Sprawling Udon Thani province acts as the industrial, commercial and transportation hub for the entirety of Thailand's northeast region. It's a big sprawling city with not all that much appeal for independent travellers.
Much of this development originally stemmed from when it housed a US air-base during the Vietnam war, though there's little evidence of the US military presence anymore -- aside from the airport which, while mainly taking domestic flights, does operate some international flights as well.
Situated on an elevated plateau, Udon Thani gradually flattens out towards northern Nong Khai province and in the hot season the province is a bit of an arid dusty wasteland. The closest you get to Nong Khai, the better the climate gets.
Industry aside, Udon Thani province holds some archaeological importance, with the Ban Chiang dig uncovering pottery dating back over 5,000 years.
Udon Thani is also known among Thais for producing fragrant Udon Sunshine perfume, made from an orchid of the same name -- orchids which bizarrely react to music.
Although the eponymous provincial capital (also known as Udorn) is not overflowing with things to see, it serves as a handy base from which to visit some of the surrounding sites, such as the Ban Chiang Museum and the large Phu Phra Bat National Park.
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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.