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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tour of Thailands Isan civilisation and heritage at its best during the rainy season

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising a host of tourism activities to reiterate the awareness of the country’s northeastern region or commonly referred to as ‘Isan’, as a melting pot of art and culture, religious places, and archaeological and palaeontological sites.

TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “Especially during the rainy season, Isan is at its best for tourism activities, offering pleasant weather and fresh green scenery. In Isan, visitors to Thailand will be mesmerised by rich ethnic culture, impressive history, natural wonders, as well as fascinating archaeological and geological sites. The region is also deemed as the most important learning centre of Thailand’s prehistoric era dating back to the dinosaur age.”

TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik
TAT Governor Thawatchai Arunyik
In Thailand, the distinctive evidence of dinosaur fossils has only been found in Isan. The region is also Southeast Asia’s largest dinosaur excavation and palaeontological sites. There are several museum establishments of international standards worth visiting; such as, Sirindhorn Dinosaur Museum and Excavation Site in Kalasin and Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum in Khon Kaen.

Isan is also well-known for being home to numerous places of worship for Buddhists, boasting several famous Buddhist temples and sacred sites or Phra That where Buddha relics are kept. The southern part of Isan, which covers Khon Kaen, Kalasin, Roi Et and Maha Sarakham provinces, is famous as being a retreat of several highly-revered Buddhist monks of Thailand.

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The other uniqueness of Isan is its arts and cultures. Isan is home to distinctive mat-mee silk, which is tie-dyed to produce geometric patterns on the thread, pakama or a versatile length of cloth that can be used for basically anything from being a headwear to a hammock. The region is also rich in uniquely celebrated festivals; such as, the Bun Bungfai Rocket Festival in Yasothon, Candle Festival in Ubon Ratchathani, Silk Festival in Khon Kaen, Elephant Round-up in Surin, and the Bungfai Phayanak or Naga Fireballs in Nong Khai.

Isan also boasts a host of natural wonders; such as, Phu Kradueng in Loei, Sam Pan Bok or the Grand Canyon of Thailand in Ubon Ratchathani, Red Lotus Lake in Udon Thani and many national parks, including Khao Yai which is Thailand’s third largest national park.

The TAT Governor said, “To make the region better known among local and international tourists, TAT organised several tourism activities during the month of September 2014 to promote Isan. We hope that these activities will attract more tourists to this fascinating region.”

On 15-17 September, TAT hosted a familiarisation trip for more than 60 tour operators and media members to explore many tourism offers in Khon Kaen, Roi Et and Kalasin. The trip included a buyer-meets-seller table top sales session in Khon Kaen and Roi Et.


TAT also joined hands with Kasikornbank and Thai AirAsia in offering a special tour programme during 19-21 September. The tour highlighted cultural routes, dinosaur excavation sites, and several places of worship where the sacred Buddha relics are kept.
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