Eastern Thailand Montessori School Directory

Thailand | North Eastern Region | Public, Private, and International Montessori School Directory

About the Space
![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/03/Thai-Lao_Friendship_Bridge_%2810729268664%29.jpg/1620px-Thai-Lao_Friendship_Bridge_%2810729268664%29.jpg "Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge") # Isaan Public, Private, and International Montessori School Directory ### Living in or moving to the North-Eastern Isaan Region of Thailand and looking for an International Montessori School? --- ### Isan Region Public Montessori Schools (Thai and Montessori Curriculum) The school year for schools following the Thai curriculum starts in May and ends in March. April is considered Holiday. The half-term break is in October. Students finishing Elementary Grades (Pratom) 3, 6, Secondary Grades (Mathayom) 3, and 6 have to pass a Thai National Test (O-Net). In April 2004 the Pilot Project for The Development of the Child’s Potential in Small Government School using the Montessori Approach. The first [AMI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_Montessori_Internationale) 3 to 6 Diploma Course in Thailand started in 2006 and a second course started in 2009, the third course in 2011, and some more followed. #### [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen") * **[Ban Nong Hai Kham Pia School](https://montessori.zone/s/nonghai/ "Ban Nong Hai Kham Pia School")** * A. [Ban Haet](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ban+Haet "Ban Haet"), C. [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen province") #### [Roi Et Province](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Roi+Et "Roi Et Province") * **[Ban Nong Waeng School - โรงเรียนบ้านหนองแวง](https://montessori.zone/s/nongwaeng/://montessori.zone/s/nonghai/ "Ban Nong Waeng School - โรงเรียนบ้านหนองแวง")** * T. [Nong Kaeo](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nong+Kaeo "Nong Kaeo"), A. [Mueang Roi Et](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Roi+Et "Mueang Roi Et"), C. [Roi Et](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Roi+Et "Roi Et Province") * **[Ban Raka School - โรงเรียนบ้าน](https://montessori.zone/s/raka/ "Ban Raka School - โรงเรียนบ้าน")** * T. [Nong Kaeo](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nong+Kaeo "Nong Kaeo"), A. [Mueang Roi Et](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Roi+Et "Mueang Roi Et"), C. [Roi Et](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Roi+Et "Roi Et Province") * **[Chumchon Ban Khok Thom, Phi Sit Phitthayakhan](https://montessori.zone/s/phisit/ "Chumchon Ban Khok Thom, Phi Sit Phitthayakhan")** * T. [Bua Daeng](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Bua+Daeng "Bua Daeng"), A. [Pathum Rat](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Pathum+Rat "Pathum Rat"), C. [Roi Et](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Roi+Et "Roi Et Province") #### [Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ubon+Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani Province") * **[Ban Na Muen School - โรงเรียนบ้านนามึน](https://montessori.zone/s/namuen/ "Ban Na Muen School - โรงเรียนบ้านนามึน")** * T. [Rai Noi](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Rai+Noi "Rai Noi"), A. [Mueang Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Ubon+Ratchathani "Mueang Ubon Ratchathani"), C. [Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ubon+Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani province") * **For some public schools, we could not find the correct location until now but they appear in papers, scripts, and presentations. Please help us to make this list complete. Thanks!** [Amnat Charoen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Amnat+Charoen "Amnat Charoen Province") * 2 Montessori Schools (location not available) #### [Chachoengsao](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Chachoengsao "Chachoengsao Province") * 1 Montessori School (location not available) #### [Chai Nat](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Chai+Nat "Chai Nat Province") * 1 Montessori School (location not available) #### [Chonburi](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Chonburi "Chonburi Province") * 1 Montessori School (location not available) #### [Kanchanaburi](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Kanchanaburi "Kanchanaburi Province") * 3 Montessori Schools (location not available) --- ### Isaan Region Private Thai and [Bilingual Schools](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilingual_education "Bilingual education") (Thai and Montessori Curriculum) The school year for schools following the Thai curriculum starts in May and ends in March. April is considered Holiday. The half-term break is in October. Students finishing Elementary Grades (Pratom) 3, 6, Secondary Grades (Mathayom) 3, and 6 have to pass a Thai National Test (O-Net). #### [Buri Ram](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Buri+Ram "Buriram province") * **[Buriram Montessori](https://montessori.zone/s/buriram/ "Buriram Montessori")** * T. [Nai Mueang](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nai+Mueang "Nai Mueang"), A. [Mueang Buri Ram](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Buri+Ram "Mueang Buriram district"), C. [Buri Ram](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Buri+Ram "Buriram province") #### [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen province") * **[CaSa De Bamboo Montessori School](https://montessori.zone/s/casabamboo/ "CaSa De Bamboo Montessori School")** * T. [Ban Pet](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ban+Pet "Ban Pet"), A. [Mueang Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Khon+Kaen "Mueang Khon Kaen district"), C. [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen province") * **[Suanson Khonkaen School](https://montessori.zone/s/suanson/ "Suanson Khonkaen School")** * A. [Mueang Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Khon+Kaen "Mueang Khon Kaen district"), C. [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen province") * **[Unrak Khon Kaen School](https://montessori.zone/s/agapekk/ "Unrak Khon Kaen School")** * T. [Nai Mueang](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nai+Mueang "Nai Mueang"), A. [Mueang Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Khon+Kaen "Mueang Khon Kaen district"), C. [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen") #### [Loei](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Loei "Loei province") * **[Loei Montessori School - เลย มอนเทสซอริ](https://montessori.zone/s/loei/ "Loei Montessori School")** * T. [Nam Man](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nam+Man "Nam Man"), A. [Mueang Loei](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Loei "Mueang Loei district"), C. [Loei](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Loei "Loei province") #### [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nakhon+Ratchasima "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") * **[Korat Montessori](https://montessori.zone/s/morimorimori/ "MoriMoriMori")** * [Nai Mueang](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nai+Mueang "Nai Mueang"), C. [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nakhon+Ratchasima+Mueang "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") * **[MoriMoriMori](https://montessori.zone/s/morimorimori/ "MoriMoriMori")** * [Nai Mueang](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nai+Mueang "Nai Mueang"), C. [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nakhon+Ratchasima+Mueang "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") #### [Nong Khai](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nong+Khai "Nong Khai province") * **[Sirakan Montessori School](https://montessori.zone/s/sirakan/ "Sirakan Montessori School ")** * T. [Khai Bok Wan](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khai+Bok+Wan "Khai Bok Wan (page does not exist)"), A. [Mueang Nong Khai](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Nong+Khai "Mueang Nong Khai district"), C. [Nong Khai](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Nong+Khai "Nong Khai province") #### [Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ubon+Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani province") * **[Panwarin Montessori](https://montessori.zone/s/panwarin/ "Panwarin Montessori")** * T. [Saen Suk](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Saen+Suk "Saen Suk district (page does not exist)"), A. [Warin Chamrap](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Warin+Chamrap "Warin Chamrap district"), C. [Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ubon+Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani province") * **[Piamsook Montessori School](https://montessori.zone/s/piamsook/ "Piamsook Montessori School")** * A. [Mueang Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mieang+Ubon+Ratchathani "Mueang Ubon Ratchathani district"), C. [Ubon Ratchathani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ubon+Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani province") #### [Udon Thani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Udon+Thani "Udon Thani province") * **[Udon Montessori](https://montessori.zone/s/udon/ "Udon Montessori")** * T. [Mu Mon](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mu+Mon "Mu Mon district (page does not exist)"), A. [Mueang Udon Thani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Udon+Thani "Mueang Udon Thani district"), C. [Udon Thani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Udon+Thani "Udon Thani province") * **[Udon Sensory School](https://montessori.zone/s/udonsensory/ "Udon Sensory School")** * C. [Udon Thani](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Udon+Thani "Udon Thani province") --- ### Isaan Region Private International Schools (Thai International and Montessori Curriculum) The international school year for schools following the Thai international curriculum starts in August and ends in June. July is considered Holiday. The half-term break is in February. Students finishing Elementary Grades (Pratom) 3, 6, Secondary Grades (Mathayom) 3, and 6 have to pass a Thai National Test (O-Net). #### [Kalasin](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Kalasin "Kalasin province") * **[Kalasin Montessori School](https://montessori.zone/s/kalasin/ "Kalasin Montessori School")** * T. [Phon Thong](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Phon+Thong "Phon Thong sub district (page does not exist)"), A. [Mueang Kalasin](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Kalasin "Mueang Kalasin district"), C. [Kalasin](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Kalasin "Kalasin province") #### Khon Kaen * **[Ratchut School](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ratchut_School&action=edit&redlink=1 "Ratchut School (page does not exist)")** * T. [Hua Nong](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Hua+Nong "Hua Nong sub district (page does not exist)"), A. [Ban Phai](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Ban+Phai "Ban Phai district"), C. [Khon Kaen](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Khon+Kaen "Khon Kaen province") #### [Mukdahan](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mukdahan "Mukdahan province") * **[Mukdahan Montessori School](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mukdahan_Montessori_School&action=edit&redlink=1 "Mukdahan Montessori School (page does not exist)")** * A. [Mueang Mukdahan](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mueang+Mukdahan "Mueang Mukdahan district"), C. [Mukdahan](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Mukdahan "Mukdahan province") --- Isaan Region Montessori Homeschool Centers, Groups, and Families (Official Registered Thai Homeschooling and Learning Centers that are following or are oriented on the Montessori Curriculum in addition to other mandatory or chosen Thai or international curricula) The Thai homeschool year starts in January and ends in November. December is considered a holiday. A half-term break can be chosen freely. All Thai National Tests (O-Net) are optional for homeschoolers. Thai parents need to register their children to be legally able to homeschool their children with the provincial primary or secondary Education office. In some provinces, the secondary Education office is located in another province (i.e. Phuket Secondary students need to be registered in [Phang Nga Secondary Education Office](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phang_Nga_Secondary_Education_Office&action=edit&redlink=1) while Elementary students can be registered with the [Phuket Primary Education Office](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phuket_Primary_Education_Office&action=edit&redlink=1)). Additionally, they need a Homeschool "Leader" with at least a Secondary Grade Final Exam (Mathayom 6). The Thai Government is supporting homeschool families financially per school term. Foreigners can not lead a Homeschool while they are able to teach Homeschool students. #### [General](https://montessori.zone/spaces?page=1&keyword=Thailand+Forum) * **[Montessori Homeschooling in Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Montessori_Homeschooling_in_Thailand&action=edit&redlink=1)** * Montessori Homeschooling - Discussion in English Language and in another Group in the Thai Language --- ### Online International Montessori School Programs with a presence in Thailand --- # Isaan - North-Eastern Thailand **[The following is cited from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Thailand "Wikipedia - Northern Thailand")** | **Northeastern Region**<br><br>**ภาคอีสาน** | | --------------------------- | | **[Region](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_Thailand "Regions of Thailand")** | | ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/Pha_Lom_Sak.jpg)<br><br>![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4e/%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%AB%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B4%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%82%E0%B8%B2%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%8D%E0%B9%88_3.JPG/1920px-%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%99%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%AB%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%B4%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%82%E0%B8%B2%E0%B9%83%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%8D%E0%B9%88_3.JPG)<br><br>![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Place_PhnomrungPrasat.jpg/1440px-Place_PhnomrungPrasat.jpg)<br><br>![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f6/CandleFestivalUbon.jpg/960px-CandleFestivalUbon.jpg)<br><br>From upper-left to lower-right: [Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai%E2%80%93Lao_Friendship_Bridge "Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge"), [Phu Kradueng](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Kradueng_National_Park "Phu Kradueng National Park"), [Khao Yai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khao_Yai_National_Park "Khao Yai National Park"), [Phanom Rung Historical Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phanom_Rung_Historical_Park "Phanom Rung Historical Park"), and [Candle Festival](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubon_Ratchathani_Candle_Festival "Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival") | | ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Thailand_Isan.png)<br><br>Northeastern Region in Thailand | | Largest city: [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima) | | Provinces: 20 provinces | * [Amnat Charoen Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnat_Charoen_Province "Amnat Charoen Province") * [Bueng Kan Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bueng_Kan_Province "Bueng Kan Province") * [Buriram Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buriram_Province "Buriram Province") * [Chaiyaphum Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaiyaphum_Province "Chaiyaphum Province") * [Kalasin Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalasin_Province) * [Khon Kaen Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen_Province "Khon Kaen Province") * [Loei Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loei_Province "Loei Province") * [Maha Sarakham Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Sarakham_Province "Maha Sarakham Province") * [Mukdahan Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukdahan_Province "Mukdahan Province") * [Nakhon Phanom Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Phanom_Province "Nakhon Phanom Province") * [Nakhon Ratchasima Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima_Province "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") * [Nong Khai Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nong_Khai_Province "Nong Khai Province") * [Nongbua Lamphu Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nongbua_Lamphu_Province "Nongbua Lamphu Province") * [Roi Et Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roi_Et_Province "Roi Et Province") * [Sakon Nakhon Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakon_Nakhon_Province "Sakon Nakhon Province") * [Sisaket Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisaket_Province "Sisaket Province") * [Surin Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surin_Province "Surin Province") * [Ubon Ratchathani Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubon_Ratchathani_Province "Ubon Ratchathani Province") * [Udon Thani Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon_Thani_Province "Udon Thani Province") * [Yasothon Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasothon_Province "Yasothon Province") | Area[\[1\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-RFD-1) • Total: 167,718 km2 (64,756 sq mi) | | ------------------------------------------- | | Population (2019)[\[2\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-TDD-2) | | • Total: 22,017,248 | | • Density: 130/km2 (340/sq mi) | | [Demonym(s)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonym "Demonym"): [Khon Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_people) | | [Time zone](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_zone "Time zone"): [UTC+7](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC%2B7) ([ICT](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_Thailand "Time in Thailand")) | | [Language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language "Language"): [Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_language) • *others* | **Northeast Thailand** or **Isan** ([Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_language "Isan language")/[Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language "Thai language"): อีสาน, pronounced [\[ʔīː.sǎːn\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA/Thai "Help:IPA/Thai") ([![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8a/Loudspeaker.svg/11px-Loudspeaker.svg.png =11x11)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Th-Isan.ogg "About this sound")[listen](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Th-Isan.ogg "Th-Isan.ogg")); [Lao](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_language "Lao language"): ອີສານ; also written as Isaan, Isarn, Issarn, Issan, Esan, or Esarn; from [Pali](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pali "Pali") *īsānna* or [Sanskrit](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit "Sanskrit") ईशान्य *īśānya* "northeast")[\[3\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-3) consists of 20 provinces in the northeastern region of [Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand "Thailand"). Isan is Thailand's largest [region](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_Thailand "Regions of Thailand"), located on the [Khorat Plateau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Plateau "Khorat Plateau"), [bordered](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border "Border") by the [Mekong River](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mekong "Mekong") (along with [Laos–Thailand border](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos%E2%80%93Thailand_border "Laos–Thailand border")) to the north and east, by [Cambodia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia "Cambodia") to the southeast, and the [Sankamphaeng Range](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sankamphaeng_Range "Sankamphaeng Range") south of [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima "Nakhon Ratchasima"). To the west, it is separated from [northern](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Thailand "Northern Thailand") and [central Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Thailand "Central Thailand") by the [Phetchabun Mountains](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phetchabun_Mountains "Phetchabun Mountains"). Isan covers 167,718 km2 (64,756 sq mi) making it about half the size of [Germany](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany "Germany") and roughly the size of [England and Wales](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England_and_Wales "England and Wales"). The total forest area is 25,203 km2 (9,731 sq mi) or 15 percent of Isan's area.[\[1\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-RFD-1) Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been generally known as *Isan*, while in official contexts the term *phak tawan-ok-chiang-nuea* (ภาคตะวันออกเฉียงเหนือ; "northeastern region") may be used. The term "Isan" was derived from [Isanapura](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isanapura "Isanapura"), the capital of [Chenla](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenla "Chenla")\[*[citation needed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed "Wikipedia:Citation needed")*\]. The majority population of the Isan region is ethnically Lao, but distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of [Laos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos "Laos") but also from the central [Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_people "Thai people") by calling themselves *[khon Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_people "Isan people")* or *Thai Isan* in general. However, some refer to themselves as simply *Lao*, and academics have recently been referring to them as *Lao Isan*[\[4\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-PremsSuw2007-4) or as *Thai Lao*, with the main issue with self-identification as *Lao* being stigma associated with the Lao identity within Thai society.[\[5\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-JohnDr2013-5) The *Lao Isan* people are aware of their [Lao](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_people "Lao people") ethnic origin, but Isan has been incorporated as a territory into the modern Thai state through over one hundred years of administrative and bureaucratic reforms, educational policy, and government media. Despite this, since the election of [Thaksin Shinawatra](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaksin_Shinawatra "Thaksin Shinawatra") as prime minister in the [2001 Thai general election](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Thai_general_election "2001 Thai general election"), the *Lao Isan* identity has reemerged, and the *Lao Isan* are now the main ethnolinguistic group involved in the pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt movement" of the [United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Front_for_Democracy_Against_Dictatorship "United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship").[\[6\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-Keyes2013-6) Several Thai prime ministers have come from the region. ## **Contents** 1. [History](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#History) 2. [Geography](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Geography) 1. [National parks](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#National_parks) 2. [Biodiversity](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Biodiversity) 3. [Economy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Economy) 1. [Tourism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Tourism) 4. [Demographics](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Demographics) 1. [Population](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Population) 2. [Languages](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Languages) 5. [Education](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Education) 6. [Culture](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Culture) 7. [Religion](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Religion) 8. [Thaification](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Thaification) 9. [Transportation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Transportation) 1. [Communications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Communications) 2. [Rail](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Rail) 3. [Road](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Road) 4. [Air](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Air) 5. [Bus](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Bus) 6. [Waterways](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Waterways) 10. [Administrative divisions](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Administrative_divisions) 11. [Notable natives or residents](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Notable_natives_or_residents) 12. [References](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#References) 13. [Further reading](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#Further_reading) 14. [External links](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#External_links) ## History *Main article: [History of Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Isan "History of Isan")* ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/BlackCeramicBanChiangCultureThailand1200-800BCE.jpg/950px-BlackCeramicBanChiangCultureThailand1200-800BCE.jpg) Black ceramic jar, Ban Chiang culture, Thailand, 1200-800 BCE. