Issan covers the central and north eastern areas of Thailand. An agricultural area, where yearly incomes are low and many people are quite poor. In some ways the ruling elite in Thailand are quite happy to exploit these people to provide cheap labour on the building sites of Bangkok ... become their maids, drivers, or other unskilled service workers. In the heirarchical and structured society that is Thailand, it is very difficult for these people to 'rise above their station in life'. Their strong Buddhist beliefs help them accept their lot. Issan people are happy, vibrant, extremely friendly and display a wonderful sense of enjoying life to the fullest. They speak a dialect similar to Laos and their music is fast, pulsing and LOUD ! I had the chance to stay with a family over the Songran festival ~ a very different experience to the madness and chaos in Bangkok. This gallery shows a little bit of Issan.