Khon Kaen (5-8 Mar 14)


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March 7th 2014
Published: March 7th 2014
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City Pillar ShrineCity Pillar ShrineCity Pillar Shrine

And the world's largest joss stick.
The day finally arrived again, when I packed up my stuff after a two-month long stay at my Bangkok apartment, and headed for the provinces once more. This time, I decided to head northeast towards the region known as Isaan, and what many might consider the true heartland of the Thai country, populated by the rural working class and rice farmers. And so some 6h later on the comfortable Nakhonchai Air bus, I was in Khon Kaen.

If you scroll way back to some later 2012 blog entries during my first stint here in Thailand, you'll see that in fact this wasn't my first time in Isaan per se. Some 1.5 years ago, I'd headed westwards from the capital towards Korat and subsequently Ubon, en route to the border crossing with Southern Laos. This time though, I'm headed in a more north-easternly direction, to a city that I'd heard much about, and always wanted to check out myself.

And just exactly what did I hear about humble Khon Kaen? Well, that it could be considered the modern heart of the entire Isaan region. And that really isn't inaccurate, given the central role Khon Kaen University seems to play in
Khon Kaen National MuseumKhon Kaen National MuseumKhon Kaen National Museum

Dinosaurs galore in a province noted for its pre-historic fossils.
the city. The sprawling campus dominates the landscape just outside the city, which could otherwise be mistaken for any other typical Thai province. While not quite the most exciting of cities, Khon Kaen has offered me encouraging signs of the warm and non-threatening, laid-back manner of the locals, which I'm hoping is characteristic of this region I'll be travelling through for the next week more or so.

Stayed at Roma Hotel.


Additional photos below
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Hot Plate Eggs Breakfast SetHot Plate Eggs Breakfast Set
Hot Plate Eggs Breakfast Set

An absolute steal at THB60 (USD2).
Grilled ChickenGrilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken

You're not really in Isaan until you see store after store in the streets selling this favourite provincial snack.
Airplane SchoolAirplane School
Airplane School

Yes that's what the sign says. And it was a primary school too. I'm sure this is related to the region's history of hosting US airbases.
The Whistle Group?The Whistle Group?
The Whistle Group?

Deep in the heart of the Redland (Isaan is the stronghold for supporters of the incumbent Redshirt government), a bored few set up camp to listen to Khun Suthep of the Whistle Group movement. Why do I get the feeling I'm no longer in Bangkok.


13th March 2014

Great pictures!
I just discovered your blog and subscribed. If you get more time, I'd love to hear more about your experiences in Khon Kaen. You're pictures make it look like a great place to visit.
13th March 2014

Thanks Matthew. I can't say I'm particularly familiar with Khon Kaen, since I was essentially just passing through, on my way to the border with Laos, and therefore only spent three days there. But in general I found it to be a relaxed place, rather low-key, and to some extent centred around the sprawling university. Lots of mosquitoes though, especially during the night, so bring repellent!
21st August 2014

Khon Kaen a sub-urb of Bangkok in the Isaan
Been living here for 3 years now and KK is really becoming a kind of Bangkok with a lot of cars, traffic jams, condo's and shopping malls.
21st August 2014

KK didn't seem that bad to me actually, but I guess that's cos I spend too much time in BKK, and nothing compares to that! In Isaan, Udon Thani is also quite bustling these days. But if there's any complaint I have about the region, it's the horde of slow-flying mosquitoes everywhere! (at least they're slow!)

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