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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 Peoples 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.


Transportation to Ubon Ratchathani is very convenient by car, train, and air.

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.

By Bus: There are both air-conditioned and ordinary buses leaving from the Northeastern Bus Terminal (Talat Mo Chit) many times a day. For detailed information Tel. 272-5228 (Ordinary Bus) and 272-5299 (Air-con-ditioned Bus) Ubon Ratchathani Bus Terminal Tel. (045) 241831.

Private agencies: Nakhon Chai Air Tel. 2725271 (at Ubon Ratchathani Tel. 269385-6), Mong Khon Tour Tel. 2725239 (at Ubon Ratchathani Tel. 255116), Chet Chai Tour Tel. 2725264 (at Ubon Ratchathani Tel. 254885, 255907), Sahamit Tour. Tel. 2725252 (at Ubon Ratchathani Tel. 255043), Sayan Tour (Ubon Ratchathani) Tel. 254885, 242163, Siri Ratanapon (Ubon Ratchathani) Tel. 245847, 441848.

By Train: There are ordinary, rapid, and express trains from Bangkok to Ubon ratchathani every day. For more information please contact: Tel. 223-7010, 223-7020.

By Plane: Thai Airways International Ltd. Has a daily flight for passengers and air parcels from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani. Detailed information can be requested from Thai Airways International Ltd., Lan Luang Rd., Bangkok, Tel. 280-0060, 628-2000 and Ubon ratchathani Office, Tel. (045) 313340-4.

As for local transportation, there are bused running from Muang District to other districts and to other nearby provinces in the Northeast and the North, such as Chiang Mai.

Ubon Ratchathani Province

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Ubon Ratchathani
Capital: Ubon Ratchathani
Area: 15,744.8 km?
Ranked 5th
Inhabitants: 1,691,441 (2000)
Ranked 4th
Pop. density: 107 inh./km?
Ranked 44th
ISO 3166-2: TH-34
Governor: Chuan Sirinanphon
(since October 2007)
Map of Thailand highlighting Ubon Ratchathani Province}

Ubon Ratchathani (often in short Ubon, Thai: غҪҹ) is one of the north-eastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, and the country's easternmost. Ubon is about 600 km away from Bangkok. Neighboring Provinces are (from west clockwise) Sisaket, Yasothon and Amnat Charoen. To the north and east it borders Salavan and Champasak of Laos, to the south Preah Vihear of Cambodia.


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[edit] Geography

Mekong River in Amphoe Khong Chiam

At Khong Chiam the Mun river, the biggest river of the Khorat Plateau, joins the Mekong, which forms the north-eastern boundary of Thailand with Laos. It is called Maenam Song Si or the Mun River alluvium because the brown water from Mekong River is mixed with blue water from Mun River. It is located about 84 km. from Ubon Ratchathani City centre.

The area where the borders of the three countries Thailand, Laos and Cambodia meet is promoted as the Emerald Triangle, in contrast to the Golden Triangle in the north of Thailand. The Emerald refers to the large intact monsoon forests there.

Another natural place is namtok Saeng Chan. This waterfall is 1 km. from Thung Na Muang Waterfall.

Ubon Ratchathani also boasts the national parks:

Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park covers an area of 687 km? over mountainous areas in the province. The park is where Thailand borders Laos and Cambodia. Visitors are recommended to take hiking trails which lead on to the high plateau. The best view of this is the cliffs at Pha Pheung. The interesting attractions include: the 40 m Bak tew Yai Waterfall, which is located 4km from the park office.

Kaeng Tana National Park is in Khong Chiam District. It can be reached on two routes. The first route is by taking Highway No.2222 where visitors can see a beautiful view of Kaeng Tana, an island in the Mun River. Another way, visitors can go this way by taking the route to the National Park Office along Highway No.217.

