Khon Kaen is located in the north eastern ‘Isan’ region of Thailand, where it is the fourth largest city. Expats living in Khon Kaen will find examples of the real Thai way of life everywhere they go, with locals making Mudmee Silk the traditional hand woven way and cooking the local Isan style of food. To help deal with the new culture, InterNations has the Expat Magazine with advice on relocating to new countries and you can of course always use our platform to get in touch with other expats living in Khon Kaen or other parts of Thailand for additional advice. Like so much of Thailand, the area is very spiritual, with several Buddhist temples to enjoy. The City Pillar Shrine, for example, with a stone inscription from an ancient site in Amphoe Chum Phae, makes for a particularly beautiful visit. The Khon Kaen National Museum, exhibiting antiques and precious works of art from pre-historical and historical periods, is also excellent for getting a better feel for the archaeological history of the city. Expatriates less interested in history need not worry, though. Khon Kaen has seen a lot of regeneration in the last decade and so is also modern in a lot of places.
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The weather is obviously a major reason why many an expatriate chooses to move to Khon Kaen, with Thailand’s usual hot weather making for some warm, dry winters - but watch out for the months of monsoon. It’s also a city that’s easy for expats to reach, as Khon Kaen acts as the transport hub of the Isan region, so expats moving to Khon Kaen should not have any troubles getting there. The main road and rail routes from Bangkok up to Nong Khai and Laos both go through Khon Kaen, and meeting members of the InterNations community elsewhere in South East Asia is simple. However, the biggest draw for expatriates moving to Khon Kaen is probably its thriving MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) industry. The large number of major convention centers in the city attracts business tourism from all around Asia and beyond - in particular the Golden Jubilee Hall and Convention Hall at Central Plaza Khon Kaen. They not only attract wealthy visitors to the area but also bring a large number of jobs into the region.
The city has a thriving Events and Incentive Tourism industry, which led to Khon Kaen being named one of IBM’s ‘Smarter Cities’ for commitment to the development of new industries outside of the more traditional agricultural efforts in the region. Those working in Khon Kaen's MICE industries may benefit from networking opportunities on both InterNations and beyond. Khon Kaen gets its nickname, “the Silk City”, from the silk trade that has provided (and continues to provide) so much industry for the city and its surrounding district and province, which it serves as the capital. Many of the jobs in the city arise from this market, as well as the city’s importance in Thailand’s agricultural growth. However, the presence of the Khon Kaen Airport, Rajamangala University and Khon Kaen University, which is the biggest in this part of Thailand, also provide lots of jobs for expatriates in Khon Kaen.