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Khon Kaen (Thai: ขอนแก่น, pronounced [kʰɔ̌(ː)n kɛ̀n]) is the fifth-largest of the northeastern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Phetchabun, and Loei.

Khon Kaen
Flag of Khon Kaen
Official seal of Khon Kaen
Map of Thailand highlighting Khon Kaen Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Khon Kaen Province
Country Thailand
Capital Khon Kaen
 • Governor Phongsak Prichawit (since October 2016)
 • Total 10,886.0 km2 (4,203.1 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 15th
Population (2014)
 • Total 1,790,049
 • Rank Ranked 4th
 • Density 160/km2 (430/sq mi)
 • Density rank Ranked 19th
 • HDI (2009) 0.850 (high) (8th)
Time zone UTC+7 (ICT)
Area code(s) 043
ISO 3166 code TH-40
Vehicle registration ขอนแก่น



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, is located in the Ban Phai and Ban Haet districts south of Khon Kaen city.

Administrative divisionsEdit

The province is divided into 26 districts (amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 198 sub-districts (tambon) and 2,139 villages (muban).

  • 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.[1]


Khon Kaen is partially located on the Khorat Plateau. The Chi River flows through the province.


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".


Khon Kaen airport


Khon Kaen has Khon Kaen Airport it takes at least 20 minutes to Khon Kaen city centre, and approximately two hours to nearby provinces such as Maha Sarakham Province, Kalasin Province, and Udon Thani Province.


The railway system in Khon Kaen is on both northeastern routes from Bangkok Railway Station. Khon Kaen Province has 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.[2]

Khon Kaen was serve by Khon Kaen Light Rail Transit 22.6 km light rail transit system consisting of an initial 16 stations.


The city is bisected by Mittraphap Road, also known as "Friendship Highway", or "Highway 2", the road linking Bangkok to the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. A modern, multi-lane by-pass enables through-traffic to avoid the city centre 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.


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.

Sister citiesEdit

Notable residentsEdit


External linksEdit