Isan (Isan/Thai: อีสาน [ʔiːsǎːn]; an aa written as Isaan, Isarn, Issan, or Esarn; Sanskrit: ईशान्य īśānya "northeast") is the northeast region o Thailand. It is locatit on the Khorat Plateau, bordered bi the Mekong River (alang the border wi Laos) tae the north an east, bi Cambodie tae the sootheast an the Prachinburi mountains sooth o Nakhon Ratchasima. Tae the wast it is separatit frae Northren an Central Thailand bi the Phetchabun muntain range.
Frae the beginnin o the 20t century this region in northeastren Thailand wis offeecially named as Isan, a term adoptit frae Sanskrit Ishan that means “north east direction.” The term "Isan" wis oreeginally derived frae Isanapura, caipital o the Chenla kinrick. The Lao-speakin fowk frae this region, who comprise a majority o the population, distinguish themselves no anerlie frae the Lao o Laos but in addition an aa the central Thai bi cawin themsels later as Khon Isan, or Thai Isan. The Khmer an Kuy (Suai) who live in the soothren pairt o the northeast region o Thailand communicatit in leids an follae customs that are mair similar tae Cambodie than tae the tradition o either the Thai fowk or the Lao fowk.
Agriculture is the main economic activity, but due tae the socio-economic conditions an hot, dry climate, ootput lags ahint that o ither pairts o the kintra. Isan is Thailand's poorest region.
The main leid o the region is Isan, which is a dialect o the Lao leid. As a dialect o Lao, but written in the Thai alphabet, Isan is amang the Chiang Seng an Lao-Phutai leids, which are members o the Tai leids o the Kradai leid family. Thai is an aa spaken, wi regional accents, bi amaist awbody. Khmer (the leid o Cambodie) is widely spoken in regions near the Cambodian border (Buriram, Surin, an Sisaket). Maist o the population is o Lao oreegin, but the region's incorporation intae the modern Thai state haes been lairgely successful.
Prominent aspects o the cultur o Isan include the indigenous form o fowk muisic, cawed mor lam (Thai: หมอลำ), Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย) boxin, cock fechtin, an celebratory processions (Thai: กระบวน). Isan food, in which sticky rice (Thai: ข้าวเหนียว, khao niao) an chiles are prominent, is sufficiently distinct frae Thai cuisine that it is considered unique. Sticky rice is a staple o Thai Northeastren cuisine, an it accompanies meals frequently.