If Chiang Mai is the heart of Thailand then Isaan (Isan) is the soul. While you won’t find many foreigners (farangs) here, it is not for a lack of things to do and see. Get off the tourist track and delve into the real Thailand. Not a bad idea to brush up on a few Thai phrases as well as English isn’t quite as prevalent. I spent four months living in the region in a small town outside of Korat. You’ll find an endless curiosity and some wicked karaoke parties as you meet locals and learn all about what true Thai culture is.
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Spicy and flavorful is the name of the game with Isaan food, which is distinctly different from other types of Thai cuisine. The region focuses a lot on chilis and sticky rice and has a strong Laotian influence.