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/1850_Perrot_Map_of_Indo-Chine_-_Geographicus_-_Indochine-perrot-1825.jpg/786px-1850_Perrot_Map_of_Indo-Chine_-_Geographicus_-_Indochine-perrot-1825.jpg) 19th-century map showing the Isan region situated between Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia Isan has a number of important [Bronze Age](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age "Bronze Age") sites, with [prehistoric art](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_art "Prehistoric art") in the form of cliff paintings, artifacts, and early evidence of [rice cultivation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_cultivation "Rice cultivation"). [Iron](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron#History "Iron") and [bronze](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze#History "Bronze") tools such as those found at [Ban Chiang](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_Chiang "Ban Chiang") may predate similar tools from [Mesopotamia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamia "Mesopotamia"). The region later came under the influence of the [Dvaravati](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvaravati "Dvaravati") culture, followed by the [Khmer Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Empire "Khmer Empire"). The latter built dozens of *prasats* (sanctuaries) throughout Isan. The most significant are [Phimai Historical Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phimai_Historical_Park "Phimai Historical Park") and [Phanom Rung Historical Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phanom_Rung_Historical_Park "Phanom Rung Historical Park"). [Preah Vihear Temple](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preah_Vihear_Temple "Preah Vihear Temple") was also considered to be in Isan until the International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that it belonged to Cambodia. After the Khmer Empire began to decline in the 13th century, Isan was dominated by the Lao kingdom of [Lan Xang](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lan_Xang "Lan Xang"), which had been established by [Fa Ngum](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa_Ngum "Fa Ngum"). Due to a scarcity of information from the periods known as the [dark ages of Cambodia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_ages_of_Cambodia "Dark ages of Cambodia"), the plateau seems to have been largely depopulated. There were few if any lines of demarcation, for prior to the 19th-century introduction of modern mapping, the region fell under what 20th-century scholars called the "[mandala system](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala_(political_model) "Mandala (political model)")". Accordingly, in 1718 the first Lao [Mueang](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mueang "Mueang") in the [Chi River](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_River "Chi River") valley — and indeed anywhere in the interior of the Khorat Plateau — was founded at [Suwannaphum District](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suwannaphum_District "Suwannaphum District") (in present-day [Roi Et Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roi_Et_Province "Roi Et Province")) by an official in the service of King [Nokasad](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokasad "Nokasad") of the [Kingdom of Champasak](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Champasak "Kingdom of Champasak").[\[7\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-Brow1976-7) The region was increasingly settled by both Lao and Thai emigrants. Thailand held sway from the 17th century and carried out forced [population transfers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_transfer "Population transfer") from the more populous left (east) bank of the Mekong to the right bank in the 18th and 19th centuries. This became more severe following the [Lao rebellion (1826–1828)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_rebellion_(1826%E2%80%931828) "Lao rebellion (1826–1828)") for complete independence of 1826–9. In the wake of the [Franco-Siamese War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Siamese_War "Franco-Siamese War") of 1893, the resulting treaty with France and the [Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Siamese_Treaty_of_1909 "Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909") made the plateau a [border](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border "Border") region between Thailand and the Laos of [French Indochina](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Indochina "French Indochina"). ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/OldFrenchIndoChina_1870.jpg/800px-OldFrenchIndoChina_1870.jpg) Isan is under the French zone of influence. In the mid-20th century, the state-supported assimilation policy called [Thaification](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaification "Thaification") promoted the ethnic integration of Isan into the modern conception of Thai nationality and de-emphasized the use of ethnic markers, for ethnic Laos and Khmers, as it was deemed uncivilized and to prevent ethnic discrimination among the Thai people. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/52/Phanom_Rung_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg/1280px-Phanom_Rung_Wikimedia_Commons.jpg) Phanom Rung in [Buriram](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buriram "Buriram"). The national government claimed that the name "Isan" was derived from Sanskrit *[Īśāna](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishana "Ishana")*, a name of [Shiva](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva "Shiva") they claimed referred to his rule of the northeast (Sanskrit *īśānya*). This interpretation was intended to reinforce Isan's identity as the northeast of Thailand, rather than as part of the Lao kingdom which was recently created by the French colonial discourse, as "race was then an important ideological tool for French colonialists in the attempt to seize the 'Laotian' and 'Cambodian' portions of Siam."[\[8\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-8) Before the central government introduced the [Thai alphabet](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_alphabet "Thai alphabet") and language in regional schools, the people of Isan wrote in the [Tai Noi script](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Noi_script "Tai Noi script"), a very similar script to the one that the Thai adopted. Most people speak Isan, a variety of Lao, as their first language. A significant minority in the south also speaks [Northern Khmer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Khmer_dialect "Northern Khmer dialect"). The Kuy people, an [Austroasiatic people](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austroasiatic_languages "Austroasiatic languages") concentrated around the core of what was once called "Chenla" and known as the *Khmer Boran* "ancient Khmer", are a link to the region's pre-Tai history. ## Geography *Main article: [Khorat Plateau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Plateau "Khorat Plateau")* ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Isansatellite.jpg/800px-Isansatellite.jpg) Satellite image of Isan: the borders with [Laos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos "Laos") and [Cambodia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia "Cambodia") can be seen due to the greater deforestation within Isan. Isan is roughly coterminous with the [Khorat Plateau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Plateau "Khorat Plateau"), which tilts gently from its northwestern corner where it is about 213 m (700 feet) above sea level to the southeast where the elevation is only about 62 meters (200 feet). Except for a few hills in the northeastern corner, the region is primarily gently undulating land, most of it varying in elevation from 90–180 m (300–600 feet), tilting from the [Phetchabun Mountains](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phetchabun_Mountains "Phetchabun Mountains") in the west down toward the [Mekong River](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mekong_River "Mekong River").