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An update from Evaneos
Khon Kaen

Khon Kaen (Thailand)

Practical information about Khon Kaen

  • Encounters with locals
  • Countryside
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Off the beaten track
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
1 hour from Bangkok by plane
When to go
Between November and March
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Khon Kaen

Romain Beuvart Travel writer
89 travel articles

Khon Kaen is a big town in the heart of the Thai countryside in a region to the east which is called Isan.

My suggestion:
It you like spicy dishes then the local cuisine is for you!

If you want to go somewhere you can find welcoming locals, with their costumes and traditions,  Khon Kaen is the perfect place.  Tourists often neglect the north-east of Thailand and you get the impression that this is the case with Khon Kaen. Nonetheless, it's an interesting place to visit.

For someone like me who likes taking photos, walking around Khon Kaen market, where nearly everyone is smiling, is a real pleasure The people are friendly and curious. It's nice, and it makes a change from certain areas of Thailand, the popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket or Chiang Mai tending to be a bit too "commercial". As this is a country town I managed to find a farm that breeds insects, and even tried a local dish made from crickets - you might like it!

Don't leave without visiting the pyramid shaped temple, Wat Nong Wang and, just behind it, Bueng Kaen Nakhon lake, where you may see Thais doing their evening excercises. Would you dare to join them? 

Khon Kaen market
Travel writer
18 travel articles

Khon Kaen is on a cross roads and is a practical stopover if you want to break up your train or bus journey. Apart from its museum and lake, there's not much to see here.

My suggestion:
Go for a walk around Kaen Nakhon Lake as far as the Chinese temples and sit under a shady tree to enjoy a chilled bottle of Shinga.

If you're stopping over at Khon Kaen, make sure you visit the national museum. You'll find a comprehensive exhibition on Isan culture and traditions, ceramics, Ban Chiang bronzes and Buddhist statues. If you have the time, you can join local Thai families along the banks of Nakhon Lake and follow their suit by tucking into some grilled chicken. Yummy.

The town itself is nothing special and although the market is lively, it won't keep you entertained for long. If, like me, you find yourself here during the Silk Festival (end of November/beginning of December) then you're guaranteed to have fun; it's a vibrant, colourful experience! You'll no doubt visit a few of the craft shops and stores selling regional produce. The products here are generally of very good quality. Hiking fans, including those who are not extreme sports fans, will love the Nam Nao park at 140km to the west and there's also the archaeological site at Ban Chiang. It's a 2hr bus ride and is a classified UNESCO World Heritage Site...but one which did disappoint me a bit.      

Isan silk