The local life in Isaan is very much determined by agriculture.
A vast landscape of rice, sugar cane and manioc plantations as well as fruit and rubber plants determine the landscape. Most provide subsistence for small farmers and their families. Rice is being cultivated for their own consumption and sale. Sugar cane and manioc are purchased by processing industries.
During harvest seasonal work provides full-time employment to the local population. As harvesting machines are expensive, the sugar cane is harvested manually. Manioc roots the size of European cucumbers are pulled off the ground by hand, and rice is still beaten with flails in some areas. Usually, a small tractor transports the harvest to collection points, where larger trucks await the products for transportation to the nearest processing factory.
Local food and handicraft. Small markets and sellers offer bananas and melons off the tree, honey, fresh sugar cane and local handicraft such as bamboo furniture, coconut brooms, wood carvings and many more regional products along the road side.
When harvest is done and the fields are laboured, the local population needs to find new jobs. Some maintain small shops, selling everyday items, others earn their livelihood as seasonal craftsmen.
Exodus towards the cities. The younger generation is moving to the cities to improve their livelihood. Teachers, policemen and bank clerks are some of the few professions with long-term employment and regular salaries. However, despite their comparatively better position, many employees hold second jobs to increase their income.