[\[9\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-Keyes-1967-9): 1  The plateau consists of two [plains](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain "Plain"): the southern Khorat plain is drained by the [Mun](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mun_River "Mun River") and [Chi](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_River "Chi River") rivers, while the northern Sakon Nakhon plain is drained by the [Loei](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loei_River "Loei River") and [Songkhram](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkhram_River "Songkhram River") rivers. The two plains are separated by the [Phu Phan Mountains](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Phan_Mountains "Phu Phan Mountains"). The [soil](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil "Soil") is mostly [sandy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand "Sand"), with substantial [salt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt "Salt") deposits. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Isaanmountains.svg/1024px-Isaanmountains.svg.png) Cities, mountains, and rivers of Isan The Mekong forms most of the border between Thailand and [Laos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos "Laos") to the north and east of Isan, while the south of the region borders [Cambodia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia "Cambodia"). The Mekong's main Thai [tributary](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tributary "Tributary") is the Mun River, which rises in the [Khao Yai National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khao_Yai_National_Park "Khao Yai National Park") near [Nakhon Ratchasima Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima_Province "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") and runs east, joining the Mekong in [Ubon Ratchathani Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubon_Ratchathani_Province "Ubon Ratchathani Province"). The other main river in Isan is the Chi River, which flows through central Isan before turning south to meet the Mun in [Sisaket Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisaket_Province "Sisaket Province"). The smaller Loei and Songkhram rivers are also tributaries of the Mekong, the former flowing north through [Loei Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loei_Province "Loei Province") and the latter flowing east through [Udon Thani](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon_Thani_Province "Udon Thani Province"), [Sakon Nakhon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakon_Nakhon_Province "Sakon Nakhon Province"), [Nakhon Phanom](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Phanom_Province "Nakhon Phanom Province"), and [Nong Khai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nong_Khai_Province "Nong Khai Province") Provinces. The average [temperature](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature "Temperature") range is from 30.2 °C (86.4 °F) to 19.6 °C (67.3 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 43.9 °C (111.0 °F) in Udon Thani and the lowest was −1.4 °C (29.5 °F) at Sakhon Nakhon Agro Station.\[*[citation needed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed "Wikipedia:Citation needed")*\] Rainfall is unpredictable but is concentrated in the [rainy season](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainy_season "Rainy season") from May to October. Average annual [precipitation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precipitation_(meteorology) "Precipitation (meteorology)") varies from 2,000 mm (79 in) in some areas to 1,270 mm (50 in) in the southwestern provinces of [Nakhon Ratchasima](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima_Province "Nakhon Ratchasima Province"), [Buriram](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buriram_Province "Buriram Province"), [Maha Sarakham](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Sarakham_Province "Maha Sarakham Province"), [Khon Kaen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen_Province "Khon Kaen Province"), and [Chaiyaphum](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaiyaphum_Province "Chaiyaphum Province"). The rainy season begins with occasional short but heavy showers, eventually raining heavily for longer periods almost every day, usually in the late afternoon or at night, until it ends abruptly at the onset of the cool season. The cool season runs from October to February and the hot season from February to May with the peak of high temperatures in April. ### **National parks** *Main article: [List of national parks of Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks_of_Thailand "List of national parks of Thailand")* There are around twenty-six [national parks](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_protected_areas_of_Thailand#National_parks_in_Isan_and_adjacent_areas "List of protected areas of Thailand"). Province Khon Kaen has four national parks of which, [Phu Pha Man National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Pha_Man_National_Park "Phu Pha Man National Park") with Klang Khao cave notable is for its large daily exodus of bats at dusk, making a formation about 10 kilometers (6 mi) long. [Siam tulip](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siam_tulip "Siam tulip") fields are in [Sai Thong National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_Thong_National_Park "Sai Thong National Park") and [Pa Hin Ngam National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa_Hin_Ngam_National_Park "Pa Hin Ngam National Park"), both in Chaiyaphum Province. [Phu Phan National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Phan_National_Park "Phu Phan National Park") in Sakon Nakhon Province includes the eight-meter (26 ft) long Tang Pee Parn natural stone bridge. Among the best-known national parks of Thailand are [Khao Yai National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khao_Yai_National_Park "Khao Yai National Park") in Nakhon Ratchasima Province and [Phu Kradueng National Park](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Kradueng_National_Park "Phu Kradueng National Park") in Loei Province. ### **Biodiversity** The region boasts high biodiversity and many endemic species, with several national parks. Both wildlife and plant species are exploited illegally. Valuable hardwood tree species, in particular [Siamese Rosewood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbergia_cochinchinensis "Dalbergia cochinchinensis"), are being extracted for sale in especially the Chinese furniture market. These trees are so valuable that poachers, coming across the border from Cambodia, are heavily armed, and both rangers and poachers have been killed over them. In the national parks such as [Ta Phraya](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta_Phraya_National_Park "Ta Phraya National Park"), rangers are since 2015 trained in military-style counter-poaching measures by the elite ranger squad Hasadin [\[10\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-10) ## Economy *Main article: [Economy of Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Isan "Economy of Isan")* Isan is home to one-third of Thailand's population of 67 million but contributes only ten percent to the national [GDP](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GDP "GDP").[\[11\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-NAR-20161102-11) In terms of regional value-added per capita, Isan is Thailand's poorest region. Bangkok is the richest, followed by [central Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Thailand "Central Thailand"), [southern Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Thailand "Southern Thailand"), then [northern Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Thailand "Northern Thailand"). This ordering has been unchanged for decades.[\[12\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-WB-20161107-12): 57  Thailand's highly centralized fiscal system reinforces the status quo. An example of this Bangkok-centric policy is the allocation of budgets: Bangkok accounts for about 17 percent of the population and 25.8 percent of GDP, but benefits from about 72.2 percent of total expenditures. Isan accounts for about 34 percent of the population and 11.5 percent of GDP but receives only 5.8 percent of expenditures.