Ubon Ratchathani has been a well established community for hundreds
of years. Relatively unknown to the most tourists, the province boasts a
number of natural wonders, cultural and historical attractions, national
parks, silk producing shops, etc.
The province is renowned for its strong Buddhist tradition, particularly
the practice of forest-dwelling monks and the ancient Buddhist temples,
which can still be seen throughout the province today.
A gateway to Laos, Ubon Ratchathani is bordered to the east by the
Mekong River and Laos, to the south by Cambodia, to the west by Yasothon
and Sisaket Provinces and to the north by Amnat Charoen Province. The
provincial capital is approximately 630 kilometers northeast of Bangkok.
The province is unique in its folk culture, which is expressed in the
indigenous cuisine, handicrafts, such as silk and cotton products,
basketry, and bronze-ware, and traditional events such as the Candle
festival held every July. There are natural beauties and historical
sites including the 4,000 years old rock formation, prehistoric rock
paintings, national parks, waterfalls, and the two-colored river, etc.
Since the 10th century, Ubon Ratchathani, or simply Ubon, was part of
the Khmer Empire until the Kingdom of Ayutthaya conquered it. Towards
the end of the 18th century, Laotians immigrated to the northern banks
of the Mun River and founded the provincial capital. The Laotian
influence is evident in the architectural structure of some of the
citys religious buildings. This incident was told in the provincial
seal which features a pond with a lotus flower and leaves in a circular
frame. It symbolizes the ancient community of the people who fled the
massacre of King Siriboonsarn of Vientiane and came to settle in Nong
Bua Lam Phu Province in 1779 during the reign of King Thonburi. This
community was established as a province with the name Ubon Ratchathani
Srivanalai in 1792 during the reign of King Rama I, the first king of
the Chakri Dynasty.
During the reign of King Rama V, Ubon Ratchathani was annexed to Lao Kao
town. Later in 1899, the area was under the supervision of Northeastern
Monthon, with Ubon Ratchathani serving as an administrative hub. In
1900, the name was changed to Monthon I-San. When the Monthon system was
abolished, the city has become Ubon Ratchathani province. During the
Vietnam War, Ubon encountered expansive growth due to its proximity to
an American air base.
Today, the province is the largest and one of the most important
provinces in northeastern Thailand. Due to the large number of
fascinating temples dotting the city, Ubon is a place of pilgrimage at
the beginning of Buddhist Lent. Aside from the numerous attractions,
festivals and holidays are celebrated with a unique Ubon flair.
Located in the Korat Basin about 68 meters (227 feet) above sea level,
most of Ubon Ratchathani is a plateau sloping to the east to meet the
Maekhong River, a border between Thailand and the Lao Peoples Democratic
Republic. Other major rivers in the area are the Chee River, Moon River,
Lum Saybok River, Lum Domeyai River and Lum Domenoi River. There are
some high mountain ranges in the south such as Bantad Range and Phanom
Dongrak Range which border Ubon Ratchathani and the Lao Peoples
Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The most important natural resource in Ubon Ratchathani is its forests,
such as Teng-Rung forests, Red forests and mixed forests. In the
province, there are 50 national preserved forests, 3 national parks, 2
botanical gardens, 1 wild life preservation area and 1 botanical park.
There are highways and rail roads connecting different districts in Ubon
Ratchathani with other provinces and there is one international airport
located in Muang District.
People of Ubon Ratchathani are engaged in activities related to
agriculture and livestock raising. They are religious and still abide by
tradition and culture. Locals usually dwell in groups of houses, speak
their own dialects and practice their traditionally handed down
The province covers 15,517 square kilometers and is divided into the
following districts: Muang, Warin Chamrap, Det Udom, Buntharik, Na
Chaluai, Nam Yuen, Phibun Mangsahan, Khong Chiam, Si Muang Mai, Trakan
Phuet Phon, Khemarat, Mung Sam Sip, Khueang Nai, Kut Khaopun, Tan Sum,
Pho Sai, Samrong, Sirindhorn, Don Mot Daeng, Thung Si Udom, Na Yia, Na
Tan, Lao Suea Kok, Sawang Wirawong and Nam Khun
How to get there
a)From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Saraburi and Highway No. 2 to
Nakhon Ratchasima, then use Highway No.226 and proceed to Ubon
Ratchathani via Buri Ram, Surin and Si Sa Ket, for a total distance of
b)From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 2 unil arriving at
Sikhio, then turn into Highway No. 24 and proceed to Ubon Ratchathani
via Chok Chai, Nang Rong, Prasat, Det Udom and Warin Chamrap.
Buses depart from Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal)
to Ubon Ratchathani every day. Contact Transport Co. Ltd at Tel: 0 2936
2852-66 for more information.
Regular trains depart from Bangkoks Hua Lamphong Railway Station to
Ubon Ratchathani every day. Call 1690, 0 2223 7010-20 for more
Thai Airways has several daily flights connecting Bangkok with Ubon
Ratchathani. For more information, contact their Bangkok office at tel.
0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000 or view their website at www.thaiairways.com.
Air Asia operates two flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to
Ubon Ratchathani International Airport. The flight time is 1.05 hours.
Call 02 515 9999 or visit www.airasia.com for more details.
Getting around the city
Getting around the city is easy with city buses. They usually run along
the main avenues, from north to south of the town. The fare is only 5B.
Taking Samlor around the city would cost approximately 30B/kilometre
If you, however, choose to enjoy the ride of a rented car, there are
several car rental companies, big names and local names, which provide
this kind of service.
Chaw Wattana. Tel. 0 4521 4906, 0 4524 2202 . Address: 39/8 Suriyat Road,
Amphoe Mueang Ubon Ratchathai
Budget Rent a Car. Tel. 045 240507. Address: Arrival Hall, Ubon
Getting to nearby provinces
There are buses departing from a bus terminal located at Chayangkun Road
to Ubons neighboring provinces and its own districts. They include: (please
note that fares are subject to change without prior notice)
Buriram (ordinary 66B, air-con 148B), Kantharalak (for Khao Phra Viharn
ordinary 20B), Khong Chiam (ordinary 40B), Khon Kaen (ordinary 66B, air-con
148B), Khorat (ordinary 149B, air-con 260B), Mukdahan (ordinary 55B, air-con
105B), Phibun Mangsahan (ordinary 22B), Prakhon Chai (for Phanom Rung,
ordinary 84B), Roi Et (ordinary 61B, air-con 99B), Sakon Nakhon (ordinary
101B, air-con 1738B), Si Saket (ordinary 29B, air-con 60B), Surin (ordinary
72B, air-con 129B), That Phanom (ordinary 65B, air-con 140B), Udon Thani
(ordinary 122B, air-con 219B), and Yasothon (ordinary 43B, air-con 76B),