10 Most Amazing Destinations in Northern Thailand

by Kasem Niran
Chiang Mai, Thailand

While many travelers to Thailand fly to the southern islands and Bangkok, there is a wealth of amazing attractions in the country’s northern regions. It is possible to go mountain climbing in this area, and there are many quaint villages teeming with people who live quite differently from city residents in Thailand.

Make Northern Thailand a part of your next vacation to Asia if you want to view elephants in their natural environment or visit hill tribes. From historical parks to the entrance to the fabled Golden Triangle, this list features some of the best places to visit in Northern Thailand.

10. Phrae

Wat Na Khuha Temple in Phrae, Thailand

A stunning view of Wat Na Khuha Temple, a hidden gem in Phrae, Thailand. Image source: lemaret pierrick/Shutterstock.com

Phrae is not a typical tourist destination, yet it is worth seeing because of its rich history and the wonderful historic architecture it has preserved from the time of the Lanna Thai Kingdom. Phrae’s remote location means that it is less likely to attract large numbers of foreign visitors, allowing you to see a more genuine side of Thai culture.

Since Phrae is situated inside a large teak forest, many of the city’s structures include teak forest. The Pratabjai House, where the King and Queen of Thailand lived, the Khum Chao Luang, and the remnants of the old city wall are all must-sees.

9. Mae Sai

Mae Sai Aerial View from Wat Phra That Wai Dao Temple in Thailand

A breathtaking view of Mae Sai from the Wat Phra That Wai Dao (Black Scorpion Temple) in Thailand. Image source: saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

Mae Sai is the farthest point north in all of Thailand. This town serves as a hub for tourists headed to Myanmar, but it also has enough to offer on its own. A beautiful temple, Wat Phra That Wai Dao, welcomes visitors, while a smaller Burmese temple is to one side.

The gigantic scorpion statue is a symbol of Thai power and military success, and its bared claws point in the direction of Myanmar. Jewels imported from Myanmar and things carved from local sandalwood are two of the most popular gifts to pick up on a shopping trip to Mae Sai’s many marketplaces.

8. Nan

Field and Mountains View in Nan, Thailand

A peaceful view of a field and mountains in the morning in Nan, Thailand. Image source: Krittin_Saeteaw/Shutterstock.com

Nan, a city-state in the Lanna Kingdom, flourished in the 14th century because of its convenient position between the two major cities of Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang. Locals of Nan are understandably proud of their place of origin and history, since the city was only formally reincorporated into Thailand in 1931.

The Nan National Museum is located in the palace of the city’s last two feudal rulers and provides a great introduction to the city. Then, spend some time on the Nan River watching the colorful boat races or seeing the King of Nan’s Teak House (built in the 19th century) and the Wat Phumin (built in the 16th century).

7. Lampang

Aerial View of Phra That Lampang Luang in Lampang Province, Thailand

A majestic aerial view of Phra That Lampang Luang, an iconic temple in Lampang Province, Thailand. Image source: Jee1999/Shutterstock.com

Lampang is a city in northern Thailand that is well worth a visit. Historical monuments and artifacts from the city’s long human history attest to its antiquity. Visit the ancient city of Ban Sao Nak, the House of Many Pillars (Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao), and the dazzling Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao.

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a historic temple with impressive architecture and stunning artwork from the nineteenth century. Gad Gong Tha Night Market is the place to be in Lampang on Saturday and Sunday evenings for food, drink, and souvenir shopping.

6. Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Suea Ten, Blue Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand

A stunning view of Wat Rong Suea Ten, the Blue Temple, in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Image source: Sergei Mugashev/Shutterstock.com

Where Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet is known as the “Golden Triangle.” Chiang Rai is the usual starting point for exploration of the Golden Triangle. The city’s own attractions include the black house at the Baan Dam Museum, the Buddhist temple Munniti Chiang Rai, the 14th-century Wat Klong Wiang, and the 14th-century White Temple.

Chiang Rai’s Cultural Hall Museum is a great place to learn about the city’s history, and a cruise down the Kok River is an unforgettable way to see the sights.

5. Doi Inthanon National Park

Two Pagodas in Inthanon Mountain

A beautiful landscape featuring two pagodas, Noppamethanedol, and Noppapol Phumsiri in Inthanon Mountain, Thailand. Image source: naihei/Shutterstock.com

Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand challenges the common perception that the country is all beaches and palm trees. Because of its proximity to Thailand’s highest peak, this park has a relatively high altitude and, on rare occasions, frost.

The Mae Klang Waterfall, the Mae Ya Waterfall, and the Sirithan Waterfall are just a few of the stunning waterfalls that can be seen in Doi Inthanon National Park. Extend your stay by visiting the Hmong Market, where the vendors are dressed in traditional garb from their home tribe, and getting some exercise on the Ang Ka Nature Trail.

4. Mae Hong Son

Wat Jongkham in Mae Hong Son

Wat Jongkham is a must-visit location for tourists visiting Mae Hong Son, near Chiang Mai, Thailand. Image source: anek.soowannaphoom/Shutterstock.com

Even though Mae Hong Song is technically in Northern Thailand, the area’s unique culture makes you seem like you’ve been to another country. Shan people make up a significant portion of the population of Mae Hong Son, which is located in southwestern Thailand and borders the country of Myanmar.

Therefore, the city is a must-visit and feels different from everywhere else in the country. Many of the lodging establishments in Mae Hong Son provide trekking guides ready to take you on a day of adventure in the great outdoors. Hiking in the region will let you see sights like the Su Tong Pae Bamboo Bridge, Tham Pla Fish Cave, Pha Sua Waterfall, and Pang Tong Palace. Mae Hong Son is a popular stop along the four-day, scenic Mae Hong Son loop, which begins and finishes in Chiang Mai.

3. Pai

Pai River in Thailand

The Pai River, located in Pai, Thailand, is a picturesque and serene destination for tourists. Image source: Kittichai/Shutterstock.com

Backpackers flock to Pai, Thailand, because of the abundance of fun things to do in the great outdoors. Whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, tubing down the river, and hiking to the spectacular Tha Pai Hot Springs are just some of the adventures that await you in this region. Raddamrong Road is the place to go for nightlife, with its many outdoor bars, low drink prices, and frequent performances by local musicians. The World War II Memorial Bridge and the nearby Chinese village of Santichon are great places to learn about the area’s past.

2. Sukhothai

Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai Historical Park

Wat Mahathat temple in Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand. Image source: cowardlion/Shutterstock.com

The city of Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand in the 13th century, but now it is nothing more than a collection of ruins despite its former glory. In the Sukhothai Historical Park, visitors can get a glimpse into life in Northern Thailand over 800 years ago, and you can even ride a bicycle to view more of the ruins in less time. Each area of the park requires a separate admission fee. In the midst of ancient ruins, magnificent bridges, and breathtaking stucco reliefs, you will find enormous Buddha statues.

1. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty to see and do for tourists. Image source: 501room/Shutterstock.com

Chiang Mai noted for its elephants and its temples, is the biggest and most popular destination in Northern Thailand. There are more than 300 temples in Chiang Mai, but the best is the 14th-century Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep outside the city center, the 14th-century Wat Phra Singh with its amazing frescoes, and the 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang. Make sure to visit the famed night bazaar while in Chiang Mai.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


At OnTravelX, we’re passionate about travel and helping people explore the world. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, informative, and inspiring travel content to our readers. From destination guides and travel tips to the latest trends in travel and tourism, we strive to cover every aspect of the travel experience.

Contact us: contact@ontravelx.com

@2023 – OnTravlex. All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by OnTravlex