Udon Thani Province
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|Motto: 'หนองประจักษ์คู่เมือง ลือเลื่องแหล่งธรรมะ อารยธรรมบ้านเชียงมรดกโลกห้าพันปี ธานีผ้าหมี่ขิด ธรรมชาติเนรมิตทะเลบัวแดง|
|• Governor||Amnat Phakarat|
|• Total||11,730 km2 (4,530 sq mi)|
|Human Development Index|
|• HDI (2010)||0.810 (very high) (1st)|
|Accession into Kingdom of Thailand||1868|
|Accession into Kingdom of Thailand||1932|
Udon Thani is one of the northeast provinces (changwat) of Thailand. It is bordered by the provinces of Nong Khai to the north, Sakon Nakhon to the east, Khon Kaen to the south and Loei to the west. It occupies an area of 11,730 km². The provincial capital is Udon Thani, the first city in Udon Thani.
Udon Thani is said to mean "northern city". "Udon" is derived from "utara" in Sanskrit, meaning "northern direction", as Udon Thani is north of Bangkok. "Thani" means "city". Udon Thani was the capital city of Mondol Udon, the northern region.
Udon Thani first marked its name in the Bangkok era's history when Anuwong staged an uprising and marched Laotian troops to Nakhon Ratchasima during the period 1826–1828. Met with fierce resistance from the local troops led by Lady Mo, wife of the Nakhon Ratchasima governor. Anuwong was forced to retreat back to Nong Bua Lamphu, a city close to present-day Udon Thani. The Laotians eventually lost to Siam's troops and the Nong Bua Lamphu militia.
Formerly known as Ban Mak-kaeng, Udon Thani was first settled as a military base established by Prince Prachak to crack down on an uprising in the northeastern state of Lao Puan. Ban Mak-kaeng has evolved from a rural city eventually into what is present-day Udon Thani.
The province is best known for the archeological site Ban Chiang and its Bronze Age remains, located in what is now a hamlet about 137 kilometres (85 mi) east of Udon. Udon is one of the more bustling markets for agricultural goods in the relatively dry northeast of Thailand, and received its biggest economic boost in the 1960s when the US built the Udon Royal Thai Air Force Base as a joint-force military base during the Vietnam War. The Mel Gibson film Air America refers to Udon and includes shots from the Udon base.) Udon Thani was also the largest base in the region for the CIA's anti-communism campaign.
The US turned the base over to the Thai military in 1976, but there were three significant after-effects of the US presence. First, a number of the natives in the area were well paid and learned English, which helped them become more marketable to the outside world (a significant percentage of the more educated group now work in the Middle East oilfields). Second, the base created ties, including a US consulate in Udon, closed in 1995, and a US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. Finally, the base and the consulate caused the city to be viewed as a regional hub, and this impression has continued.
In recent years the province has received international attention due to the discovery of a large potash deposit in the area. Some anticipate that the region will become a major exporter of the mineral. The granting of the necessary approvals, however, has been substantially delayed due to public opposition to the mine. Many villagers who live directly above the proposed mine site have expressed concern that the company and its environmental impact assessment (EIA) have not adequately addressed concerns of salinization of groundwater and soil or land subsidence. Both would threaten the economic stability of local communities that rely primarily on income derived from rice farming.
|Climate data for Udon Thani (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.0
|Average low °C (°F)||16.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)||6.3
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||3||4||8||16||18||18||21||18||8||2||1||118|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
Population and demographics
Udon Thani's geographic position in the north of northeastern Thailand and its proximity to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, has contributed to the province's rapid development as a transport and industrial hub. This has created jobs and attracted migrants from other states as well as from overseas, particularly from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and China. In recent decades, the influx of illegal immigrants, particularly from Vietnam, has further swelled Udon Thani's population.
|1||Mueang Udon Thani||397,049|
|8||Nong Wua So||61,658|
|9||Wang Sam Mo||55,730|
Udon Thani had a population of 1,548,107 as of 2010. The province's ethnic composition consists of Lao, Chinese, and other ethnic groups. The most populated cities in Udon Thani as of 2010 are:
|4||Non Sung - Nam Kham||10,008|
List of districts
Udon Thani is divided into 20 administrative districts (another 5 are now in Nong Bua Lamphu Province):
Udon Thani is linked to the rest of Thailand by comprehensive air, road and rail connections. Most of the major highways that run through the northeastern Thailand, including Mittraphap Road, serve Udon Thani as well.
Udon Thani has several tertiary education institutions. Most of these academic centres are concentrated in major towns and cities in Udon Thani:
|Udon Thani Rajabhat University||UDRU||1923||Mueang Udon Thani|
Private universities and university colleges
|Santapol College||STU||1998||Mueang Udon Thani|
Notable hospitals in Udon Thani are listed below:
Television in Udon Thani consists of thirteen free-to-air stations, one satellite television network, and two Internet television services. Seven of the thirteen free-to-air stations are broadcast from Laos (with 4 foreign relay stations). All of Thai stations are broadcast from Bangkok, except for NBT which has two hours of local programming.
- National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT)
- Royal Thai Army
- Lao National Television
- Vietnam Television
- China Central Television
- Satellite television
- Internet television
Radio stations in Udon Thani are available on FM frequencies.
Commercial radio stations available in Udon Thani include Radio One (88.5), New Music (89.0), Cool FM (89.3), SR Radio (89.9), UFM (90.25), Kiss FM (90.75), NN Radio (91.75), Big FM (92.5), Udon FM (97.0), Nice FM (97.25), Live Hits (98.0), WOW FM (98.25), Sayamchai FM (98.5), OK Love (100.0), P Radio (104.4), Mittaphap FM (104.75), Isama Radio (105.25), Wansabai Radio (106.5), and Hit FM (107.0). Commercial radio stations are operated by a few media companies.
Local community radio stations include Rajabhat University Radio (107.7) operated by Udon Thani Rajabhat University (only available in Udon Thani and Phen), EFM (101.25), and Education Radio (96.0) which targets university students.
The seven government radio networks available are Modern Radio (91.5), NBT (93.75), Parliament FM (87.5), Post FM (99.0), Border Patrol FM (100.25), Police FM (105.75), Air Force FM (104.0). The regions of Udon Thani that border other provinces can also receive two other MCOT radio stations; Khon Kaen FM (Udon Thani-Khon Kaen border) and Nong Khai FM (Udon Thani-Nong Khai border).
||Loei||Sakhrai/Mueang, Nong Khai|
|Sawang Daen Din, Sakon Nakhon|
|Nong Bua Lamphu||Khao Suan Kwang / Kranuan, Khon Kaen||Kalasin|