Northeast Thailand [ Isan ] Tourism & Travel
- The principal tourist attractions in North Eastern Thailand [ Isan ] are the ruins of the Khmer Empire, [ of which we have selected the four major Khmer monuments ], the natural beauty of the landscape, including parts of the Mekong River Valley and the 24 National Parks.
- The Khmer monuments are on average 1000 years old and to better
understand what you will see we recommended prior study of Khmer
history, belief systems and Khmer art and architecture.
- There are 24 National Parks in Northeast Thailand [ Isan ] and other natural historical parks administered by the Provinces. We also recommend Ban Chiang a UNESC World Heritage Site a pre-historic settlement for a glimpse of Bronze Age living.
Prasat Phanom Rung
Khmer Architecture East Thailand
- Northeast Thailand is the eastern region of Thailand and comprises the valleys of the Chi and Mun rivers, the left bank basin of the Mekong River to its north and east, the sandstone Khorat Plateau and the basin of the Prachin River which connects to the Dang Raek Mountains on the border with Cambodia.
- Today the region is divided into 19 Provinces of Thailand. Historically the area was influenced by the Khmer [ now of Cambodia ] whose inscriptions found there date from the 7th C. During the 7th - 9th C the Hindu Khmers built numerous temples and roads throughout Isan. The people then were Buddhist or Hindu. This is reflected in the art and architecture which remains. The area was also influenced by the Chams of Champa. Later in the 13th C came the Tai and later again population movements from Laos, China and Vietnam.
- Today's descendants comprise people with Tai Lao, Mon, Cham, Vietnamese, Khmer and other Tai ancestors. Isan comprises 171,000 square km [ or 6,000 square miles ]. East Thailand' s principal attractions are the Khmer ruins, the regional Tai art, architecture and culture today, its natural beauty, prehistoric settlements and wildlife.