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Despite its popularity, Thailand still has a number of less developed and unspoiled areas to explore.

One such region is Isaan, a vast plateau in the northeast of the country that borders Laos and Cambodia. Here, lifestyles, customs, dialect and cuisine are distinctly different from the rest of the country.

Archaeological sites

Important archaeological sites, Angkorian temple ruins and pleasingly unsophisticated wats pepper the region amongst scenery untouched by modern progress. Colourful festivals and traditional handicrafts such as distinctive hand-woven silks are inherent to Isaan’s culture.

Whilst a number of road journeys are required to bring several attractions together, both Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani are served by scheduled flights from Bangkok.


Whilst we have sourced a few characterful accommodation options deep in Isaan territory, the absence of five-star properties only adds to the charm of this area’s refreshingly simple and unassuming way of life. The intrepid visitor is rewarded by the experience of real, undiluted Thailand.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Mat

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Isaan by contacting one of our Thailand specialists

Places to visit in Isaan

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Isaan, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travellers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring Isaan

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Isaan, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Isaan

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around Isaan

    Accommodation choices for Isaan

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Isaan. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Green Gecko, Udon Thani

      Green Gecko


      Green Gecko is situated approximately 40 minutes from Udon Thani, the gateway to northern Isaan, in a region of Thailand where very few tourists ever venture.

    • Hotel Des Artistes, Khao Yai National Park

      Hotel Des Artistes


      A wonderful new addition to the small range of boutique hotels in the Khao Yai National Park area, the Hotel Des Artists was formerly a private home until the owner was persuaded by his friends to share it with a wider audience.

    • Kirimaya, Khao Yai

      Kirimaya Golf Resort and Spa

      First Class

      A luxurious contemporary resort, well situated for exploring Khao Yai national park. A range of wildlife and trekking tours can be arranged from the hotel.