The pace of life in the North-Eastern region of Thailand, known as "E-San", is generally more relaxed than in other areas, and the people often appear more friendly. E-san food is famous for its variety of ingredients and pungency. Particular favorites are Som-Tum (a spicy papaya salad) and Larb Kai (ground chicken in spicy and sour dressing salad).
The gateway to whole area is through Nakorn Ratchasima, often refered to as Korat. There is a distinct Laos and Khmer influence in the region which is reflected in the local dialect, and the Angkor Wat like monuments near Surin and Buri Rum. That Phanom on the Laos border has a particularly good example of this style of architecture. There are archeological sites a little north of Korat, that show the earliest settlers of the region where here some 4000 years ago.
North of Udon Thani is Ban Phu which offers prehistoric cave drawings. To the east lies Ban Chiang with its ancient ceramic and bronze sculptures. The best silk in Thailand comes from the areas around Roi Et and Nakhorn Ratchasima (Korat). This is certainly the place to visit for bargains or an insight into silk weaving techniques. Nong Kai, North of the region is the only place where visitors can cross the "Maekhong" River to Vientiane in Laos.
Eat like Thai E-San
"Rice" is the basic aliment in Thailand. People eat rice with most dishes.There are different types of rice. The steamed rice is called "KHAO SUAY" (ข้าวสวย). One of the most famous is sticky rice "KHAO NIEW" (ข้าวเหนียว) from "E-SAN" area (North-East Thailand). Thai people eat sticky rice with hands by making small balls. Some famous E-San dishes include the spicy papaya salad (SOM-TUM - ส้มตำ), the grilled chicken (KAI YANG - ไก่ย่าง), the sticky rice (KHAO NIEW - ข้าวเหนียว), the beef salad (NEUA NAM TOK - เนื้อน้ำ่ตก).
All the dishes are served together in the meal; soup, salad, or entrée. So they can share all the food on the table with their members. In most cases, Thai people don't eat dessert. Dessert (fruits, cakes) are eaten when going out for a walk. One thing, we need to learn about Thai eating maner is all food in the plate should be eaten. This means you respect to people who cook those food for you, so you've better eat it all to show your appreciation. Thai people don't like to waste food, especially rice.Thai food is famous for its small chili pepper (PHRIK KHE NU - พริกขี้หนู). The chili pepper are prepared by cutting in small pieces to get it ready for cooking. Some people said they could get rid of the "spicy" taste by drinking water. That is false.Our suggestion is to eat rice.
Have you ever heard about "Street Restaurant" in Thailand? This is very popular, they are opened 24/7 with varieties of food. Many street restaurants can be found in markets or community areas. Many foreigners are afraid to try food from street restaurant because they are too worried about health environment that may caused sickness and diarrhea. For example, the price for a bowl of noodles soup is around 20-25 Baht (75 cents). When eating on the street restaurant, it is possible to see the cook choosing the ingredients and making the food. Originally Thai meal, Thai people sit on the floor on gigantic bamboo mat which is fit whole family. This friendly custom is still remaining on countryside, especially for family gatherings. In Thai restaurants, people use a fork and a spoon. The fork is used to push the food into the spoon. Chopsticks are used to eat noodles.