[\[12\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-WB-20161107-12): 58 [Agriculture](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture "Agriculture") is the largest sector of the economy, generating around 22 percent of the [gross regional product](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_regional_product "Gross regional product") (compared to 8.5 percent for Thailand as a whole). Sticky rice, the staple food of the region, is the main agricultural crop (accounting for about 60 percent of cultivated land). It thrives in poorly drained paddy fields, where fields can be flooded from nearby streams, rivers, and ponds. Often two harvests are possible each year. Farmers are increasingly diversifying into cash crops such as [sugarcane](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane "Sugarcane") and [cassava](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava "Cassava"), which are cultivated on a vast scale, and to a lesser extent, rubber. Silk production is an important cottage industry and contributes significantly to the economy. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Phukradung.JPG/720px-Phukradung.JPG) Phu Kra Dung is a well-known tourist destination in Isan. [Nong Khai Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nong_Khai_Province "Nong Khai Province"), which stretches along the Mekong River, is noted for the production of [pineapples](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple "Pineapple"), [tobacco](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco "Tobacco") (which is dried, cured, and shredded by the families before collection by cigarette manufacturers), and [tomatoes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato "Tomato"), which are grown on an industrial scale, particularly in [Si Chiang Mai District](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Si_Chiang_Mai_District "Si Chiang Mai District"). Despite its dominance in the economy, agriculture in the region is problematic. The climate is prone to [drought](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought "Drought"), while the flat terrain of the [plateau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plateau "Plateau") is often [flooded](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood "Flood") in the rainy season. The tendency to flood renders a large proportion of the land unsuitable for [cultivation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillage "Tillage"). In addition, the soil is highly [acidic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid "Acid"), [saline](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt "Salt"), and infertile from overuse. Since the 1970s, agriculture has been declining in importance as a [trade](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade "Trade") and [the service sector](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_sector_of_the_economy "Tertiary sector of the economy") has been increasing. Very few farmers still use [water buffalos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_buffalo "Water buffalo") rather than [tractors](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractor "Tractor"). Nowadays, water buffalos are mainly kept by almost all rural families as status symbols. The main piece of agricultural equipment in use today is the "rot tai na" ([Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language "Thai language"): รถไถนา, lit. "vehicle plow field") colloquially referred to as "kwai lek" ([Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language "Thai language"): ควายเหล็ก, or "iron/steel buffalo"), or more generally by its manufacturer's name of "Kubota", a mini-tractor composed of a small diesel engine mounted on two wheels with long wooden or metal handlebars for steering. It is usually attached to a trailer or a plow. Buffalo is now mainly used for grazing on the stubble in the rice paddy, which they, in turn, fertilize with their manure. The main animals raised for food are cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks, and fish. Most of Thailand's rural poor live in Isan.[\[11\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-NAR-20161102-11) The region's poverty is reflected in its infrastructure: eight of the ten provinces in Thailand with the fewest physicians per capita are in Isan. [Sisaket Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisaket_Province "Sisaket Province") has the fewest, with one physician per 14,661 persons in 2001, with the national average being 3,289. It also has eight of the ten provinces with the fewest hospital beds per head. [Chaiyaphum Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaiyaphum_Province "Chaiyaphum Province") has the fewest, with one per 1,131 in 2001 (the national average was 453). Nevertheless, as in the rest of Thailand, all districts (*[Amphoe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphoe "Amphoe")*) have a hospital, and all sub-districts (*[tambon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tambon "Tambon")*) have clinics providing primary health care. The introduction of the "[30 baht](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30-baht_scheme "30-baht scheme")" health card has dramatically changed the numbers of those attending hospitals for treatment, as it has meant that full health care is available to all who register for only 30 baht per visit. The few who can afford it travel to the modern private hospitals and clinics in the large cities for non-urgent specialist consultations and care. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Khonkaen_Central_Plaza.png) Central Plaza, [Khon Kaen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen "Khon Kaen") The region lags in new technology: there was only one Internet connection per 75 households in 2002 (national average: one per 22 households) \[update needed\], but by 2006 every district town (Amphoe) had at least one publicly accessible Internet connection, either in a local computer shop or in the district office. Extension of [landline](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landline "Landline") telephones to remote areas not previously served has been largely superseded by the use of [mobile phones](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone "Mobile phone"), primarily of [GSM](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM "GSM") format, which now covers the entire region with the exception of a few sparsely populated mountainous areas and large national parks. Many people, even the poorest and frequently also children, have cellular telephones, although they have no fixed-line telephone. In this sense, Isan has led advanced nations where land-line service is now being superseded by cellular technology. The region also has the lowest literacy rate when compared with other regions in Thailand. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Finished_building_-_Khon_Kaen_%286031884085%29.jpg)P ullman [Khon Kaen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen "Khon Kaen") Raja Orchid By the beginning of 2008, most Amphoe had been provided with [ADSL](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADSL "ADSL") by the [TOT](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOT_Public_Company_Limited "TOT Public Company Limited"), leaving the majority of the rural population dependent on dial-up connections for those few who have land-line telephones. This results in slow service that does not adequately meet modern data-hungry needs. Most rural people rely on smartphones for data services. Internet shops with high-speed connections have for many years provided service to those who cannot afford or do not have access to high-speed Internet. They are heavily patronized by primary and secondary school children who come not only to use the Internet but also to play online games, use [VOIP](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VOIP "VOIP"), or just to use the computer and printers. Resident Western expatriates and foreign tourists are also frequent customers. For those outside the district towns who require serious use of the Internet in their homes, the mobile phone or an iPstar broadband satellite connection is the only alternative, although more expensive than a DSL connection. It is far less reliable and suffers considerable downtime due to overloading, heavy cloud cover, and rain. Despite, in theory, being "always-on", it often lacks adequate stability for streaming and clarity of VOIP.