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Overview

Get a taste of Thailand’s famous- and fiery- Isaan cuisine. Spend four days in the north-eastern province exploring historic sites and sampling mouth-watering regional dishes. Dine at top tables, join a local family for a hands-on cooking class and sip delicious wine at Thailand’s first vineyard.

Trip Highlights

Isaan Food Trails

Sample the best Isaan cuisine

Visit local markets and stalls to taste the best Isaan delights including spicy sausage, green papaya salad and grilled chicken.

Stay with an Isaan family

Get a closer look at Isaan culture and cuisine with a night in a family house, cooking and eating together. 

See Isaan’s historic sites

Between meals, visit Prasat Hin Phimai, an Angkorian-era temple and the UNESCO-certified Baan Chiang excavation site.

Itinerary

1

Bangkok - Korat - Khao Yai

Bangkok city – Prasat Hin Phimai, Korat (322 km): 4.01 hr Prasat Hin Phimai – Korat town (61.2 km): 53 min Korat town – Kirimaya Golf Resort & Spa (112 km): 1.37 hr

Depart from Bangkok and drive through picturesque mountains to Korat, the gateway to Thailand’s northeast plateau. Largely agricultural, Korat is the largest province in northeast Thailand and its inhabitants have their own unique culture, architecture and cuisine.

The first stop on the journey is at Prasat Hin Phimai, the largest sandstone Khmer temple complex in Thailand, which dates back to the Angkorian period when the Khmer Empire stretched across much of Southeast Asia, including Thailand. The sanctuary has been magnificently restored and preserved as a National Historical Park.

Then proceed to Korat Town for lunch and try the famous local version of pad Thai “pad mee Korat”, papaya salad and barbecued chicken.

Depart to Khao Yai in the afternoon. The area surrounding Khao Yai National Park offers the ideal climate for grapevine cultivation, and wine from Khao Yai is steadily gaining a global reputation.

Explore one of the area’s vineyards in a wonderful tropical hillside setting, overlooking the Khao Yai Mountains, and enjoy a wine tasting session with a local expert to learn how the vintners there are able to cultivate Old World grapes in the tropical climate of Thailand.

In the evening, enjoy dinner at Lookkai Restaurant, a local fine-dining restaurant in Khao Yai.

Overnight in Khao Yai.

2

Khao Yai - Chaiyaphum - Khon Kaen

Kirimaya Golf Resort & Spa – Ban Khwao District Chaiyaphum (198 km): 2.59 hr Ban Khwao District – Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum (158 km): 2.48 hr Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum – Khon Kaen (80.6 km): 1.34 hr

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Ban Khwao in Chaiyaphum, which is famous for the quality of its silk and cotton weaving. Unique to the town is the art of “mud mee silk”, which has been practised in the area for generations.

Stop at a local home to see how traditional Isaan (northeast Thai) sausages are made. See the production process and understand how these sausages have become popular across Thailand.  

Continue to Phu Wiang, where Thailand’s first dinosaur fossil was found. Visit the Dinosaur Museum, a geological learning resource that contains a wide range of fossils and educational exhibits. Lunch is served at a local restaurant before continuing to Khon Kaen in the afternoon.

Khon Kaen is the commercial, administrative and educational center of the Upper Isaan Region, and is often used by travelers as a base for visiting other parts of the northeast and Indochina.

Walk through the local market to see a variety of Isaan foods on offer, and to experience the local way of life. A vast array of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices and authentic local foods are available.

In the evening, enjoy a Vietnamese-Isaan dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Khon Kaen.

3

Khon Kaen - Udon Thani - Nong Khai

Khon Kaen – Khao Suan Kwang District (58.6 km): 1.11 hr Khao Suan Kwang District – Ban Chiang Udon Thani (106 km): 2.13 hr Ban Chiang Archaeological Site – Wang Nam Mok (162 km): 2.31 hr

Depart early to visit the local morning market, and sample some special local delights such as grilled sticky rice cakes and grilled pork.

Then take a walk through Khon Kaen Town, visiting Phra That Kham Kaen at Wat Chetiyaphum, where the city of Khon Kaen is believed to have been founded in ancient times. Visit Nong Wang Temple and climb the nine flights of stairs in the temple's pagoda to enjoy panoramic views of the city and Kaen Nakorn Lake.

Depart to Khao Suan Kwang for lunch and enjoy Isaan’s famous roast-chicken and papaya salad.

Then continue to Baan Chiang Village, an archaeological site located in Udon Thani Province. Baan Chiang was discovered in 1957 by Stephen Young, a Harvard sociology graduate, but a major excavation of the site only commenced in the 1970s.

This excavation found evidence of prehistoric settlements dating back between 1,800 and 5,600 years. Baan Chiang is best-known for the beautiful pottery the ancient villagers made, but many other artefacts have also been discovered including, metals, charcoal, animal bones and human skeletons. UNESCO registered Baan Chiang as a World Heritage site in 1992.

Depart to Wang Nam Mok Homestay, an award-winning village that preserves its natural environment and creates employment for local people. Upon arrival, receive a warm, traditional welcome from the villagers. After checking in, have a chance to walk around the village, which is situated amongst rice paddies, and interact with local children playing or swimming after school. Enjoy chatting or taking part in their activities or helping the hosts prepare dinner.

Tonight, the villagers perform the traditional Baci Ceremony, blessing visitors with good luck, health and a safe journey. Then enjoy a local dinner together with the locals.

Overnight at the Wang Nam Mok Homestay.

4

Nong Khai - Departure

Wang Nam Mok – Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge Nong Khai (64.7 km): 1.07 hr Wang Nam Mok – Udon Thani Airport (116 km): 1.46 hr

Early morning, join the hosts in a Buddhist alms-giving ceremony to earn merit (similar to good luck) while supplying monks with food. Then, return to the house for a local breakfast. After breakfast, head along a cultural route that includes local temples and a famous Buddha image of the village, “Phra Chao Lan Thong”, followed by a visit to the Nam Mok local village experience. Lunch at the village before saying “Goodbye” to the host family.

Continue to the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge and cross the border to Vientiane, or transfer to Udon Thani Airport for a flight back to Bangkok.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation at selected hotels.
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Tips for driver and hotel porters
  • Drinking water

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals than mentioned.
  • Other services than mentioned.
  • International flights.
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature.
  • Tips for guide, travel insurance.
  • Visa to Laos.

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