Provincial Map of Thailand
The orange section is the Northeast, more commonly know as “Isaan” (sometimes spelt Isan or Esarn). This region is often referred to as “the real Thailand”, due to the fact that the people are extremely hospitable and the region houses the backbone of the rice production industry. Archaeologically, the bones of the first people to grace the land spread now known as Thailand were found here over 4,000 years ago. The region is huge, taking up nearly half of Thailand’s land mass. People to the north speak a mixture of Loatian and Thai, and in the South a mixture of Khmer and Thai. Home to Great temples, great food, epic scenery and a cross section of culture, no part of the region will fail to disappoint.
The yellow is the South of Thailand, which, in many parts, like the northeast, has its own dialect not always understood by Thais in other areas of the country. Here you will find many a traveller heading to the fantastic beaches on one of the many islands such as Phuket, Samui, Koh Pang Ngan, Krabi, etc. Don’t spend all your time sipping coconuts on Maya Bay though, you don’t want to miss the treats to be had in and around Surrathani mainland. Ranong is charming, as is Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang.
In the pink section is the delightful North of Thailand, which is deep set in history of kingship , war and cross territory trade. The north is home to a diverse mix of blood, including Burmese, Yunnan, Thai, Laotian and multiple tribal peoples. Visit Chiang Mai for a great balance between city and rural life, and as a great alternative to Bangkok. See Chiang Rai for peace and tranquility, and Pai to witness hill-tribe peoples, Thais and foreigners living side by side in the serene landscape. Auyutthya is incredible for historical culture, as is Sukothai. Make sure you also visit the hidden gem that is Nan.
Central Thailand is highlighted in green, and here you will find the city of Bangkok and the old city of Chonburi. The perfect escape from the city is a 2-hour drive to the devine Kanchanaburi. For a coastline and relaxing escape head in the opposite direction to Trat and Rayong. Of course the more central you get the busier the streets and the more hustle and bustle. Bangkok isn’t for the feint hearted, but a city that must be seen for it’s ridiculous infrastructure planning and contradictory madness…that somehow works like a dream.