The region was originally inhabited by various ethnic groups such as the Lawa, Khmer, and Lao before the arrival of the Thai people in the 7th century AD. The area was also influenced by the Khmer Empire during the 9th to 13th centuries, and several Khmer ruins and temples can still be found in the region today.
The first city in 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.
There is a lot to learn throughout the town, in the Khon Kaen museum or in the Wat Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakorn, you will find a lot of vestiges and images about the history of the town. The culture of the area is well explained and represented as well.
Today, Khon Kaen is a bustling city with a diverse cultural heritage. The local dialect of Isan, which is similar to the Lao language, is still widely spoken in the region. The city also has a rich culinary heritage, with unique dishes such as “som tam” (spicy papaya salad) and “larb” (spicy minced meat salad) that are popular throughout Thailand.
In terms of religion, Buddhism is the predominant religion in the region, and there are several important temples and shrines in Khon Kaen, such as Wat Nong Waeng and Wat Thung Setthi. The city also hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, such as the Silk Festival and the Khon Kaen International Marathon.
Overall, Khon Kaen is a city with a rich history and culture that is worth exploring for those interested in Thai history, culture, and cuisine.