The Thailand Arrival & Survival Guide Get prepared

Amnat Charoen

Amnat Charoen (อำนาจเจริญ) is a mainly agricultural province in Northeastern Thailand. The province is situated along the Mekong River and it borders Laos. Tourism attractions here are mainly around culture, temples, handicrafts, and agricultural tourism, including organic farms.

Puttha Utthayan and Pra Mongkol Ming Muang
Today 30° 25°
Mon 15th 25° 23°
Tue 16th 25° 23°
Wed 17th 29° 24°
Thu 18th 29° 24°
Fri 19th 29° 24°
Sat 20th 29° 24°
Sun 21st 30° 25°

Introduction

Amnat Charoen may be the most non-touristic destination we’ve visited in Thailand. During our stay, we didn’t see any other foreigners – though I am sure they are there. Amnat Charoen is far from other tourist destinations making it a great place if you want to go somewhere 99.9% of other travelers have not. Activities are mostly cultural, including temples, night markets and eating as much Issan food as you can handle.

Although Amnat Charoen doesn’t have anything ‘to do’ so to speak, it’s a nice, quiet town with fancy coffee shops, a couple of gyms and a small but surprising nightlife.


Recommended for

  • Travelers passing through on their way to other destinations – stop off and be the only one in your group of friends who has visited Amnat Charoen
  • Travelers looking for the ‘real Thailand’

Getting there

By bus – You can catch a night bus from Mo Chit bus terminal in Bangkok. They leave between 8 and 9pm and take about 8 hours. The price ranges from 450 baht to 700 baht, depending on if you take 1st class or VIP.

By plane – The nearest airport is in Ubon Ratchathani. Ubon is a great destination so this would be a great destination on the way to or the way back from Amnat Charoen.

By train – Similar to the plane option, you could take a train to Ubon Ratchathani and then take a bus to Amnat Charoen.


Where to stay

There aren’t many hotel options to be found online, so we found the area we stayed in was limited. Having our own transportation was essential.

We find our accommodation on Booking.com by first searching for the town or province and our dates, we then filter out any rooms with a score lower than 7 or 8 (depending on availability) as well as any rooms out of our budget. After this, we open the map and hover over all of the pins in the rough location we already decided we want to stay in. Hovering over the pins gives us the price for x nights plus the review score. We click on each pin to open those hotels in a new tab, review them and book our favorite.


Getting around

If your hotel isn’t central, you will need to ask the receptionist to call you a taxi. Otherwise flag down any motorbike taxi, tuk-tuk driver or songtaew.

Ideally you would have your car or motorbike to get around. There are no rental shops to be found in town but hotels usually have a connection for around 300 baht per day. Some hotels have free bicycles to use.

Motorbike taxi – Your best option to get around in Amnet Charoen is to take a motorbike taxi. Look for the men in the orange vests.

Tuk-tuk – You will spot tuk-tuks hanging around near the markets. Tell them where you want to go and agree on a price before getting in.

Songtaew – These songtaews circle the town center in different routes. Ask your hotel reception which one to take and then flag one down.


Nightlife

We didn’t expect to find any nightlife in Amnat Charoen but was quite surprised with the cluster of bars, restaurants, karaoke spots, and of course a Tawan Daeng (ตะวันแดง) here on the corner of 3022.


Fitness & gym

There’s little choice for a workout in Amnat Charoen. We were going to go to Fit Studio Fitness as it looked good but it was closed when we went in the morning. It is open from 12-9pm. If you have been there, let us know what it is like in the comments.


Getting out

If you’ve not visited Ubon Ratchathani, this is the best destination close by, specifically to visit Sam Pan Bok. There’s also an airport, a train station and a route in to Laos.

If you’re looking for more provinces void of anything touristic, head to Yasothon. Bonus points if you go during the Rocket Festival in May – not to be missed if you are in the area.


Photo gallery

When to go

Most of Thailand falls in to the generic high and low season categories, including Amnat Charoen.

High season - begins in November and runs through to February, bringing cooler temperatures, lush greenery from the previous months of rain, good air quality, and less rain. The downside is larger crowds and sometimes higher prices for tours, flights and accomodation.

Low season - begins in July and runs through to October. During low season the temperatures are higher, the chance of rain and storms are higher. That doesn't mean it's a bad time to visit though, if you can be flexible, there are deals to be found on flights and accomodation.

Destinations like Amnat Charoen in both northern and north eastern regions can be significantly cooler during the high/cool season than central and southern provinces like Bangkok or Phuket. It's a welcome and noticable change in season which may require a wardrobe change, especially at night.

As Amnat Charoen is in the northern/north eastern region, it's important you consider the smokey/burning season which affects the north, north east and sometimes central/eastern provinces. You can find more information for current and historical air quality on aqicn.org.

Need more? Read our post discussing the best time to visit Thailand.

Where to stay

Instead of recommending hotels, we think it will be more useful to share our process so you can pick based on your own critera for location, budget and style.

We always start our search on either Booking.com or Agoda. They have an easy to user interface and have some extra benefits for "Genius" and "VIP" users. You can also sometimes pay with credit card in advance if you're playing the cashback or air miles game.

Process:

  1. Search for specific province, city or town.
  2. Apply rating filters for a minimum rating or either 7, 8 or 9.
  3. Apply other filters: budget, fitness, breakfast, etc.
  4. If you have a specific location in mind, use map view to browse and make a final selection.

If there are too many properties available to choose from, increase the rating filter for less, higher rated selections.

Final notes: Prices are dynamic. Check the same hotel on both Booking.com and Agoda to see which has the best deal at any given time (go through to checkout to make sure all VAT and service charges are factored in). You can go one step further by calling the hotel and checking the price for booking directly. In our experience this saves money 50% of the time but you have less guarantees.

Emergency contacts

Knowing an emergency number could save your own, or somebody elses life. Take a photo or save these numbers on your phone:

Police & emergencies - 191
The most important number to remember. If the operator is unable to speak English, call 1155 (below).

Tourist Police - 1155 or (+66) 2308-0333
This hotline is available 24 hours a day and they will all speak English. This is an important phone number to remember - They will help you out with any concerns or questions you have and can redirect you to the correct number you may need.

Public Ambulance - 1669
Dialing this number will connect you to a public ambulance service, which will dispatch a vehicle to your location. The average response time for urban areas is around 10 minutes, but may take up to 30 minutes in rural areas. English-speaking staff should be available to assist you.

Fire Department - 199
In case of an emergency such as a house fire, or forest fire, call 199 for the Fire Department to be dispatched to your location.

Highway Police - 1193
If you plan on driving in Thailand, then you may end up needing to use this number if you break down in an unsafe place etc.