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Cabinet approves 212 Million Baht Renovation of City Municipality

renovation of government building

Burnt out multiplicity building on right and Udon Thani governor on left

The governor of Udon Thani announced yesterday that the cabinet approved a 212 million baht renovation project of the city municipality in central Udon Thani.

The building was badly damaged by fire during government protests on 19th May 2010 and has stood unused ever since.

ครม.อนุมัติ212ล้าน ซ่อมอาคารเทศบาลนคร อิทธิพล ตรีวัฒน์สุวรรณ นายกเทศมนตรีนครอุดรธานี นำทีมนั่งเกาะติดที่ประชุมคณะรัฐมนตรี พร้อมชี้แจงการของบประมาณซ่อม แซมอาคารเทศบาลนครฯ ที่ถูกเผาทำลายในเหตุการณ์วันที่ 19 พ.ค.2553 และก่อสร้างอาคารหลังใหม่สูง 3 ชั้นเพิ่ม บริเวณอาคารสถานธนานุเคราะห์ ก่อนคณะรัฐมนตรีอนุมัติงบให้ 212.6 ล้านบาท

Foreigner arrested in Ban Dung on drug warrant

On 5 September, Thai police, in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police, arrested a British citizen at 99 M. 9, Ban Nong Wa, T. BanMuang, A. Ban Dung.

The 54 year old was arrested while sleeping in his home with his Thai wife. The arrest followed a series of investigations following court orders issued in Bangkok on 25 July and followed up by Udon on 5 September.

Foreigner Arrested in Ban Dung Udon Thani

Foreigner Arrested in Ban Dung on Drug Warrant

Australian Federal Police issued a warrant for the individual’s arrest on cocaine trafficking charges. The cocaine was allegedly obtained from Nigeria.

The man met his wife in Pattaya and subsequently married her in 2546 (2003). His wife claimed that he had worked in Pattaya as a cook and an electrician. They later moved to Ban Dung where they bought a piece of land and built a home. She said that recently her husband had been involved in purchasing/selling antiques to make some money.

Note: The individual’s name (in English script) and photo is shown in the link above.
Second Note: (not obtained from above link) The individual apparently had a pistol and marijuana in his possession when he was arrested. He has been transported to Bangkok for further questioning and will likely be extradited to Australia for criminal proceedings.

Translated from: … 0000112332

Huai Luang Dam Flood Gates Opening Up

Government officials have opened the Huai Luang Reservoir flood gates to compensate for extremely heavy rainfall. Areas that might be affected by the released water include areas around Kutjab, Udon city, A. Phen, A. Phibunrak, A. Sangkhom, and A. Phonpisai.

Huai Luang Dam Flood Gates

Huai Luang Dam Flood Gates Opening Up

For those interested in following the possible flow of water from the reservoir, you can use google earth and follow the elevation of the terrain from the reservoir (about 667′ above sea level) to the bottom of the soup bowl which is near the old Lotus which is about 570′. That doesn’t mean the water will flow in that direction, but it may an opportunity to see if the billion-baht drainage system that was put in after the 2001 flood does its job.

The ground where we live, elevation about 723′, is completely saturated. Any further rain in our area will go downhill.

I realize the elevation levels on google earth are not 100% accurate, but I’ve used a gps to independently measure the elevation in our neighborhood, and it was spot on. Other areas may/may not be the same.

Train-Car Accident Udon-Nong Khai

Udon Thani Train-car Accident

Train crashes into truck

The accident occurred at around 7:30 AM when a train hit a truck driven by Mrs. Phareeda (last name unknown), a teacher, and her daughter, age about 10. Mrs. Phareeda was driving her daughter to school when the accident occurred at a railroad crossing in Ban Dong Sapang (บ้านดงสะพัง/บ้านดงสระพัง), Udon (roughly mid-way between Naka and Udon. According to the article, it’s possible the driver of the truck did not hear the train approach (along with the accompanying loud train whistle). The driver was thrown from her vehicle but the daughter remained in the truck. Villagers from the area took the injured to the hospital. At 7:45 an emergency vehicle arrived at the scene, but by then the injured had been taken to the hospital.

