Northern Thailand: Places to Explore


  • Chiang Rai and The Golden Triangle

    This fabled area is a beautiful stretch of rolling uplands that conceal remote hill tribe villages and drop down to the broad Mekong, which is backed on its far side by the mountains of Laos. Although some... Read more

  • The Mae Hong Son Loop

    Remote Mae Hong Son is reached along a mountainous stretch of road known to travelers as "the Loop." The route runs from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son via Pai if you take the northern route, and via Mae Sariang... Read more

  • Nan

    Near the border of Laos lies the city of Nan, a provincial capital founded in 1272. According to local legend, Lord Buddha, passing through the Nan Valley, spotted an auspicious site for a temple to be... Read more

  • Phitsanulok

    For a brief span in the 14th century, after the decline of Sukhothai and before the rise of Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok was the kingdom's capital. Further back in history, Phitsanulok was a Khmer outpost called... Read more

  • Phrae

    A market town in a narrow valley, Phrae is well off the beaten path. It's a useful stopover on the 230-km (143-mile) journey from Lampang to Nan, but has little to offer the visitor apart from ruined city... Read more

  • Si Satchanalai

    Si Satchanalai, a sister city to Sukhothai, was governed by a son of Sukhothai's reigning monarch. Despite its secondary position, the city grew to impressive proportions, and the remains of no fewer than... Read more

  • Sukhothai

    Sukhothai, which means "the dawn of happiness," holds a unique place in Thailand's history. Until the 13th century most of Thailand consisted of many small vassal states under the thumb of the Khmer Empire... Read more