One of the most interesting provinces in Esan region is undeniably Ubon Ratchathani for sure. It has all of the characteristics that represent the Esan region which might covers all of what Esan region in Thailand has to offer. It is a beautiful province with natural and cultural aspects that you must see to believe!
General Information about Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
Ubon Ratchathani is a province in the Esan region of Thailand and it usually refers to the name of Ubon for short. The city itself was founded near the northern back of the Mun River in the late 1700s under the protection of King Taksin at the time. It was granted a new name later in the year 1779 as you can see today. This place was also a U.S. air base from the time when the Vietnam War was going on.
This province blends cultural and natural aspects together pretty well and very suitable for tourism in the Esan region of Thailand. You can find a lot of interesting aspects and kind people with different dialect that you must not have hear it before. A worthy destination for your Thailand visits!
To get here
You can take the plane to Ubon Ratchathani International Airport or you can use a bus from Bangkok which there are many service providers that can take you here such as Nakornchai Air and Bor Kor Sor Buses. Have a nice trip!
The famous attractions in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
Places that are famous in this province are a combination between nature and culture. If you are interested in seeing those characteristics in this province, the places that I am going to mention are the places that most represent them. Try to be observant and look around, I am sure that you will find this place mesmerizing.
Sam Phan Bok
This is a stone ridge under the Mae Kong River that undergone much weathering. There are more than 3000 ponds that you can see down there, and they are very beautiful when the water level is down. These ponds have many shapes and you can imagine them to be the shape that you want it to be such as the pair of hearts, Micky Mouse, and etc. The best period to come here is between November to June during the time period of 6 to 9am and 3 to 5:30pm. These time periods are when the lights perfectly shine on the right spot on the stones and the weather is not too hot. You can take a boat tour along the Mae Kong River to see its beauty here.
Huay Luang Waterfall
This is a famous waterfall of this province and it is the one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in the entire Esan region. It has a height of 45 meters and there is a giant pond below. The pond has a green emerald color and you can go into the water as well. Apart from that, there is also a white clean sand to walk on here. The best period is during the rainy season from September to October. At the top, you can visit the Sala and observe the views of the beautiful waterfall from up there.
Wat Nong Bua
This is one of the most important and famous temples in this province. One thing that interests me is Phra That Chedi Sri Maha Bodhi which resembles the chedi at Bodh Gaya, India. It has a width of 17 meters and 56 meters tall with a white color and golden fine details. It was built as a symbol for the 2500 years anniversary of Buddhism. Inside of the chedi, it contains a Buddha relic and there are four Buddha statues on the four sides of the chedi. The interior is also beautifully decorated with gold!
Another province with great attractions in this region is definitely Ubon Ratchathani and I have received quite a number of unique places from the locals here that I want to share this with you. It is also a good thing that most of the recommended attractions are inside one big place! So, you do not have to travel a lot.
To start off this list of recommended places by the locals, I think the first suitable place would be a temple.
Wat Sirindhorn Wararam Phu Prao or Wat Ruang Sang
This is a temple which located on a mountain with beautiful structure that filled with magnificent architecture and decoration. In fact, the model for the design came from Wat Chiang Thong at Laos. However, its most special characteristic can only be seen during the night. The back side of the temple will glow with green color from Cassia bakeriana Craibs that are hanging beautifully. If you are lucky, you might see the sky full of stars too. There are actually many spots in the temple that are glowing and if you use your flash from your mobile phones, you can draw something on the spot that is glowing and take a picture as a souvenir!
Pha Tam National Park
If you are visiting Thailand, specifically Ubon Ratchathani, the place that you should not miss by any chance is Pha Tam National Park. There are quite a few places that should be mentioned here!
Chanadai cliff is the first place that I will start with. The special thing about this place is the sightseeing spot that enables you to see the first sunrise in Thailand and other sceneries with the sunrise in the background. The views below of the Mae Kong River are also beautiful. You can also see the mountains in the side of Laos in front of you, including vast forests. If you come here during the winter, you can even see the sea of mists!
Sang Jun Waterfall
The next place of this national park is Sang Jun Waterfall which is a waterfall that was created by a small pond on stone plates. The weathering has created a canal for the water to flow downwards. At noon, the sun rays will pass through a tiny hole which creates a beautiful projection like moonlights, thus the name of this waterfall. This is actually the only waterfall in Thailand that has this kind of characteristic. The perfect time to come here is the rainy season from July to October in which you will see a massive amount of water flowing here and you can see the flow of water very clearly as well.
Next up is the prehistoric paintings with more than 3000 years old! These paintings reflect the way of life and stories of the past. You will see the longest painting in Thailand with more than 180 meters in length here as well. This painting separates into four types which are animal, tool, symbol, and people. In addition, there are four more spots that you can visit at this place.
We are still at the national park because there are lots of places to cover! The last place is known as Sao Chaliang which is a natural phenomenon that caused by one hundred or more years of weathering. This creates mushroom-like stone pillars everywhere in this place. It is also a point where you can see countless groups of stars. If the weather is great, you can see the milky way too. Sao Chaliang is pretty much the best place to sleep and watch the stars, including taking pictures.
Other Interesting Information of Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand
The motto for this province is “The City of Beautiful Lotus, Two-Colored River, Delicious Fishes, Stone Pond Beaches, The Land of Thai Scholars, People Who Believes in Justice, Magnificent Phansa Candles, Prehistoric Pha Tam”.
To get around the province
You can use either the bus or songthaew around the city. There are quite a lot of tuktuks here as well. However, if you feel like it, you can rent a motorcycle or a car to get around.
There are not that much of places where you can sleep here. Most of them are budget hotels with cheap prices from 300 to 1000 baht a night.