“Thailand’s fourth biggest city, Udon Thani, has both a large expat population and a lot of tourist attractions. Udon Thani is located closer to the capital of Laos, Vientiane, than Thailand’s own national capital. Bangkok lies 450kms southwest of Udon Thani, while Vientiane is no more than a 90-minute bus ride away.
Udon Thani has two major bus stations. One is situated towards Nong Khai on Udon Thani’s outskirts, while the other is located near the Central Plaza shopping centre in the heart of the city. The bus journey between Udon Thani and Bangkok’s Mochit terminal lasts about eight hours.
The bus from Nong Khai which stops at the station on Udon Thani’s outskirts is newer and slightly more expensive than the Nong Khai bus without air- conditioning which uses the city centre bus station. Songthaews and tuk-tuks are the easiest ways to travel between the two bus stations.
The bus terminal on Udon Thani’s outskirts, the newer of the two terminals, is known as the northern bus station because most of its buses travel to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and other northern Thailand destinations. Most buses bound for Bangkok and other parts of Thailand depart from the older central bus station in the city centre.
Buses also depart from Udon Thani to Vientiane’s Morning Market several times per day, but should be booked a day in advance. Another Laotian city, Vang Vieng, can also be reached directly from Udon Thani’s central bus station. Visitors requiring visas to enter Laos must obtain visas before boarding these buses.
Udon Thani International Airport offers non-stop flights to Chiang Mai and both major Bangkok airports. Trains depart Udon Thani to Nakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok, Nong Khai, and Laos. Rail passengers bound for Bangkok can choose between daytime and overnight trains. There is a taxi stand near the central bus station, but samlors, tuk-tuks, and songthaews are the main ways to travel across the city.”