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Isan, Thailand

Ban Non Wat is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited places in Thailand, with evidence of settlements here dating back 4,000 years.

Isan culture is more similar to the culture of Laos than Thailand; most Isan people speak Lao.

The traditional music and festival of mor lam is performed every week at villages across Isan, drawing crowds of thousands.

Isan is the largest region in Thailand and covers a third of the country’s land area – an area the size of England and Wales.

The Khorat Plateau covers most of Isan, and is crossed by two of Thailand's great rivers, the Chi and Mun.

Isan is the location of many excavation sites, where archaeologists have uncovered thousands of Bronze Age artefacts.

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© 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)