Thursday, December 31, 2009

Isaan (อีสาน)

Isaan (อีสาน; also Isan), Thailand's north-east region, is an often overlooked part of the country.

Isaan is completely landlocked and resides on the Korat plateau, situated well above the central basin, the Chao Praya plains and Bangkok. In the North, East and South-East Isaan's border is marked by the Mekong River.

Isaan is a multicultural area where Laos, Cambodia and Thailand meet. Isaan has a rich history and culture. A mainly agricultural region, Isaan is the poorest part of Thailand.

The population of Isaan is around 22 million people.

Isaan consists of 19 Provinces

  1. Amnat Charoen
  2. Buriram
  3. Chaiyaphum
  4. Kalasin
  5. Khon Kaen
  6. Loei
  7. Maha Sarakham
  8. Mukdahan
  9. Nakhon Phanom
  10. Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)
  11. Nong Bua Lamphu
  12. Nong Khai
  13. Roi Et
  14. Sakon Nakhon
  15. Si Saket
  16. Surin
  17. Ubon Ratchathani
  18. Udon Thani
  19. Yasothon
Mayor Cities

  • Buriram
  • Khon Kaen
  • Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)
  • Nong Khai - gateway to Vientiane, Laos
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Surin
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Yasothon
  • Mahasarakham

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hmong New Year Festival

The Hmong New Year is a Hmong tradition which takes place annually in areas where large Hmong communities exist. In Laos provinces such as Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Vientiane and Oudom Xay the festival is held at several different places.

During the New Year's celebration, Hmong people dress in traditional clothing and enjoy traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment.

The Hmong New Year occurs usually during November and/or December (at the end of the harvest season), serving as a thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

Historically, the celebration was held to give thanks to ancestors and spirits as well as to welcome in a new beginning. The New Year celebration lasts for ten days.