Mukdahan is the capital of one of Thailand’s newest provinces, created in 1980 from areas that were formerly part of Nakhon Phanom and Ubon Ratchathani provinces.
The most interesting street is Samran Chai Khong Road, along the Mekong River front. It faces the second-largest city in Laos, Suwannakhet, on the opposite bank. In 2007, a second Thai– Lao Friendship Bridge opened across the river, linking Mukdahan with Suwannakhet. Visitors can obtain a visa on arrival to enter Laos. Mukdahan is a busy trading center, and both Lao and Thai boats can be seen at the pier, loading and unloading their goods.
A market also runs most of the length of the riverside, between Wat Si Mongkol Tai and Wat Yot Kaew Siwichai. Goods for sale may be disappointing because there are few examples of traditional Lao and Vietnamese merchandise. Expect an excess of plastic ephemera, though the market is worth a visit for the local sweetmeats and its colorful atmosphere. Wat Si Mongkhol Thai was built in 1956 by Vietnamese immigrants in the town and is distinguished by statues of mythical creatures at the entrance to its main chapel. The gaudier Wat Yot Kaew Siwichai houses an enormous, seated, golden Buddha image. The figure sits in an openfronted wihan with paneled glass on two of its sides. Near Wat Yot Kaew Siwichai, on Song Nang Sathit Road, is the Chinese Chao Fa Mung Muang shrine, home to Mukdahan’s guardian spirit. Also here is the Lak Muang, or City Pillar, which is usually draped in colorful plastic garlands
Excellent views of the entire provincial capital can be captured from the 1,650-ft (500-m) peak of Phu Manorom. A pavilion at the top of the hill shelters a replica of the Buddha’s Footprint.