Thailand's ’Eastern Gateway‘ city, Udon Thani, is a large center of commercial activity in the very northeast of the country. It has a population of around 315,000 and a reputation as one of the 'Big Four' cities of Thailand's Isan region. There are a few interesting sites to see in the center, especially the Buddhist temples and postwar cafés and bars. It is by venturing outside the city, though, that expats living in Udon Thani can really start to explore. Some twenty miles away, the Ban Chiang archaeological dig is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a major ongoing historical discovery. And the Ban Nakha village is a great place to explore traditional Thai culture. For nature lovers, the nearby Sunshine Orchid Farm is famed for its vast collection of orchids. Similar to expatriates living in Udon Thani, these flowers benefit from the region's consistently hot tropical climate.
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The city is situated in a major transport corridor between south Vietnam, north Vietnam and eastern China. The city's Udon Thani International Airport is a good travel option for expats moving to Udon Thani from abroad, with flights to Bangkok taking only around an hour. There are also trains, buses, taxis and even a 'limousine service' (which is, in fact, a minibus) from the airport to the city center. Before traveling, expatriates moving to Udon Thani will find it useful to read up on expat finance, cross-cultural communication and similar transitional subjects; all these can be found covered in articles on the InterNations website. The local culture is a lot to take in and, while you'll quickly grow to love the unique Thai buzz of activity, expatriation information is often very useful on arrival. Some of our InterNations members have written great accounts of their own unique experiences of expat life, and you can find these articles on our website as well.
The first impression that expatriates in Udon Thani can expect is one of a city full of energy. You might even call it hectic, although there is a logic to it all and life in Thailand is about as stimulating as it gets. The first major exploration for expatriates working in Udon Thani is the food: braving the street vendors to sample the delicious local snacks for lunch, perusing the wonderful fruit market on Udon Dutsadi street and checking out the bars on the city's Central Plaza are all early rites of, as it were, expatriation in Udon Thani. While the local culture is a joy to settle into, expats living in Udon Thani can also get in touch with other global minds and InterNations members through the forums and private messages on our website to get local information, socialize or even organize meet-ups.