Places to Eat in Khon Kaen

Choosing where to eat in Khon Kaen can be quite challenging because you’ll have so many choices that if you just stay in the city a couple of nights unfortunately you will have to give up on something; but don’t worry, wherever you decide to go it will be delicious! The only downside is that as Khon Kaen us quite a big city, you will need transportation to get to the best restaurants, but with a little bit of planning you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic dinner.

Street Food and Markets


For street food the best night market in town is located on Ruen Rom Road, 800 m east of the train station. It is also known as Fairly Plaza Night Market because it’s close to the namesake shopping centre. Every day after 4.00pm a section of Ruen Rom Road closes for traffic and vendors set up their stalls to sell a huge variety of cheap and tasty street food.

Classic Thai dishes and Isaan specialties take the lion share, but delicious Vietnamese sausages shouldn’t be missed either. Everything comes at very affordable prices (THB30/THB50 for the majority of the dishes) and there are several tables set up for you to enjoy your meal without any hustle. The market is also a good destination for shopping, since a large section is dedicated to clothes.

Local Food

For an unforgettable Isaan experience head to Gai Yang Rabeab Khao Suan Kwang (253 Theparak Road, open daily 9.00am–3.00pm). Unfortunately it’s open only for lunch, but if you want to understand why the Isaan grilled chicken is so famous all over Thailand there is no a better place than this one.

The restaurant got its name from Khao Suan Kwang, a district in Khon Kaen province where people is particularly skilled in grilling chicken. At Gai Yang Rabeab all the grill stations stand visible to the visitors so you can watch the whole process. Gai yang is basically marinated chicken slowly cooked to perfection – and indeed it does taste like nothing else we have ever tried before.

A full chicken comes for THB160 and it can be shared between two people. As a side course try the famous papaya salad in its Laos version (_som tam lao) which is similar to the classic one with the addition of a fermented crab (THB40). Gai Yang Rabeab is within walking distance (500m) from the old bus station to the west.

Vietnamese Food


If you feel like trying Vietnamese cuisine head to Nam Nuong Lablae (61-67 Klang Mueang Road, open every day from 10.00am to 9.30pm). It is well known among locals for serving some of the best Vietnamese food in town and it can be pretty busy on weekends in the evening. The setting is really nice, with a beautiful garden and a lot of trees with a large dining area plus some more private tables (try to get one of these).

If you have never tried Vietnamese food before, then nam nuong is a must-order dish: combined in a single plate you will find traditional grilled sausages, cucumber or other veggies, garlic, chili and rice paper wraps; to make it simple, it is just the Vietnamese version of the Mexican tortilla. Take one rice paper sheet, fill it with sausages and whatever else you like, wrap everything up, dip it in the peanut sauce and ….well, you’ll find out how good it is.

The price for the full set is THB130. Many other options on the menu are available if you want to keep experimenting with the Vietnamese food. Nam Nuong Lablae is located in Klang Mueang road, close to the Bueng Kaen Nakhon Lake.

Western Food

For western food there are several decent options in and around Soi Kosa, few minutes walk east from the train station. This is a quite small area with a lot of bars, restaurants and nightclubs aiming at the expats living in town and the western travellers. Pizza, pasta, burgers and steaks are just some of the choices that you’ll find walking around here. For Italian food head to Pomodoro (Prachasamran Rd, open daily 5.00pm – 11.00pm), for the best burgers in town don’t miss Yokothai (Soi Kosa, open daily 5.00pm – 10.00pm).

Khon Kaen station guide

Khon Kaen - train

Khon Kaen is the second largest province in the Northeastern side of Thailand and is reachable by train and other land transportations. Khon Kaen Railway Station lies on the Northeastern route - on the Bangkok to Nong Khai line. Taking the express train to Khon Kaen would take about 8 hours of travel. Trains leave Hua Lamphong Station at 8:20 am, 6:30pm and 8:45pm daily. It is quicker to take a bus, but the main highway via Korat is one of the most dangerous roads in Thailand.

Khon Kaen - Bus

The Khon Kaen Bus Terminal 3 itself serving various type of regular buses leaving from Bangkok’s Morchit bus station and the other.