\[*[citation needed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed "Wikipedia:Citation needed")*\] Many Isan people seek higher-paying work outside the region, particularly in [Bangkok](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok "Bangkok"). Some of these people have settled permanently in the city, while some migrate to and fro. Others have emigrated in search of better wages. Rather than relocate as a family, they usually leave their babies and school-age children in the care of relatives, friends, or neighbors.\[*[citation needed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed "Wikipedia:Citation needed")*\] Average wages in Isan were the lowest in the country in 2002 at 3,928 baht per month (the national average was 6,445 baht). A [Khon Kaen University](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen_University "Khon Kaen University") study (2014) found that marriages with foreigners by Thai northeastern women boosted the gross domestic product of the northeast by 8.67 billion baht (2014: €211 million or US$270 million). According to the study, after a northeastern woman married a foreigner, she will send 9,600 baht a month on average to her family to help with its expenses. The activity also created 747,094 jobs, the study found.[\[13\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-13) The 2010 census found that 90 percent of the slightly more than 27,000 foreigners living in the northeastern region were married to women from there.[\[14\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-14) ### **Tourism** According to the governor of [Nakhon Phanom Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Phanom_Province "Nakhon Phanom Province"), "The entire Northeast \[Isan\] gained only 2.9 percent of \[the\] country's tourism income of 2.7 trillion baht \[in 2017\]."[\[15\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-15) ## Demographics *See also: [Isan people](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_people "Isan people")* ### **Population** ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Phi_Ta_Khon_mask_festival.JPG/720px-Phi_Ta_Khon_mask_festival.JPG) Phi Ta Khon mask festival in [Loei](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loei "Loei") Isan's total population as of 2010 was 21,305,000. Forty percent of the population is concentrated in the provinces of Khorat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen, known as the "big four of Isan". These provinces surround the four major cities of the same name. As of 2010, their populations were: [Khorat](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima_Province "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") 142,169; [Udon Thani](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon_Thani "Udon Thani") 137,979; [Khon Kaen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen "Khon Kaen") 113,828; and [Ubon Ratchathani](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubon_Ratchathani "Ubon Ratchathani") 83,148. However, as of 2010, only 50 percent of the region's population lived in municipal areas. Kalasin was the most urbanized province (with almost 100 percent in municipal areas), and Roi Et was the least (2.8 percent). Thus, the population is still largely rural but concentrated around the urban centers. There is a substantial [Khmer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_people "Khmer people") minority, concentrated in the southern provinces of [Buriram](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buriram_Province "Buriram Province"), [Surin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surin_Province "Surin Province"), and [Sisaket](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisaket_Province "Sisaket Province"), and some [Vietnamese](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_people "Vietnamese people") refugees in [Mukdahan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukdahan "Mukdahan") and [Nakhon Phanom](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Phanom "Nakhon Phanom"). The [Khmer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_people "Khmer people")-speaking minority and the [Kuy people](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuy_people "Kuy people") ("Soui"), who lives in the south of Isan, speak [Austroasiatic languages](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austroasiatic_languages "Austroasiatic languages") and follow customs more similar to those of [Cambodia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia "Cambodia") than to those of the Thai and Lao, who are [Tai peoples](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_peoples "Tai peoples").[\[16\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-16) **Ethnic groups of Northeast Thailand by language family**[\[17\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-CERD/C/THA/1-3-17) | Language family | Ethnic group | Persons | | --------------- | ------------ | ------- | | Tai | [Lao Isan / Thai Lao](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_people "Isan people") | 13,000,000 | | Tai | [Central Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_people "Thai people") | 800,000 | | Tai | [Thai Khorat / Tai Beung / Tai Deung](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Thai "Khorat Thai") | 600,000 | | Tai | Thai-Loei | 500,000 | | Tai | Phu Thai | 500,000 | | Tai | [Nyaw](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyaw_people "Nyaw people") | 500,000 | | Tai | [Kaleung](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaleun_people "Kaleun people") | 200,000 | | Tai | [Yoy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoy_people "Yoy people") | | | Tai | [Phuan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phuan_people "Phuan people") | | | Tai | [Tai-Dam (Song)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_Song "Lao Song") | (not specified) | | **Tai** | **Total** | **16,103,000** | | Austroasiatic | [Thailand Khmer / Northern Khmer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Khmer_people "Northern Khmer people") | 1,400,000 | | Austroasiatic | [Kuy / Kuay](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuy_people "Kuy people") | 400,000 | | Austroasiatic | So | 70,000 | | Austroasiatic | [Bru](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bru_people "Bru people") | | | Austroasiatic | [Vietnamese](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_people "Vietnamese people") | 20,000 | | Austroasiatic | Nyeu | 10,000 | | Austroasiatic | [Nyah Kur / Chao Bon / Khon Dong](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyah_Kur_people "Nyah Kur people") | 7,000 | | Austroasiatic | Aheu people | 1,500 | | Austroasiatic | [Mon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon_people "Mon people") | 1,000 | | **Austroasiatic** | **Total** | **1,909,000** | | Cannot identify ethnicity and amount | | 3,288,000 | | **Total** | **Total** | **21,300,000** | ### **Languages** *Main articles: [Isan language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_language "Isan language"), [Northern Khmer dialect](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Khmer_dialect "Northern Khmer dialect"), [Thai language § Dialects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language#Dialects "Thai language"), [Phu Thai language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Thai_language "Phu Thai language"), and [Kuy language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuy_language "Kuy language")* The main language is [Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_language "Isan language"), the name by which the Lao language is referred to in Thailand due to political reasons, though most people in the Isan region still refer to the language as [Lao](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_language "Lao language") among themselves, and in non-official settings, the dialect from [Khon Kaen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen_Province "Khon Kaen Province") is [de facto standard](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_facto_standard "De facto standard").