Isan (or Issaan) is the region of Northeast Thailand. It was formerly a part of the Thai Lao kingdom of Lan Xang.
The ethnic, linguistic and cultural orientation of this region is Lao (Thai Lao) but its political incorporation into the modern Thai state has been largely successful. The cuisine of this region is popular all over Thailand, its music known as Lam or Mo Lam and is also very popular.
The name Isan dates back to the Mon-Khmer Isana kingdom, which ruled the area before until the 1st century. It was succeeded by the Funan (1st till 6th century) and Champa, until it became part of the Khmer empire of Angkor.