Khon Kaen is a busy regional convention center with many rooms available, from international chains to no-frills budget accommodations. For a truly memorable stay, book one of the three villas at the amiable Supanniga Home Boutique Hideaway (130/9 Potisarn Rd.; www.secret-retreats.com/supanniga; tel. 089-444880). The tranquil property is reason enough to visit Khon Kaen, and it occupies six hectares of land richly covered in local flora, including the bright yellow supanniga flower, which is native to the region. Pick a fresh mango ripe from the vine while chatting with the owner before retreating into the cottage-style villas furnished with handmade lace and antique furnishings. The hotel regularly hosts week-long meditation retreats with local Buddhist monks (email for the schedule), but that zen-like quality is consistent year-round. Villas from 4,800B.

The Avani Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre (999 Moo 4; www.minorhotels.com; tel. 02365-9110) is another top lodging choice. It has creature comforts like crisp bedding and rain showerheads, and palatial suites with living rooms, deep-soaking tubs, and four-poster beds. The hotel has a full-service spa and an international restaurant on-site, with doubles from 1,500B and suites from 3,700B. A final pick: Pullman Khon Kaen Raja Orchid (9–9 Prachasamran Rd.; www.pullmanhotels.com; tel. 04332-2155) features stylish rooms, fast and free Wi-Fi, an array of F&B options, and doubles from 1,800B.
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Khon Kaen’s Walking Street Market (Na Soon Rachakarn Rd.; Saturdays from approximately 5 to 10pm) is a top place to mingle with the locals and grab a bite to eat. Local buskers and live bands line the corners and vendors sell street food delights like hoi tod (deep-fried mussels) and som tom (Thailand’s famous papaya salad). Similar snacks are found mid-week at the Ton Tann Market (Mittraphap Rd.), which is more like an outdoor shopping center than a traditional market, with local artists and designers selling their goods alongside open-air stalls, restaurants, and beer bars.

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At Supanniga by Khun Yai, at the hotel by the same name (see above), Trat-style family recipes, like crispy catfish and crab curry, have been preserved for three generations. The Supanniga group has expanded to include four restaurants and a dinner cruise in Bangkok, but it all started here in 2012 with dishes from the owner’s grandmother. Gai Yang Rabeab Khao Suan Kwang on Thepharak Road is another reliable option for well-made Isan delights; nosh on their signature BBQ chicken (gai yang) with spicy dipping sauce, minced meat salads (known as larb), and sun-dried pork.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.