Udon Thani Province

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Udon Thani
Huai Luang reservoir
Huai Luang reservoir
Flag of Udon Thani
Amphoe 042.svg
   Udon Thani in    Thailand
   Udon Thani in    Thailand
Coordinates: 17°25′N 102°45′E / 17.417°N 102.750°E / 17.417; 102.750Coordinates: 17°25′N 102°45′E / 17.417°N 102.750°E / 17.417; 102.750
CapitalUdon Thani
 • GovernorNirat Phongsitthawon
(since October 2019)[2]
 • Total11,730 km2 (4,530 sq mi)
 • Total1,572,300[1]
Human Development Index
 • HDI (2010)0.810 (very high) (1st)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code
Calling code042
Vehicle registrationอุดรธานี
Accession into Kingdom of Thailand1868
Accession into Kingdom of Thailand1932

Udon Thani Province (Thai: อุดรธานี, pronounced [ʔù.dɔ̄ːn tʰāː.nīː]) is a province (changwat) in northeast Thailand. It is bordered by the provinces of Nong Khai to the north, Sakon Nakhon to the east, Kalasin Province to the southeast, Khon Kaen to the south, and Loei and Nong Bua Lamphu to the west. It occupies an area of 11,730 km2.[3] The provincial capital is Udon Thani, the major city in the province.


Udon Thani is said to mean 'northern city'. Udon is derived from utara in Sanskrit, meaning 'northern direction', as Udon Thani is northeast of Bangkok. Thani means 'city'.


Udon Thani first came to historical notice in the Bangkok era, when Anuwong of Vientiane staged a rebellion against Thai rule and marched his army to Nakhon Ratchasima in 1826. He captured the city by a ruse, but the garrison he left to hold it unexpectedly met with fierce resistance from the disarmed local forces led by Lady Mo, the wife of Nakhon Ratchasima's governor. Anuwong advanced as far as Saraburi, but was forced to retreat. The Thai army pursued him, and the rival forces met in battle at Nong Bua Lamphu, a small city near today's Udon Thani. After two days of fierce fighting, Anuwong's army was defeated and fled back to Laos.[4]

Bowl; from Ban Chiang site; painted ceramic; height: 32 cm, diameter: 31 cm

Once known as Ban Mak-kaeng, Udon Thani was originally settled as a military base established by Prince Prachak to suppress an uprising in the northeastern city of Lao Puan. Ban Mak-kaeng grew slowly from a small rural town to become what is now the modern city of Udon Thani.

Air America headquarters at Udorn, c. 1967

The province is best known for the prehistoric archaeological site at Ban Chiang and its Bronze Age relics, located in a hamlet about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Udon. Udon is one of the more bustling markets for agricultural goods in the relatively dry northeast of Thailand.

Udon Thani received its biggest economic boost in the 1960s when the United States built the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base as a joint-force military base during the Vietnam War. The Mel Gibson film Air America depicts Udon and includes scenes of Udon's air base. Udon Thani was also the largest base in the region for the CIA's anti-communism campaign in Thailand and Laos.[citation needed] The United States turned the base over to the Royal Thai Air Force in 1976, but its presence left three residual effects on Udon. First, a large number of locals had been paid comparatively well and had learned basic conversational English. This made them more marketable to the outside world, and a significant number went to work in Middle East oilfields. Second, the base created long-standing ties with the United States, including a US consulate in Udon (closed in 1995), and a US Veterans of Foreign Wars post. But most importantly, the base and the consulate made the city into a regional hub for the northeast, and this continues today.[citation needed]

In recent years Udon received international attention because of the discovery of large potash deposits.[5] Some anticipate the region would become a major exporter of the mineral. However, granting the necessary approvals has been substantially delayed due to public opposition to mining. Many villagers living near the proposed mine site fear that the mining company's environmental impact assessment (EIA) did not adequately address the problems of salinization of the groundwater and soil, as well as probability of land subsidence. Either of these would seriously threaten the economic stability of local communities that depend on rice farming for income. An existing potash mine, Udon North mine has attracted local opposition.

