At first glance, Ban Dung looks a typical Thai rural market town. There are oodles of noodles, chunks of hardware stores, a central market, a bustling bus station, gold shops, ATM’s, banks, open front pharmacies and enough Buddhist orange gift buckets to scrub a herd of buffaloes clean. There is the obligatory 7-Eleven and Tesco Lotus too, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find Ban Dung has a few very good western bars as well.
Ban Dung is about 70 kilometres north-east of Udon Thani city and is in an area rich in rice, rubber and salt farming. Those commodities have attracted a fair few expats to Ban Dung District and with them some very decent western bars have opened in the town.
Eddie’s Sports Bar in Ban Dung, Udon Thani
Eddie’s Sports Bar is Ban Dung’s most well-known bar and host Eddie has entertained expats and tourists there for several years. The bar sells a good range of beers and spirits as well as having a wall-to-wall menu which includes English breakfast, steaks, pies, burgers, curries, pizzas, sandwiches and many other favourite western dishes and snacks. There is a takeaway option on most menu dishes.
Quality Chern Chim western style food is on sale at Eddie’s shop at the rear of the bar and stocks many imported brand foods. Tetley, Bisto, Crosse & Blackwell, Heinz and Blackthorn Cider are some of the big brands available which help make many of Ban Dung’s expats home life more comfortable.
Manchester born Eddie serves a large-scale slice of humour with his wide-ranging menu and the bar’s popularity has been founded on Eddie’s warmth and taproom wit as well as the quality of the bar itself.
A pool table, darts board, live TV sports and a regular stand-up comedian (Eddie) are some of the things which rate Eddie’s Sports Bar as one of the most popular places in town.
A comedy double act?…. Funny man Eddie poses on the left with myself playing the straight man.
Eddie’s Sports Bar is located on Highway 2096 coming into Ban Dung from the south side of town.
Igloo’s Bar in Ban Dung, Udon Thani
Igloo’s Bar is about 70 metres up the road from Eddie’s Sports Bar and was formerly the Thai owned Lisa’s Bar. Bristol born and bred expat David, nicknamed Igloo, is mine host and his welcome is always honest and hearty.
Igloo’s Bar serves beers, spirits and beverages but at present there is no food menu available but David (above picture second from the right) has no objections to you grabbing a snack from a street stall.
The bar has live TV sports, pool and a host who is more than willing to chit-chat for as long as you wish.
Gary’s Bar in Ban Dung, Udon Thani
Gary’s Bar is another of Ban Dung’s hidden treasures. Hidden is perhaps the wrong word because the bar is for all to see opposite a petrol station on Highway 2096 from the northern entrance to the town.
The original bar owner Gary sold up last year and the bar is now in the hands of fellow Englishman Chris. The bar is a popular choice for many of Ban Dung’s expats and that local seal of approval has safe-guarded the bar’s well-known name.
The clean and modern looking bar has a well-conditioned pool table, an extensive range of drinks and Chris has now added to his menu an English Sunday roast dinner. The bar has some parking space at the front and side of the premises.
Ban Dung has the appearance of an ordinary Thai rural market town but amongst its everyday look are three excellent western bars.
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© 2013, Martyn. All rights reserved.