Magnificent mountains, colourful culture, and fabulous food all combine to make Northern Thailand a region to appeal to all types of visitor ranging from solo travellers to couples to families. And with so much to see and do in north Thailand, this region is a year-round destination that can be a delight to visit even during the low season months.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are perennial favourites and a great introduction to the north of Thailand. They also have the advantage that they can be used as a base to explore other stunning areas of the north with Chiang Mai offering easy access to Mae Hong Son, Lampang and Lamphun. And staying In Chiang Rai is perfect for exploring the delightful small provinces of Nan, Phrae and Phayao.
- Walk with elephants in Chiang Mai
- Explore the untamed beauty of Nan province
- Experience a community home-stay in the mountains of Mae Hong Son
- Admire the colourful temples of Chiang Rai
- Discover the ancient ruins in Sukhothai
What to see & do in north Thailand
Experience Lanna culture
The north of Thailand was once home to an independent kingdom known as Lanna (‘Land of a Million Rice Fields’) and the local people are proud of their heritage. The Lanna influence remains strong here and can be seen in the traditional dress, local dialect, architecture and food.
Stand on the roof of Thailand
The north is home to spectacular highland scenery with a visit to the highest mountain in the country, Doi Inthanon, one of the most popular day-trips from Chiang Mai. Take in the cool, crisp air and enjoy the vistas from the the gorgeous royal pagodas.
Visit dazzling temples
Chiang Mai is renowned as a city of temples and there are dozens to explore in the lovely Old Town area. Outside of the city, the mountain-top temple at Doi Suthep is a must-see. In Chiang Rai, the surreal beauty of the White Temple and Blue Temple are a photographer’s dream. And over in Mae Hong Son, the hilltop temple of Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu provides spectacular views over the city below.
Enjoy unique festivals
Cycle through the countryside and explore ancient ruins
Sukhothai is the home of an ancient kingdom that is often referred to as the first capital of Thailand. The atmospheric ruins dot the Sukhothai countryside and if you’re visiting north Thailand don’t miss the opportunity to explore Sukhothai Historical Park and nearby Si Satchanalai.