Khon Kaen province

Khon Kaen
From left to right, top to bottom : Phra That Kham Kaen, Nam Phong National Park, Ubol Ratana Dam, Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon, Khon Kaen City Pillar Shrine, Khon Kaen University
Flag of Khon Kaen
Official seal of Khon Kaen
พระธาตุขามแก่น เสียงแคนดอกคูน ศูนย์รวมผ้าไหม ร่วมใจผูกเสี่ยว เที่ยวขอนแก่นนครใหญ่ ไดโนเสาร์สิรินธรเน่ สุดเท่เหรียญทองแรกมวยโอลิมปิก
("Phra That Kham Kaen. The sound of the khaen and the golden shower tree. Center of silk. United in the Phuk Siao tradition. Travel to Khon Kaen, the big city. Sirindhorna dinosaurs. Spectacular first gold in Olympic boxing.")
Map of Thailand highlighting Khon Kaen province
Map of Thailand highlighting Khon Kaen province
CapitalKhon Kaen
 • GovernorKraison Thongchalart
 • Total10,659 km2 (4,115 sq mi)
 • RankRanked 14th
 • Total1,802,872
 • RankRanked 4th
 • Density169/km2 (440/sq mi)
  • RankRanked 19th
Human Achievement Index
 • HAI (2022)0.6532 "somewhat high"
Ranked 22nd
 • Totalbaht 204 billion
(US$6.8 billion) (2019)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code
Calling code043
ISO 3166 codeTH-40
Vehicle registrationขอนแก่น

Khon Kaen (Thai: ขอนแก่น, pronounced [kʰɔ̌(ː)n kɛ̀n]) is one of Thailand's 76 provinces (changwat). It is a triply-landlocked province in central northeastern Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north, clockwise) Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Phetchabun, and Loei.


Several bronze and iron tools used as axes have been discovered in the province, along with a bronze ring attached to a skeleton. This is in addition to a copper axe found from 4,600 to 4,800 (2600 BC to 2800 BC), the oldest in Southeast Asia.[5] During the Dvaravati period, Khon Kaen was influenced by the culture of the central region. The oldest inscription found in Khon Kaen dates back to the 8th century and is written in the Old Mon language, suggesting the presence of Mon people in the area at that time.[6]: 93 The Dvaravati culture is believed to have played a significant role in the region, and the Nyah Kur people are thought to be descendants of the Dvaravati Mon people.[6]: 75  During the 10th–11th centuries and onwards, the area came under Khmer influence, as evidenced by various inscriptions.[6]: 166  The area fell into the control of Lan Xang before coming under Central Thai control.[7]

The first city of the area was established in 1783 when Rajakruluang settled there with 330 people. King Rama I made Rajakruluang the first governor of the area when establishing tighter connections with the Isan area. The main city was moved six times until in 1879 it reached its present-day location at Nuang Kaw. Khon Kaen was under the governance of Udon in the early period of Rattanakosin, c. 2450 BCE. The Integrated Opisthorchiasis Control Program, also known as the Lawa Project, an internationally recognized liver fluke control program, has its offices in the Ban Phai and Ban Haet Districts south of Khon Kaen city.

Other satellite cities that has to do with the separation from the city of Suwannabhumi and later separated into a city in the province of Khon Kaen after 1797 that includes the city of Mancha Khiri district.

Khon Kaen was incorporated as a city in 1797.


Khon Kaen occupies part of the Khorat Plateau. The Chi and Phong Rivers flow through the province. The total forest area is 1,222 km2 (472 sq mi) or 11.5 percent of provincial area.[1]

National parks

There are four national parks, three of which along with three other national parks make up region 8 (Khon Kaen), and Phu Kao–Phu Phan Kham in region 10 (Udon Thani) of Thailand's protected areas.


The seal of the province shows the stupa (tower) of Phra That Kham Kaen, which is believed to contain relics of Buddha. A tree is depicted on each side. One is a banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis), the other a Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula). The Thai name of the golden shower means 'providing support and preventing a decline', and it is also the provincial flower. The provincial tree is the pink shower tree (Cassia bakeriana), the Thai name of which translates as 'wishing tree'.



The mayor of Khon Kaen in 2005 chose Sinxay to be the new identity of the Khon Kaen and had finials designed representing Sinxay and his two brothers, Siho and Sangthong. The story of Sang Sinxay, one of the masterpieces of Lao literature written by Pang Kham in 1649, during the Lan Xang period.[9]

Representations of characters from Sang Sinxay on lampposts in Khon Kaen

Administrative divisions

Provincial government

Map of 26 districts

The province is divided into 26 districts (amphoes). The districts are further divided into 198 subdistricts (tambons) and 2,139 villages (mubans).

  • The numbers 26 to 28 were reserved for three other planned (minor) districts: Phu Kham Noi, Nong Kae, and Non Han.

