Ban Chiang Travel Guide

The most sought-after site in Thailand’s Udon Thani province, Ban Chiang gained UNESCO World Heritage status in the early 1990s. It is essentially a showroom for ancient ceramics, which are visible in various stages of excavation.

The site was discovered by a clumsy Harvard student named Stephen Young. Working toward a thesis in the 1960s, Young was in Ban Chiang interviewing locals when he tripped over a crooked tree root and practically fell on top of a protruding, crimson ceramic piece. He sent it off for analysis, and excavations began soon after.

The UNESCO selection committee went so far as to declare Ban Chiang the most important prehistoric site discovered in Southeast Asia so travelers with a penchant for archeology will find a visit well worth their while. Some of the artifacts unearthed here are a staggering 7,000 years old.

Getting There & Away

Ban Chiang is well connected to Udon Thani, and transferring between the two cities takes less than an hour by hire car, taxi or minivan. Udon Thani is a one-hour flight from Bangkok, which is the Southeast Asian gateway for most international passengers.

Things to Do

Ban Chiang Attractions

Wat Po Sri

This temple holds thailand’s first open-air museum, demonstrating how the ancient ceramic pieces and jewelry were buried with the dead.

Excavation Museum

The secondary museum is more traditional and houses an exhaustive collection of artifacts.