Ubon Ratchathani Travel Information
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Introduction || Tour Attractions || Transportation
Ubon Ratchathani Ubon Ratchathani Ubon Ratchathani

Ubon Ratchathani was founded on the northern bank of the Mun River by a group of Lao princes fleeing Vientiane in the late 1700s. They applied for King Taksin's protection, duly granted in 1779 along with the city's new name, meaning "Royal City of the Lotus". Modern-day Ubon was a U.S. air base during the Vietnam War and grew rapidly at the time, but little has happened since then. The town of Warin Chamrap, on the south bank of the river, is effectively a suburb of Ubon these days.

Ubon Ratchathani Province covers a total area of 15,744.85 square kilometers, with Amnat Charoen Province to the north, the Banthat Mountain Range along the4 border of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the south, the Mekhong River and Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the east, and Yathothon and Si Sa Ket Provinces to the west.

Ubon Ratchathani is divided into 19 Amphoes and 6 King Amphoes, namely: Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Warin Chamrap, Amphoe Det Udom, Amphoe Buntharik, Amphoe Na Chaluai, Amphoe Nam Yun, Amphoe Khong Chiam, Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan, Amphoe Si Muang Mai, Amphoe Trakan Phutphon, Amphoe Khemarat, Amphoe Muang Samsip, Amphoe Khuang Nai, Amphoe Kut Khaopun, Amphoe Pho Sai, Amphoe Tan Sum, Amphoe Samrong, Amphoe Sirindhorn King Amphoe Don Mot Daeng, King Amphoe Thung Si Udom, King Amphoe Na Yia, King Amphoe No Tan, King Amphoe Lao Sua kok, and King Amphoe Sawang Wirawong.

The Kha and the Suai, two local tribes, had moved from Si Sattanakanahut to this area before the Rattanakosin Period. During the reign of King Rama I, the King thought of locating the people scattered around because of war into one area. Therefore, any leader who could gather the greatest number of people and establish a secure community would be promoted to the rank of Chao Muang or Chief. For this reason, in 1786, Thao Kham Phong, who had led a group of his people to settle in the Huai

Chaeramae area on a plain on the bank of the Mun River, was promoted to the rank of Chief. Later, when he helped the Thai troops to attack Nakhon Champasak, he was promoted to the rank of Phra Pathum Worarat Suriyawong and became Chao Muang or Governor of Ban Chaeramae, which was upgraded to the status of a province called Ubon Ratchathani. Later, the city was moved to a new site at Dong U-Phung, which is the site of the present city with seven other towns as satellites.

During the reign of King Rama V, before the reform of the provincial administration which divided the kingdom into Monthon (circle), Changwat (province), and Amphoe (district), Ubon Ratchathani was annexed to Lao Kao town. Later in 1899, the name of the area was changed to the Northeastern Monthon with Ubon Ratchathani as its administrative center, and the name was changed again in 1900 to Monthon I-San.

Because of the Depression in 1915, the status of Monthon Ubon Ratchathani was reduced to only a province in Monthon Nakhon Ratchsima in 1933, the division of the kingdom into Monthon was abolished and the city has been known as Ubon Ratchathani from that time on.

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Tour Attractions
Wat Supattanaram Ubon Ratchathani National Museum Ban Kan Luang Archaeological Site

Ubon Ratchathani National Museum once the province's City Hall, puts on exhibition the province's history, geological features of the Northeast, discovered artifacts, and local handiworks like basketry, brass, traditional hand-woven fabric, and local musical instruments. The museum is open daily except for Mondays and tuesdays.

Wat Nong Bua located on the suburb of town on the way to Amnat Charoen province. It is the only Buddhist monastery in the country with a Buddhagaya - style stupa,and has an extensive structure. Within the Stupa are several important Buddha images.

Wat Maha Wanaram the ancient and principal temple of Ubon, houses the sacred Phra Chao Yai Indra Plang image, highly venerated by both the people of Ubon and neighboring provinces.

Wat Supattanaram the first Buddhist monastery of the Dharmanyuthi sect in Northeastern Thailand, is situated on the hank of the Mun River not too far from town center. Built in 1853 with an initial royal donation by King Rama IV, it has as its principal image the Phra Sapphanyu Chao which is greatly revered by both local people and visitors alike.

Ban Kan Luang Archaeological Site five kilometers away from town along Highway 212 and 2050, the site was excavated by the Fine Arts Department in 1992. Discoveries include artifact, implements, ornaments, heads, pottery, and iron axes. It is believed chat this settlement dates back at least 2,000 years.

Wat Pa Nanachat some 15 kilometers from the province on Ubon - Si Sa Ket route, the Wat is renowned for its meditation affairs with a large number of foreign monks practising there.

Kaeng Saphu rapids south of Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan market, 45 kilometers from Ubon. Splashing currents during dry season make a beautiful scene over rocks and outcrops, although they are completely immersed during the high -tide season.

Sirindhorn Dam one of the major multi - purpose dams in the Northeast is around seventy kilometers from town in Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan. It is capable of producing 36,000 kilowatts or an annual 13.E million units of eletricity.

Khong Chiam is a district overlooking the Mekhong River and is located 80 kilometers from Ubon Ratchathani. A hired boat is available here to go to Kaeng Tana cataract and to go sightseeing at Mae Nam Song Si or the bicolour river where the Mekhong and Mun Rivers meet.

