564km (350 miles) NE of Bangkok; 305km (190 miles) N of Nakhon Ratchasima

"No sweat, man," was once a common saying among tuk-tuk drivers here. The use of 1960s slang reminds tourists that Udon Thani (or Udon) was home to a large contingent of U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War and memories of that time still linger. Today you might see a few retired U.S. servicemen around, and each year the area welcomes a contingent of the U.S. military for joint training with Thai forces (mostly the Air Force).

Udon itself has few attractions, but it is a good jumping-off point to such small towns as Loei, to the west, and Ban Chiang, a well-known archaeological site, to the east.