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Planning a Trip to Northern Thailand?

The north of Thailand - the most mountainous part of the country which has borders with Myanmar and Laos, is known for its impressionable mountains, lofty landscapes, spectacular waterfalls, rugged terrain and colourful hilltribe villages, and rural communities that still remain traditional. The first thing you will notice is that this part of the country is less touristic than the islands of the south and Bangkok. The pace of life is much slower here - Northern Thais are very laid back and renown for their gentle nature and kindness perhaps because of their surroundings in lush and fertile countryside. This is a part of the country that still remains largely traditional and authentic.

The capital of the North - Chiang Mai, is the most popular and best base for travel around the North of Thailand. Thousands of tourists visit every year - A city of old and new, where east meets west, it guarantees something for everybody. Some say Chiang Mai has everything Bangkok has to offer except on a much smaller and quieter scale. Most people allow a few days in Chiang Mai but one could easily spend a week and not have covered all of Chiang Mai's Attractions

If you want to explore the rural beauty of Northern Thailand and get to the heart of it's culture and way of life, then consider a visit to Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son. A recommended 3 days is needed to fully appreciate Chiang Rai province, which is probably most famous for the Golden Triangle but there is so much more than this such as Thaton and the Chinese village of Mae Salong. Please see Chiang Rai Destinations for more info. A further 5 days is needed for Mae Hong Son province best discovered by doing the Mae Hon Son Loop a famous 600km circuit which starts from Chiang Mai and takes you through the province via Pai, Mae Hong Son capital and Mae Sariang before ending back up at Chiang Mai.

For the ultimate Northern Thailand experience with 10 days or more on your hands you could cover both Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai. Starting off with the Mae Hong Son Loop then crossing over to Chiang Rai via Pai then Chiang Dao. If you don't have time for these excursions then you can still experience the countryside of the North at destinations such as Doi Inthanon and Samoeng which are only 1-2 hours drive from the city and can be done a day trip from Chiang Mai.

Even beach lovers end up falling for the lure of the north and many make repeat visits. The north offers something for all ages and tastes, it is somewhere where you can surround yourself in the lush nature, kick back and relax or be as active as you want.

When planning a holiday/vacation to the North, many people will research about travel destinations in Northern Thailand from travel guides and have unrealistic expectations of the number of places they can cover within a short space of time, as travel guides don't tell you how long it takes to get from place to place or much time you will need there.


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