Northeast Thailand stretches across nearly one third of the entire country. Also known as Isan, the region spans from the Mekong River on the Thailand/Laos border to the Dong Rek mountain range along the Thailand/Cambodia border.
As an agricultural center, northeastern Thailand flounders; The region is arid and the soil is not of the best quality. However the region is a prime destination for tourists, with ancient temples, intriguing artifacts, and vital archeological evidence of the Stone and Bronze ages as well as the Khmer empire.
Tourists flock to the restored historical parks-Phimai and Phanom Run. There is also a massive temple complex located at Khao Phra vihan in Si Sa Ket that has recently opened to visitors. Sandstone shrines are also a favorite tourist attraction.
Settlements dating back to the Bronze Age can be explored at Ban Chiang located in Udon Thani province. The pottery found at this site is some of the finest evidence of ancient ceramics. The pieces date back 5,000 years as evidences by the fingerprint designs characteristic of the first earthenware vessels. These red and white pieces reflect an impressive attention to detail and accomplished artististy.
Isan is home to two of Thailand’s best national parks-Phu Kradung and Khao Yai. Tourists are also drawn to the villages of Khorat and Khon Kaen as both are known for their handwoven silk.
The region is beginning to take advantage of it prime position between Laos and Cambodia (along with the location of the Mekong River), and many travellers seek out adventure journeys beginning in Isan. Domestic airlines now schedule regular flights to the region and luxury accomadations are popping up across the larger provinces.
Northeastern Thailand consists of 19 provinces: