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The Alluring Charm of Northern Thailand: Discover the Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations

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Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Northern Thailand

Some of Thailand’s most stunning natural marvels can be found in the north. The old Lanna Kingdom, which is special to this area, is where its civilizations got their start. This place has an unrivalled sense of flavour and a passion for cuisine. What more could you want with the stunning scenery, intriguing civilizations, and mouthwatering cuisine?

When it comes to discovering Thailand’s off-the-beaten-path destinations, Northern Thailand is undoubtedly an area that merits your full focus. However, with more than 17 districts, how can we determine which locations are worthwhile a visit? Well, that’s exactly why I made the decision to compose this essay.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about Thailand’s distinctive culture, I have included a list of the top 10 locations in Northern Thailand that you ought to explore, based on my own travels through these regions.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the chart below to see all the top tourist destinations in Northern Thailand:

1.Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, the former capital of the 700-year-old Lanna Kingdom, is a historic city in northern Thailand with a perfect mix of the relaxed north, breathtaking mountains, and a variety of historically significant buildings and activities just ready for you to discover.

If you’re searching for a city in Thailand that has a more relaxed and conventional atmosphere than the busy city of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is one of the best places to go.

The old city of Chiang Mai is home to many absolutely gorgeous ancient buildings, Northern Thailand some of which are more than 700 years old, and is encircled by the old ancient ramparts of Lanna. For a day, you can hire a cycle and tour the city at your own pace, stopping at sites like Wat Lok Moli, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, or Wat Doi Suthep on the summit of the impressive Doi Suthep Mountain.

The entire major road of the old city is transformed into a busy walking street every Sunday where you can find great deals on goods and mementos in Chiang Mai, which also has one of the finest night marketplaces and walking streets in the nation.

Not to mention, you must sample the peppery Chiang Mai sausages and the delectable and particular to this area Khao Soi rice meal while you are in Northern Thailand.

All things considered, Chiang Mai ought to be at the summit of your list of locations to go in Thailand. You won’t find another place quite like it in terms of how history, culture, and cost are balanced.

2.Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain at 2,565 metres (8,415 feet), is not far from Chiang Mai and receives weather that is unusual for Thailand, including a cooler-than-normal mountain breeze and occasionally even frost in the mornings during the winter. It would be a shame to visit Northern Thailand and skip climbing this magnificent mountain.

Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Chiang Mai region, including the imposing Wachirathan Waterfall and the breathtaking flows of Mae Ya Waterfall, can be found within Doi Inthanon National Park.

There are several treks you can take at the summit Northern Thailand, but one of the finest ones is the Kew Mae Pan path. On this trail, you can climb along the mountain crest and see the sea of clouds hovering over the valley below from Thailand’s highest point.

Doi Inthanon offers a tonne of activities, and because it’s so stunning and easily approachable, it makes sense to list it among the top tourist destinations.

Northern Thailand

3.Mae Hong Son Loop

One of the finest road excursions you can take in Northern Thailand is undoubtedly the Mae Hong Son Loop. The Mae Hong Son Loop, which begins and ends in Chiang Mai, is a 600-kilometer route that circles the remote northern province of Mae Hong Son. It will transport you through some of the most breathtaking scenery you will ever see in Thailand.

The Mae Hong Son Loop will take you simultaneously to Mae Sariang, a serene remote town on the Yuam River, the provincial capital of Mae Hong Son, which is home to numerous magnificent temples in the Burmese style, the Mexican Sunflower Field that sprawls across several hills as far as the eye can see, the Chinese-influenced town of Baan Rak Thai, and the well-known tourist destination, Pai.

It can take between 3 and 10 days to travel the Mae Hong Son Loop and truly experience everything that this isolated region has to offer due to the abundance of activities available at each halt along the route and the numerous side excursions that can be taken.

Just get ready to navigate the 1860+ turns you’ll come across while going around the circle. Yes, the curves were tallied, and in Mae Hong Son City’s night market, you can even purchase a t-shirt that reads, “I have conquered the 1860 curves of Mae Hong Son.”

4.Chiang Rai

Another region in Northern Thailand that is a must-see is Chiang Rai. Although it may appear to be a quiet rural town with little to do, Chiang Rai actually has a lot to offer.

