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).

UUdon Thani itself has few attractions, so don’t plan to linger for too long, but it is a good jumping-off point to such small towns as Loei, to the west, and Ban Chiang, an important archaeological site, to the east.