Welcome to our Northern Thailand Guide
The provinces of Northern Thailand are: Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon, Sawan, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit.
The North offers gorgeous landscapes where mountains, valleys and rainforest are following each other due to the Himalaya.
With its 2 565 m high, Doï Inthanon mount, in the province of Chiang Maï is the highest point of the country.
The mountainous areas are part of the famous "Golden Triangle", junction point between thailand, Myanmar and Laos borders.
In the north, the agriculture remains the main activity (fruits and vegetables farms). Teak Wood is also produced there (with highly strict rules), and it hosts some of the most beautiful natural Parks like the Doï Inthanon and Lang Sang Parks.
It is in the north that most of the Thai Kingdoms were settled : Lan Na, Nan, Chiang Maï and Chiang Saen, and it explains why this part of Thailand is sor rich with archeological and historicals sites.
The population lives in a quiet rythm and is mostly composed of farmers, handicrafters and hill tribes.
Located in the northern part of Thailand, Phitsanulok is famous for many things such as the ancient places as Shrine of King Naresuan the Great and its beautiful scenery. There are many temples,natural park with waterfalls that you 'll surely enjoy to visit.
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, usually called "Wat Yai",is the most important monastery of Phitsanulok. The monastery was built in 1357 . It houses the Phra buddha Chinnarat relics and one of the most beautiful Buddha Image in Thailand.
Wat Ratcha Bhurana and Wat Nang Phaya ares located on the East Nan river side near Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat. Thet were built by the King Borom Tri Lokganard when Phitsanulok was the capital for 25 years in Ayuthya Era. Wat Nang Phaya is famous for its small images of Buddha that were found in 1901 and 1954.
Wat Chedi Yod Thong is the only temple remaining outside Phitsanulok walls. This temple was built during Sukothai Era.
Wat Chula Manee is the most important temple in Phitsanulok. Located on the East Nan river side, south of Phitsanulok about 5 kilometers, this Khmer pagoda was built before Sukothai Era.
House boat is a typical way of life in Phitsanulok, people gather together to stay on house boats and house rafts along both sides of the Nan river. Hundred of houses lay afloat in river. Klong life in Bangkok is different from what you will see there.
Bung Rachanok Swamp is an old swamp lying on 4000 rais. Bung Rachanok was renovated in 1994 and has become a popular tourist attraction in Phitsanulok.
Namtok Chatrakan is a huge seven-level waterfall with sandstone cliffs into a pool surrounded by sandy beaches. Namtok Chatrakan National Park is in the north east of Phitsanulok province and covers some 545 sq km of hills leading at 2,102m at the Thai-Lao border.
Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park covers 310 sq km of rugged mountains up to 1,700 m. With sheer cliffs at the south east of Namtok Chatrakan and straddles on the other side. The park was the scene of bloody battles against Communist insurgents and the scars of the fighting can still be seen in places.
Sukhothai was the first Kingdom of the Thais in this peninsula, founded in 1238, and was the capital of Thailand for 120 years.
Ramkhamhaeng National Park (Khao Luang), located at Khirimat District, approximately 36 kms from Sukhothai city, consists in high hills and steep cliffs, some 1,200 meters above sea level. Waterfalls, different species of plants and wildlife are some of the major attractions for tourists. There are also the archaeological and historical sites with ancient remains.
Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is located in the Sukhothai Historical Park area and opened on 25 January, 1964. The museum collection includes gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces. Sukhothai Historical Park is located 12 km from town on Sukhothai-Tak Highway. The Ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist temples, the city gates, walls moats, dams, ditches, ponds, canals are now preserved and restored by the Fine Arts Department with the cooperation of UNESCO.
Phra Mae Ya Shrine is located in front of the City Hall and is highly respected by Sukhothai residents. It houses an Idol of Phra Mae Ya, a stone figure with a white face and long hair, and dressed as an ancient Queen. The Idol is about 1 meter high and supposed to have been built during King Ramkhamhaeng's reign as a dedication to his late mother Nang Suang. Phra Mae Ya festival is held in February. Along with shops selling local products, exhibitions and shows.
The Wall of The Old City, is in the center of the historical park in Tambon Muang Kao and surrounded by earthen ramparts. The walls contain four main gates. A stone inscription mentions that Kings Ramkhamhaeng set up a bell at one of the gates. If his subjects needed help they would ring the bell and the king Would come out to settle in disputes and dispense justice.
The Royal Palace, in the center of the town, is surrounded by a moat and contains two main compounds; the royal building and the sanctuary in the palace.
Wat Chana-Songkhram is located at the north of Wat Mahathat Its main sanctuary is round Singhalese-style chedi.
Wat Sa-Si is located near Wat Chanasongkhram. Built in Singhalese-style chedi, there i is the main sanctuary in the middle of Trakuan Pond. A large viharn contains a Buddha image.
Si Satchanalai Historical Park is located in Muang kao, 52 kms from Sukhothai City. It is registered by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.
San-Ta-Pha-Daeng or Deity Shrine is situated at the north of Wat Mahathat. This Monument consists in one prang with a staircase in the front. Sandstone Hindu divines were discovered there.
King Ramkhamhaeng Monument homes the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng sitting on a throne with a base relief recording his life.
Wat Mai, this temple, built in Ayutthaya style, has a brick viharn as the main sanctuary. The columns are made of laterite and a bronze image of the Buddha under a Naga was found there, it is now preserved in the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.