Khon Kaen, located some seven hours by road from the capital, is the rural region’s hub for commerce, with its transportation options including trains from Bangkok as well as daily flights to its airport.

Bus station are located on Mueang Khon Kaen Ring Road, 20 minutes away from Khon Kaen Airport. VIP air-conditioned buses to Khon Kaen leave from Bangkok’s Morchit Bus Terminal half-hourly between 06:00 and midnight, arriving in the city between six and seven hours later. Tickets are best booked in advance online as the VIP buses can be busy during holidays and the high season.

Other VIP bus routes to and from Khon Kaen include Chiang Mai, a twice-daily. Buses from Udon Thani arrive every 20 minutes after a two-hour journey, and four buses daily run between Nong Khai, taking under four hours.

Ban Phai - Bus

The small Isaan town of Ban Phai is located in northeast Thailand’s Khon Kaen province, just over 400kms from Bangkok. Even though it is rather small, it has its own bus station and railway station, both of which are in the town centre and within walking distance of one another. Buses leave Bangkok’s Mochit terminal to make the six-hour drive 13 times per day, while trains leave from Hua Lamphong four times per day and arrive seven to eight hours later.

Ban Phai’s town centre has a number of ATMs, a post office and a 7-Eleven. There are also a few hotels in the town, such as Inpawa Boutique plus Whanchai hotesl and Goodview Boutique Resort. Points of interest worth visiting include Wat Kilomet Sip Hok and Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthana Ram.

Chum Phae - Bus

Chum Phae is a friendly market town in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen, a far cry from the Thailand that most foreigners see. It is served by buses from Bangkok’s Mochit terminal. Travellers should disembark at the market, which sells all sorts of weird and wonderful snacks.

As is the case everywhere in Thailand, it's easy to hail a tuk-tuk or songthaew in Chum Phae to take you to your destination. The Phu Kradueng National Park is well worth a visit. From the market, take a bus to Pha Nok Khao and a songthaew will take you into the park. Chum Phae boasts a number of accommodation options including the Cheewin Palace and Major Grand hotels plus the Phuchumphae Resort.

Phon - Bus

Phon is a district located in the southern part of Khon Kaen province in the northeastern, or Isaan region of Thailand. It is about 75kms from the larger centre of Khon Kaen to Phon. Phon boasts beautiful farmland with many rice fields, and the local people still carry with them much of the old culture.

With a district population of under 90,000 people, visitors will find themselves submerged in Thai culture, from vegetable markets to food stalls and small shops tucked down every alleyway. Phon town does not possess much in the way of tourist attractions so expect a small local bus station with limited facilities.

Ban Phai - train

The small Isaan town of Ban Phai is located in northeast Thailand’s Khon Kaen province, just over 400kms from Bangkok. Even though it is rather small, it has its own bus station and railway station, both of which are in the town centre and within walking distance of one another. Buses leave Bangkok’s Mochit terminal to make the six-hour drive 13 times per day, while trains leave from Hua Lamphong four times per day and arrive seven to eight hours later.

Ban Phai’s town centre has a number of ATMs, a post office and a 7-Eleven. There are also a few hotels in the town, such as Inpawa Boutique plus Whanchai hotesl and Goodview Boutique Resort. Points of interest worth visiting include Wat Kilomet Sip Hok and Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthana Ram.

Kranuan - Bus

Approximately 500kms northeast of Bangkok, Kranuan town is located in the tranquil countryside of Amphur Kranuan in Khon Kaen province. The district lies to the east of the main road connecting Khon Kaen in the south to Udon Thani. Visitors wishing to travel to Kranuan should seek local transport from either of these larger centres.

In the middle of the beautiful Isaan region of Thailand, this area boasts beautiful views of rice paddies, and offers a glimpse at true rural Thai life. Kranuan town is very small, with little to see, though it does boast a few shops and local eateries.

Phu Wiang - Bus

Located in Thailand’s northeastern province of Khon Kaen, Phu Wiang is a district with a population of around 72,000 people most known for its national park. Phu Wiang National Park is renowned for its dinosaur bone paleontological site, which is thought to be one of the biggest in the world. There is also a dinosaur museum within the park.

