Udon Thani's geographic position in northeastern Thailand and its proximity to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, has contributed to the province's rapid development as a transport and industrial hub. This has created jobs and attracted migrants from other states as well as from overseas, particularly from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and China. For tourists, the province is best known for the prehistoric archaeological site at Ban Chiang and its Bronze Age relics.
Nong Khai province is in the valley of the Mekong River, which also forms the border with Laos, and the Laotian capital Vientiane is only 25 km away from the provincial capital of Nong Khai. Over the centuries the control of the province swung between the Thai Kingdom of Ayutthaya, and the Laotian Kingdom Lan Xang, as their respective powers ebbed and flowed in the region. Nong Khai is a nice example of Isaan culture, which dominates northeast Thailand and is famed for its friendliness.
Loei is one of the most sparsely populated provinces of Thailand. It is dotted with mountains, including the Phu Kradueng and Phu Ruea, while the seat of provincial government, Loei, is in a fertile basin. The Loei River is a tributary of the Mekong, which forms part of the northern boundary of the province with neighboring Laos.
The highlight for visitors to Loei is the stunning Phu Kradong national park which features beautiful sandstone rock formations and provides great opportunities for wildlife watching.
Nakhon Phanom province sits in the Mekong River valley and its population is a diverse mix of Thais, Thai-Vietnamese, Thai-Chinese and Thai-Indians. The main languages spoken are Thai, Isaan, and Vietnamese, while the primary culture is Lao. The province's capital, Nakhon Phanom town, is famous for its centuries-old temples and beautiful landscape. The surrounding villages have many tribal cultures unique to Isaan and Laos.
Sakon Nakhon province is home to Nong Han lake, the biggest natural lake of northeast Thailand, famous for its colourful water lilies. The main draws for visitors to Sakhon Nakhon are its friendly people, as well as cultural, natural and historical attractions.