Isan (Isan/Thai: อีสาน ; also written as Isaan, Isarn, Issan, or Esarn;) is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River (along the border with Laos) to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima. To the west it is separated from Northern and Central Thailand by the Phetchabun mountain range.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been officially known as Isan, a term adopted from Sanskrit Ishan, meaning in a “north east direction.” The term "Isan" was derived from Isanapura, the capital of the Chenla kingdom. The Lao-speaking population of the region, who comprise the majority, distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of Laos but also from the central Thai by calling themselves Khon Isan or Thai Isan. The Khmer-speaking minority and Kuy (Suai), who live in the south of Isan, speak dialects and follow customs more similar to those of Cambodia than either the Thai people or the Lao people.

Agriculture is the main economic activity. Production lags behind the rest of the country due to the socio-economic conditions and the exceptionally hot, dry climate. Isan remains Thailand's poorest region.

The main language is Isan, which is a dialect of the Lao language. Currently written with the Thai alphabet (instead of the slightly different Lao alphabet), Isan belongs to the Chiang Seng and Lao–Phutai language groups, which along with Thai are members of the Tai languages of the Tai–Kadai language family. Thai is also spoken by almost everyone. Khmer, the language of Cambodia, is widely spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket. The people are aware of their Lao ethnic origin, but Isan has been incorporated into the modern Thai state. Several Thai prime ministers have come from the region.

Prominent aspects of Isan culture of include mor lam (Thai: หมอลำ), an indigenous type of folk music, Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย) boxing, cock fighting, and celebratory processions (Thai: กระบวน). Isan food, in which sticky rice (Thai: ข้าวเหนียว, khao niao) and chiles are prominent, is distinct from Central Thai cuisine. Sticky rice is a staple of Thai Northeastern cuisine, and it accompanies most meals.

Read more about Isan:  History, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Education, Culture, Religion, Thaification, Administration, Notable Natives or Residents

Other articles related to "isan":

Lao Wieng - Culture
... The Lao Wieng are a sub-group of the general Isan (ethnic Lao of northeastern Thailand) distinguished from other Isan people by the location of their ancestors ... Most have assumed either Thai or Isan identity, but some maintain their distinctiveness ... Like their neighbours, they share Theravada Buddhism, Isan language, and rice farming, with only slight differences in traditional clothing and dialect ...
Son Of The Northeast
... Son of the Northeast (Thai ลูกอีสาน, or Look Isan, also Child of the Northeast) is a 1982 historical drama film set in 1930s Isan, or northeastern ... the story follows a tight-knit group of Isan subsistence farmers as they struggle against drought and other depredations ...
Laotian People - Language - Lao in Thailand
... into the North-East of Thailand, known as Isan, but the Lao spoken in Thailand as a whole can be differentiated by adoption of much Thai vocabulary and code-switching ... the language is written in the Thai alphabet, if at all, and the name changed to Isan to sever the political connection with Laos ... and is the primary language of 88% of Isan households ...
Mor Lam - History
... Morlam had its birth in the Lao heartlands of Laos and Isan, where it remains a popular art form ... which helped to produce the various genres of lam in Isan animism, Buddhism, story telling, ritual courtship and male-female competitive folksongs these are exemplified by ... Forced population transfers from Laos into the newly acquired region of Isan and what is now Central Thailand accelerated the rapid adoption of morlam ...