Visiting North Thailand
The North is generally a mountainous region that is composed of alluvial valleys, natural forests, hill tribe villages and remnants of the old independent kingdoms that have ruled over the land. The North in many ways provide the pleasing alternative to the commercial feel of Bangkok, the country's commercial hub and capital city, with its slower pace of life.
Where to visit in North Thailand?
For starters, Chiang Mai is the major city in the region. It is called the 'Rose of the north', a top tourist destination for people who want to get the real feel of authentic Thailand living and culture. Chang Mai boasts a selection of ancient Buddhist temples, elephant training camps, and jungles for trekking and wonderful rivers for rafting.
While in Chang Mai, it is a good idea to take a complete tour of the place which includes a peek at the orchid and butterfly garden, the Sai Namphung Orchid Nursery, an elephant ride in one Chang Mai's elephant training camps, a visit to the long-necked hill tribe village and market, a dip in one of Chang Mai's 3 gorgeous waterfalls, and jungle trekking as well as rafting in any of Chang Mai's national parks.
For a more laid-back holiday, you can try going further to Chian Rai, a province famous for being a part of the Golden Triangle, the border between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Like Chang Mai, you can expect scenic mountains, hot springs, waterfalls, rivers and river valleys, historical sites, ancient settlements and a mix of tribal culture that is shared by the Akha, Karen, Muser, Meo and Lisu to name a few tribes. Chiang Rai is perfect for people who love jungle trekking and mountain biking. The numerous national parks situated in this province offer the ideal getaway from the busy life of the cities.
If you're visiting North Thailand during September well into October, you will find it hard to miss the famous traditional festival of Kamphaeng Phet, the Kamphaeng Phet Mini Banana Festival. This showcases a competition for the ceremonial preparations of the "Khao Krayasat" and "Khao Kraythip", the province's traditional foods.
Mae Hong Son lies deep into the high mountain ranges of Northern Thailand and remains, by and large, a remote province that is isolated from the rest of the world. This isolation is exactly what attracts tourists to pour in year round.
Festivals and events are never lacking in a North Thailand province called Phayao. In February, visitors are walked through the various colorful traditional processions of the land in a festival called King Ngam Muang Ceremony. In April and May, the province boasts of the King Phraya Lor Ceremony and Pha Cho Ton Luang Festival. And in November, the local beauty pageants and boat racing events are showcased in Loy Krathong Festival.
North Thailand offers a quite diverse selection of activities for tourists. The general appeal of the region comes from its mountainous ranges, forests and national parks that offer remote tranquility.