General information

Khon Kaen City

Khon Kaen (number 5 on map) is a large city in Khon Kaen province in the central-northern part of the Khorat Plateau in the northeast of Thailand – an area known as Isan (or Isaan or Isarn, or Isarn) (pink area on map), which contains about 23 million people or 30% of Thailand’s population.

Khon Kaen is close to important Mesozoic vertebrate fossil localities within the Khorat Group terrestrial sandstones and vertebrate and plant fossils in Neogene-Quaternary fluvial sands. Within easy driving distance are excellent fossil localities in tropical Carboniferous to Permian marine platform limestones and fossiliferous Silurian to Permian marine to freshwater sediments in the Loei Foldbelt.

Khon Kaen is home to the Phu Wiang Fossil Research Centre and Dinosaur Museum. Other important nearby museums and palaeontological collections in Isaan are at the Sirindhorn Dinosaur Museum in Kalasin province and the Palaeontological Research and Education Centre at Mahasarakham University (Mahasarakham province).

To the south of Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima is a good place to examine fossils. The Fossil Wood Museum belonging to Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University is the best fossil wood research institute in Thailand. Staff at the museum include a dinosaur research group and experts in other fields of palaeontology such as Neogene mammals and plants. The Ban Tha Chang Sandpits together constitute one of the best site for Miocene to Quaternary fossils in Thailand.

Transportation

Khon Kaen is about 700 km by road northeast of Bangkok and can be accessed from Bangkok by airline (<1 hour), coach/bus, taxi (7 hours) or train (7-8 hours).

Khon Kaen Airport has many direct flights per day from all three airports near Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang and U-Tapao) as well as to/from major centres such as Phuket, Hatyai and Chiangmai.  Domestic one way flights in December start at US $30 from Bangkok and US $41 from Phuket. International flights are operating to a considerably enlarged Khon Kaen International Airport in 2021. Because Thailand is a major tourist destination, relatively cheap international flights are currently available to Bangkok, Phuket and Chiangmai airports and also, by the time of the congress, to Khon Kaen. Khon Kaen has numerous hotels ranging from 5 stars to backpacker accommodation with many within walking distance of the conference venue (Pullman Hotel). As early November is before the high tourist season, very reasonable rates should be available. Many houses and apartments are also available for rent through Airbnb and other websites.

Accommodation

Khon Kaen has numerous hotels ranging from 5 stars to backpacker accommodation with many within walking distance of the conference venue (Pullman Hotel).   If this application is accepted we will negotiate with the Pullman Hotel and nearby hotels for block booking at reduced rates. As early November is before the high tourist season, very reasonable rates should be available. Many houses and apartments are also available for rent through Airbnb and other websites.

A selection of room rates in nearby hotels are currently (Dec 2019):
Venue: Pullman Hotel (5 stars) US $60
Kosa Hotel and shopping mall (3 stars, 200 m from venue), US $25
Charoen Thani Hotel, (4 stars, 300 m from venue), US $32,
Glacier Hotel (4 stars, 200 m from venue), US $32,
VWish Hotel (4 stars, 800 m from venue), US $44.
SF Biz Hotel (4 stars, 300 m from venue), US $17
Chaipat Hotel (4 stars, 550 m from venue), US $12

Other

Khon Kaen has a vibrant nightlife. There are many restaurants and bars, often with live entertainment, serving Thai, Isaan helal and foreign food, mostly at reasonable prices. Wine is expensive and not generally available.

November is one of the driest months in Khon Kaen and, although possible, very little rain is expected during the congress. Daytime temperatures will average about 30 degree Celsius. Khon Kaen is generally a safe city with very little crime. Car hire is available but an international driving permit plus driving licence from resident country is necessary.  Insect repellent and sunscreen are highly recommended. Travel insurance is strongly recommended for all delegates.