Olivers Lakeside Udon Thani – Coming Soon!

Olivers Lakeside Udon Thani

Olivers Lakeside Udon Thani

The Bookhouse Cafe & Restaurant which recently moved from Adunyadet Road to Nong Sim park has plans afoot to re-brand itself.

The new name will be Olivers Lakeside to reflect more accurately the style it has developed into.

You can read the latest developments here:

Japanese Tourist Scammed in Udon Thani

Udon Police apprehended two men from Cameroon after a Japanese tourist reported being cheated in a 50,000 Baht diamond purchase.

Japanese Tourists Scammed

Japanese Tourists Scammed

On 3 August Udon Police arrested Jean de Saint Facond Banollbango, age 43, and Ampelly Alex, age 41, both from Cameroon after a Japanese tourist reported he was cheated out of 50,000 on a diamond purchase.
The Japanese man, Mimatsu Reijiro, filed a complaint with police after he was cheated out of 50,000 in the purchase of a diamond(s). When Mr. Reijiro went to pick up his diamond(s) on the designated date, 11 July, the two men were nowhere to be found.
After police were notified, they coordinated with Tourist Police and Immigration officials and issued warrants for the two individuals and eventually arrested them.
Mr. Banollbango was arrested at his girlfriend’s home in amphur Kut Chap.
A police colonel said the circumstances of the alleged scam are still confusing and require further investigation. One of the suspects (Mr. Alex) admitted he was part of a gang dealing in counterfeit dollars. However, Mr. Banollbango said that the money was for a diamond purchase. Police will continue their investigation.
Mr. Banollbango has visited Thailand often and has a history of frequently entering/exiting Malaysia and Indonesia as well.

Udon Condos – Luxury Condominiums in Udon Thani Coming Soon

Udon’s First Condominium Project: A Home of Your Own – By Jeff Petry (Udon Thani Guide Magazine) July 2011

There’s good news for foreigners looking to buy a home in Udon Thani, Thailand: Udon Condo, Udon’s first condominium project is coming soon. When completed, foreigners will finally be able to own their own home in northeast Thailand, 100% in their name.

Given the initial excitement shown in survey results from foreigners in Thailand, this project will most likely be breaking ground before long with the building beginning to rise up over Udon soon thereafter. Space is limited, so takers are advised to get in early, once they come to market, in order to secure their special rooms with a view.

Udon Thani Condominium Project

Udon Thani Condominium Project

The development is still in the design and research stage, and are not available to purchase just yet. However, planning permission has already been approved, so the project is officially underway. The wheels are in motion, and the plans will be executed in the coming months.

Situated on over 2 rai in downtown Udon Thani between Radjapaht University and Jintakam Road, the Udon Condo project will provide a sanctuary setting in the heart of the city. This is a special piece of land, located as it is in the heart of Udon, yet designed in such a way as to be something of an urban oasis.

The residences will be secluded by design with recreation areas, swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The rear of the condo building will overlook parkland in the distance owned by Wing 23 Army.

The location provides easy and convenient access to major roadways; e.g., Khon Kaen – Bangkok Highway (route 2), central bus routes, local transportation, as well as Udon’s most vibrant shopping and entertainment areas (Central Plaza & UD Town), only a 1.9 km, 20-minute walk away.

It is also close to convenience stores, including a 7-11 and a number of restaurants. The Army Hospital is just down the road, as is Aek Udon International Hospital. Udon Thani Airport is a short drive away.

There will be 76 condos built in total during Phase 1, with a combination of studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units for sale. Phase 2 is projected to contain approximately the same number of units, with specific types built according to initial response and Phase 1 demand.

This development is being built according to the highest standards, with safety, security, comfort, convenience, and luxury in mind. Udon is no longer the country backwater it was not so many years ago, and the developers realize that the time is right to build modern housing here, with style, purpose, convenience, and all the amenities of modern life in mind.

