Discover one of Thailand’s least visited and most evocative regions
Hidden away near Laos and Cambodia, in the far northeast of the country, Isaan sees far fewer travellers than most other regions in Thailand. In Isaan you can escape the crowds and experience a side of the country less seen by outsiders.
One of the best ways to start your Isaan adventure is to fly to Bangkok and take a circular route to the region from there. The gateway to the region, and first stop of your Isaan tour, is Ubon Ratchathani. From there you can travel west to the silk-weaving village of Surin before continuing on to Phnom Rung and Phimai. These beautiful Angkorian temples offer a more authentic, less crowded experience than Angkor Wat. Built between the 10th and 13th centuries, they’re some of the most impressive Khmer structures still in existence. Phnom Rung stands on the summit of an inactive volcano with views to Cambodia on a clear day. Phimai evokes echoes of a once mighty civilisation as you wander through its atmospheric ruins. At certain times of the year, you are likely to be the only visitors to these religious monuments, something that makes the experience even more poignant and memorable.
Although you won’t find five-star hotels here, we think this makes the region even more appealing. We’ve sourced some characterful boutique properties more befitting to their surroundings that offer both charm and comfort.