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to stop in Udon or Nong Kai?

  • furneburner

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2009
    Posts: 180

    Hi all,

    I am flying from Bangkok from Udon Thani (because of time restrictions and not wanting to take the long trip) and going over the border into Laos.

    So my question is whether or not Udon Thani is worth a day or two, or should i just go straight to Nong Kai. Moreover, is Nong Kai worth some time or is it pretty similar to Vientiene?

    My plans? Just wanna chill out by the river, have a few beers and wander around town somewhere different.

    I've never been to isaan before.

    Thanks

    #1 Posted: 15/10/2009 - 14:59

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  • Tilapia

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    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
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    I would just get on the bus or train to Nong Khai and hang out there. It's only about an hour away. Especially if you want to just hang around by the river. If you don't want to muck around in Udon you may want to just grab a cab there from the airport rather than head into town to catch a bus or the train. There might be other transport to NK from the airport that I'm not aware of.

    NK is not too big. It's easy to get around in, has some interesting sites, and a bunch of nice places to stay at close to the river.

    #2 Posted: 15/10/2009 - 20:24

  • somtam2000

    admin
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    I'd say Nong Khai is definitely worth a couple of days -- no shartage of places for beers over the river. Udon Thani -- no shortage of places for beer, but no river and it's a big, busy city -- NK better.

    #3 Posted: 16/10/2009 - 05:18

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
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    I agree with Tilapia's comments. We flew to Udon then caught a share mini van to Nong Khai. Spent a couple of days just relaxing before heading into Laos. Had a couple of great vietnamese influenced meals on the promenade overlooking the river.You have to see the sculpture park.

    #4 Posted: 16/10/2009 - 05:20

  • furneburner

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2009
    Posts: 180

    Thanks guys, it seems everyone prefers Nong Khai.

    I've read about the minibuses from the airport, but if that's too inconvenient i suppose i can always just catch a taxi, that far out in the sticks i'm assuming it would be pretty cheap (500-1000baht do you think?)

    #5 Posted: 16/10/2009 - 05:28

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    I like Udon Thani. It has good night life and it's a decent sized city (which is a plus for me), and the expat community is large enough that it sustains some expat luxuries (The Irish Clock has excellent food). Udon also has a lot of war history associated with it - the airfield you fly into was used during the war extensively. It is not a charming place by any means, but it's fun to kick around in.

    #6 Posted: 16/10/2009 - 12:08

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
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    i'm glad to see someone stick up for udorn, because i've had some great times there too. MADMAC, is there still an active VFW post there?

    however, if your plans are to chill out by the river, have a few beers, and wander around somewhere new, i think nong khai is a better choice and is worth a day or two. then you can cross over to vientiane, chill out by the river, have a few (better) beers, and wander around a new, cool place. sounds like a great time.

    #7 Posted: 16/10/2009 - 13:06

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    "MADMAC, is there still an active VFW post there?"

    I heard there is, but since I'm a good four hour drive from there, obviously I'm not a member.

    #8 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 12:38

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 730
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    whatever your decision turns out to be...

    good maps of Nong Khai: http://hobomaps.com/nongkhaimain.htm

    good source of info on Udon in English: http://www.udonmap.com
    (the forum has sections covering accomm options, food scene, things to do, etc)

    #9 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 14:19

  • furneburner

    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2009
    Posts: 180

    thanks. maps saved.

    #10 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 14:46

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  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    I like Udon better, but I'm usually coming from a place without 7/11s or shopping malls, and in Udon things seem convenient to each other. Good night market for restaurants up by the train station, and great morning market down the street past Robinsons.

    But given a choice I'd just cross the river.

    #11 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 19:44

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6349
    Total reviews: 10

    Somsai
    You don't seem to enjoy Thailand very much...

    #12 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 21:08

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 564

    It's ok. I especially like it after not being there much for a while. Last time enroute to the airport I purposefully spent 3 days in Udon Thani. Realize I lived there over the course of years. Lampang, Phetchabune, Bangkok, then Sri Racha.

    I'm not into substance abuse and am pretty comfortable in a long term relationship called marriage, so I don't seek the usual diversions. I like foe, not quay teeow.

    I think Thailand needs a good revolution. Dictatorship of the proletariat.

    #13 Posted: 17/10/2009 - 22:00

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