Northeast of Thailand The North East of Thailand, a region not much visited by foreign tourists, comprises of nearly two dozen provinces. The area known as “Isan” is one of Thailand’s poorest regions. The North East borders Laos and Cambodia. The Mekong, one of the world’s longest rivers, forms the border between Thailand and Laos for hundreds of kilometers. In much of the area Isan language is spoken, which differs from Central Thai and is closer to Laotian language. Famous food for the region are sticky rice and Som Tam (papaya salad).