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Khon Kaen is the second  largest of the north - eastern provinces

( Changwat ) of Thailand. Khon Kaen is 445 kilometres from Bangkok and has an area of about 10,886 square kilometres. Neighbouring provinces are ( from north clockwise Nongbua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Phetchabun and Loei ) Archeological study of pre-historic society and culture in the Northeast suggests that communities who depended on rice farming, animal raising and pottery making for their subsistence, lived and travelled in this province 2,500 to 5,000 years ago. The discovery of bronze and rice tools in Khon Kaen and other parts of the northeast, is important evidence to support the theory that communities were well established here before contact with outside civilizations such as the Chinese and Indian. The discovery of dinosaur remains in 1983 at Amphur Phu Wiang was another exciting development that confirms this provinces's importance in the archeological study of Issan’s ancient heritage.


At the beginning of the Buddhist Era, there were agricultural settlements scattered throughout the region. Evidence of many of their communities remains today e.g., at Ban None Chai, at the moat in Ban Sithan - both villages are in Amphur Muang. The social beliefs and organisation of these communities came under many influences throughout the following centuries, particularly Indian Buddhist and Brahminist civilizations and that of the Chen - La State and Lan Chang Kingdoms.

Buddhism and Dhavaravadi culture spread to Issan from the 5th Century A.D., and was particularly pervasive among the Chi River communities as evidenced by boundary markers, Buddha images and sanctuaries.


While it is not established if this area came under political control of the Khmer, their cultural and religious influence is evident in stone castle and temple ruins found in the province dating from 10th to 13th Centuries. From the 14th century onwards religious art tells us that the Lan Xang culture prevailed. This tradition was strengthened during 18th and 19th century migrations of Lao Wieng people into Issan, when they helped form new towns such as Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Chaiyaphum and Khon Kaen. Both the Siamese kingdom at Ayutthaya and the Lao from Vientiane showed interest in the Korat Plateau and tried to control the previously autonomous towns.



Khon Kaen Province Page 2, History and Administrative Districts
Khon Kaen Province Page 1, The Geography and History of the Province