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Udonthani (อุดรธานี)

Thai. ‘Northern City’ or ‘City of the North’. Name of a province (map) and its capital city in Northeast Thailand, 568 kms from Bangkok with a population of around 95,000. Shortened named Udon. It is an important regional hub that connects the Isaan region with the rest of the country as well as neighbouring Laos. Once a remote, sleepy provincial town, Udonthani became more prominent when the Thai and US governments built a joint-force military base in the province during the Vietnam War, bringing a large influx of GIs and Vietnamese immigrants to the city. This created a multi-cultural diversity that still lasts today. Udonthani is also home to one of the world’s earliest bronze-age civilizations, with evidence that settlements existed here between 2100 BC and 200 AD. Archaeological excavation in Ban Chiang unearthed earthenware pottery (fig.) and bronze fragments, while ancient structures and other artifacts are also found at Phu Phrabaht Historical Park (fig.), which besides peculiar rock formations, also features dinosaur foot prints and prehistoric cave paintings. The province has eighteen amphur and two king amphur. See also Udonthani data file.