E San ( pronounced “ee-sahn” ) also spelled “Esan”, “Esarn”, "Esahn", "Isarn" and “Isan”. This is because there is no standardized phonetic system in Thailand. E San is the name used to describe the " North Eastern province " of Thailand bordered to the North by the Mekong River and Laos and to the South by Cambodia. E San’s culture is predominantly Lao, and has much in common with that of the neighboring country of Laos. The region has distinct landscape and has managed to preserve its rural custom and offers a fascinating taste of traditional Thai life. The E San area is one of Thailand’s poorest regions. Agriculture is the main economic activity. Though the region is a dry plateau, which makes planting crops difficult the people have learned to survive in this rugged environment. E San food is distinct from Thai and Lao cuisines, but has elements in common with each other. The most obvious characteristics are the use of "Sticky Rice" rather than plain rice as well as plenty fiery chilies. E San people have a taste for delicious, spicy, and sometimes bizarre foods. They like food highly seasoned and regional specialties like “Larb”, made with spicy minced meat or chicken and "Khai Yang" (BBQ Chicken). Meat is often scarce in villages and fresh water fish and shrimp are the principal source of protein sometime cooked with herbs, spices and sometime fermented.