For starters, Chiang Rai is home to the White Temple, one of the loveliest and most elaborately designed temples in the nation, which is entirely covered in incredibly fine statues and carvings made of glass and painted white. It is a sanctuary, but it is not like any other building you have seen.

The huge Wat Huay Pla Kang Chinese sanctuary, home to the enormous Guany Yi Statue, the all-blue temple known as the Blue sanctuary, the colourful sculptures at Wat Saeng Kaeo Phothiyan, and other great works of art are all nearby.

As you can see, the region of Chiang Rai is well-known for its stunning works of art. It is also historically significant thanks to the old city of Chiang Saen, where you can see the boundary region between Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos as it simmers to a peak.

You can anticipate spending about 5 days in Chiang Rai to see everything since there is such a big region to explore and so much to see there. The Blue and White Temple can also be reached by day excursion from Chiang Mai, but I strongly advise spending more time in Chiang Rai than just one day.

Northern Thailand


Northern Thailand With its own distinctive culture, tourism sites, and natural beauty that rivals that of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, Nan is one of the most fascinating regions to discover in Northern Thailand.

Before it was assimilated into the neighbouring kingdoms, Nan, which had been an autonomous kingdom for centuries under the name Nanthaburi, existed in isolation for the majority of its time. (Lanna and the Burmese).

It was abandoned for many years during the Burmese era before regaining control and becoming a semi-autonomous monarchy to Siam in the 18th century. (Thailand). It took until 1931 for Nan to completely reintegrate into Thailand, regaining its vibrant culture, wide range of customs, and robust economy.

As Nan gained popularity among tourists seeking to venture beyond Chiang Mai and experience the more remote north of Thailand, its past has served as a kind of allegory for what is occurring there right now.

One of the most significant landmarks in Nan City is Wat Phumin, where you can see one of the well-preserved murals from the Nan Kingdom period that depicts the Buddha’s life cycle as well as scenes of the local life at the time. With such a rich history, Nan still preserves many beautiful remnants of its ancient past.

Along with the Golden Temple of Wat Sri Panthon and numerous other temples on the city’s outskirts, Nan also has its own White Temple (Wat Ming Muang), which is comparable to those in Chiang Rai.

One of the most unusual locations I’ve ever explored in Thailand is Sinthao Salt Pond Village, which is also located in Nan. The hamlet is well-known for its naturally occurring salt pools and for its long-standing local tradition of salt production.

You can take a stroll through the neighborhood, sit inside one of the many wooden shelters, and observe how the locals use age-old, customary methods that have been handed down through the centuries to separate salt from these salt ponds. Nowhere else in Thailand is there anything quite like this.

Nan is one of the finest locations to go looking at night for environment enthusiasts, and I know there are a tonne of you out there. You won’t be able to see the Milky Way streak across the sky like this anywhere else in Thailand, but Doi Samer Dao is a barren mountain peak and a well-liked campground with an amazing 360-degree panorama view.


What is there to do in Phayao, A Northern Thailand region that doesn’t see many tourists? Unexpectedly, quite a bit! I spent three days travelling through Phayao and was completely astounded by the overwhelming number of breathtaking and uncharted locations I had no idea existed.

For starters, I had no idea that Phayao was a lakefront city that was comparable to those lovely lakeside towns in Europe. Its large manmade lake, known locally as Kwan Phayao, was created only a few decades ago as a result of nearby dam building, and it has transformed the city into one of Thailand’s most picturesque locations.

Given that the city is situated on the lake’s eastern shore, one of Northern Thailand’s most breathtaking sundown locations is over Phayao Lake.

Every evening, many residents would congregate by the lake to enjoy the last rays of sunshine before the street changed into a pedestrian area filled with stalls selling street fare that you could investigate.

Phayao City is undoubtedly a lovely city, but if the images above aren’t enough to persuade you, the idyllic scenery of Phu Langka at dawn will.

Without a doubt, Phu Langka is one of my favourite locations in Phayao. I was totally taken aback by how picturesque and dreamlike the area around Phu Langka is, particularly at dawn.

Wait until you see Phu Langka at dawn when the low clouds drop from the mountain into the paddy fields. If you tour Phu Langka during the day, you might assume that the scenery is pleasant and that is it. It’s a beautiful spectacle to witness.


