A land with a long history and great ethnic diversity, Uthai Thani features unspoiled
wilderness that provides refuge for Thailand’s endangered wildlife species, particularly
within Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve, a Natural World Heritage Site. Uthai Thani
is a province abundant in natural resources, such as forests and wildlife. The Huai
Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve here was even proclaimed a Natural World Heritage Site
because of its pristine jungles, forests, plains, streams, and most importantly,
several rare and endangered animals.
Visitors can also see the different lifestyles of Uthai Thani locals, such as the
life of raft residents on the Sakae Krang River, a waterway that has been a lifeline
for the people of Uthai Thani since ancient times. Life on and around the river eventually
grew from a small community into the major province that it is today, although some
residents continue to live on the river, both the source for their livelihoods and
as a means for provincial trading.
The most striking indication of the bond between the people and the river occurred
in 1906, when King Rama V visited the Northern provinces and stayed in Sakae Krang
village, where the monk Phra Khru Uthai Tham Nithet (Chan) built twin rafts to receive
the king. In addition, at the end of the Buddhist Lent, Buddhists from many regions
congregate at the foot of Khao Sakae Krang in Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri for a major
merit making tradition called Tak Bat Thewo. This festival has been held in Uthai
Thani since ancient times.
Uthai Thani is located in the lower northern region of Thailand, though the capital
city is somewhat off the main route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Consequently,
few tourists go out of their way to visit this somewhat remote province, which features
striking natural beauty, including the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve, a Natural
World Heritage Site. Besides trekking and looking for endangered wildlife, visitors
to Uthai Thani also enjoy visiting the floating village on the Sakae Krang River,
the lifeblood of the province. Mae Nam Sakae krang river flows through Uthai Thani
and still has scores of houseboats moored along its banks. Once a common sight throughout
Thailand, this traditional way of life is becoming increasingly hard to find and
Uthai Thani is the best place to see it today. The houses are constructed on large
bamboo rafts and are predominantly the homes of fishermen and their families. River
cruises are available in Uthai Thani enabling visitors to catch a glimpse of a vanishing
way of life.
The province also features a museum with prehistoric artefacts, several ruins, colourful
cave paintings, hot springs, and a buffalo market. Visitors looking for un - spoilt
Thai countryside and authentic Thai hospitality will not be let down by having a
relaxing holiday in Uthai Thani.
Uthai Thani Province, Information about the province