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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 07, 2019
Headline for 7 Best Places to Visit in Northern Thailand - Top Seven Northern Thailand Highlights Every Traveller Must Explore
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Best Places to Visit in Northern Thailand - Top Seven Northern Thailand Highlights Every Traveller Must Explore

As one of Thailand's most engaging regions, Northern Thailand is home to some of the country's most spectacular destinations. Here are 7 must-visit hotspots in the area.


Chiang Dao

Ideally located one and half hours from Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao is perhaps best known for its stunning limestone mountains including the country's third tallest hill Doi Chiang Dao. Towering above the surrounding landscape, the 7135-foot mountain is not the only reason to head down to Chiang Dao as this area is also considered excellent for bird watching activities. More than 300 species of birds occupy the leafy confines of Chiang Dao which is also a stone's throw away from the Pha Daeng National Park.



Situated less than 4 hours away from Chiang Mai, the relaxed and decidedly laid back bohemian haven of Pai is the perfect respite from the crowd infested confines of Chiang Mai. A popular hotspot among backpackers, Pai is accessible to travellers of varying budgets although the "hippie" town is ideal for those with a penchant for organic food, fruit smoothies and meditation. Yoga retreats and healing hubs are also a fad here as are Qi Gong studios and other passions of self-declared vegetarians.


Chiang Rai

Revered for its iconic cultural attractions including the White Temple, Chiang Rai is an architecture and art lover's dream destination in Northern Thailand. Don't' forget to stop by Khun Korn Forest Park with its captivating waterfalls while those based at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort or any similar Chiang Saen hotels can also witness great works by the area's renowned artist duo Chalermchai Kositpipat and Thawan Duchanee.


Chiang Mai

As the best know tourist Mecca in the northern reaches of Thailand, the city which is known as the "New City" in the local tongue is one of the best reasons to head to this part of the country in the first place. Known for its elephant camps and spectacular wildernesses, Chiang Mai's weekend markets alone make the visit a worthwhile experience.


Doi Inthanon

A trip to Doi Inthanon offers travellers a chance to hike up to the country's tallest summit of the same name. With cool weather a constant, this mountain hideaway is also home to the Thai National Observatory.


Mae Hong Son

Often described as an area rich in Shan culture, Mae Hong Son, it is perhaps the most secluded corner of Northern Thailand and all the more spectacular for it. This remote venue is renowned for its night markets, hill tribes and trekking possibilities as well as the many temples located in the area.



As one of the less popular regions of Northern Thailand, Lampang is one of the country's best-kept secrets. Located to the south of the regional capital Chiang Mai, Lampang is the third biggest township in the area. The best time to head down to Lampang is on a weekend when the exquisite ceramics and other wares produced in the area makes its way to the markets in town. Elephant dung stationery is one such local export.