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#Udon Thani




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Thailand - Udon Thani The lake with the "Sea of Red Lotuses"in Udon Thani province is quite a sight. Not many foreigners go but easy to find. It's at a place called Kumphawapi (type "Han Kumphawapi" into Google maps).
To drive, take the main road from Udon Thani to Khon Kaen, then turn off (to the left) when you see signs (and pictures) for the lake, after about 30km. It's well signposted and you'll see the word "daeng" which means red in Thai - even though the flowers are actually pink! After turning off the main road it takes about another 20 minutes to get to the lake. Or take a taxi, which costs about 1500 baht return including several hours waiting for you at the lake.
When you arrive at the lake get a ticket for a boat (about 300 baht per small boat, up to 8 people). They'll call your number over loudspeaker, but it can take an hour of waiting after getting the ticket when busy. The boat ride takes about half an hour. They stop the boat a few times for pictures.
Don't go too early or late or the flowers will not be fully open, aim for about midday. Visit the lake between December and February.

Udon Thani - Thailand If you want something unusual in Udon Thani check out the Ice Rink on the top floor of the Central shopping mall. The new Play Port water park is worth a look if you have kids (www.playportudon.com)
Udon Thani - Thailand
This must count as a bargain: One hour each way train journey from Udon Thani to Nong Khai (border town with Laos) - total cost 16 baht! (11 baht out and 6 baht back). The journey was FREE for Thai people. I think it is subsidised by the government. The train was old but the ticket came with an allocated seat and there was even a VIP carriage for those that want more comfort. Nice view of farmland along the way. The train wasn’t exactly on time but at that price who cares. Virtually free train journey
Udon Thani - Thailand
If you are in Udon Thani be sure to visit Nong Prajak Park. Nice, clean, relaxing place. Easy to find - the main government hospital is located right next to it. Some things to do: Rent a bicycle and ride around the lake (standing on the stone bridge and facing out of park, turn left and walk 100m to bike rent), feed the huge fish from the bridge in the middle, childrens play areas, fitness and sports areas. It is also a place for celebrations when any Thai festivals are on. Lots of food and drink options inside and around park. For a special meal (but not cheap) go to the "Good Everything" restaurant, just past the government hospital opposite the main gates into the park. (Chris)
Udon Thani - Thailand