The condo project will provide ample and secure covered parking, high security, card-controlled doors, and built-in safes for valuables. It will be wired for phone and Internet connections, as well as Satellite TV. Multi-national individuals will feel very much at home here, without a doubt.

Rooms will have decent sized balconies that are not subject to air-conditioning exhaust, and a management company will oversee day to day operations and maintenance. In short, this will be a one-of-a-kind development in Udon.

Prices will range from approximately 850,000 Baht to over 2,000,000 Baht – extremely reasonable in comparison with similar projects in Thailand’s largest cities. You could expect to pay at least twice this for comparable rooms in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Pattaya, or Phuket; that is, if you wanted to live in any of those cities. Here, a 5-minute drive will take you into the rice fields, and onwards into the bucolic Isan countryside.

On top of all this, Udon Condo’s facilities will include a gym, a swimming pool, a mini-shopping mall – convenience stores, massage, laundry, etc. – and a proper reception and lobby area.

Quality building materials will be used throughout the building. A fire sprinkler system will be installed for personal safety. Walls will be built with Q-con blocks to protect against heat and noise. All fixtures will be of the best quality, with everything built according to code. Udon Condo plans to do things right – the first time.

Individual condominium ownership for foreigners is available. Foreigners are legally allowed to own condominium units and hold title in their own name as freehold properties. Other options include part-finance and long-term leases. There will be a low monthly maintenance and facilities fee.

For more information, please contact Udon Condo via the contact form here, or check on progress and developments on the “Udon Condominiums” thread on the UdonMap Forum,

Downtown Plaza Udon Thani

If you are looking for a shopping centre in the middle of Udon Thani that has excellent parking facilities in these times of traffic jams and queues, then give Downtown Plaza a try.

Downtown Plaza Udon Thani

Downtown Plaza Udon Thani

It sort of sprung up after a while, so I thought I would go and take a look.  When you drive into the car park, the first thing I noticed was that there were in fact places where I could park. Trying to park in Big C at the wrong time of the month leaves me parking in the most obscure places after about 15 minutes of kerb-crawling. The police back in England would have a field-day!

I have been several times; however, today was the day that the first floor was officially opened and there was a fashion show to celebrate this event. Loud music followed an array of super models down a catwalk that had been made in the central walkway area.

What I did find noticeable was the fact that the clothes these models were wearing could be worn by the general public. Normally on television, when there is a fashion show reported on the news, the models sometimes wear the most stupid looking clothes that any sane member of the public would run a million miles away from.

Downtown Plaza Udon Thani

Before and after shots. The picture above shows the first floor after completion before the units had been made available to the general public. Below is how it looks now with occupied units and the fashion show in full swing.

All the action was taking place on the first floor which has been allocated as the fashion floor. A reliable source told me that the going rate is 3,900 baht a unit per month, which is not expensive at all; however, I do not know the ins and outs of the contract.

The ground floor is the Food Court where you can buy the normal tasty morsels that you would expect when you are shopping in this kind of place. This time I visited, it was considerably quieter than what was going on upstairs and it gave me a chance to recuperate before going back for another dose of fashion.

On the same floor, there are also small shops which sell clothes and accessories that would go with the fashion items that you have already purchase on the fashion floor. All of these units seemed to be occupied by small businesses, which meant that the items for sale were quite varied compared to some of the dross that seems to make its way to our high streets.

Those of you who have seen me staggering around Udon Thani of a weekend would testify that I am not the most fashion conscious of people, and I would agree with you. I am of the opinion that fashion fades and style remains.

Time will tell whether Downtown Plaza turns out to be a success, but I do believe that this place has a certain style, so who knows, I could well be a frequent visitor emptying my wallet to cater to the whims of my wife and daughter. What a terrible thought!

Udon Thani Police Crack “Love” Gang

Udon Thani Police announced the arrest of the “Love” gang (I’m not making that up) that stole more than 30 motorcycles. The kids, ages 12, 13, 13, and 14, had the word ‘love’ tattooed on their arms/legs. The kids were all from Amphur NaGlang, in Nongualamphu Province.

