Though close to Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok, Uthai Thani is well of the beaten path and a cultural stronghold barely touched by western influences.
Wat Khao Wong is hidden in the jungles, and the wood carved monastery is one of the most unique temples to be found in Thailand. Forgoing the usual regal gold and orange color scheme common to Thai temples, Wat Khao Wong’s exterior is simple untreated wood. The temple’s lush grounds are more reminiscent of a garden with numerous flowering plants blooming among verdant greenery. The inside of the temple also lacks the standard gold finery so common in Thai temples as all the furniture and decorations are carved from unprocessed wood, and the meditation chambers used by the resident monks are simple rain-cut caves in the hillside around the monastery.
Huai Kha Khaen Wildlife Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site that protects dozens of endangered species in pristine jungles surprisingly untouched by its proximity to Bangkok. Treks are popular excursions on Thailand tours here, and visiting the Karen hill tribes that live in the more remote areas is a worthy addition to any itinerary.
Uthai Thani’s monsoon rains come June through October, and the best weather for the province falling between November and January. The highest temperatures are March through May.
The capital of Uthai Thani Province, the southernmost area of Northern Thailand, Utha Thani is best reached by private vehicle departing from Bangkok.
With an off-the-beaten-path reputation, and little Western influence, Uthai Thani is a wonderful stop on the road north to Chiang Mai that gives a taste of real Thai life.
Appropriate Attire :
Western-wear is fine in town, but if your plans have you visiting any of the numerous temples in the province’s lush jungles, it’s best to dress modestly by covering shoulders, arms, and knees while on holy ground in keeping with Buddhist traditions of modesty.