The province of Ubon Ratchathani is situated in the north-eastern region of Thailand, with Laos to the east and Cambodia to the south. It is approximately 600 kilometres from Bangkok, with daily road, rail, and air links to the capital. Ubon province has a population of almost 2 million people and an area of 16,000 square kilometres. The province is an important agricultural area, producing rice, tapioca, jute, and various fruits, and has strategic significance due to the border crossing to Laos at Chong Mek.
The city of Ubon Ratchathani is the main population centre of the area, being a major focus for industry, government, finance, retail, education, and transport by bus, train, and plane. The city is a rich mix of Thai, Lao, and Khmer cultures, and is well known for the annual Candle Festival in July, and the international monastery that hosts numerous visitors for Buddhist study and meditation purposes.