About Ubon Ratchathani
Ubon Ratchathani is the easternmost province in Thailand. There is a sign posted on the Mekong River stating that from this point you can be first in Thailand to view the sunrise. Ubon is one of seventeen provinces that make up the Northeastern or Isaan Region of Thailand. The people here are the grassroots of the country. The service and agricultural industries thrive because of Isaan.
A province known for its Isaan style food which gets quite spicy even by Thai standards. There are also many local Thai handicrafts here as well as Thai silk. Isaan has the liveliest music and parties, the spiciest food. Isaan and Ubon Ratchathani province a viable alternative to Bangkok with all its troubles lately. Ubon offers Thailand and it's culture for you who want a break from the beaches and tourist towns. Ubon and the northeast are the real Thailand, head upcountry and give you a visit. Even though Ubon is 630 kilometers from Bangkok, it is not isolated. You can get here by car, train, bus or plane. I hope to see you here soon.
The province of Ubon Ratchathani is the largest in land mass in Thailand. It is broken down into 26 Districts and 5 sub-districts. Amnat Charoen and Yasothon provinces border the north while Sisaket province borders to the west. The eastern border is Mekong River and Laos. To the south Ubon Ratchathani shares a border with Cambodia. Ubon is a very green province. Most of the territory is covered by agricultural pursuits or forests.
The city, Amphoe Muang, also goes by the name of Ubon. It is the Tessaban or municipality. It is also the seat of the provincial government. The governor of Ubon Ratchathani province makes his home here. Ubon is a mid-sized city but the population is ever expanding. Many people are coming in from the county to find jobs or operate a small business here. The student population might be the largest growth sector. The town has 2 universities. several colleges, a number of technical schools and primary and high schools. There is also a university outside of town south of Warin Chamrap district. The students are in town from the villages to attend school in hopes of improving their future. This is the transportation access hub for the province. There is an airport with 3 daily flights to and from Bangkok. It is called Ubon International Airport but now only has domestic flights. There are several trains running to and from Ubon, which include express, sleeper and commute. If you prefer buses you can complete at least one leg of your journey from here. There are buses to Bangkok, Rayong, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani and all the neighboring provinces as well as daily buses to and from Pakse, Laos.
Two groups of people constitute the demographic composition of Ubon. The first group are indigenous people: the Thai-Lao, Phu Thai, Kula, Cambodian, Suai and Blu. The new immigrants are Chinese and Vietnamese. Thai-Lao, this majority group scattered to settle in every district in Ubon. Most of them still practice “Hit Sip-Song Khrong Sip-Si, the merit making ceremonies for the 12 months of the year” Their belief is Buddhism mixed with the worship of ancestors' spirits. They still preserve their vernacular tongue, traditional festivities and practices as well as musical and culinary preferences. Phu Thai, originally from Sepon in Laos, most of them now live in Kut Khao Pun and Khemarat district. Kula (Tai Yai), only a small band of them now live in Ban That Chareonsuk in Khuang Nai district. Cambodian, most of them live in the southern part of the province around Nam Yuen, Na Chaluai and Buntharik district. Suai (or Kui, Kuai, Kha), this group of indigenous people once lived along the Mekong, in Khong Chiam. They emigrated from Attapue near Champasak in Laos. Some of them came from Ban Pot Paet. They are now living in Warin Chamrap, Nam Yuen, Khuang Nai, Det Udom and Phibun Mangsahan district. Blu (Bru), They belong to the same language groups as the Suai, but with a slightly different accent. They like to live by mountains and call themselves Blu, meaning mountains in Suai dialect.
They came from Laos after the domination of the French during the reign of King Rama V. They are now living along the Mekong, by Ban Woen Buek, Ban Tha Long and Ban Hin Khrok, Khong Chiam district. Chinese and Vietnamese, these people usually live in the city and play a vital role in the economic, social and political arena. The Chinese came since the reign of the King Rama IV. The Vietnamese, however, came in waves of influx since the reign of King Rama I. The highest influx was after World War II, from 1949 to 1950. They are very influential in commerce and food culture.
Ubon Ratchathani History
Pre-History Period, recent archaeological evidence indicates that humans dwelled in this region around 14,000 to 6,000 years ago. In caves by the cliffs such as at Ta Lao, pebble tools were found. Cave drawings were also found at Ban Sai Ngam, Amphoe Khemarat. Traces of agrarian communities by the riverbanks were revealed by cave paintings near the Mekong, especially at Pha Taem.
