Northern Thailand is a delight to explore and one that caters to a wide range of visitors, from solo travellers to couples and families. This mountainous region of Thailand was once the separate kingdom of Lanna and the Lanna heritage lives on in the culture, cuisine and language of the north.

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the two best-known destinations in the north of Thailand. Depending on which other provinces you’d like to explore, they can both make for an excellent starting point for adventures in North Thailand. Chiang Mai can be combined with trips to Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Lamphun and Sukhothai. Similarly, staying in Chiang Rai allows for exploration of other charming provinces like Nan, Phrae, and Phayao.

Rice fields in Chiang Mai province
Sunset at Phayao Lake
Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Known as the cultural capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the perfect base for an extended trip to explore the magic of North Thailand. A destination steeped in history and rich in culture, Chiang Mai regularly features in lists of the world’s best cities to visit.

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai

There is much to see and do in Thailand’s most northerly province. Visit the famous White Temple and the serene Blue Temple, explore the scenic countryside, and discover the diversity of the different communities who live and work in Chiang Rai.


Easy to reach from Chiang Mai, the genteel provincial capital of Lampang is a culturally rewarding addition to your Northern Thailand itinerary. Learn about the history of the teak industry, experience Lanna culture and visit unique temples.

Wat Chaloem Phrakiat, Lampang
Sunflower fields, Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son

The mountainous province of Mae Hong Son is the perfect destination for adventure seekers and anyone who wants to connect with nature. This picturesque corner of north-west Thailand is a melting pot of cultures and traditions with influences from Burma and China helping to make this one of the most culturally diverse locations in Thailand.


Although Nan is a popular destination for Thai travellers, it remains off the main tourist trail and sees relatively few overseas tourists. But this is a destination with spectacular mountain scenery and a charming provincial capital. If you’d like to see the so-called ‘real Thailand’, add Nan to your itinerary.

Nan province
Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai Historical Park


A wonderful destination for culture lovers, Sukhothai is regarded as the first capital of Thailand. Sukhothai flourished in the 13th century and the historic ruins of the ancient kingdom dot the landscape here evoking memories of former glories.

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