Pha Taem National Park[1] covers an area of 140 km?. Plateaus and hills dominate the park landscape. These are sheer cliffs are a result of earthquakes. The interesting places in the national park are Pha Taem and Pha Kham. On the cliffs surface are numerous prehistoric cave paintings for 3,000-4,000 years ago. These paintings depict scenes of fishing, rice farming, figures of people, animals, hands and geometric designs that show the way of life during the pre-historic time and reflect the ancient lifestyle of people who lives there

[edit] History

The area was part of the Khmer Empire. Before the late eighteenth century, this area evidently was outside siamese or thai Ayutthaya Kingdom. After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 several new tribes settled there, including the Kha and Suai. Siamese/ Thai began expand its influence over the area since the rise of Thonburi and Bangkok Kingdoms. Twenty years later King Rama I offered a noble title to the local leader who could unite the many small settlements into one town. This was accomplished in 1786 with the founding of Ubon Ratchathani by Thao Khamphong, the Laotian prince who fled from Viantiane. Ubon Ratchathani was then named as Bangkok's tributary subject. Before it became a province. Ubon Ratchathani was the administrative center of the monthon Isan, of which monthon Ubon was split off. In 1925 it became part of monthon Nakhon Ratchasima, with the abolishment of the monthon in 1933 the province became a first level subdivision of the country.

Until 1972 the Ubon Ratchathani province was the largest province of Thailand areawise. In 1972 Yasothon was split off, in 1993 Amnat Charoen, after which it now holds the 5th rank.

[edit] Education

Ubon Ratchathani University Gate, located in Amphoe Warin Chamrap

Ubon Ratchathani province is the main site of Ubon Ratchathani University.

[edit] Symbols

The provincial seal shows a Lotus flower in a pond. This refers to the meaning of the name of the province, which translates to Royal city of the lotus flower. Therefore the provincial flower also is the Lotus (Nymphaea lotus). The provincial tree is the Yang-khao (Dipterocarpus alatus).

[edit] Administrative divisions

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided into 25 districts (Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 219 subdistricts (tambon) and 2469 villages (muban). The numbers missing in the table are the districts which formed the province Amnat Charoen in 1993.

Sirindhorn Reservoir, Amphoe Sirindhorn

[edit] Tourism

[edit] Sights

Thung Si Mueang (ͧ) Is a beautifully landscaped public park in the heart of the city in front of the city hall. It houses an imitation of a carved candle sculpture, health park, and playground.

City Pillar Shrine (ѡͧ) Located at the southern corner of the field, the sacred pillar was built in 1972.

Monument of Phra Pathum Worarat Suriyawong or Chao Kham Phong (͹лҪǧ ҤӼ) Phra Pathum Worarat Suriyawong is the founder of Ubon Ratchathani during 1778-1795.

Sculpture of Somdet Phra Maha Wirawong or Tisso Uan (ҡ稾ǧ ǹ), a famous monk who was well known in Sutra and Vipassana.

Monument of Goodness (͹觤) The monument was built by WWII PoWs to honour the generosity and goodness of the people of Ubon Ratchathani.

Sculpture of Harmony and Progress (ҡ㨡仢ҧ˹) The sculpture represents the harmony of 4 countries; namely, Thailand, Lao PDR., Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Wat Thung Si Mueang (Ѵͧ) The Buddhas footprint is housed in the Ubosot which mirrors art blending between the early Rattanakosin era and that of Vientiane. Another important building in the temple is the Ho Trai - the Hall of Tipitaka scriptures. The wooden hall was built in the pond to protect the Tipitaka from insects.

Wat Si Ubon Rattanaram or Wat Si Thong (Ѵغѵ Ѵշͧ) The Ubosot houses a sacred Buddha image known as Phra Kaeo Butsarakham. The Buddha image, in the attitude of subduing Mara, is carved from topaz into the Chiang Saen style. Each year, in the Songkran Festival, people will parade the Buddha image around for the people to pay respect and bathe.

National Museum, Ubon Ratchathani (ԾԸѳʶҹ觪ҵ غҪҹ) The single-storey hip roof building built since 1918 once served as the city hall before it was handed to the Fine Arts Department. The museum features local exhibitions; namely, geography, history of the citys establishment, archaeological finds art objects, local handicrafts, folk games.

