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Ban Chiang

Ban Chiang, a small village about 50 km east if Udon Thani is the single most significant historical site in Thailand. Archeological discoveries made in 1970s produced evidence of a Bronze age civilization that flourished over 5,000 years ago. This predates site in China and Mesopotamia as the earliest known evidence of an agrarian, bronze-making culture, and suggest that the Khorat plateau is one of the possible 'cradles of civilization. One of the excavation pits at ban Chiang has been left open to display skeletal remains, distinctively patterned pottery and other objects in situ. There is also a museum which contains some superb artifacts.

Ubon Ratchathani

629 km from Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani introduces the annual Buddhist Rains Retreat in July with a lovely 'Candle Festival', which takes the form of a colorful pageant with a procession around town of floats bearing enormous, intricately fashioned bee-wax candles. Of further interest here is Pha Taem which is situated in the Khong Chiam district. For, here, prehistoric rock painting extend for over one and a half km along an imposing cliff face overlooking the Mekong River.


Loei province's Phu Kra Dung National Park is a crisply beautiful forested plateau between 1,000 - 1,350 m where temperatures at night drop to near freezing point. This is where tropical and temperate climates blend. Also particularly noteworthy is Phu Luang National Park which is a table-top mountain noted for its rich variety of cool climate flora. The Kaeng Khut Khu rapids at Chiang Khan are also worth visiting.

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