Black site[edit]

The province has been named as the locale of a US CIA "black site" used to interrogate suspected terrorists by the United States.[6] Suspected locations include Ramasun Station, dominated by a large wullenweber array,[7][8] also known as the 7th Radio Research Field Station,[9] in Tambon Non Sung of Mueang Udon Thani District; the 13th Artillery Battalion encampment (Camp Yutthasilpprasit[10]) 13 km distant from Ramasun; Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base; and a Voice of America (VOA) broadcasting station in Ban Dung District.[7]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Administrative districts of Udon Thani.
Shopping mall in Mueang Udon Thani district

The province is divided into twenty districts (amphoe). Another five are now in Nong Bua Lamphu Province. The districts are further subdivided into 155 sub-districts (tambon) and 1682 villages (muban):

  1. Mueang Udon Thani
  2. Kut Chap
  3. Nong Wua So
  4. Kumphawapi
  5. Non Sa-at
  6. Nong Han
  7. Thung Fon
  8. Chai Wan
  9. Si That
  10. Wang Sam Mo
  1. Ban Dung
  1. Ban Phue
  2. Nam Som
  3. Phen
  4. Sang Khom
  5. Nong Saeng
  6. Na Yung
  7. Phibun Rak
  8. Ku Kaeo
  9. Prachaksinlapakhom

Population and demographics[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Rank Districts Population 2010
1 Mueang Udon Thani 397,049
2 Kumphawapi 125,193
3 Ban Dung 123,227
4 Nong Han 114,982
5 Phen 110,190
6 Ban Phue 107,965
7 Kut Chap 62,301
8 Nong Wua So 61,658
9 Wang Sam Mo 55,730
10 Nam Som 55,622
11 Non Sa-at 48,459
12 Si That 47,888
13 Chai Wan 38,209
14 Thung Fon 31,029
15 Sang Khom 28,441
16 Nong Saeng 25,802
17 Na Yung 25,701
18 Prachaksinlapakhom 24,693
19 Phibun Rak 24,185
20 Ku Kaeo 21,962

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.[citation needed] The most populated cities in Udon Thani as of 2010[citation needed] are:

Rank City Population 2010
1 Udon Thani 315,329
2 Nong Samrong 27,051
3 Bandung 16,003
4 Non Sung - Nam Kham 10,008


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 International Airport

Udon Thani International Airport, the province's primary airport, is in the district of Mueang Udon Thani near the border with Nong Khai Province. Between them, several airlines operate over 160 flights per week (as of August 2017) to Bangkok.[11]


Udon Thani railway station

Udon Thani Railway Station is the main railway station in Udon Thani.


Udon Thani has several tertiary education institutions. Udon Thani is also home to an international school. Most of these academic centres are concentrated in major towns and cities in Udon Thani:

Public universities[edit]

Name Acronym Founded Location
Udon Thani Rajabhat University UDRU 1923 Mueang Udon Thani

Private universities and university colleges[edit]

Name Acronym Founded Location
Santapol College STU 1998 Mueang Udon Thani

International schools[edit]

Name Acronym Founded Location
Udon Thani International School UDIS 2013 Mueang Udon Thani


Notable hospitals in Udon Thani are listed below:

Public Hospitals

Private Hospitals



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 four foreign relay stations). All of Thai stations are broadcast from Bangkok, except for NBT which has two hours of local programming.

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). 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).

Radio stations from Laos available are LNR 1 (103.7), LNR 2 (97.3), and Vientiane City Radio (105.5).

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "Population of the Kingdom" (PDF). Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA) Thailand (in Thai). 2014-12-31. Retrieved 19 Mar 2015.
  2. ^ "ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง แต่งตั้งข้าราชการพลเรือนสามัญ" [Announcement of the Prime Minister's Office regarding the appointment of civil servants] (PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 136 (Special 242 Ngor). 31. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Expanded Administrative Units". GeoHive. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
  4. ^ Udon Thani Provincial Office (1985), Udon Thani: A History of a Provincial Administration, Bangkok: Amarin Printing.
  6. ^ "Torture and secrecy in Thailand". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 17 Mar 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b Nanuam, Wassana (27 August 2018). "Ex-US base 'not secret prison'". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Ramasun Camp History Museum". Thailand Tourism Directory. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  9. ^ Lelyveld, Joseph (1974-06-26). "U.S. Military Presence Is in Asia as of Old, but Justification for It Is All New". New York Times. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ Sarnsamak, Pongphon (2012-05-16). "Keep away from our base, army warns miners". The Nation. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Udon Thani Airport Guide". Netmobius. Retrieved 7 August 2017.

External links[edit]