Uthai Thani, one of the truly unseen Provinces of Thailand, is the "Southernmost Province of the Northern Provinces", covers an area of 6.730 square kilometres, is located a mere 250 km North of the Capital Bangkok. With most of the province consisting of forests and mountains, it is abundant in natural resources and wildlife. As such, it is a truly unspoilt, and as yet undiscovered, natural tourism destination.
In the Western part of the province, Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary merges with the Thung Yai Naresuan Sanctuary to create the largest protected animal sanctuary in Southeast Asia. 'Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary' was proclaimed a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site on 13 December 1991. The reserve has jungles, forests, plains, many streams, and most importantly, a number of rare and endangered animals.
Apart from the natural attractions, visitors to Uthai Thani can see the different lifestyles of local people, such as the life of raft residents on Sakae Krang River, a waterway that has been the lifeline for the province and its people since ancient times. In 1906, King Rama V, while visiting the Northern provinces, stayed in Sakae Krang village, and two rafts were built to welcome him. The connection between Uthai Thani and the current Chakri Dynasty dates back to the father of King Rama I, founder of the dynasty, who was born in Uthai Thani.
The province is divided into 8 Amphur (districts), 70 Tambon (communes) and 589 Mu Ban (villages). The Amphur are:
1. Amphur Muang Uthai Thani
2. Amphur Lan Sak (58 km from the city)
3. Amphur Nong Kha Yang (11 km from the city)
4. Amphur Nong Chang (21 km from the city)
5. Amphur Thap Than (16 km from the city)
6. Amphur Ban Rai (79 km from the city)
7. Amphur Sawang Arom (30 km from the city)
8. Amphur Huai Khot (51 km from the city)
The province is surrounded by Nakhon Sawan province in the Northeast, Chai Nat province in the Southeast, Suphan Buri province in the South and Tak province and Kanchanaburi province in the West. Please see page "Getting there" for information on how to reach Uthai Thani from Bangkok.
The provincial seal depicts the pavilion at Wat Khao Sakaekrang (Wat Sangkas Rattana Khiri). It houses the statue of Thongdee, the father of King Rama I. The mountain in the background symbolizes the location of the pavilion on top of a hill.
The flag of Uthai Thani depicts the provincial seal of Uthai Thani in the middle. The yellow colour in the top of the flag is the symbol colour of the Chakri dynasty, as Gold as a precious metal is a symbol for the Thai monarchy. The green colour in bottom is the symbol colour of King Rama I as he was born on a Wednesday, which is associated with green in the Thai calendar. The text below the seal says Uthai Thani province.
Maps and information on provincial seal & flag with courtesy of : http://en.wikipedia.org
Society and Tourism
The average income in Uthai Thani is less than USD1.000,- per year. Because of the social structure and natural abundance, there are very little social problems. Currently, it aims to focus on raising peoples' income by improving product efficiency, by promoting tourism and by marketing its products to international markets. Uthai Thani is a mainly agricultural society, with main sources of income stemming from selling crops such as corn, sugarcane and pineapple. Women earn their extra income by weaving, and the province is well-known for its weaving products.
Products and produce
Besides crops, best known food products in Uthai Thani are fruit and vegetable preserves, such as the popular preserve made from turnips, which is even exported. Pomelo are also widely grown. Other well known food products include the crispy Khao Kung Krop, made from a deep fried mixture of rice and shrimp. Fresh-water fish from the river is abundant at markets and restaurants all over the province.
Locally made cloth and clothes are produced mostly in Ban Khok Mo, Thap Than district and the Thai-Laotian villages in Ban Rai, Lan Sak and Sawang Arom districts. Furthermore, there are many bags, baskets, etc. to be found made from bamboo and water hyacinth.
The most famous festival in the province takes place at the end of the Buddhist Lent (October). Buddhists (and tourists) from all over the country come together at the foot of Khao Sakae Krang at Wat Sangkat Rattana Khiri for a major merit-making tradition called Tak Bat Thevo. This festival has been held in Uthai Thani since ancient times, because of it's location close to the original Buddhist Legend. See the section about Wat Sankas Rattana Khiri for more details.