The Golden Jubilee Art and Cultural Centre (ٹŻѲҭɡ) The 7-storey building in contemporary Isan architecture was built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of His Majestys Accession to the Throne. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony on 11 December, 2001.

Wat Chaeng (Ѵ) The Ubosot, which was completed 24 years later, is famed for its beautiful architecture and rare woodcarving. As a precious historical site, the Ubosot is well preserved in its original condition. It has won a Certificate of Honour from H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in the Architect 87 Exhibition.

Wat Maha Wanaram (Ѵǹ) It was firstly only a Samnak Song monastic residence - for Vipassana monks. According to a stone inscription found behind the principal Buddha statue, Phrachao Yai In Paeng, it was built in 1807. The stucco Buddha statue, in the attitude of subduing Mara, was built in the Laotian style.

Wat Burapharam (Ѵþ) The temple once served as a residence for famous meditation monks. Today, the temple houses life-like stone figures of these monks.

Wat Supattanaram Worawihan (Ѵػѯ) This is the first Dhammayutika temple of the province. The temple has a special Ubosot designed by a royal highway engineer Luang Sathit Nimankan (Chuan Supiyaphan). It has a Thai-style roof, western style hall and Khmer-style basement.

Hat Wat Tai (ҴѴ) The beach situated in the middle of the Mun River. During the dry season, its white sandy beach is a favourite place for holiday-makers to enjoy the easy atmosphere and greenery.

Ban Kan Lueang Archaeological Site (ҳպҹҹͧ) It is an archaeological site which can be dated back to 2,800-2,500 years ago. In 1996, the Fine Arts Department found a number of artefacts such as beads, pottery, bronze bells, iron axes and chaff.

Wat Sa Prasan Suk or Wat Ban Na Mueang (Ѵлҹآ Ѵҹͧ) The temple houses a special Ubosot in the shape of the Suphannahong Royal Barge decorated with mosaic. The abbot, Achan Bunmi, is widely honoured among the people of Ubon Ratchathani as well as those from nearby provinces.

Hat Khu Duea (Ҵ) The beach by the Mun River is 12 km from downtown Ubon Ratchathani via Highway 24. Lots of restaurants on the raft are available.

Ban Pa-ao (ҹ) The ancient village is situated in Tambon Nong Khon. Since two centuries ago, the villagers actually immigrated from Vientiane during the reign of King Siri Bunsan and settled here. The village is famed for its brass work in an ancient style.

Wat Nong Pa Phong (Ѵ˹ͧҾ) The temple is situated in a lush forest of Tambon Non Phueng. The tranquility allows monks to study and practice Vipassana meditation. Attractions in the temple include the Phra Phothiyan Thera Museum that displays the eight requisites and wax model of Luangpu Cha.

Wat Pa Nana Chat (ѴҹҹҪҵ) Numerous foreign monks study and practice Vipassana meditation here; most of them can speak Thai fluently and pray in Pali. Strict practices of the monks here make the temple quite honourable among Buddhists.

Wat Phukhao Kaeo (Ѵ) The temple has a very beautiful Ubosot which is delicately decorated with a tiered roof covered with terracotta tiles and supporting a golden spire in the middle. Inside is the high-relief regarding important Phrathats relic-containing pagodas - of Thailand.

Kaeng Saphue (о) The rapids in the Mun River is a place to relax and enjoy the currents and wave sound. Saphue derives from the word Samphuet in Suai ethnic language which means large serpent.

Sirindhorn Dam (͹Թ) Called Khuean Dom Noi by the locals, the rockfill dam with a clay core was constructed across the Lam Dom Noi, a tributary of the Mun River. The hydroelectric dam is 42 metres high and 940 metres long.

Chong Mek (ͧ) The permanent Thai-Lao border pass is 90 km from downtown Ubon Ratchathani. The pass is a land bridge to Champasak Province.

