North Thailand is characterized by a number of mountain ranges, giving it a cool climate that makes it very appealing to travelers. The tourist-friendly weather sets it apart from the rest of Thailand which is otherwise scorching hot. Having gained popularity among foreign and local tourists in the 70’s, North Thailand went on to become one of the famous travel destinations in the country.
Bordered by Myanmar and Laos, as well as the Central Plains, Isaan and numerous river valleys cutting through these nations, North Thailand is accessible to neighboring provinces and cities and other countries through the main airport found in Chiang Mai. International flights and domestic flights connecting to Phuket, Chiang Rai, Bangkok as well as other destinations are available here. Those coming from nearby can also take the trains coming in from Bangkok or they can always opt to take the bus traversing from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Once in the region, travelers can also choose among multiple public transportation options to go around and explore the beauty and treasure North Thailand is best known for. Guests can also choose to go around on bikes as North Thailand is also distinguished to have some of the best biking roads around.
A perfect way to jump-start any North Thailand trip is to explore Chiang Mai. Being the fifth largest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai is known by the locals as Rose of the North and is also one of the top travel destinations in the region because of its cool weather. The perfect way to begin any exploration here is to visit the temples of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. What makes this tourist spot a hit among travelers is conquering the 300 or more steps and being rewarded with a magnificent view of the city once they reach the top. Built in 1383, the legend has it that this place was chosen by an elephant and is revered to be a sacred site. There are also other temples to check out inside the old walled city, starting with Wat Phra Singh on Rajdamnern Rd, or the oldest royal temple in the city found in Wat Chiang Man o Rajpakinai Rd, as well as the temples at the heart of Chiang Mai found in Wat Chedi Luang on Prapokklao Rd. Other must-visit places in the area include the Chiang Mai National Museum and the Chiang Mai Numismatic Museum on Ratchadamnoen Rd. Those who love to commune with nature will find a visit to the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium and the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, as well as a trip to see the magnificent elephants in their natural habitat a very wonderful experience. The more adventurous travelers will also find visiting the Doi Inthanon National Park, the tallest mountain in Thailand, a thrilling experience.
The next destination to discover in North Thailand is the city of Sukhothai, which is most well known for the ruins of the ancient city. Old Sukhothai, the capital of the old Sukhothai kingdom in the 12th to 14th centuries, houses numerous ancient ruins now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those who would rather lose the throngs of people, especially during peak season, can always opt to visit the Si Satchnalai Historic Park, about 50 kilometers away from the New Sukhothai. Another interesting place worthy a visit is the night market, Thongchai Wittayu, which is considered the biggest electronic shop in the area. Those who have been here before will also tell you that any Sukhothai trip ought to be capped with the famous Sukhothait noodles and to do that, simply proceed to one of the many local cafes and diners. Kruu Eew is one of the well-known restaurants serving the famous local specialty.
The charming mountainous Chang Rai, on the other hand, is a perfect spot for trekking. It is also home to a number of plush accommodations that even the most meticulous of travelers will find hard to resist. Before heading out on an exhilarating trek adventure, make sure to drop by the Hilltribe Museum on Thanalai Road, which has the most comprehensive information about the tribes and their culture.
And before ending your North Thailand trip, make sure to get a Buddha image from one of the many shops that sell them at the fresh and night market. In addition, a visit to Umphang to see the Tee Lor Su Waterfall will always be worth your time.