Thailand’s northeastern region of Isan was recently named as one of the top 17 places to visit in the world during 2017. The huge and culturally diverse region of Thailand featured on a list of world destinations put together by CNN’s travel experts.
Sam Pan Boak in Ubon Ratchathani is known as the Grand Canyon of Thailand and has the biggest rock reef in the Mae Khong River
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Isan has a long history with some of Southeast Asia’s oldest settlements found here. In modern times, the region is famous for its fiery salads, country music, stunning scenery and elaborate temples. There is so much to be enjoyed here and most of it unseen by tourists, so we encourage people to explore and discover their own amazing Isan stories.”
The flowers of the Red Lotus Sea in Kum Pavapi district of Udon Thani are usually in full bloom from New Year till around February. Tourists can hire a boat to see the red lotus up close and enjoy the natural scenery of the fresh water lake and waters, which are home to a variety of fish, birds, wildlife and aquatic plants
The CNN list was put together by CNN’s travel experts and international reporters who named their favourite destinations around the world for a travel feature on the news organisation’s influential website. Other destinations on the CNN list included Penang in Malaysia, Columbia, Bordeaux in France, Bhutan, Albania, and Senegal.
Isan was cited as “a piece of Thailand that’s still largely unexplored by the international market”. CNN also noted Isan’s “excellent infrastructure” including domestic airports and hotels.
CNN also wrote about Isan’s most famous food exports, sticky rice and papaya salad as dishes that are among Thailand’s best – provided diners can handle the spice.
Some of the many signature Isan dishes
The ancient history of the region was also seen as an attraction and CNN’s readers were encouraged to visit the ancient Khmer ruins outside Buriram, and see the Bronze Age artifacts in the UNESCO-listed Ban Chiang Archaeological Site. The mountains and hills of Loei were also cited as worth seeing.
Prasat Hin Phanom Rung in Buriram is one of Thailand’s most amazing Khmer architecture site, aged over a thousand years old. Built on an extinct volcano, it was originally a Hindu religious site and later became a Buddhist one
Mr. Yuthasak added, “Isan offers infinite variety in terms of destinations, dishes and timeless culture. But best of all is that amazing sense of sanuk, or Thai fun which makes the region so memorable. Put Isan on your must-see list for 2017 and come to Thailand for the many unique local Thai experiences.”
Phi Ta Khon, also known as Ghost Festival in Dan Sai district, Loei is one of the most vibrant, and distinctly unique festival in Thailand’s Northeastern Region
About Tourism Authority of Thailand
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was established on 18 March 1960. TAT was the first organisation in Thailand to be specifically responsible for the promotion of tourism. TAT supplies information and data on tourist areas to the public, and publicises Thailand with the intention of encouraging both Thai and international tourists to travel in and around Thailand. TAT has established many overseas offices, the first being in New York, which opened in 1965. During the past 30 years, TAT has established 27 more offices in different parts of the world. In early 2016, TAT has opened its newest office in Prague, in the Czech Republic.
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