Early-History Period, traces of human communities found at the earth mound by the river basin suggest they must have made contact with the neighboring groups.
Chen-la Period (6th-7th centuries), Ubon was a part of the Chen -la regime, which was strongly influenced by Brahman-Hinduism. On stone inscriptions by the month of the Mun, the name of King Chitrasen of Chen-la was mentioned.
Thawarawadi Period (6th -7th centuries), Buddhism spread from the Central Plains to this region. There were remains of sema, sacred stones to mark the boundary of a temple, engraved with the pattern of water pots, the unique design of Yasothon and Ubon Ratchathani.
Khmer Period (9th to mid-12th centuries), There are traces of some influences of the Khmer in this region, such as a Khmer lintel engraving of Vishnu, asleep on the back of the naga, by the bank of the Mekong River eastern bank. By of the Mun River there are traces of a small stone temple complexes or prasat, remains of a stone lintel and a statue of the God Ganesa.
The origin of Muang Ubon Ratchathani Thon Buri Period, During the Thon Buri regime the descendants of Chao Phra Wo and Chao Phra Ta from Champasak came to take refuge at Don Mot Daeng by the bank of the Mun in 1773. After Chao Phra Wo was executed and took over Viettiane and Champasak in 1777. Thao Kham Phong. The son of Chao Phra Ta was appointed to rule Ubon, with the title “Phra Prathum Suraratchaphakdi”.
Rattanakosin Period, In 1792 Kinf Rama I promoted Ban Huai Chae-ra-mae to be vassal city, and maned it “Ubon Ratchathani Si Wanalai”. The city governor, Phra Prathum Suraratchaphakdi, was promoted to be “Phra Prathum Worarat Suriyawong”, the first governor. The city was later moved to Dong U-Phueng on the left bank of the Mun where the city of Ubon is located today. In the reign of the King Rama IV, Ubon served as the northeastern headquarters to spread Dharma Yuttikanikai, the king's newly founded Buddhist sect. Wat Supattanaram Worawihan was thus the first Dharma Yuttikanikai temple. Ubon became the center of political and education development in the reign of King Rama V. Is was the site of the French consul during its domination of Indo-China. Several 'first' schools in the Northeast were founded here such as a Thai language school, a map school, a cadet school, and a regional police school. In 1913 during the reign of King Rama VI, Monthons Ubon, Ubon and Roi Et were combined into “the Northeast Region.” A railroad from Bangkok to Ubon and the first highway (military route 16, between Phibun Mangsahan and Chong Mek) were built. In 1932 during the reign of King Rama VII Ubon became a province with an appointed governor from the interior Ministry. Parts of Ubon Charoen provinces.
Ubon Ratchathani Today, With its long cultural heritage and susceptibility to modernity, Ubon today is the center of development in the southern part of the Northeast. People's hospitality and magnificent archaeological treasures make it an inducing place to visit.
Ubon Ratchathani has the highest per capita density of Thai Buddhist Temples in all of Thailand. Having spent a number of years here and also traveled extensively thought Thailand. In town there seems to be a temple every few blocks. If you are traveling to the outlaying districts you will see at least one temple for every clump of houses you pass. The religious dedication and number of temples made Ubon Ratchathani the logical place to hold the biggest and best Candle Festival which is to celebrate and recognize the beginning of Buddhist Lent. The famous Ubon festival is held each year on the full moon in July.
Even though there are 2 main rivers running through or bordering Ubon Ratchathani there is not a lot of evidence of industry here. The main input comes from agriculture with government being second. Traveling around the countryside you will see a lot of farms, orchards and livestock. In the towns but mostly in Amphoe Muang, which is the provincial capital and seat of government, you will see military, police, schools and universities, medical, irrigation and such. Tourism here plays a role but it is only minor. If the area was promoted more that percentage of the economy could increase significantly.
Geographically, Ubon is mostly forests and rice fields. There are many national parks and botanical gardens. "Here in the are eastern border of Thailand you can be the first in Thailand to see the sunrise over the Mekong River". Ubon is bordered in the south by Cambodia and to the east by the Mekong River and Laos. Ubon is located on the Korat plateau. The ground slopes downward to the east and the Mekong. Much if north, west, and central Ubon are relatively flat but there are hills and other geographical formations east along the Mekong and in the south bordering Cambodia. This is Ubon Ratchathani.