Northeast region of Thailand as known as Isan covers an area of 170,226
sq km or one third of the country. The region sits on Korat plateau which
distinctly raises from the Central region. The plateau tilts from Phetchabun
mountain range in the west of the region down towards Mekong River.
It has high mountain range of around 500 – 1,000 metres above sea level
in the west and the south and are the watersheds of 5 rivers. The San Kamphaeng
mountain range and Phanom Dong Rak mountain range border Thailand with Cambodia
and Laos. The highest peak is Phu Luang at 1,571 metres and Phu Kradueng
at 1,325 metres. Both are popular tourist destinations.
The north and the east of the region border Laos divided by Mekong River from Loei
to Ubon Ratchathani. The south of the region borders Cambodia.
The region has 641 km Mun River originated in Nakhon Ratchasima running through
Burirum, Surin, Roi Et and Si Sa Ket. It joins Chi River and Mekong River
in Ubon Ratchathani. Chi River originating in Chaiyaphum flows through Kkon
Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et, Yasothon and joins Mun River in Ubon
Ratchathani. The river is 765 km long. Songkram River originates in Sakon
Nakhon and runs through Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Nong Khai and moves down
to Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom. The river is 420 km long.
Isan region is divided into 20 provinces as following:
- Amnat Charoen
- Bueng Kan
- Khon Kaen
- Maha Sarakham
- Nakhon Phanom
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nong Bua Lamphu
- Nong Khai
- Sakhon Nakhon
- Si Sa Ket
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Udon Thani