E-San (also spelt Isan, Isaan, Isarn, Issan, or Esarn) comes from the word ‘Ishan’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘in northeast direction’, and is the northeastern region of Thailand. E-San’s 20 provinces are bordered by the Mekong River and Laos to the north and east, and by Cambodia to the south. Separated from Central Thailand by the Petchabun Mountain ... More>Range, its main economic activity is agriculture but the socio-economic and the particularly hot and dry climatic conditions make it the poorest region in the country. E-san’s culture is essentially Laos, be it in language, cuisine, clothing, architecture, arts and festivals, with the ‘Thaification’ of the region incapable of erasing centuries of tradition. Muay Thai (Thai boxing) and cock fighting are two extremely popular activities but the region is also rich in natural beauty, historical and archaeological wonders, plus the fun-loving, hospitable nature of E-San's people is unrivalled. Some notable attractions in E-san are the temple inside the mountain at Chiang Khan, the beautiful Khmer temples in the Phanom Rung Historical Park and in the Phimai Historical Park, the temple made of beer bottles in Si Saket, and the natural splendors of Khao Yao National Park, to name just a few.