Dear Participants

It is my great pleasure to welcome you and host the Neglected Tropical Diseases in Asia (NTDASIA2019) under the theme “International Research Network” supported by Khon Kaen University, the Thailand Research Fund (TRF), the Mekong Liver Fluke Control Initiative, and Tropical Disease Research Center. I am looking forward to seeing you all in Khon Kaen very soon, renewing old friendships, sharing research developments and strengthening our regional research network.  We anticipate an academically stimulating mix of basic and translational research presentations and discussions, plus a great opportunity for you to experience our North-Eastern "Isaan" culture.


Banchob Sripa, Chairman



Khon Kaen is located in the heart of Northeast Thailand. Additionally, the Northeast region, said to be the "Kingdom's heartland", incorporates 20 provinces with diverse and beautiful landscapes. The region has many national parks, agricultural land. It is also made up of small villages to big cities. Isaan is the collective term for the northeast region of Thailand. Isaan is rich in natural scenery, ancient temples and archaeological sites.


People living in Isaan are very proud of their unique folk culture. It is very rich and is worth investigating. This region of Thailand hosts fewer tourists than the others, which may be the reason why the people are friendlier. Although there are fewer tourists in this region than others, foreign or domestic visitors can easily find sites of historical and archaeological significance, as well as entertaining local festivals and beautiful handicrafts.

Southern Isaan is known for its strong Khmer influence, and hosts many ancient temples and ruins. A mixture of Laos and Khmer influences marks Isaan culture and language. Many of the people living in this area speak Laotian or Thai dialects. Isaan food is deliciously unique and famous for its pungency and choice of staple food groups such as: sticky rice, the very spicy and unavoidable, papaya salad (somtum), grilled chicken and other Isaan style prepared meats. Moreover, the best silk in Thailand is said to come from the Northeast.

During your journey throughout the Isaan region you may have a special chance to attend a Bai Sri Soo Khwan Ceremony. Bai Sri Soo Khwan is a sacred thread ceremony celebrated on auspicious occasions such as birthdays, welcomings, farewells, and times of serious illness. Northeast Thais commonly participate in Bai Sri Soo Khwan Ceremony. An elder who has spent some time as a monk presides over the ritual and chant in order to convey blessings on the honored guest. After the chants, each person attending takes a white string and ties it around the wrist of the honored guest while whispering a short recitation of good wishes.

Compared to other cities, Khon Kaen is considered new town; established a little over two centuries ago during the region of King Rama I. This province has been a prehistoric host to a multitude of creatures, creeds and cultures, due to its plateau landscape. Artifacts have been discovered in this region that date back millions of years ago when the area was ruled by gigantic dinosaurs. People from various cultures then occupied the plateau during the pre-historical period until the ancient Khmer Empire expanded its presence into the area in the 12th century. The cultures, traditions, and historical sites in this area have all contributed to shaping the behavior of Thai people and Thailand itself.

Geographically, Khon Kaen plays an important role as the centre of the Northeast region. Furthermore, Khon Kaen University, which is located in the center of the province, is a major hub of education and technology. Khon Kaen province occupies an area of 10,885 square kilometers. The province is divides into 25 Amphoes (districts). A major source of local wisdom in silk production is in Amphoe Chonnabot where excellent Mudmee silk is delicately woven by hand using tie-dye techniques.


Getting around the province is quite convenient as various kinds of vehicles are available. Tuk-tuk or motorized tricycle's fares starts at 30 baht, while pedal tricycles begin at 20 baht. Regular buses, with fan or air-conditioners, operate in the city. There are also buses leaving for other Amphoes all day long so it is easy to travel and visit other districts in Khon Kaen and other provinces throughout Northeast Thailand.


Thailand is a tropical climate made up of 3 seasons. (1) The first is the “dry and hot season,” that lasts from November until February. (2) The second season is considered the “very hot season,” that lasts from March until the end of April. And finally, (3) the third season is referred to as the “wet and hot season,” which is when many monsoons occur. This season lasts from May to the end of October.

Upon arriving to Thailand, one must dress for a tropical climate. Cotton or silk clothes are most comfortable for this type of environment. Exposing too much of your skin will not only earn you a sunburn, but this is also very much frowned upon by local Thai people. And no matter how hard it is, men and women both wear pants. Women also wear skirts that cover the knees and avoid sleeveless shirts and sweaters.


Thailand is infamous for their delicious cuisine. A culinary adventure waits with tempting morsels on virtually every street corner from traditional Royal-project run restaurants to deliciously spicy street food. Eating is as much a part of the culture here as anything else and definitely the key to local hearts. If you’re lucky enough to catch a local festival, it will probably be dominated by food.  Thai food is traditionally very hot and spicy, but it is significantly toned down for the western palate. Here are some Thai specialties that you are bound to encounter and enjoy!

  1. Tom yam (a coconut-milk soup prepared with makroot leaves, ginger, lemon grass, prawns or chicken).
  2. Gang pet (hot 'red' curry with coconut milk, herbs, garlic, chili, shrimp paste, coriander and seasoning).
  3. Pad Thai (stir-fried rice-noodles) served with shrimp or chicken and garnished with peanuts.
  4. Desserts include salim (sweet noodles in coconut milk).
  5. Another dessert, sticky rice and mangoes (rice cooked in coconut milk served with slices of mango).


Thailand is made up of many religions; however 95% follow Buddhist tradition. Buddhism is considered the national religion and therefore Buddhist ceremonies and holidays are nationally celebrated throughout the country. Beautifully decorated temples are found nearly everywhere in Thailand and Buddhist monks are frequently seen on the streets carrying donation baskets.


Thai is the official language of Thailand but there are many different dialects depending on the region you are from. Thailand is home of many people groups such as the Khmer, Hmong, and Karen people.  The Northeast is primarily made up of Isaan people. The Northeast or Isaan region was discovered by the Prince of Lao PDR and therefore has strong Laotian influence. Isaan people have a unique and special folk tradition that influences their culture, food, and daily life. Additionally, Isaan language is spoken by people in the Northeast; however, Thai language is also popularly used. English is also widely used, especially in areas that attract many tourists.


All participants arriving at Khon Kaen airport will be picked up by our staff at the airport to the hotel. Please notice a conference sign at the arrival.


If any problems arise during the arrival, please contact Sirikachorn Tangkawattana (mobile 089-7154003)/Banchob Sripa (mobile 062-6080860) OR Email: sirikach@kku.ac.th, banchob@kku.ac.th

Contact Us

Address: Tropical Diseases Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Phone Number : +66-43-363113, Fax : +66-43-202853

Email Address: ntdasia2019@gmail.com

Website : www.ntdasia.org

Facebook : ntdasia2019

Twitter : @ntdasia2019

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