Provincial buses make the 70-kilometres trip from Khon Kaen, itself connected to Bangkok by buses from Mochit terminal, to Nong Bua Lam Phu, stopping at the bus terminal in Phu Wiang town. From here you can get tuk-tuks or motorbike taxis to the park’s entrance around 20kms away.

Nong Ruea - Bus

The town of Nong Ruea is located on the main route across the top of northeast Thailand. Highway 12 runs from Phitsanoluk to Khon Kaen. Nong Ruea is 40kms from Khon Kaen. It is a good start point for exploring the beautiful landscapes of Ubolratana Reservoir as well as Phu Wiang and Nam Phong national parks.

Nong Ruea is 540kms from Bangkok and best reached via Khon Kaen. This city has both train and bus stations. The bus journey from Bangkok’s Mochit terminal takes a little over six hours. There are quite a few buses that run along Highway 12 and they take 45 minutes to get to Nong Ruea.

Nong Na Kham - Bus

Nong Na Kham is a town at the heart of a famed national park area in the northeast Isaan region of Thailand. The parks at Phu Wiang, Nam Phong and even Phu Kradeung are easily accessible from Nong Na Kham. Ubolratana Reservoir is another great attraction in the locality and a must for those who like the outdoors and amazing landscapes.

Nong Na Kham is about 80kms from Khon Kaen and 500kms from Bangkok. Visitors have the option of train or bus from Bangkok’s Mochit terminal to Khon Kaen. Bus service from Bangkok is an easier choice as it allows easy connections to provincial buses for Nong Na Kham. Total travel time is between eight and nine hours.

Ban Fang - Bus

The small northeastern town of Ban Fang sits around 475kms from Bangkok and around 22kms from the city of Khon Kaen. There is no regular bus service here from Bangkok, but minivans connect the town to the local bus station in Khon Kaen, which is accessible by bus, rail and air from Bangkok.

The Ban Fang bus station is in the town centre next to the Khon Kaen Provincial Land Office and Ban Fang District Agriculture Office. Places of interest in the area include Wat Si Chom Chuen and Hin Chang Si view point. There are a few hotels here, including the Ville Resort and Fahfang Sport Resort & Hotel.

Waeng Noi - Bus

The district of Waeng Noi stands in southwest Khon Kaen, a province in northeastern Thailand. Waeng Noi's two major attractions are the Wat Siriwanmore temple and the
Waeng Noi District Museum, which stands just 200m from the bus station; from here passengers can travel the nearly 400kms to Bangkok’s Mochit terminal.

Waeng Noi is located southeast of Tat Ton National Park, named after its most impressive waterfall. Another waterfall, Tat Fa, is compared to a natural waterslide. The park also contains three Laen Kha mountain peaks as well as Mo Hin Khao, often called Thailand's Stonehenge. Waeng Noi's closest good quality hotels are located in nearby Chaiyaphum. Lertnimit Hotel is within walking distance of the bus station, while Phusuay Park View and Dee Prom hotels are other noteworthy places to stay.

Sam Sung - Bus

Sam Sung is a northeastern Thai town 20kms from the city of Khon Kaen. It is on rural highways leading in the general direction of the Lam Pao dam and reservoir. The town is 480kms from Bangkok. People wishing to travel to Sam Sung need to go via Khon Kaen.

Buses for Khon Kaen depart from Mochit terminal on the north side of Bangkok every 30 minutes. Departures are from 06:30 until 23:00. Average journey times are 6 hours 30 minutes. It is then about 30 minutes in a local bus to Sam Sung. There are also three trains in each direction as well as frequent flights between Bangkok and Khon Kaen every day.

News

Khon Kaen Tests Dual Track Rail Line, Elevated Train

Khon Kaen, Thailand, has begun testing its new dual track rail line between Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen provinces as well as conducting tests of its elevated train system. 

07 December 2018

Fire at Khon Kaen Airport stops morning flights

A fire on an upper level of Khon Kaen Airport’s passenger terminal early this morning led to the cancellation of all flights. A travel advisory posted up on the airport’s website said the fire erupted in an electrical control room at around 05:00.

26 January 2018

Khon Kaen to build museum to house ancient religious artefacts

Authorities in the Thai city of Khon Kaen have announced they will build a museum to house collections of religious artefacts unearthed recently. Local residents dug up the pieces at Chom Sri Temple.

07 April 2017