Wats and mountaintops up North
Destinations Destinations
Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao, Doi Inthanon, Royal Agricultural Station, Tha Ton, Fang
Activity Activity
Adventure, Nature & Wildlife, Water Sports

Start at Thailand's second largest city and the unofficial capital of the North: Chiang Mai. Stroll the night markets after perusing the graceful art and architecture of Lanna, a kingdom with 6th-century roots that survived phases of independence and tribute to either Ayutthaya or Pegu of modern Myanmar, until becoming part of Siam/Thailand for good. Pop up to Chiang Dao to tap a confusion of caves before continuing north to the flower-draped fields and mountain vistas of Doi Ang Khang in Fang, where you also might sprinkle in hot springs and Shan-style temples. Turning east near the border with Myanmar, stop for lunch or a night in Tha Ton, the launch point for a scenic Kok Riverboat cruise that will leave you in Chiang Rai, home to a wide assortment of attractions to rival Chiang Mai.

Top experiences

Our recommended activities and highlights

Scale Doi Inthanon, Thailand's tallest peak
Doi Inthanon

Scale Doi Inthanon, Thailand's tallest peak

Not a mountain climber? Relax. A switchback road climbs this 2,565m peak, which stands as a once-in-a-lifetime destination for many Thai tourists. The views do not disappoint and a mountain break from the heat is always welcome, but it's the cheery atmosphere among Thais crossing the peak their bucket list that carries many visitors away.

See family photos and mountain flowers in North Thailand
Royal Agricultural Station

See family photos and mountain flowers in North Thailand

Of the scores of doi — "mountain(s)" in the Northern dialect — worth visiting in Northern Thailand, few have the effect of this 1,928m hill station blanketed in praya suekrong (Thai cherry blossom) and other temperate flowers and birdlife.

Explore hidden caves in Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao

Explore hidden caves in Chiang Dao

Chiang Dao’s limestone cave complex runs for more than 12km underneath Thailand’s third largest mountain. Take a guide to explore deeper.

Stroll the night markets of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai

Stroll the night markets of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s night markets offer the best shopping and eating in Thailand’s second city. Try Warorot Market for northern Thai street food or the night bazaar for an authentic Thai shopping experience.

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