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Khon Kaen is in northeast Thailand, the population is about 150,000 but like most Thai cities nobody really knows. The area around Khon Kaen is called ISSAN. ISSAN is a way of life, also it has become a Thai concept, a cultural icon. Understand the ISSAN SPIRIT and you are 90% on the way to understanding Thailand. And what better place to study Issan and the real Thailand than Khon Kaen?

Khon Kaen can take on the world when it comes to hotels. Hotel Sofitel Khon Kaen is a luxury five star Hotel, towering up above the Hotel Sofitel shophouses with their tin roofs in the streets below. This hotel is a pointer as to where Khon Kaen is going, and the tin shacks and shophouses are a pointer as to where Khon Kaen has been. To the visitor, real Thailand is what Khon Kaen has to offer. In the shops you will find Thai silk, silver, and craftworks at normal Thai retail prices (but you may have to barter). In the streets you will see samlors (three wheeled bicycle taxis), Elephants, tuk - tuks (like a samlor but with an engine), and the most interesting of all, the ordinary Thai people.

Visit one of the many open markets. If you are interested in renting a car, there are many sites worth seeing just out side Khon Kaen. Khon Kaen can be hard on the Western tourist. Not many people speak English in Issan, so if you keep a cool head and most important of all do not show anger, even when you are frustrated beyond belief, just smile. Keep smilling is the key to getting the most out of Thailand, and especially Khon Kaen.

The real Thailand is outside the popular tourist destinations. Northeast Thailand, consisting of 1/3 of the country, is often neglected by tourists so what better reason do you need to come.

Tale of a RiceFarmer
Traveling Around Khon Kaen


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