Introduction about Isan region

IsanIsan is the name used to describe the North Eastern provinces of Thailand, bordered to the North by the Mekong river and Laos and to the South by Cambodia. Isan's culture is predominantly Lao and has much in common with that of the neighboring country of Laos. The region has distinct landscape and has managed to preserve its rural customs and offers a fascinating taste of traditional Thai life. The Isan area is one Thailand's poorest regions.

Agriculture is the main economic activity. Though the region is a dry plateau, which makes planting crops difficult, the people have learned to survive in this rugged environment.


Isan food is distinct from Thai and Lao cuisines, but has elements in common with each. The most obvious characteristics are the use of sticky rice rather than plain rice, as well as plenty of fried chilies. Isan people have a taste for delicious, spicy, and sometimes bizarre foods. The people of the region are known for eating a wide variety of creatures, such as lizards, frogs and fried insects. Grasshoppers, silkworms and dung beetles are a few of the favorites. Originally forced by poverty to be creative in finding foods, Isan people now savor these animals as delicacies.

Isan food Another part of Isan culture is the fun loving side, shown through festivities. The people celebrate many traditional festivals, such as the Songkran Festival, Rocket Festival, the Candle Festival, Silk Festival, Elephant Round-up, and the very famous Naga Fireball Festival of Nong Khai.

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