Udon Thani was our next stop along the line. It really was chalk to Nakhon Ratchasima’s cheese: there were foreigners everywhere. In some areas (mainly the restaurant and bar area) there were more foreigners that Thai’s, and they all seemed, under first impressions, to fall into 1 of 3 stereotypes: A.) old man covered in tough guy stickers looking for young Thai girls. B.) old man covered in tough guy stickers married to a younger Thai woman. C.) nearly old man, covered in tough guy stickers, looking for young Thai girls. It was a really uncomfortable place to be. Will was wearing a New Zealand cricket top on the first day, and was getting lots of pretty menacing and threatening stares and comments – so much so that we decided to go back to the hotel so he could change. Sam also felt somewhat uncomfortable as she was the only foreign female that we saw during our whole time there.
The town itself however was lovely (if you manage to look past the groups of foreigners hanging around, shirts off, drinking heavily, and staring at each girl that walked past them). In particular the area where we were staying turned out to be a gem. It was close to the university, so came to life at night with lots of cheap eateries, bars, and no old foreign men!
The lake area to the northwest of the city was also a very pretty place. There was water, grass, and paths. But, as there were no bars or large amounts of Thai girls, the old man brigade didn’t venture that far. So it was lovely.
The roads through the centre of town, as well as the Chinese culture centre that we stumbled across, were also pretty cool places to wander through and explore.
In all honesty, Udon Thani is the worst place we have been in Thailand. The foreign men feel like a disease on what is otherwise a pretty city. The university area was the exception. But quite frankly, that’s all we really want to say about it.
Next up: Nong Khai.