Mukdahan (มุกดาหาร) is a city and province in Isaan.
Mukdahan is the 73rd province of Thailand. Its history dates from the late Ayutthaya period, over 200 years ago. At first, on the left side of the Mekong River, there was a large community called Ban Luang Phon Sin located by Phrathat Ing Hang, now in Savannakhet Province of Lao PDR. The community was ruled by Chao Chan Suriyawong. His son was Chao Kinnari. He later built a new town at the mouth of Huai Muk on the right bank of the Mekong River in 1767. The town was completed in 1770 and named "Mukdahan" (moonstone or pearl) according to a propitious sign occurring to him while the town was under construction. That is why the locals call the town "Mueang Muk".
Mukdahan is a gateway to other Indochinese countries. The local people of Mukdahan have had a long relationship with the people in Savannakhet Province of Laos, although they are separated by the Mekong River. Mukdahan is home to 8 ethnic minorities: Thai Isaan, Phu Thai, Thai Kha, Kraso, Thai Kaloeng, Thai Yo, Thai Saek, and Thai Kula. Its 4,400 km² has abundant natural beauty.
Mukdahan is 642 km from Bangkok. Take the route Bangkok - Saraburi - Nakhon Ratchasima - Ban Phai - Maha Sarakham - Phon Thong - Roi Et - Khamcha-i - Mukdahan.
An alternate route is via Bangkok - Saraburi - Nakhon Ratchasima on Hwy 2. Then turn right onto Hwy 207 at Ban Wat and follow the route Prathai - Phutthaisong - Phayakkhaphum Phisai - Kaset Wisai - Suwannaphum, then take Hwy 2169 via Sai Mun - Kut Chum - Loeng Nok Tha, and Hwy 212 via Nikhom Kham Soi to Mukdahan.
The Transport Co., Ltd. operates daily bus services from the Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak or Mo Chit 2), Tel. +66 2 9362852-66. There are also local buses connecting Mukdahan with other northeastern provinces like Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, and Maha Sarakham. You can take mini buses from Ubon Ratchathani bus terminal (platform 8, ฿135). For more details, contact the Mukdahan Bus Terminal at +66 42 611421, +66 42 611478, +66 42 613025-9.
Trains leave Bangkok Railway Station or Hualamphong for Ubon Ratchathani daily. From there, Mukdahan is 167 km by bus. For more information, call the State Railway of Thailand at Tel. 1690, +66 2 2237010, +66 2 2237020.
Thai Airways does not operate any direct flight to Mukdahan. Passengers can fly to Nakhon Phanom or Ubon Ratchathani, then take a bus to Mukdahan. For more information, call Thai at Tel. 1566, +66 2 2800060, +66 2 6282000.
- Krua Saigon (Saigon Kitchen), ☏ +66 42 615 303. 08:00-20:30 daily. During the wars in Indochina in the 1950s through the 1970s, many Vietnamese fled the country and settled in Mukdahan. Although they took Thai nationality, the food they cook remains Vietnamese. Krua Saigon is reputed to be the best Vietnamese restaurant.
- Good Mook. An oasis of Western retro design among everything Asian. Here you can have espresso-based coffee drinks and cookies, read design magazines or use Wi-Fi. They also have custom T-shirts and photos for sale.
- Baan RabiangMuk Guesthouse, Thaiyanon Soi, Wiwitsurakhan Rd, ☏ +66 42 614666. Excellent value. Cable TV. Free Wi-Fi. Downstairs room. Park right outside your room window. 550 baht.
- Huanum Hotel, 36 Samutsadarak Rd, ☏ +66 42 611137. Check-out: 12:00. Room with fan and no bathroom 150 baht. Clean. Free Wi-Fi. 150-350 baht.
Roughly 4 km north of each city's centre, the Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connects Mukdahan with the Lao city of Savannakhet on the opposite side of the Mekong River. There is a regular bus connection between the cities; a one-way ticket costs 100 baht. While there is no formal bus stop at either end of the bridge, passengers need to disembark for the border formalities on both sides; hence in practice it's possible to buy a ticket and board the bus on the border if you've arrived there by other means.
There is a car park on the Mukdahan side of the bridge, one night's parking costs 100 baht. With the correct paperwork it's possible to drive your car over to Laos. There are no pedestrian lanes on the bridge.
Visa-on-arrival is available at the border post for those nationalities that require one (see the article on Laos for more details). Additionally, the Lao border officials charge an "entry fee" (40-170 baht), "exit fee" (40 baht) and after 16:00, an "overtime fee" (40 baht) for stamping one's passport.
- Amnat Charoen, Kalasin, or That Phanom and on to Sakon Nakhon or Nakhon Phanom if staying in Thailand.