The Thailand Arrival & Survival Guide Get prepared

Yasothon

Yasothon (ยโสธร) is a mainly agricultural Northeastern Province. There is not a lot of outdoor adventure travel, but there are some nice local cultural features, especially the famous Rocket Festival held every May.

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Introduction

Yasothon is a fairly small province in south-eastern Isaan. It is mostly unexplored by tourists but there are a couple of interesting things to see and discover, including the story of the “Toad Prince”.

Once a year, in May, they host the Rocket Festival (Bun Bang Fai), which ties in with the history of Yasothon. This is a huge festival and we highly recommend it!


Recommended for

  • Anybody wanting to get away from the typical tourist trail
  • Travelers wanting to experience some authentic Thai culture
  • People who want to experience the annual Rocket Festival

Getting there

By bus – Buses run from Mo Chit bus terminal in Bangkok in the morning, or you can take a night bus in the evening. The journey takes about 10 hours and will cost between 350 and 700 baht.

By plane – There is no airport in Yasothon but you could fly to Roi Et or Ubon Ratchathani and take a bus from there.

By train – There is no train station either, so you would have to take the train to a neighboring province and then hop on a bus. This will be a long journey!


Where to stay

You will probably want to stay within the town center as this is where all the activities are. If you are planning on going to the Rocket Festival, you must book in advance!

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

Similar to other non-touristic towns, if you don’t have your own wheels, you’re limited to tuk-tuks, songtaews and arranged taxis.

You’ll need to agree on a price before using any of the transport and it might save you some trouble if you have Google Maps with directions as well as a Thai translation of where you’re going.

If you’re staying quite central or down a soi (side road) then your hotel may have bicycles for use.


Nightlife

If you are into partying, then Yasothon is not the place to be. The nightlife is not great here but there is somewhere to have a drink called 90’s Bar that sometimes has live music and a small Thai nightclub called Mix Club. If you are on an Isaan road trip, I would save your night out for another province though.


Fitness & gym

We found a nice little gym with good reviews opposite our hotel but unfortunately, it was closed during the morning and most of the afternoon so we didn’t have time for a workout. The gym is called ‘Cool Fitness‘. Check this link for the GPS location.

Opening times are from 4pm to 9pm.


Getting out

Once you have finished playing with rockets and learning about toads, the next closest province to the center is Roi Et, which would make a nice stop off when heading further north into Isaan. We also recommend heading south-east into Ubon Ratchathani for a little bit of fun and adventure. You could also head east first into Amnat Charoen for a quick stop off. Other options are Mukdahan to the north or Sisaket to the south.


Photo gallery

When to go

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

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 Yasothon 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 Yasothon 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.