Far less visited by than elsewhere in Thailand, the provinces spreading eastward from Sukhothai all the way to the Cambodian border have considerably less in the way of tourist infrastructure, but nevertheless have some interesting locations for the curious traveller seeking the less obvious experiences of Thailand’s landscape and culture.


South-west of the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, and its local airport, is Khao Yai National Park, Thailand's second largest reserve, with Bears, Deer, Boars, Elephants, tigers, leopards and several Monkey species roaming the mix of Bamboo, Palm, deciduous and evergreen forest.

One of the Park's most famous features is Haew Suwat Waterfall, which featured in the iconic jumping scene in the film 'The Beach'. The Park is also a very fine place to enjoy Thailand's lovely birds.

North of the city, the splendid eleventh century Khmer ruins at Prasat Hin Phimai are considered by historians to be a precursor for the more famous Angkor Wat.

For the architecturally interested, especially for those who have not yet been to its ancient capital in Cambodia, further examples of early Khmer architecture can be found at Prasat Hin Phanmwan and, further east, close to the town of Surin, Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung Historical Park.

North of Surin, several villages around the city of Roi-Et are host to the living heritage of Isaan music and dance, its unique sounds played on interesting traditional instruments, by the local Lao speaking inhabitants.

The area surrounding the town of Udon Thani, close to Laotian Capital of Vientiane, are the villages of Ban Na Kha and Ban Thon, renowned for their hand woven textiles. The area also has two mountainous National Parks, Phu Rua and Phu Kradung.

Phu Phrabat Historical Park and its strange rock formations hide some fine prehistoric cave paintings. Nearby, The blue roofs of Wat Pa Phukon are an attractive sight, and house a white marble reclining Buddha.

The Friendship Bridge, straddling the Mekong River close to Nong Khai, is also often visited from the other side by visitors to Laos, and is an established overland border crossing point.