Motorcycle thieves

Udon Thani Police Catch Motorcycle thieves

Police were notified by a citizen that the gang members were riding around dirt roads near the ring road at Ban Leum, Udon. Once apprehended, the kids told the police they did not attend school and starting hanging around together. Before long, they longed for a motorcycle. After traveling to Udon by bus, they stole snacks from stores and slept under a railroad overpass.

One of the gang members had a master key that was used to steal the vehicles. Gang members would steal a motorcycle, hide it, and later drive it to NaGlang. According to the gang members, they did it for fun. The gang admitted to stealing more than 30 motorcycles. When the police went to the gang’s hiding place (for motorcycles), they found seven motorcycles.

The police suspect that the vehicles were perhaps exchanged for money or drugs. The police are investigating that someone else is behind the gang (my words: someone older), as they know that if the kids are caught, they will be released before long and not detained.

News source in Thai:

ผกก.สภ.เมือง อุดรธานี แถลงรวบตัวแก๊ง “เลิฟ” ที่เป็นเด็กเร่ร่อนเที่ยวตระเวนลัก จยย.กว่า 30 คัน เพื่อนำไปขี่เล่น แต่ตำรวจยังไม่ปักใจเชื่อว่า ตั้งแก๊งลักรถไปขับขี่เล่น เชื่อมีผู้อยู่เบื้องหลัง…

เมื่อเวลา 13.00 น. วันที่ 27 มิถุนายน พ.ต.อ.โกวิท เจริญวัฒนศักดิ์ ผกก.สภ.เมือง อุดรธานี พ.ต.ท.กริช ปัตลา รอง ผกก.ป.พ.ต.ต.ธราธิป เข่งคุ้ม สวป.สภ.เมือง อุดรธานี ร่วมกันแถลงข่าวจับกุม ด.ช.แม๊ค (นามสมมติ) อายุ 14 ปี ด.ช.บอล (นามสมมติ) อายุ 13 ปี ด.ช.แจ๋ว (นามสมมติ) อายุ 13 ปี และ ด.ช.แผน (นามสมมติ) อายุ 12 ปี ทั้งหมดเป็นราษฎร ต.ดงสวรรค์ อ.นากลาง จ.หนองบัวลำภู พร้อมของกลางรถจักรยานยนต์ยามาฮ่า มีโอ สีดำแดง หมายเลขทะเบียน ขวจ 633 อุดรธานี จักรยานยนต์ซูซูกิ เลิฟ สีน้ำตาล หมายเลขทะเบียน ฌ 5885 อุดรธานี รถจักรยานยนต์ฮอนด้า เทน่า ไม่ติดแผ่นป้ายทะเบียน รถจักรยานยนต์ยามาฮ่า แมท สีน้ำเงิน ไม่ติดแผ่นป้ายทะเบียน จักรยานยนต์ฮอนด้า เวฟ สีแดง พ่วงข้าง หมายเลขทะเบียน คขล 978 ชลบุรี จักรยานยนต์ฮอนด้า เวฟ สีเขียว คฉฉ 151 ขอนแก่น โดยแจ้งข้อหาลักทรัพย์

Dead tourist had E. coli strain, tests show

Dr Phaijit Warachit

Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Phaijit Warachit

Lab tests on samples from a foreigner found dead at an Udon Thani hotel have detected an E. coli strain, but confirmation is pending on whether it was a communicable type, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Phaijit Warachit said yesterday.

Tests of the unnamed tourist’s blood and urine detected a bacteria called Plesiomonas shigelloides, which is capable of causing diarrhoea. It is a type rarely found in humans, but more often in freshwater fish and clams. The cause of death will also be investigated through police forensic work, Phaijit said.

E. coli is a bacteria common in the intestinal ducts of human and cattle. It is helpful in digestion, but a strain spreading in Europe now is communicable and has caused deaths and sickness in many countries.

A policeman who inspected the tourist’s room had diarrhoea and is now recovering.

His symptoms initially sparked fears of an outbreak since he had searched the tourist’s body and touched his passport.

Phaijit said the unnamed officer was fine now and merely suffering from normal diarrhoea.

Story continued here (