Arrived in Udon Thani by bus from Laos. The bus station in right in the middle of this great little town in North East Thailand. There is a train service as well with a few trains a day to and from Bangkok.
I was not sure where to stay, but knew there was a street near the bus station that had a few reasonable hotels. Had heard of Top Mansion and decided to give it a try. The rate was 400 Baht, but when I paid for 2 nights, it was 350 Baht a night. A discount without asking. The room was basic, but a nice size and fairly new and very clean,with aircon and a balcony that had a good view North. English at reception was good and the staff were friendly. There are internet facilities in the lobby and you can purchase beer, soft drinks and snacks. A great place to stay.I would recommend this place without hesitation. The hotel is a 5 minute walk to the center of town.
The street the hotel is on, has many restaurants and bars catering for Westerners. There are a few internet cafes near to the hotel which can be handy.
There is a modern shopping complex located in the centre of the city, 1 minute from the bus station, with a few western fast food outlets like McDonalds and KFC. On the main corner near the shopping centre is a board with a map of the city. Very useful for orientation.
Arrived by bus from Laos. On your way, stop off in Nong Khai, which is right on the border next to the Mekong River.
There is a night market near the train station that is very cheap and has great food. Aimed at locals so good and very cheap. Had a great whole fish grilled with salad and sauces. Enough food for 2 people for 130 Baht. There are a lot of good places to eat around town. The town centre is small, so it is easy to get around.
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There are quite a few parks around the city and of course an abundance of temples. One of the park I went to has lots of ponds stocked with fish. You can buy bread from vendors and feed the fish. The water turns bubbling spa as the thousands of fish fight for a bite. Great for the kids to see.
There is a train or bus back to Bangkok. I went on an express bus for 550 Baht. Very comfortable. Takes 8 hours. Arrived at The Northern Bus Station at 4 am. Got a local bus to the nearest Skytrain station. I think it was Bus 502. Ask at information. They are very helpful and speak good English.
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