Kaeng Tana National Park (طҹ觪ҵ觵й) The park features plateaux and undulating hills with deciduous dipterocarp forest and grassland. The park has many attractions; namely,

Don Tana (͹й) An island in the middle of the Mun River of only 450 metres wide and 700 metres long.

Kaeng Tana (觵й) The largest rapids of the Mun River. In the middle of the rapids, there is a huge sandstone boulder splitting the river into two streams, and a concrete block built during the French Colonial Era to identify a channel for cruising.

Tham Phra or Tham Phu Ma Nai (ӾͶ) A stone inscription and Lingam base or Yoni from the 7th-8th Century were found. Now the original stone inscription is kept in the National Museum, Ubon Ratchathani.

Namtok Rak Sai Nature Trail (鹷ҧ֡ҸҵԹӵҡ) The trail lines along the cliff by the Mun River, 500 metres from the parks headquarters. It runs by the cliff for 1 km. through various kinds of flora, such as lichen, moss, and fern, Tham Phra and Namtok Rak Sai.

Namtok Tat Ton (ӵҴ⵹) The waterfall is situated on Highway 2173, off Highway 217 by 5 km.

Annamese Lion Pulpit at Ban Chi Thuan (ʹԧŻЭǹҹշǹ) The Buddhist pulpit is placed at Wat Sinuan Saeng Sawang Arom. The concrete pulpit itself is quite unique with a lion sculpture carrying the pulpit with decorative stucco, multi-layer wooden roof, and painting in the Annamese style.

Wat Thung Si Wilai (Ѵ) The temple houses Luangpho Wiset, the principal Buddha image carved from laterite seated beneath the Nagas hood. The sacred Buddha image from the Dvaravati period is considered a sacred icon for the village. The temple is surrounded by several enclosures of Sima stones that mark the temples consecrated boundary.

Wat Tham Kuha Sawan (ѴӤä) The temple was built by Luangpu Khamkhaning Chulamani to be a place for meditation practice where he also resided. Today, Luangpu has passed away but his body, which is not rotten, is well kept in a glass coffin and considered a sacred item.

Maenam Song Si (ͧ) At the mouth of the Mun River, Ban Woen Buek. The Mun River runs into the Mekong, so we can see two rivers, in two different colours Song Si means two colours - blending together. The Mekong River will be reddish brown while the Mun River is rather blue.

Pha Taem National Park (طҹ觪ҵԼ) The park features plateaux, undulating hills, and towering cliffs with strange sandstone formations scattered around. The park is covered mostly by deciduous dipterocarp forest and wild flowers can be found on the rock terrace.Its attractions include:

Sao Chaliang (§) Carved by wind and water for millions of years, the mushroom-like stone towers are scattered around the area containing shell fossils, sand and gravels in their texture. Geologists assumed that over million years ago this area was once a sea.

Pha Taem and Pha Kham (мҢ) The towering cliffs house groups of pre-historical paintings which date back to 4,000-3,000 years ago. There are over 300 paintings in five categories including animals, geometrical motifs, rice farmers, hands, and Tum or typical fish trap.

Namtok Soi Sawan (ӵä) Two streams, Huai Soi and Huai Phai, combine and plunge 20 metres down to the pond below, making the waterfall look like a necklace Soi in Thai.

Namtok Thung Na Mueang (ӵ觹ͧ) The medium-sized waterfall cascades down a 25-metre cliff through flowerbeds which are in full bloom between October to December.

Namtok Saeng Chan or Namtok Ru (ӵʧѹ ӵ) The tiny fall is special as the stream falls through a hole Ru down to the pond below. At noon, sunshine through the hole makes the waterfall look like a ray of moonshine Saeng Chan.

Dong Na Tham Forest (Ҵҷ) From September to November is the best time to enjoy the nature around while flowers are in full bloom, as well as waterfalls and fogs over the Mekong River. From January to March is the best time to see the forest change its hue, with trees shedding their leaves, and to cruise in the Mekong from Ban Pak La to Khan Tha Kwian.

Wat Phu Anon (Ѵҹ) The temple has interesting attractions including a rock terrace with large footprints, nature-made stone jar, and cave painting.

