East of Si Saket, the sprawling provincial capital of UBON RATCHATHANI (almost always referred to simply as Ubon – not to be confused with Udon, aka Udon Thani, to the north) holds little in the way of attractions beyond a couple of wats and a decent museum. Still, it’s more sedate than many northeastern cities, with plenty of opportunities for getting to grips with Isaan culture. The best bet is to visit at festival time, but Ubon also makes a handy base for trips east to Khong Chiam beside the Mekong River and the Lao border market at Chong Mek, or southwest to the Khmer ruins of Khao Phra Viharn, astride the Cambodian border, when they are open.

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