Isan shares its culture with its neighboring country Laos with regards to the architecture, the culture, festival Traveling to Isan can be a great pass time for vacation. It has a population of around 20 million people and has got only 3 major airports which makes it one of the least visited place in Thailand. However, the place provides great facilities for the road travel through different popular routes like the Ko Samui, Phuket, or Chiang Mai. Isan shares its borders with Laos in the north and the east and with Cambodia in the south. Isan preserves the cultural music and culinary identity of Thailand. Isan can be a great place for motorcyclist who seek for longer and quieter journey towards the evening sunset. Further, Isan is an amazing place for older travelers who avoid the busy crowds to seek deep historical and cultural elements during their holidays.
Houses in Isan are traditionally built with strong woods which are very common other than the brick made houses. Though it is considered to be the poorest area in Thailand, it takes the tourists through the bountiful rivers to the different traditional skills of textiles, agriculture, silk making and pottery. Isan has all the treasure required for historic and cultural studies. Houses in Isan generally store water as they do not have the facility for running water. Water is stored from the rainfall in big jars to be utilized for the household purposes. These houses are generally 5 to 6 meters in height and the ground level is made for keeping their cattle, chicken, and ducks. Such houses do not have toilets and bathrooms.
However, the toilets are made a little far from their residence.
The traditional dress is called “Sarong” that are made for both males and females. Men also wear a typical dress of their culture call “Pakama”. The Buddhist temple is one of the center of attraction while traveling to Isan. Temples in Isan are not only made for performing ritual ceremonies but people even use them for festivals and assembly halls. These temples are mostly built in the Lao style with images of Buddha. Further, Pimai and Phanom rung are other favorite sites in Isan. Prasat Muang, Khorat province are also appealing places for making a visit. These historical places rank together with the finest in Cambodia. Other historical buildings in Isan include the Phraya Monument, Fa Daet Song Yang, Phrathat Yakhu. Religious sites like Wat Klang, Wat Pho Chai Semaram take you to the ancient civilization that prevailed in this place. Traveling to Isan will take you through the Cultural and Promotional center located in Amphoe Muang and the Ban Phon Phrae Wa Silk in the Kham Muong that promotes its cultures and traditions and keeps them alive. Sirindhorn Museum located in the Sahatsakhan District is a research museum for dinosaurs and it is one of the largest in the South East Asia. Traveling around this museum will take you through the ancient world where no humans were born. Also, another museum named Kalasin Museum features handicrafts and the life of Phu Thai people. It also has different halls for presentation purposes.
Isan offers great hospitality to the tourists. There are various trade market centers located there to offer the best meals and different shopping items for tourists. Some of the shopping areas located in Isan are:
- The Chong Chom market in Bn Dan Phanthana
- Fruit Orchard at the Sisa Ket
- Central Plaza Udon Thani at Udon Thani
- The Mall Nakhon at Nakhon
- Central Plaza in Khon Kaen at Khon Kaen
- Tesko Lotus hypermarket in Sakon Nakhon
These places offer the best items to supply the needs of the tourists as well as the local people of that place.
Where to Eat
Isan offers best food items made from pork that are mostly grilled. Grilled Pork Neck also called “Kor” Moo Yang in their local language is one of the best food items to taste. Also the Minced Pork salad, Grilled Pork Salad, Isan sausages, Hot Pot and Marinated Pork are among the food items that are not to be missed while traveling to Isan. People who generally go to Isan live mostly on hotels around Phuket in Twin Palm hotel, U sunsuri Hotel, Mom trys Villa Hotel etc.
Some of the hotels that offer the best Isan food in Thailand are:
- Rod Dead Isan Restaurant
- Larb Bpet Yasothon
- Som Tan Khun Gan
- Local restaurants
- The Isan Restaurant
- Chanchanat Woodland retreatetc.
Where to Have Fun
Entertainment while Traveling to Isan: Every travelers are fond of having a good time during their travel. As travel is one of the best form of recreation travelers and tourist go searching for night clubs, dance bars, sports clubs, and stadiums to enjoy their time during the holiday. There are few bars and clubs to provide some good time for the visitors. Also the site seeing places and national parks like the Khao Yai and the Phimai Historical Park are great places to go to. The traditional society of Isan rarely give permission for women to have boyfriends which makes the place a little lonely during the night hours as girls don’t spend much time out during the night at bars and clubs. The Thomsongbu club is an amazing place for tourists. The Isan Street food club is one of the best known clubs during the night hours. There are New-I mobile stadium and 80th Birthday stadium to hold different games in the city. These attract a lot of tourists as well. The Bonanga adventure park offers the best ATV challenges for tourists. Further Camping, Canoeing and Kayaking are also some great adventures that are provided while traveling to Isan.
How to Get Around
Traveling to Isan is not that difficult as it has some great routes for traveling and sightseeing. Mostly the road transport is facilitated with motorcycles along the short and long routes for the locals as well as to the tourists. Almost all the roads are paved and are connected with the province capital. The division of roads into the lanes makes them safe for driving. Unpaved roads link the city with the villages and they are easily navigable for the wheeled vehicles. Bus transport run throughout the region and provides mass transport daily as well as in the night hours. Truck style buses also provide service to interconnect the villages. However, the taxi transport is not very well developed. The traditional tuk tuk three wheelers are the mainstay as the urban transport in this region. Airports are also here that interconnect the region to other cities around the country.
Finally, Isan is yet a lot to be discovered. It still provides tremendous facilities with the tradition and cultural that has flourished here together with great music and food to attract a lot of tourists. Traveling to Isan makes you feel great to spend your vacation and makes it worth the time and money you spend.