Phu Lon () The mountain is in Tambon Song Yang, 20 km north of Amphoe Si Mueang Mai. It has a cave where the late famous monk Phra Achan Man Phurithatto practiced his Vipassana.

Namtok Huai Sai Yai or Kaeng I Khiao (ӵ·˭ ) The waterfall is in the Buntharik - Khao Yot Mon Wildlife Sanctuary. The waterfall runs over the rock terrace among a shady environment.

Phu Chong - Na Yoi National Park (طҹ觪ҵ٨ͧ-) The park covers a total area of 686 sq. km. Its boundary connects to Lao PDR and Cambodia in the area called the Emerald Triangle. Its attractions include.

Namtok Huai Luang or Namtok Bak Teo (ӵǧ ӵѡ) Plunging for three steps from the elevation of 30 metres, the waterfall has a small pool with a white beach and turquoise colour water.

Phlan Yao Rock Garden (ǹԹҹ) Rocks in different formations are scattered around the area.

Pha Phueng Viewpoint (شǷȹҼ) The viewpoint is just next to the rock garden.

Namtok Koeng Mae Phong (ӵͧ) The waterfall is 9 km south of Namtok Huai Luang along the nature trail. It originates from the Lam Dom Noi Stream.

Kaeng Sila Thip (ҷԾ) Huai Luang Stream runs over a rock terrace and turns fierce in the rapids. In the middle of the stream, stream power has created lots of holes on the rock surface in different sizes and depths called Kumphalak.

Phlan Kong Kwian (ҭ¹) The vast rock terrace with rock shelters at the front is home to wild flowers and plants. In previous days, travellers could seek shelter from this place. Thus, it is called Phlan Kong Kwian which literally means cart terrace.

Phu Hin Dang (Թҧ) The cliff-top viewpoint to witness the forest scenery of Lao PDR. and Cambodia. Its cliff is especially painted with natural bright hues. Geologists explain that dry weather millions of years ago catalyzed the mineral residues in the seawater and resulted this way.

Namtok Kaeng Lamduan (ӵӴǹ) The fall is situated in the compound of the Ubon Ratchathani Wildlife Reservation Promotion and Development Station. The waterfall runs over a rock terrace and through the shady forest of Lamduan trees.

Prasat Ban Ben (ҷҹອ) The Khmer sanctuary is a religious site comprising three brick Prangs on separated laterite bases. The Fine Arts Department excavated the site in 1990 and found lintels featuring 9 directional guardian angels and the God Indra on his Erawan heavenly elephant.

[edit] Local Products

Ubon Ratchathanis local products include hand-woven cotton, Khit pillow, loincloth, silk, brassware, and basketry.

Mu Yo or preserved pork, Chinese sausage, Isan sausage, and Khem Mak Nat or black-eared catfish or iridescent shark-catfish in saline water with chopped pineapple. Various preserved and ready-to-eat food such as dried fish, dried frogs skin, and steamed bun with bamboo shoot stuff.

[edit] Culture

[edit] Festivals

Flower Festival (ҹȡ͡дѺ) Held every February at Thung Kham Nam Saep Stadium, Amphoe Warin Chamrap, the festival features floral floats, decorative and flowering plant contests and fair.

Kaeng Saphue Songkran Festival (ҹླʧҹо) Held every April in Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan, the festival comprises a beauty contest, fair, local sports, and local music contest.

Illuminated Boat Procession (ҹླ) Held every October to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, boats from different temples will illuminate the river near the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Bridge.

Traditional Boat Races (ҹ觢ѹǻླ) Several boat racing tournaments are held annually in October after the end of the Buddhist Lent. The Mueang Ubon Ratchathani Municipalitys tournament is held near the Rattanakosin Bicentennial Bridge. Tambon Phibun Mangsahan Municipalitys tournament is held near the Mun River Bridge, and Wat Pho Taks tournament is held in front of the temple.

纨ͧç  ҧҹ ʵ 红굺