani's most beautiful outdoor spaces

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    One of the best things to do in Udon Thani is to explore the great outdoors. Experience untouched nature and tranquillity at Talay Bua Dang or Red Lotus Lake. Take in the colourful scene with a guided boat tour across the lake, which is covered with thousands of pink and red lotuses.

    If you prefer walking, the Than Ngam National Park has a forest trail leading to a beautiful waterfall and swimming spot. The Nong Prajak Public Park sits in the centre of Udon Thani. It’s a great place for strolls around the scenic lake, cycling, and snapping pics on suspension bridges.

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    Temples and museums of Udon Thani

    Where to learn about Udon Thani’s long history

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    Get to know Udon Thani when you visit the city's temples and museums. Temples are important places where Thai and Thai-born Chinese people go to pray, pay respects, and make wishes. You'll be impressed by the grand Lotus Temple (Wat Santi Wanaram) which was designed to look like a giant white lotus flower floating in the water. The Sanjao Phuya Chinese Temple is a popular spot for evening strolls by a lake – the gorgeous shrine glitters at night with intricate lights.   

    Learn about the city's history at the Ban Chiang National Museum, which displays ancient tools, jewellery, and pottery. It’s also a good idea to stop by the Thai Chinese Cultural Centre, a Chinese garden with fountains, a museum, and a teashop.

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    Mak Khaeng

    Udon Thani’s central hub

    Mak Khaeng is the main hub of Udon Thani. You'll find a railway station, a bus station, and the scenic Nong Prajak Public Park. The district is also home to the city's largest shopping mall, called Central Plaza Udon Thani.

    Some of the city’s best nightlife spots are found on Soi Samphan Thamit. Must-visits include Nutty Park and UDON Day & Night Bar Complex. You can grab a late-night snack from the Udon Thani Night Market or one of the many street vendors in the city.

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    Pru Prabhat Historical Park

    Experience Udon Thani's history and natural beauty

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    The Pru Prabhat Historical Park is an archaeological site and nature park in Udon Thani. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes to walk among its many unusual but natural rock formations. Historically, these rocks were used as religious shrines, quarters for monks, and a place for people to meditate. You'll be intrigued by ancient drawings that give a glimpse into how people have lived throughout history.

    It's a very clean and well-maintained park, with many unique tree species. There’s a modern visitor centre with helpful staff who can gladly provide electric buggies if you’re unable to explore the park on foot.

    Location: 194 Mueang Phan, Ban Phue District, Udon Thani 41160, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)42 219 837

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    Dining and restaurants in Udon Thani

    Where to eat in Udon Thani?

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    Dining in Udon Thani can be found in its outdoor markets, food courts, and fine restaurants. Eat as the locals do at the lively Udon Thani Night Market, where you can sample street food like barbeque meats and coconut ice cream. Local dishes like pad krapow moo (stir-fried pork with Thai holy basil) are available at the Central Plaza Food Park. Be sure to mention the level of spice for your dish when ordering, as spicy can mean extremely spicy!

    For a formal meal, enjoy French, Italian and Thai dishes at Good Everything. Chef's Table offers a fine-dining experience with beautifully presented dishes made with fresh ingredients.

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    Shopping in Udon Thani

    Where to shop in Udon Thani?

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    Shopping in Udon Thani can vary from outdoor markets to modern malls. On weekend evenings, join locals at the Udon Thani Walking Street on Thetsaban Road. Browse through clothes and local products and grab a snack from a food vendor. The lively Udon Thani Night Market has dozens of stalls selling clothes, books, souvenirs, and cosmetics. You can also enjoy a cold Thai beer and live music at this popular market.

    Central Plaza Udon Thani is a modern shopping mall with branded clothing stores, beauty salons, and restaurants. The Landmark Plaza has an onsite cinema and children's play zone, while Premium Outlet Udon Thani has plenty of high-end brands selling discounted goods.

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    Udon Thani nightlife

    What to do after dinner in Udon Thani?

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    Nightlife in Udon Thani is relatively lively, with a nice range of nightlife complexes, bars and clubs. Head to Soi Samphan Thamit Road where you will find bars, restaurants, and a convenience store inside the UDON Day & Night Bar Complex. The nearby Nutty Park is an L-shaped complex with many pubs and bars.

    You can dance late into the night at Yellow Bird, a nightclub with live DJs and a fun, friendly atmosphere. For live music, Tawan Dawng Bar hosts local rock bands until late.

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    How to get to Udon Thani

    Factual travel information

    Udon Thani is easily accessible by plane, train and bus. You can arrive by air at the Udon Thani International Airport, which is served by many domestic airports including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya. The Udon Thani Railway Station is located right in the city centre, with several trains running daily from Bangkok.

    Budget-conscious travellers often arrive by night bus – it takes about 8 hours from Bangkok. Once you're in the city, you'll appreciate the convenient Udon City Bus, which is reliable and inexpensive, with racks for luggage and backpacks.

    Mia | Contributing Writer

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