There are plans to split off the northwestern part of the province to form a new province centered at Phu Wiang. The other districts which will belong to this new province are Nong Ruea, Chum Phae, Si Chomphu, Phu Pha Man, Nong Na Kham, and Wiang Kao.[10]

Local government

As of 26 November 2019 there are:[11] one Khon Kaen Provincial Administration Organisation (ongkan borihan suan changwat) and 84 municipal (thesaban) areas in the province. Khon Kaen has city (thesaban nakhon) status. Ban Phai, Ban Thum, Chum Phae, Kranuan, Mueang Phon and Sila have town (thesaban mueang) status. Further 77 subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal areas are administered by 140 Subdistrict Administrative Organisations - SAO (ongkan borihan suan tambon).[2]


Phra That Kham Kaen, Nam Phong District


Khon Kaen has hospitals operated by both the public and private sectors. Its main hospital operated by the Ministry of Public Health is Khon Kaen Hospital. The province also has a university hospital, Srinagarind Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University.


Khon Kaen Railway Station

The railway system in Khon Kaen is on both northeastern routes from Bangkok Railway Station. Khon Kaen province's main railway stations was Khon Kaen Railway Station. In 2017, a 60 kilometre dual-track line will connect Khon Kaen to Nakhon Ratchasima province. It is the first segment of a dual track network that will connect Isan with the Laem Chabang seaport.[12]


The city is bisected by Mittraphap Road, also known as "Friendship Highway", or Asian Highway 2 (AH2), the road linking Bangkok to the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. A multi-lane bypass enables through-traffic to avoid the city center to the west, and connects to the airport and to the main roads to Kalasin province and Maha Sarakham province in the east, and Udon Thani province in the north.


The sports teams listed below are based in Khon Kaen.


Human achievement index 2022

Health Education Employment Income
62 5 47 39
Housing Family Transport Participation
35 27 39 46
Province Khon Kaen, with an HAI 2022 value of 0.6532 is "somewhat high", occupies place 22 in the ranking.

Since 2003, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at sub-national level using the Human achievement index (HAI), a composite index covering all eight key areas of human development. National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has taken over this task since 2017.[3]

Rank Classification
  1–13 "High"
14–29 "Somewhat high"
30–45 "Average"
46–61 "Somewhat low"
62–77 "Low"

Sister cities

Notable residents



  1. ^ a b "ตารางที่ 2 พี้นที่ป่าไม้ แยกรายจังหวัด พ.ศ.2562" [Table 2 Forest area Separate province year 2019]. Royal Forest Department (in Thai). 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021, information, Forest statistics Year 2019, Thailand boundary from Department of Provincial Administration in 2013{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  2. ^ a b รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ส.2562 [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2019]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. (in Thai). 31 December 2019. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "ข้อมูลสถิติดัชนีความก้าวหน้าของคน ปี 2565 (PDF)" [Human Achievement Index Databook year 2022 (PDF)]. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) (in Thai). Retrieved 12 March 2024, page 19{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  4. ^ "Gross Regional and Provincial Product, 2019 Edition". <>. Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). July 2019. ISSN 1686-0799. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  5. ^ "ประวัติจังหวัขอนแก่น". 2021-05-17. Archived from the original on 2021-05-17. Retrieved 2023-04-12.
  6. ^ a b c Stephen A. Murphy (September 2010), Buddhist Boundary Markers of Northeast Thailand and Central Laos, 7th–12th Centuries CE: Towards an Understanding of the Archaeological, Religious, and Artistic Landscapes of the Khorat Plateau (PDF), University of London
  7. ^ "จังหวัดขอนแก่น ประวัติศาสตร์ ความเป็นมา". Retrieved 2023-04-12.
  8. ^ a b c d "ข้อมูลพื้นที่อุทยานแห่งชาติ ที่ประกาศในราชกิจจานุบกษา 133 แห่ง" [National Park Area Information published in the 133 Government Gazettes]. Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (in Thai). December 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  9. ^ "ฐานที่มั่นทางวัฒนธรรมของชาวลาวอีสาน-4-5600-107946-1.html "สินไซ - "ฐานที่มั่นทางวัฒนธรรม" ของชาวลาว-อีสาน".
  10. ^ "ที่เที่ยวขอนแก่น -10 เที่ยวหลากสไตล์ ท่องไปในขอนแก่น".
  11. ^ "Number of local government organizations by province". Department of Local Administration (DLA). 26 November 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019. 5 Khon Kaen: 1 PAO, 1 City mun., 6 Town mun., 77 Subdistrict mun., 140 SAO.
  12. ^ Janssen, Peter (2 November 2016). "Thailand takes a long-term gamble on Isaan region". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 3 November 2016.

External links

  • Khon Kaen travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
  • Official website of province (Thai only)

16°26′41″N 102°50′1″E / 16.44472°N 102.83361°E / 16.44472; 102.83361

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