The trade of waste makes a lot of money for people in Na Kaew Village, Ubon Ratchathani Province. Recycling trash turns many local farmers into business owners. Na Kaew has now become the largest waste-trade hub in the region. But there is growing concern in the waste-trade industry. As people continue to generate money from recycling waste, Thailand might become a dump site of the world.
Once upon a time, on a small alley next to Wat Machimawat on Mak Khaeng Road, a dozen houses could be seen. The houses were the homes of molam artists and dancers. Once scattered throughout Isaan, they had all moved from their hometowns to this alley in the city of Udon Thani. There they all had dreamt that they would become stars. But today, only a few of the original houses remain, sheltering aging molam artists.
Undocumented Thai workers in South Korea can earn five times more than the minimum wage in Thailand. Hundreds of thousands of Thais have migrated to work illegally as laborers in factories or in agriculture. Most come from the Northeast, seeking to escape the poverty in their homeland. They are called phi noi (“little ghosts”). They are the flame-of-the-forest flowers that could never bloom in the arid lands of Isaan.
Picking berries or other wild fruits in Europe is a very lucrative job for many. It has become popular among Thai workers, especially those from Isaan. Many invested their life savings to fly to the opposite side of the world, with high hopes of turning their lives around. However, for some, they return to Thailand […]
This year provided more sorrow than cheer for Isaan people, especially for those in Nong Bua Lamphu, who suffered a horrific loss after a mass shooting at a nursery killed 37 people, 24 of which were small children.
People in Isaan across several provinces also had to endure hardships that came from floods and from many of the government’s construction projects. The Isaan Record documented and published these struggles that remain unresolved.
For The Isaan Record, the year 2022 was one of greatest sorrow, as we suddenly lost our aspiring reporter and photographer, Adithep Chantet. In his short time, though, he created an impressive photographic world. We showcase a number of Atitep’s final photos as part of our “Photos of the Year 2022.”
Media of the margins join hands to build bridges through their effects that lead to increased understanding and reduced conflicts in society. A former TV anchor of Thairath says the media can serve as a bridge that connects people with different opinions. The Editors of local media outlets, as well as the alternative media, Prachatai, in Bangkok, speak out about their roles and hopes for a better Thailand
What would you do if you returned to your house three months after a flood only to find it in ruins, damaged beyond repair, a slush of garbage and mud obscuring any hint of a floor? This is what many flood victims in Ubon Ratchathani province encountered. They need to stay in their homes but first they need to eat. Meanwhile relief from the government is slow and insufficient. What are they to do? Songwut Jullanan from Ubon Ratchathani reports.
While Tha Rae district in Sakon Nakhon province is well known for having the biggest Catholic community in Thailand, the district may perhaps be even better known for a darker history as the former heart of the dog meat trade in Southeast Asia. Although most residents of Tha Rae no longer eat dog meat and the tradition has died down due to the influence of Buddhism, some locals in Sakon Nakhon’s Tha Rae district still consume it. This raises the question: “Man’s best friend or favorite meal?” Isaan Record intern, Russell Chapman, goes to Sakon Nakhon to explore the issue.
The province of Sakon Nakhon has long been stigmatized as the “land of dog eaters.” In fact, the culture behind consuming dog meat exists across Asia. Historically, Sakon Nakhon city was the nexus of the dog meat trade with exports to neighboring countries. Dogs in the countryside were commonly traded for a water container or wash tub before being transported to other countries. The Isaan Record explores the reasons why the image of Sakon Nakhon is still tied to dog eating until today.
The daughter of a redshirt grows up and comes to understand and appreciate her father in a new way. Although he died a decade ago when she was just a child, she now reaches out to him in a letter. Guest contributor Rattanapon Noi-Wong confronts the past and asks to join her father, as a […]
It’s been over a month now since the Mitraphap Community along Khon Kaen railway was confronted with major loss after their homes were submerged in meter-high water. The physical and psychological damage, though, remains – and has been overlooked by the government. Community members ask if the flash flood they’re forced to face is only seen as a necessary sacrifice for the city residents and the province’s economic hub to be spared from.
The Isaan Record calls on officials to stop assaulting journalists and immediately release Mr. Waranyu Khongsathittum, a citizen reporter of The Isaan Record. The Isaan Record editorial team is deeply saddened by the violent assault on our citizen journalist, Mr. Waranyu “Book” Khongsathitthum, assigned by the editor to report on the protests organized by the […]