Thailand’s northeastern region of Isan was recently named as one of the top 17 places to visit in the world during 2017. The huge and culturally diverse region of Thailand featured on a list of world destinations put together by CNN’s travel experts.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Isan has a long history with some of Southeast Asia’s oldest settlements found here. In modern times, the region is famous for its fiery salads, country music, stunning scenery and elaborate temples. There is so much to be enjoyed here and most of it unseen by tourists, so we encourage people to explore and discover their own amazing Isan stories.”
The CNN list was put together by CNN’s travel experts and international reporters who named their favourite destinations around the world for a travel feature on the news organisation’s influential website. Other destinations on the CNN list included Penang in Malaysia, Columbia, Bordeaux in France, Bhutan, Albania, and Senegal.
Isan was cited as “a piece of Thailand that’s still largely unexplored by the international market”. CNN also noted Isan’s “excellent infrastructure” including domestic airports and hotels.
CNN also wrote about Isan’s most famous food exports, sticky rice and papaya salad as dishes that are among Thailand’s best – provided diners can handle the spice.
The ancient history of the region was also seen as an attraction and CNN’s readers were encouraged to visit the ancient Khmer ruins outside Buriram, and see the Bronze Age artifacts in the UNESCO-listed Ban Chiang Archaeological Site. The mountains and hills of Loei were also cited as worth seeing.
Mr. Yuthasak added, “Isan offers infinite variety in terms of destinations, dishes and timeless culture. But best of all is that amazing sense of sanuk, or Thai fun which makes the region so memorable. Put Isan on your must-see list for 2017 and come to Thailand for the many unique local Thai experiences.”