Phil from Udon again. I’ve already listed a proven electrician and plumber and here is my recommendation for Air Conditioning. I didn’t buy the original air con unit from them but from Makro. Makro farm-out the installation work and it was really rough.
I called in ‘Charoen Chai Air Con’ to tidy it up. They looked at the original work and laughed. They did a good job of improving it so when I moved house recently I called them again to take the air con to the new place.
They went the ‘extra mile’ without being asked by running the wiring into the loft space so as much of it was hidden as possible and all of the switches were high quality. They also painted the loft hatch when they had finished. And to top it all they turned up early!
Cost, including an air con service, was about 500 baht but I always tip them on top as it seems to put you on their priority list.
I have no connection with them and couldn’t even tell you their names. The phone numbers given on their business card are: 042 324946, 086 8533311, 086 8159302.
Good service, good price
Udon Thani - Thailand
Just a note to say that there has been a shake-up at the Udon Thani immigration office since my post after last visit. They now seem to have a new boss and it is much better.
Don’t be surprised if they still try their luck with a small photocopying fee - ‘pay what you want’ - but they actually told me I didn’t need to fill in one form, confirming my residence (not needed for tourist visa extension), that they told me was required last time!
I now suspect even more that the endless list of forms last time was to clear the way for a nice tip when I inevitably didn’t have something filled in correctly. Thankfully that practice looks to have been stopped by the new boss.
Beware the office was quite busy and that they shut for lunch at 12pm.
Visa extension update
Udon Thani - Thailand
Udon Thani has an immigration office where you can extend your visa. It used to be at the airport but has now moved to #95 Phosi Road, near the fairground area. Same road that leads to the government hospital.
It’s classic Thai bureaucracy to extend the visa - to get the original (tourist) visa you filled out1 side of A4 paper, but to extend it (one month per entry) you need to go through handfuls of forms, photocopies and signatures.
The reason I’m posting is you should expect to pay an extra ‘tip’ if something is not correct and with that many forms, in Thai, something will not be if they look hard enough. A missing signature from your landlord? They’ll hint at 1000 baht, but from experience they will settle for 500.
Do some subtle negotiating - look surprised, apologise, saying you really need this sorted today and you’ll see from their reaction if they are actually serious about making you go away and get whatever is ‘missing’..
Don’t hand the immigration guy money, they’ll probably just point to a jar on the desk and you subtly pop it in there. They also sometimes ask for some tea or biscuits for their staff, so perhaps best to come bearing gifts if you don’t want to hand over cash. Maybe that has been my mistake.
I’m not sure if having a Thai person with you helps or not. Many times I’ve escaped Police attempts for backhanders (‘water money’) by shrugging that I don’t understand what they are saying.
Visa info
 Udon Thani - Thailand First a massive thank you to whoever posted about Aeon ATM machines not charging a withdraw fee.
I tried it and it definitely works for me too. No fee (100 baht) for using the ATM with my British Credit or Debit cards, which are Visa and Mastercard.
So after some checking this is where some Aeon ATMs can be found in Udon Thani:
1. In the UD Town nightmarket. The Aeon branch and ATM is outside Tesco. Also at big Tesco store on other side of town.
2. In the Big C complex. Aeon ATM is at the top of the escalator on the right hand side.
3. Central Plaza. Not easy to describe where this ATM is. Best thing is go the Aeon branch inside Central and ask them to show you.
(Steven)
100 baht saving each time you withdraw
 Udon Thani - Thailand There is not a lot to do in Udon Thani in terms of leisure but I finally visited the Water Park in the Nakhaburi Resort. Swimming pools are hard to find in Udon, even in hotels, and this one has two including water slides. Good for a family day out.
It's located on the main road between Udon and Nong Khai. Price to go swimming for a day is around 100 baht. The resorts has rooms from 800 baht upwards. Taxi from Udon takes about 20mins and was 200 baht each way. Food and drink can be ordered poolside. Pool is open from 10am with water slides (for kids) open from midday. You can find out more info on www.nakhaburi.com
Good value
 Udon Thani - Thailand NT Apartments has just opened. Rooms not huge but has all mod cons, inc wifi, lcd TV. Four floors, the top two of which are for long term rent - cost is 4500 baht a month excluding bills. Much cheaper than most places in city centre. Also do nightly rates. I think around 350 baht. It's located in Adunyadet road (same road as Ruy Suk).  5000 baht a month cheaper than most apartments in area
Udon Thani - Thailand Cheap apartment block located opposite Big C Supermarket. It's called "Ruan Nara Apartment". Turn left off the main road to Big C just before the esso petrol station and its about 100 metres down the road. Ask a tuk tuk to take you. Price 3500 baht for a month. You can get your washing done as well and has wi fi. However no cooking facilities and there is a school near which blasts out loud music at 8am so ask to stay on the far side. You'll need your own transport, but at that price who cares! Cheap
Udon Thani - Thailand Having had to pay to get most work done twice (to correct initial shoddy work) in my experience these Tradesmen in Udon Thani area are reliable, work to a high standard and price fairly. Note their English is limited so have a Thai speaker handy.
Electrician (and TV): 0834538543 (has worked abroad so understands proper standards)
Plumber: 0862185637 / 042347410 (no-nonsense grafter who gets work done and gives itemised bill).
Tradesmen
 Udon Thani - Thailand The food court area of the UD Town night market has a good selection of cheap food and drink, although naturally most is local based food. There is also a smaller food court located in the older market on the other side of the train station (with the green roof). These areas are where most locals eat so you can't find better value. You can also buy food to take home.
Cheapest food in Udon
 Udon Thani - Thailand Local steak restaurant opposite Ruy Suk hotel offers decent meat steaks (Beef/Pork/Chicken/Fish) with a few fries and a drink for less than 100 baht. Their English is ok and you can eat there or ask them to deliver if you're staying nearby. Location is opposite side of road from Ruy Suk and about 50m towards city center. Look for the 'steak' sign. (Charlie, USA)  Good value
 Udon Thani - Thailand All western food is highly priced in Udon, but best value is the Chern Chim pub/restaurant/food store. As well as pub type meals (inc. English breakfast) at reasonable prices they also import western food and drink. I've seen other western restaurant owners in Udon coming to buy their stock from here when I've been eating which says it all. Run by a nice British/Thai couple. For directions and more info: www.ChernChim.com Best priced real western food in Udon
 Udon Thani - Thailand I've never thought of using the bus from Udon to Bangkok before, as I assumed they'd be the usual local standard buses - old, shoddy and uncomfortable for what would be a 7 hour journey. But I went to the Udon bus station today and inside some of the luxury buses looks better than most planes!
Two stories with big seats, lots of leg room, TV, WiFi, food and drink all provided. Price (one way) 560 baht! That's about 1000 baht cheaper than Air Asia's best deal to BKK. Worth a look if you want to save money. You can also get one of these luxury buses at 10:45pm from Udon so you'd sleep most of the way and wake up in Bangkok.
 1000 baht cheaper than Air Asia