Udon Thani, or Udon for short, is an important regional hub that connects northeastern Thailand with the rest of the country as well as neighbouring Laos. Once a far-flung, sleepy provincial town, Udon sprang into action when the Thai and US governments built a joint-force military base there during the Vietnam War.
Besides its military past, Udon is home to one of the world’s earliest bronze-age civilizations, at Ban Chiang. Archaeological evidence – earthenware pottery and bronze fragments – unearthed here suggest that the prehistoric settlements existed between 2100BC and 200AD. Other ancient structures and artifacts are also found inside Phu Phra Baht Historical Park. Here, rising amidst a vast sandstone mountain are peculiar rock formations, as well as dinosaur foot prints, cave paintings and Buddhist structures.