Khon Kaen: Complete City Travel Guide in Northeast Thailand91
BY Dr. Theodore (Professor Bear)

Khon Kaen: Complete City Travel Guide in Northeast Thailand

When you think of the most famous cities in Thailand, you always gravitate towards places such as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok), Pattaya, and even Chiang Mai. However, did you know that one of Thailand's largest and most exciting cities in Khon Kaen? 🧐 

Khon Kaen is located in the northeastern region of Thailand. It's important to remember that Khon Kaen is also a province and a city, so it's sometimes referred to in a larger sense. Khon Kaen is also a central hub for transport, commerce, and entertainment 🎓 in the Isaan region of Thailand. Although there are not so many Western tourists in the city, that is one of its most charming factors.

In short, there are many things to see, do, and explore in the city, so make sure you enjoy every moment of your visit to Khon Kaen 👓


Khon Kaen Overview

Khon Kaen is located in the northeast of Thailand in the Isaan region and has a population of approximately 200,000 to 400,000. This makes it one of Thailand’s most prominent cities 🧐 At 200 years old, Khon Kaen is one of Thailand's fastest-growing cities and areas and is generally a relatively new town. The Metropolis has strong ties with nearby countries of Laos and Vietnam and is a vast export area for Indo-China routes. The city is also home to large educational establishments such as Khon Kaen University 🎓


Khon Kaen History

Although the town is new, artifacts and the remnants of massive dinosaurs show the region has been inhabited for eons 👓 The region’s main industries are the silk trade and special tie-dye techniques. With many National Parks, entertainment areas, a wide range of eateries, and even an international airport, Khon Kaen is very intriguing for foreign visitors. 


The Bear Travel  Quick Trivia:

Khon Kaen has a total area of 46sq km and a population density of 2488 per sq km. In northern Thailand, Khon Kaen is a major route leading to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge. The Khon Kaen University is one of northern Thailand's oldest and largest universities.


Khon Kaen Attractions

As with any major city, there are many things to see and do in Khon Kaen. From entertainment and culture to nightlife and nature. Khon Kaen has everything you can imagine 💯 When you are traveling to the city and want to explore some of its more popular attractions, here is a list of recommendations 📜


Bung (Lake) Kaen Nakhon 

If you want to see the best elements of Khon Kaen, Bung Kaen Nakhon Lake and the park are just the ticket. The lake is set over a massive 603 rai and is located in the southeast of the city 🧐 Next to the lake, you will find a nice monument and a shady park area where you can relax. 


City Pillar Shrine 

If you would like to see one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the City Pillar Shrine is an exciting choice 👓 Located on Thepharak Road, the pillar was placed here by a former monk and city governor as a Buddhist rite. 


Khon Kaen National Museum  

Khon Kaen National Museum is home to a wide variety of antiques and artworks from stone-age times 🧐 The museum offers an interesting insight into the region's past. It's open daily from 9 am to 4 pm and costs just 30 THB to enter. 


Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon (The 9-Story Stupa) 

The mesmerizing 9-story stupa temple is located at Wat Waengon on Klang Mueang Road and is a royal temple of some reference. With 9 stunning floors equipped with immense Buddhist sculptures and carvings, this is one of the city's most beautiful places of worship 👓


Sim Isan (Wat Pa Saeng Arun) 

Another famous temple in the city is Sim Isan (Wat Pa Saeng Arun), located just 3km from the city hall. This is one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and dreamy temples in the region 🧐


Treasure Hall Museum  

If you want to learn and understand more about the ancient culture of the region that dates back 5,000 years, visit the Treasure Hill Museum 🎓 The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (not on bank holidays) and is a very educational experience. Then admission to the museum is only 90 THB per person, which is a super value. 


Khon Kaen Shopping Guide

Because Khon Kaen is a relatively modern city, you can find top-notch modern shopping options. The city is home to many shopping centers such as Big-C, Tesco Lotus, Central Plaza, Makro, Tukcom, Robinsons, and many more 📜 Are you looking for rustic shopping options? We recommend the night markets at Khon Kaen University and Glang Muang Road. 


Khon Kaen Dining and Nightlife

Many dining and nightlife options are available in a city the size of Khon Kaen. Are you looking for top-notch international food options? We would recommend Duan’s Restaurant, Keng Kokoon, and the Italian and pizza delights of Pomodoro Italian Restaurant 🎓


Getting Around Khon Kaen

Because the layout of Khon Kaen City is similar to a grid system, finding your way around the city is not difficult. 3 main Songthaew routes continually offer the cheapest mode of transportation in the city 🧐 The routes are as follows: 

  • Songthaew 2: Central Plaza-town 
  • Songthaew 3: Big C-Central Plaza-town 
  • Songthaew 8: KK University-town-Fairy Plaza 

Are you looking to explore Khon Kaen by tuk-tuk? The prices for trips within the city usually range between 40 and 50 THB per trip. Taxi prices are usually more than tuk-tuk prices 👓 So make sure you get a taxi with its meter on so you can get the best prices. 


Exploring the Khon Kaen by Bicycle

You can rent bicycles in the city for 40 to 50 THB daily. But because the streets are quite busy, this is not a mode of transport we recommend in the city itself. Circumnavigating the surrounding countryside on a bicycle is a great option 🧐 Khon Kaen might be one of the most isolated cities in Thailand in terms of its location in the northeast. It's a modern city that has more than meets the eye. 

Visiting Khon Kaen is an absolute must when traveling through northern Thailand to Laos or Vietnam. Are you an avid traveler who wants to escape Thailand’s major cities to find somewhere off the beaten path? If so, nothing can match Khon Kaen 👓



The Bear Travel  Vocabulary Time!

: a
n object considered a relic or artifact often has significant historical, cultural, or religious importance, primarily if it originates from ancient times. Alternatively, the term can also be applied to vintage works of art, rare furniture pieces or decorative objects crafted at least a century ago and admired for their uniqueness, aesthetic appeal, and historical value. Due to their age and historical context, such items can be highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts alike


: to sail around something or go around or avoid (an obstacle) or avoid dealing with (something difficult or unpleasant)


: something that is deemed fascinating often possesses an element of novelty, enigma, or intrigue, either because it is unusual, uncommon, or mysterious. It may capture people's attention because it is outside the norm or challenges our understanding or beliefs. A fascinating thing can spark curiosity, wonder, or admiration, and it may inspire people to investigate, explore, or learn more about it.


: very large in number or having a great variety


: relating to the countryside; rural, or made in a plain and simple fashion




Written by
Dr. Theodore (Professor Bear)

Hi! I'm Dr. Theodore Bennet (Professor Bear), your scholarly travel companion who brings history to life with immersive tours and expert guides. With a Ph.D. in History and years of travel writing experience, I offer authoritative insights for unforgettable journeys.


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