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Isaan Website Reveals Undiscovered Thailand

SAKON NAKHON, ThailandApril, 18 2024

As approaches its 3rd year anniversary, the tourism website for Northeast Thailand (aka Isaan) has announced continued growth — attracting over 1000 online visitors a day from over 50 countries.

“When we launched in 2021, people were skeptical that a website promoting Sakon Nakhon and Northeast Thailand would be successful,” says Uraiwan Thappila. “Isaan doesn’t attract many tourists. Many provinces get only a few hundred foreign visitors a year. That’s why it’s Thailand’s most undiscovered region, and why nobody here has ever has launched an English language tourism website.” has, however, defied the skeptics. It’s quickly become one of Thailand’s most popular websites for exploring undiscovered Thailand, Thai culture, and the lifestyle of Isaan villagers, including tribal populations like the Thai Yoi, Phu Thai, and Thai Kaloeng.

Time Magazine has rated Isaan one of the 50 greatest places in the world, as well as a “culinary capital” of Thailand. The food in Sakon Nakhon is certainly one of the regional highlights — as the province produces the finest beef in all of Thailand, and its restaurant House Number 1712 is a hidden culinary jewel worthy of a Michelin star.

To attract more visitors to Northeast Thailand, promotes the region as a spiritual and cultural travel destination. The website has profiled over 200 Buddhist temples in Sakon Nakhon and neighboring provinces. These Thai temples are described not only as Buddhist grounds for worship but as sacred art galleries, featuring artwork such as bas-relief murals, Isaan folk paintings, bronze and stone sculptures, and more.

Sakon Nakhon province is a strong base for exploring the culture and spirituality of Thailand’s Northeast — as it is home to the Phu Phan Mountains, which played a key role in the development of the Forest Tradition of Thai Buddhism. Many famous Isaan monks wandered the forests of Sakon Nakhon and meditated in its mountain caves. To this day, the province and its temples are recognized as important sites for spiritual pilgrimages.

Sakon Nakhon is also considered to be the birthplace of Indigo dyed fashion, with its tribal populations being especially skilled at making handwoven garments dyed in Indigo and featuring traditional Isaan design motifs. Local fashion designer Mann Craft (a fluent English speaker) has been extremely influential in promoting Isaan textile traditions throughout Thailand and abroad. attracts thousands of visitors a week to its “Off the Beaten Path” blog, which helps foreigners learn about Thai culture and language. The frequently updated blog is written by Ajarn David, a lecturer at Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, who has been living in Thailand for over 20 years and co-written two books on learning the Thai language.

The blog clears up aspects of Thai culture that often confuse visitors and expats. For example, the subtle nuances of “losing face” and being “greng jai”. It also provides unique takes on related subjects, such as how the Thai language shapes the Thai personality, and how harmony is a Thai virtue whose influence is felt everywhere in Thailand.

Although is approaching its 3rd year anniversary, Khun Uraiwan says that the website is just in its infancy. “There is so much of Sakon Nakhon left to explore, so much more of Isaan to talk about. This website really is a lifetime project. We love promoting Sakon Nakhon and Northeast Thailand to the world.”