5 Great Places To Visit In Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand has a unique flavour and atmosphere. When you have had your fill of island life in the South and city life in the bustling capital, Bangkok, we suggest making a shortlist of places to visit in Northern Thailand before heading to the location of the historical Lanna Kingdom. To get you started, we have compiled our own list of 5 must-visit places.

Our Top 5 Places to Visit in Northern Thailand

If you’re making a list of where to go and what to do in Northern Thailand, don’t forget to include the following:

  • Chiang Mai – The primary city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is the first port of call on many people’s Lanna Kingdom tours. You can visit a Chiang Mai waterfall, explore the local temples, witness elephants in their natural habitat and do so much more while you’re in this remarkable part of the world. We also recommend making time to ascend Doi Suthep, visit the Walking Street night market and enjoy a drink in the stylish Nimman Road area.

  • Chiang Rai – Prior to 1296, Chiang Rai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom and remains an important city to this day. Whilst it may have lost some of its prestige to Chiang Mai, it still boasts many popular tourist attractions, including the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Doi Tung and Phu Chi Fa Forest Park. If you have time to make a slight detour on the way, we recommend stopping off at Chiang Dao Cave: over 12 km of underground passages, caverns and amazing stalactites are sure to amaze you.

  • Doi Inthanon National Park – Just 56 kilometres to the west of the city of Chiang Mai, and still in the same province, is this stunning national park. Within its borders can be found areas of rainforest, deciduous forest, oak forest and peat bog, together with stunning waterfalls, well laid-out nature trails and many beautiful flowers.

  • Lampang – A little over 100 km from Chiang Mai, in a south-easterly direction, lies the city of Lampang, which attracts a large number of visitors every year. Among the most popular tourist destinations in Lampang are Wat Phra That Lampang Luang and the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre.

  • Pai – Although it is a very popular destination, Pai, in the province of Mae Hong Son, has managed to retain much of its original, sleepy village charm. Consequently, it tends to attract tourists who are seeking a rather different experience from the normal 2-week beach holiday. Also in Mae Hong Son, and well worth a visit if you have the time, are the hill-tribe village of Pang Lung (a Royal Project Initiative) and Wat Phra That Doi.

Whichever order you sample these places to visit in Northern Thailand, you’re sure to have a great time. And if you’re planning a longer trip, enrolling in a short Thai language course at the beginning of your stay (or perhaps an online self-learning course before you arrive) will help to enhance your enjoyment of this exotic part of the world. Below, is a small vocabulary resource that you may find useful during your travels.

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