Isaan in Northeast Thailand
There are many spellings for Isaan including Issan, Isan, Isam, and Esam. This sort of thing happens when you take a Thai word and attempt to phonetically spell it in English.
Isaan is located in the Northeastern part of Thailand boarding Laos and Cambodia. This comes from the prominent Lao heritage that these Thai people have. They most speak the language also called Iasan which refers to a variety of Lao dialect. In fact, many of the people think of themselves as being more Lao than Thai.
As you drive the highways and streets of Isaan, you will notice that most of the industry is agriculture, mostly rice which represents about 60% of their harvest. Some other prominent crops include sugar cane, rubber, pineapple, tomatoes, and silk.
Rice is their main food along with a variety of meats including water buffalo, cattle, pigs, chickens, fish, frogs, snake, and ducks. Isaan is the poorest part of Thailand, the people there average about half the income as the rest of the country. Many of the people leave to work in Bangkok, or another country in order to save up enough money to have a house, or buy a truck. New technology is not a priority among these people. However, they do mostly use a walk-behind tractor to cultivate their fields in place of the much slower water buffalo.
Location: Northeast Thailand
Area: 160,000 Sq Km
Here are some great resources to learn more about Isaan.
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