Phrae was once one of the nation’s major centres for the sale of teak, but Northern Thailand little is known today about this tiny district that sits on the border of the former Lanna Kingdom.

Most of the time, Phrae serves as a stopover for tourists en route to Nan, another well-known location in Northern Thailand. However, what these tourists are unaware of is the vast amount of unspoiled nature and secret jewels that encircle Phrae.

Phrae achieves the ideal equilibrium between custom and nature, from the unusual rock formations at Pae Muang Pee Forest Park, where you can go hiking, to all the secret nature places at Mae Yom National Park and the old teak wood homes of the last monarch of the old Phrae Kingdom throughout the city.

With so much to do, plan on staying at least two nights to see all the exquisite teak wood temples and museums in the city, as well as some time exploring by car and hiking in the unspoiled highlands of Phrae.


Most people will immediately think of Bangkok or Chiang Mai when considering the best places to visit in Thailand, but as I have travelled extensively over the years, I have found that the most memorable experiences are often found in the more remote locations like Lampang.

Lampang is the province that serves as the entrance to the Lanna Kingdom, and as you travel further north from Bangkok, you will notice a change in the temples’ and buildings’ architectural styles from the contemporary appearance of Central Thailand to a more traditional, made-of-teakwood, Burmese-inspired architectural style that is unique to Northern Thailand.

Tourist destinations in Lampang, such as the all-teak-wood Wat Si Rongmuang shrine constructed by a Shan refugee from Myanmar and the former home turned museum of Baan Louise, where Louise T.Leonowens managed his teak harvesting business, are excellent examples of how the city’s forestry history and Lanna origins are reflected.

Not only that, but the isolated area of Lampang is also home to one of the country’s most picturesque pagodas, Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, also known as the sanctuary in the heavens, where you can find a number of white pagodas constructed on top of a ragged summit of a limestone mountain.

With a cycle or a horse-drawn carriage, Lampang is a fantastic location to spend some peaceful time away from the throngs of visitors in Chiang Mai and take in all the breathtaking views. You should stay in Lampang for at least two to three nights if you want to do the city credit.

Northern Thailand


The first royal city of Siam, established in the 13th century by the famous King Ramkhamhaeng, was once located in Sukhothai, an apparently insignificant village in lower northern Thailand. Sukhothai is regarded as the birthplace of Northern Thailand culture.

Sukhothai is the best location to learn about Thai history because it is the home of everything conventional, including Thai art and building styles that are used throughout the nation.

You can cycle around the numerous, well-preserved old buildings from the 13th Century in Sukhothai’s vast Sukhothai Historical Park to get a sense of what life was like in the Sukhothai Kingdom at the time.

Sukhothai and its well-preserved ancient sites are quite a spectacle to witness, from Wat Maha That, the primary and biggest shrine compound in Sukhothai Historical Park, to the 15-meter-high ancient Buddha Image of Wat Si Chum.


Phitsanulok, Northern Thailand 800,000-person capital city that is 600 years old and situated by the Nan River in the lower northern region of the country, may not be a city that comes to mind when one thinks of places to visit in Thailand, but for those of you who prefer to explore unusual locations to the popular tourist destinations, the city provides a fascinating authentic view of what Thai lifestyle is actually like outside of tourist hubs.

One of the most genuine towns in Northern Thailand is undoubtedly Phitsanulok. Instead of those affluent people residing in popular tourism destinations like Chiang Mai or Phuket or major cities like Bangkok, the unvarnished lives of the natives here represent the majority of what life is really like in Thailand.

Due to its historical importance, this area is full of stunning ancient sites that you can explore, including the well-known Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, which is home to the Phra Phuttha Chinnarat Buddha figure, one of Thailand’s most exquisite and spectacular Buddha images. The age of this sanctuary exceeds 700 years. 7 centuries ancient! Take some time to process that.

In Phitsanulok, you can find a number of old temples and pagodas, but one of the most stunning places to visit is Wat Wihan Thong, where you can still see a number of the old remains that were constructed in the 15th century.


Northern Thailand is a diverse and alluring travel destination that offers a wide range of attractions for any traveler. Whether you’re looking to explore the rich culture and history of the region, relax in a peaceful environment, or get your adrenaline pumping with adventure activities, Northern Thailand has something to offer. From stunning temples to lush national parks, Northern Thailand is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience something new and exciting.

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