By Kavintra Chisue
Having travelled across China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the two tourists are in Thailand for the first time.
"We are interested in Thai massage and herbs. So before we visited Thailand, we did some research on the Internet and found that Khon Kaen has a short course to teach foreigners how to do Thai traditional massage," said Claire Sandrine, a graphic designer.
"We didn't think that Khon Kaen would be a big city," she added.
Sandrine said Khon Kaen was relatively quiet and its hospitality very impressive.
"Thai people smile easily. So everywhere we go we see people smiling at us," she said, adding that her and her partner, identified only as Athens, were impressed by the northeast’s lifestyle and the region’s big family structure.
The couple took the short course on Thai traditional massage at the International Healthy Massage Club at KK Centrum Hotel in Muang district.
The hotel’s owner, Thanawan Panthes, a Khon Kaen Industrial Council member, said the course required students to learn the human anatomy and muscle systems to provide therapeutic benefits.
Thanawan said the lifestyle in Khon Kaen was based on a healthy balance between urbanised modernity and rural way of life, with people still weaving cloths and traditonal handicrafts.
Most tourists to the Northeast are from Europe and some parts of Asia. Many visitors also don't just come to visit attractions but also learn interesting skills such as how to make Thai traditional handicrafts or how to cook authentic Northeasten-style dishes," she added.