Khon Kaen is the educational, administrative and commercial centre of the northeast and is used by many as a base for visiting the rest of the Isan region. It is also the centre of the silk industry. Animals play an important part of the local culture. Many villages train cobras and tortoises and put on shows for visiting tourists. Another regional claim to fame are the many waterfalls and abundant tropical flora and forna. The economic improvement in the area has led to a glut of malls and condos springing up but this has not affected the areas authentic Isan feel. Although the city is more likely to be on 'a best places to live' list than on a travelers itinerary, there are still enough attractions to make it worth a visit.
Khon Kaen, like many larger cities in the northeast of Thailand, offers a range of accommodation from budget backpacker guesthouses to 5 star hotels. There is no need to book ahead as room availability far exceeds demand. However those travelling around the more remote parts of the region may find getting a room may present a challenge.
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