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Traveling in Northeastern Thailand (Isaan) – Trip NE
November 25 to December 13, 2014 (in Thailand)

led by Kasma Loha-unchit

I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful tour of northeast Thailand that you gave me. I loved every minute of our trip and was deeply touched by the people and culture to which you have introduced me. – Ann

This is a 19-day trip to Northeastern Thailand (Isan).

If you are interested in traveling with Kasma to the NE in the future contact Kasma.

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Market vendors Buddha image Stone carving

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Kasma's trip to northeastern Thailand (Isan or Isaan) is truly an opportunity to get off-the-beaten path and see this unique and colorful region.

Market vendorsThe Northeast, or Isaan, is Thailand's largest region and is often called the country's heartland. The landscape is quite different from the lush mountainous North, much of it lying on rocky plateaus. The relatively low rainfall and the lean soil on the plateaus combine to make Isaan the poorest region in the country, and the least touristed, but it is here that traditions have remained pretty much intact and much less influenced by modernization.

Gong factory in Ubon

Tuning a gong in Ubon

Although there are a few large cities, a majority of the population still live in small traditional villages in a largely agrarian society. During break times from farming, the women in many of these villages weave some of the most beautiful silk and cotton textiles for use in special ceremonies centered around their beliefs and traditional celebrations. A diversity of ehtnic peoples, each with their distinctive styles of weaving, make Isaan a mecca for textile lovers. There's no doubt Thailand's silk road runs through here and the textile trade has become an important supplementary source of income for these villagers. We will encounter lovely ikat and double-ikat fabrics. You can learn about some of the places in Isaan where these fabrics come from on our blog at A Treasure of Northeastern Thailand: Weaving Villages.

If you go on this trip you must be prepared to purchase fabrics. We will often be visiting small villages and visiting weavers in their homes and it is very awkward if no one purchases anything after taking advantage of their privacy.

Stone carvingOn the rocky plateaus, archaeologists have discovered remnants of ancient civilizations dating as far back as 5000 years (including the world's first bronze culture) and fossilized remains of prehistoric animals, including many kinds of dinosaurs, mammoths and sable-tooth tigers. Bizarre, weathered rock formations and prehistoric rock paintings abound in several locations now preserved as national historical parks. Also found scattered all over the Northeast are an impressive collection of Angkor-era (10th to 13th century) Khmer ruins, built of stone with intricately carved lintels of deities and celestial beings.

Weaving silk

Woman weaving in Surin

Also in the Northeast is Thailand's first national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most important wildlife refuges in Southeast Asia –  the country's last remaining habitat for endangered Asian elephants. The region also boasts one of Southeast Asia's most sacred pilgrimage sites for Buddhists, with relics of the Buddha enshrined in a gold-topped Laos-style chedi. In addition to the foregoing highlights, the specially designed Northeast trip will take you to several Maekong River border towns with their ethnic diversity and scenic views of neighboring Laos. (See our article on Buddha Images in Northeastern Thailand.)

One caveat about this trip: there is not as much variety in food as you will find in other regions of Thailand. We will eat Thai food exclusively but with less variety, be prepared to eat barbecued chicken and green papaya salad on numerous occasions. If your primary reason for traveling with Kasma is the food, consider her trip to central and northern Thailand – Trip B.

Buddha imageIn short, if you love beautiful hand-woven textiles and have an interest in historic and prehistoric sites this trip will offer you a wonderful off-the-beaten-path vacation.

Be sure to check out all the links for Trip NE below!

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Explore Further

We suggest that you explore all of the links under Trip Information below. Read each of the Individual Trip Pages to see which you might be interested and then check out the itinerary, contract, blogs (if available) and photos for each trip. If you'd like to sign up, ask question, have us address concerns or would like to talk with a prior trip member, follow this Contact Kasma link and get in touch.

Note: All links open in a new window so that you can simply close that window to return to this page of links.

Khorat market vendor Trip Information:   Overall Description  |   Details   Trip Brochure (PDF) |
Trip Information    FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)   |   Testimonials

Individual Trip Pages:   Trip Summaries   |   Trip B   |   Trip So   |   Trip NE   |   Trip NF

Trip Itineraries:   Trip B   |   Trip So   |   Trip NE   |   Trip NF

Trip Contracts (PDFs):   Trip B   |   Trip So   |   Trip NE

Blogs on Trips:   Trip B, Part 1 & Trip B, Part 2   ||   NE - Weaving Villages

Trip Photos

Buddha imageNote: All links open in a new window so that you can simply close that window to return to this page of links.

Onsite Photos:

Single Trips:   Trip B & Trip B 09   |    Trip So & Underwater &   | Snorkel Krabi    |   Trip NE & NE Fabrics

Applies to all trips: Food Sampling   |   Thai Markets

Kasma's Google+ Photos: Offsite. Scroll to find relevant albums or use these links.

Google+ - Trip B: 2017 B-1 | 2017 B-2 | 2017 B-3  ||   2015 B-1 | 2015 B-2 | 2015 Videos
Google+ - Trip B: 2013 B-1 | 2013 B-2 ||   2012 B-1 | 2012 B-2 | 2012 B-3   || 2011 B-1 | 2011 B-2   

Google+ - Trip So: 2016 So-1 | 2016 So-2   ||   2015 So-1 | 2015 So-2  |  2015 So-3  |  2015 Videos ||
Google+ - Trip So: 2013 So-1 | 2013 So-2   ||   2012 So-1 | 2012 So-2 | 2012 So-3 ||
Google+ - Trip So: 2010 So-1 | 2010 So-2 | 2010 So-3   ||   2008 C

Snorkel Trip So:   Snorkel 2010-11   | Snorkel 2009   | Snorkel 2007

Google+ - Trip NE: 2011 NE-1 | 2011 NE-2 | 2011 NE-3   ||   2009 NE-1 | 2009 NE-2

Google+- Trip NF: 2018 NF-1  | 2018 NF-2  | 2018 NF-3  | Northern Frontiers


Signing Up For a Scheduled Trip

Please make sure that you have read the Trip details and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); then Contact Kasma.

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