Wat Traphang-Thong, which houses the Lord Buddha?s Footprint is located at the east of Wat Mahathat The monastery is located on an island in the middle of a large pond. A ruined laterite Singhalese-style chedi is on the island.
Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s second northern capital is surrounded by several high mountains and enjoys a cool climate almost all year . Until a few years ago, the town was pretty isolated but now, the town is much visited by tourists. Mae Hong Son Province is bordered by Burma at the north and west and you can feel the Burmese influence in the temples and other buildings.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu is on top of Doi Kong Mu mountain, dominating the city. Built by the first King of Mae Hong Son, the hilltop temple affords a wonderful view of the town and surrounding mountains and valleys. It is one of the many Burmese-style temples around Mae Hong Son.
Wat Hua Wiang contains the image of Phra Chao Pha Ra La Kheng, a replica of a famous Buddha image in Burma.
Wat Chong Khum houses paintings and wood carvings which were brought from Burma almost 100 years ago.
Wat Phra Non houses a huge 12m (39ft) long Burmese-style Reclining Buddha statue. Two massive stone lions guard the temple staircase.The temple also houses ashes of Mae Hong Son kings.
Wat Kitti Wong, along the Highway 108, at the south of the city, houses Buddha relics brought from Chiang Mai, as well as manuscripts about relations between Burma and the Lannatai kingdom. The ancient records were discovered into the Phra Daeng Cave.
Wat Moi To, in Ban Khun Yuam, south of the city on Highway 108, has a huge and beautiful northern-style pagoda.
Pha Bong Dam, at about 12km south of the town of Mae Hong Son, on the shores of Mae Ra Mat River.
Pha Bong and Nam Hu Hai Chai Waterfalls are near the dam along Highway 108, at the south of the city.
Mae Hu and Mae La Ka Waterfalls, near Highway 108, at the south of the town , have water hot enough to boil eggs. In the vicinity are several caves.
Tham Pla Forest Park, 17 km north of the city on Highway 1095, numerous fish can be seen in streams inside the cave.
Lot Cave Forest Park, is about 70km north of the city, 8km after the Highway 1095, antiques and pre-historic remains have been found. Beautiful stalagmites and stalactites can be seen.
Hill Tribes. Tribal Development and Assistance Center near Doi Mae Ho, south of the city, on the Highway 108, is a scenic area with colorful flower plantations. Most of the hill-tribe people who live here are of Karen ancestry. you can also find a peaceful Meo tribal village near the Thai-Burmese border, 60 km north of the city.
Chiang Mai and its Area
This is a very popular city, capitale of the north, known as the "Northern Rose", is surrounded with grenn landscapes and the Doi Suthep mountain chain. Founded in 1296, by Mengrai the great king of the Lanna Thai Kingdom.
Nowadays, Chiangmai is a very important economical province. Centre of communication of the Lanna Thai area, its culture, the oldest, the first tourist destination in the North of Thailand.
There are more than 300 temples in the city, most of them of more than 500 years old. Many hilltribes live in the surrounding mountains, many of them, originally coming from China.
Wat Phrathat Doi Southep : This temple is the symbol of Chiang Mai. Holy relics of the Lord Buddha are enshrined in the towering golden stupa. The panoramic view of Chiang Mai and its surrounding countryside is an added attraction for visitors.
Phumping Palace : this beautiful building lies further up the mountain at 4,330 feet above sea level, with its flowers in bloom all year round (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only).
Local Industries : The native craftsmen seen hand-making their world renowned handicrafts is the highlight of this sort of tours of the cottage industry. Observe Thai silk and cotton weaving, parasols and paper making, teakwood carving, silverware making, lacquer wares and Chiang Mai's unique celadon potter kilns.
Khantoke Dinner : Your holiday will not be complete without visiting Chiang Mai and sampling a Khantoke dinner. The relaxed and informal atmosphere, the delicious selection of Northen Thai food and the delightful entertainment performed by charming dancers make it an evening you’ll not forget.
Elephant at Work : Elephants of all sizes can be observed in a camp amid the lush jungle North of the city. The morning programme includes a demonstration of how trained elephants are used in the teak forest. You will enjoy an elephant ride around the camp.
Elephant Safari & Rafting : After attending an elephant’s show, you’ll get the chance to go on an hour’s ride on the back of an elephant in the Chiang Dao Training Camp. In the afternoon, the programme entails rafting on the river.
Lamphun : Founded in 660 AD, Lamphun is an historic city and the administrative centre of the main kingdom. The fortified walls were constructed in the 16th century and remain today in pristine condition. The city's temples are the finest samples of architectural beauty.
Karen Hill Tribe’s Village : In the village of Pasang you’ll experience the atmosphere of a small town in Northen Thailand. The white Karen Village is set amid lush rice fields.
Lisu Hill Tribe’s Village : The Lisu women's costumes are very vibrant and their turbans are inlaid with tassels. The men wear black jackets studded with silver and colourful trousers. There, visitors get the opportunity to learn about this tribe's culture, ways and customs.
Meo Hill Tribe’s Village : This tribe retains its traditional methods of silver jewellery and intricate embroidery crafting.
The Golden Triangle and Akha & Yao hilltribes’ villages : Mae Sai at the border, Mae Salong, and Akha hilltribe villages are located in Chiang rai area.
Inthanon National Park : At 2,565 meters above sea level, Doi Inthanon Mountain is Thailand's highest point. The scenery, the wildlife and the panoramic view over the national park make for a most memorable day.
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