Kaeng Tana National Park is located in Amphoe Khong Chiam, 13 kilometers off Highway No. 217 opposite the entrance of the side - road to Sirindhorn Dam. There is accommodation for tourists. Attrations in the park include:

Kaeng Tana is the largest rapids of the Mun River. The cataract itself is a big stone platform lying across the Mun River, causing the water which flows through Kaeng Tana to take the form of beautiful waterfalls.

Nam Tok Tat Ton is created from Tat Ton brook flowing past a stone platform and plunging onto the plain forming a basin large enough to swim in. The area is surrounded by a forest and flowering shrubs.

Wat Thung Si Muang is renowned for its traditional wooden Ho Trai scripture repository, with an intricately carved gable, in the middle of a pond. The monastic hall of Wat Thung Si Muang houses beautiful mural paintings depicting episodes from Buddhist literature and scenes of local everyday life.

Pha Taem National Park is located l4 kilometers from Amphoe Khong Chiam. Attractions in the park include:

Sao Chaling 11 kilometers from Amphoe Khong Chiam on the Highway 2112, the place is scattered with natural mushroom- like piles of stone slabs with a large amount of shells stuck in their texture. The area is believed by geologists to he a long dried sea.

Pha Taem and Pha Mon located 3 kilometers beyond Sao Chaliang, the Pha Taem and Pha Mon are two steep cliffs overlooking Mekong river with a clear view of Laos on the other side. On the cliffs' surface, there are prehistoric paintings dating hack to 3,000-4,000 years ago reflecting ancient ways of life of the people once lived in the area, such as Buk fishing (BA is a species of large scaleless fish found in the Mekong river), and rice farming. Figures of people. animals, hands and geometric designs were also depicted.

Phu Lon Buddhist Center is in Tampon Song Yang, about 20 kilometers from Amphoe Muang Mai. It is a small hill with trees and rocks. There is a cave built by Phra Achan Man I'll urithattathera; it is very tranquil and suitable for relaxation and meditation.

Candle Festival held annually at the beginning of Buddhist Lent in July at Thung Si Muang, the festival's planned activites include the competition of the candle "tree" which is divided into moulded and carved categories. All candle "trees" will he brightened up by the lights from many diverse entertainments organized to celebrate them.

Ubon Ratchathani Wat Nong Bua Wat Thung Si Muang

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By plane
The grandly named Ubon Ratchathani International Airport (IATA: UBP), (ICAO: VTUU) in reality serves only flights to Bangkok. Thai Airways has three daily non-stop flights between Bangkok and Ubon and return. Air Asia has one daily non-stop flight between Bangkok and Ubon and return. Flight time is 55 minutes in Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft. Nok Air has two daily direct flight from Bangkok.

The airport is at the northern edge of the city almost within walking distance, but accommodation is scattered around Ubon, so better not to consider walking. Much better to go to one of the two limousine (taxi) counters that are located in the airport arrivals hall and purchase for only 100 baht a taxi coupon that will take you to almost any point in the city. Limousine (taxi) rates in Ubon are extremely cheap by Western standards and lower than those in Bangkok. Set prices have been established to most destinations in and around Ubon. A taxi from Ubon to Chong Mek costs only 1,000 baht for the 90km one way trip and a taxi from Ubon to Mukdahan costs only 1,900 baht to travel a one way distance of 192km. The driver does not charge for the return trip like some western countries. There are no taxi meters and the fare must normally be purchased at the Airport arrivals desk.

If you prefer not to take a fixed price taxi, you can always walk the 200 metres beyond the general airport parking area to haggle with the waiting tuk-tuk drivers, but chances are that your trip will end up costing you more.

By bus
Buses to Bangkok take 10 hours (due to stops) and arrive near the BTS station known as Mochit or Morchit Mai, in the north part of the city. The Nakhon Chai Air private bus company also has frequent, well-maintained buses that ply the route and also leave from the Ubon bus terminal, but arrive at their own private terminal in Bangkok, near the main Mochit terminal.

Ubon is less than 100 km from the Lao border at Chong Mek / Pakse. A regular bus service now operates direct from Ubon bus station (near the "Big C" shopping complex) to Pakse in Laos, and caters for travellers who wish to obtain a Lao visa on arrival (it waits for all passengers to complete immigration and visa formalities before continuing to Pakse).

By train
Daily trains connect with Bangkok and stop at all the southern Isaan provincial capitals (Si Saket, Surin, Buriram, and Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)). The station is to the south of the city on the opposite side of the Mun River in Warin Chamrap; buses 2 and 6 connect to the center.

One option is to catch the overnight night express train from Ubon (Warin Chamrap station)to Bangkok. Train departs at 6:30pm and arrives Bangkok at 5:30am. Travel first class in a two berth private sleeper compartment with fresh starched sheets and pillows for a little over 2,000 baht per couple. Travel is also available in 2nd class sleeper seats and 3rd class seats for a lower cost.

By Car
Follow Highway 1 (Phahon Yothin Road) to Highway 2 (Friendship Highway). Then follow Highway 2 to Highway 24 (Chok ChaiDet Udom); turning onto this route and following it untio the end. The total distance is 629 kilometres. On take Highway 2 to Nakhon Ratchasima and turn onto Highway 226 to Buri Ram – Surin – Si Sa Ket – Ubon Ratchathani.

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