For many years if you wanted to get your feet wet and go for a swim in Udon Thani you had to hope it rained real hard. That’s not all true, because a few hotels do have swimming pools, but the city’s time-worn leisure facilities didn’t boast a waterpark. That all changed last year when Playport created a welcome splash of activity when they opened the city’s first waterpark venture.
Earlier this year Meelan Waterpark and Restaurant added more weight to the city’s slow-growing, but gradual mushrooming list of Udon Thani attractions when their newly founded business opened to the public too, and in doing so, it made those rainy days even less attractive to the city’s gilled urbanites.
Meelan Waterpark is 14 kilometres outside of the city and is easy to get to but a little difficult to find, unless you can read Thai. The waterpark is on the Nong Khai to Udon Thani highway and is set back about 30 metres from it. Unfortunately, as shown in the thumbnail on the right, the sign is in Thai.
The easy way to get there is to head from Udon (towards Nong Khai), lookout for the Nakhaburi Hotel which is on the left side of the highway and once there take the next highway U-turn back towards Udon Thani. The Meelan Waterpark is about 200 metres past the Nakhaburi Hotel which will now be on the opposite side of the highway. Alternatively, view the map at the bottom of the post.
Udon Thani Attractions – Meelan Waterpark and Restaurant
The waterpark is by no means big, the layout is a largish pool with a kiddies one alongside and four water slides. Its size isn’t going to get Disneyland worrying their corner of the theme park market is about to be bulldozed down – Meelan Waterpark is more Minnie than Mickey and if size does matter it will have to hide its shortcomings by wearing knee-length and very baggy swimming trunks. Nonetheless, it is a welcome addition to Udon Thani’s leisure activities.
Here’s the swimming pool from another angle and despite the few people in the photograph the waterpark is slowly but surely growing in popularity. It has a fresh, brand-new look to it and the park’s sun-kissed zippy colours are bright enough to make Walt Disney’s best-loved duck sunblock his beak and masquerade in shades.
There is plenty of shaded seating around the swimming pool and a lengthy restaurant area too. Once again the photograph shows an absence of visitors but the picture was taken mid-morning on a weekday and the park’s popularity is geared towards families and their weekend leisure time.
The park has free entry if you are not intending to use the swimming pool and the restaurant has a good range of Thai dishes but little Western fare – sometimes that’s not a bad thing because it leaves you no option but to eat Thai whereas many of us usually only eyeball the Western options on the menu. In the photograph my Thai partner, Wonderful Wi, can be seen deciding on what she’s going to force feed me with.
Food and drink prices at Meelan Waterpark are very chummy and won’t leave your wallet panting like a dog on a hot day. Below are a few examples of the dishes and drinks available and if you click on the photograph on the right you can view more.
- Spicy Fish Salad – 90 baht
- Spicy Grilled Pork – 120/150
- Deep-fried Prawn Balls – 120/150
- Seafood Tom Yum Soup – 180
- Papaya Salad – 60
- Grilled Squid – 220/400
- Small Bottled Water – 15 baht
- Cola – 40
- Heineken Beer (large) – 95
- Beer Leo (large) – 75
The restaurant’s sweet and sour dish – half-eaten by the time I remembered to take a picture – was very tasty. I can’t remember the price but I’m sure it was around four bucks.
Wilai also decided a plate of crispy shrimp spring rolls would go hand in hand with my Beer Leo. Again, very tasty, and served alongside sweet and slightly spicy sauce dips.
The Meelan Waterpark and restaurant is a useful addition to Udon Thani’s list of attractions and whilst I do not think the park has enough ‘going on’ to hold someone’s attention all-day, it is certainly worthy of a visit for a meal and more so for an afternoon’s swim and feast. It ticks enough boxes to get a thumbs up from me but leaves enough empty to keep Walt Disney’s best-loved duck away from the diazepam pills.
Meelan Waterpark and Restaurant Map
If you have enjoyed this post then why not get Beyond The Mango Juice delivered free to your desktop or by email via my RSS feed…… You can also sign up for my Beyond The Mango Juice page on Facebook by clicking on the link here.
© 2014, Martyn. All rights reserved.