The Northeastern region, or Korat Plateau, is an arid region characterized by a rolling surface and undulating hills. Harsh climatic conditions often result in this region being subjected to floods and droughts.

Known also as "Isan" the Northeast is a huge region with over 20 million inhabitants, most of them are engaged in agriculture. Because of its inaccessibility in the past, the Northeast was able to develop its own version of the Thai culture. This is characterized by exotic festivals, folk dances, spicy food, as well as local accents and dialects influenced by neighboring Laos and Cambodia. Isan people owe their roots to the Laotians, though evidence of Vietnamese and Khmer influences abound. Khmer temples dating back to the 12th century can still be found here. Recent excavations also suggest that the Northeast was home to a flourishing Bronze Age civilization, some 5,000 years ago. As a whole, the Northeast is a colorful and culturally rich part of the country.