Very few tourists have been to Uttaradit, a small, relatively obscure city of roughly 60,000 inhabitants located in the lower half of Northern Thailand. Lying on the banks of the Nan River, historically Uttaradit was once an important trading center. Like most cities in upcountry Thailand, there are some real beauty spots and some lovely scenery in the surrounding countryside.
Why go to Uttaradit? I have always been intrigued by places “off the beaten path”. When I discovered that a Thai friend of mine had often stopped in Uttaradit during her travels in Northern Thailand, my interest was peaked. Moreover, I fell in love with the name “Uttaradit”, which translates to Port of the North. With that logic in place, I had a good excuse to visit Uttaradit on my next trip to Northern Thailand.
How was my trip? After flying into Phitsanulok, I caught a local bus for the 90-minute journey to Uttaradit. I stayed for 3 nights at the Seeharaj Hotel, a traditional Thai style hotel located in the city’s small tourist quarter. The hotel was acceptable, but as an older property it should some signs of wear and tear. For Thai people, it represented a first class hotel and the place to be. Although I was the only farang at the hotel, I had a wonderful time during my brief stay.
Adjoining the lobby was a large lounge/nightclub. At night, the place really rocked as the house band (forgot their name) played a mix of Western pop hits – like Joy to the World and Black Magic Woman - as well as Thai pop standards. One of their female singers did an outstanding rendition of Hava Nagila.
On my 2nd night there, I discovered that one of Thailand’s premier rock bands “Carabao” was performing upstairs in one of their large ballrooms. No wonder, there were so many young couples parading upstairs decked out in their finest threads. In another section of the hotel, a transvestite – ladyboy show took place several times a week. On my last night there, I wandered over to check it out - the music was a little bit loud and the crowd was a little bit “exotic” for my taste.
Directly across the street, there were two bars popular with the young University Crowd, including one, which featured a live band performing Thai folk music nightly. In addition, one block away (and across the street) was Friday’s, a large complex which consisted of a sprawling department store and Uttaradit’s only other major hotel. On the top floor of Friday’s, there was a nightclub with a live band and an adjoining karaoke bar. Needless to say, entertainment options were not lacking in the small tourist quarter of Uttaradit.
Sphere: Related Content