Homes in Northeastern Thailand ("Isaan")

A highly popular location for expats who live in the countryside is northeastern Thailand, also known as Isaan. The reason for locating here is often because of a Thai wife, as Isaan is the most common region of origin of Thai wives outside of Bangkok. However, it has a lot of places of merit even if you don't have a Thai wife from this area.

The people are very friendly and hospitable in Isaan. If you like community life, then Isaan is a nice region.

There are large cities with a lot of modern conveniences, such as Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, and Ubon Ratchathani. Many of the smaller cities still have a lot to offer. Isaan has developed tremendously over the time I have lived here.

Three of the abovementioned cities, except for Khon Kaen, had US Air Force bases during the Vietnam War, which helped bring in a lot of infrastructure. Khon Kaen has been a top regional education center going way back in time, and is more centrally located within Isaan. (Khon Kaen has 3 consulates, for Laos, Vietnam, and China, the only consulates except for Cambodia's in the border town of Sa Kaeo.) Udon Thani is known for having a lot of good English speakers and being a source of many workers who go overseas. These cities all have at least one big modern shopping mall with western style grocery store stocking nearly everything most expats desire, plus superstores and a lot of other conveniences.

However, most expats I know in Isaan live in smaller towns and villages spread around. There are countless Lotus and Big-C superstores spread around the region, plus of course modern convenience stores seemingly all over, and good fresh markets.

The cost of living is very low in Isaan. The weather is often significantly cooler than in Bangkok, and of course there is more of a breeze in open spaces.

There are also many beautiful areas, such as near mountain ranges which are national parks. Wife or no wife, many of these are wonderful places to retire. High speed fiber broadband internet stretches very far these days.

The culture of northeastern Thailand mostly is a blend of Thai and Lao culture, though there is also a blend of Thai and Khmer culture near the border with Cambodia. Many people in northeastern Thailand speak the Isaan dialect of Thai, which uses a lot of words from the Lao language. They are taught Thai in school and can speak Thai well, but informally often speak the Isaan/Lao dialect. The Thai and Lao languages are much more similar than the Thai and Khmer languages in words and alphabet.

The air is usually good, but some very rural areas still have poor government trash service and often burn trash, which can affect air quality very nearby and temporarily. Agricultural fires are generally outlawed but you can still occasionally see a field lit up and not prosecuted.


This website has a separate page on our Personal Home "Guide" Service.

If you have children, then you should also see the section on schools.

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 > Regions, Condos, Houses, Apts > Isaan, Northeastern Thailand



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