[\[18\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-18) The number of speakers of [Isan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan_language "Isan language") has been estimated at between 15–23 million, the majority of those living in Isan. Currently written with the [Thai alphabet](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_alphabet "Thai alphabet") (instead of the historically used [Tai Noi script](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Noi_script "Tai Noi script")), Isan belongs to the Chiang Saeng and Lao–Phutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the [Tai languages](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_languages "Tai languages") of the [Kra–Dai language family](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kra%E2%80%93Dai_languages "Kra–Dai languages"). [Central Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language "Thai language") ([Khorat Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Thai "Khorat Thai")) is also spoken by almost everyone and is the language used in education but is natively spoken by one-fourth of the population of [Nakhon Ratchasima Province](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhon_Ratchasima_Province "Nakhon Ratchasima Province") only. The [Khorat dialect](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorat_Thai "Khorat Thai"), spoken by around 10,000 people,[\[19\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-19) occupies a linguistic position somewhere between Lao and standard Thai and is an archaic Central Thai dialect with heavy Khmer and some Lao influence The 'tribal' Tai languages, referred to as 'tribal' due to their origins in mountainous areas of Laos or their adherence to animism, most of which such as Phuthai, Yo, Kaloeng, Phuan, and Tai Dam languages are closely related to Isan and all but the latter are generally mutually intelligible. Even in areas with a heavy linguistic minority presence, native Isan speakers of Lao descent comprised anywhere from sixty to seventy-four percent of the population, although minority language speakers are also bi- or trilingual in Isan, Thai, or both.[\[20\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-20)[\[21\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-21)[\[22\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-Toad-22) Isan is home to many speakers of [Austroasiatic languages](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austroasiatic_languages "Austroasiatic languages"), with one and one-half million speakers of the [Northern Khmer dialect](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Khmer_dialect "Northern Khmer dialect") and one-half million speakers of the [Kuy language](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuy_language "Kuy language"), both of which are found in the southernmost provinces of Isan. [Khmer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_language "Khmer language") is widely spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: [Buriram](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buriram_Province "Buriram Province"), [Surin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surin_Province "Surin Province"), and [Sisaket](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisaket_Province "Sisaket Province"). There are several small ethnic groups speaking various other Austroasiatic languages, but most are fairly small and restricted to a few villages, or such as [Vietnamese](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_language "Vietnamese language"), spoken by small groups in cities. Other languages spoken in Isan, mainly by tribal minorities, are as follows: **Minority languages are spoken in Isan[\[23\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-CERD-23)** | Language family | Language | Speakers | Distribution | | --------------- | -------- | -------- | ------------ | | Austroasiatic | [Khmer, Northern](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Khmer_dialect "Northern Khmer dialect") | 1,400,000 | Buriram, Sisaket, Surin, Roi Et, Nakhon Ratchasima | | [Kuy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuy_language "Kuy language") | 400,000 | Surin, Sisaket, Buriram | | | [Vietnamese](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_language "Vietnamese language") | 20,000 | Spoken by small groups in most major cities | | | [Bru, Western](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bru_language "Bru language") | 20,000 | Mukdahan | | | [Nyah Kur/Mon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyah_Kur_language "Nyah Kur language") | 8,000 | Nakhon Ratchasima, Chayaphum | | | [Bru, Eastern](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bru_language "Bru language") | 5,000 | Sakhon Nakhon, Amnat Charoen | | | [Aheu](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aheu_language "Aheu language") | 740 | Sakhon Nakhon | | | [Mlabri](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mlabri_language "Mlabri language") | 300 | Loei | | | Kra-Dai | [Khorat Central Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language#Dialects "Thai language") | 500,000 | Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Chaiyaphum | | [Phuthai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phuthai "Phuthai") | 500,000 | Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Kalasin and Sakon Nakhon | | | [Tai Yo (Tai Gno)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Yo_language "Tai Yo language") | 500,000 | Sakhon Nakhon, Nongkhai, Nakhon Phanom, Maha Sarakham | | | [Krungthep Central Thai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language#Dialects "Thai language") | 100,000 | First-language speakers in cities, mostly [Chinese](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Chinese "Thai Chinese"), are understood throughout Isan and are common second or third language. | | | [Tai Yoy (Tai Gnoi)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoy_language "Yoy language") | 50,000 | Sakhon Nakhon | | | [Saek (Sèk)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saek_language "Saek language") | \~7,000 | Nakhon Phanom | | | Sino-Tibetan | [Chinese, Minnan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Min "Southern Min") | Unknown, dying | Mostly Teochew, also Hokkien and Hailam, are spoken by the oldest members of the Sino-Isan community. | | Hmong-Mien | [Hmong/Mong](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hmong_language "Hmong language") | Unknown | Loei | ## Education ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%9B%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%93_4.jpg/810px-%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%9B%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%8A%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%93_4.jpg) Sakhon Nakhon Rajabhat University Education is well-provided for by the government in terms of a number of establishments and is supplemented in the larger cities by the private sector (mostly Catholic and international schools). Following the national pattern of [education in Thailand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Thailand "Education in Thailand"), there are primary (elementary) schools in all larger villages and (*[tambon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tambon "Tambon")*) capitals, with secondary (high) schools to grade 12 (approximately age 18) in the district (*[Amphoe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphoe "Amphoe")*) towns. ![](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Ubulibrary.jpg) Library, Ubon Ratchathani University Many other secondary schools provide education only to grade 9, while some combined schools provide education from grade 1 through grade 9. Rural schools are generally less well equipped than the schools in the large towns and cities and the standard of instruction, particularly for the English language, is much lower. Many children of poorer families leave school after grade 6 (age 12) to work on the farms. A number move to areas of dense or tourist populations to work in the service industry. Many primary schools operate their own websites[\[24\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-24) and almost all schoolchildren in Isan, at least from junior high school age,[\[25\]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan#cite_note-25) are now (2008) largely computer literate in basic programs. In 2001, there were 43 government vocational and polytechnic colleges throughout the region, several specialized training colleges in the private sector, and large colleges of agriculture and nursing in Udon Thani Province. Universities are found in the major cities of Khon Kaen (one of the country's largest), Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, and the smaller provincial capital of [Maha Sarakham](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Sarakham "Maha Sarakham"). Some Bangkok-based universities have small campuses in Isan, and [Khon Kaen University](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khon_Kaen_University "Khon Kaen University") maintains a large installation on the outskirts of [Nong Khai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nong


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