Head into the hills of Northern Thailand and visit one of the hill tribes to learn about their culture and way of life – the females of Bann Tong Luang wear brass rings around their necks and members of Palong village adorn their waists with rattan rings. Get in touch with nature and volunteer at the eco-friendly Elephant Nature Park where you’ll have the chance to see Asian elephants, or book your spot on a night safari in Chiang Mai for wildlife encounters by foot or open-sided tram.
Heavily influenced by neighbouring countries Laos, Burma and China Northern Thai food tends to be spicier (and less coconut-based) than in the south. Sit down for a Khantoke feast (named after the high tables you sit at) to sample traditional lanna food from chilli dips and deep fried pork rinds to sai oua (sausage) and leaf wrapped bites. A popular favourite among visitors to this part of Thailand is khao soi, a spicy and crispy noodle dish. Don’t forget to try the local liquors!
Spend time in Northern Thailand and you’ll find no shortage of gleaming temples to admire. Top picks include Chiang Rai’s Wat Rong Khun, also known as the ‘White Temple’ and the mountain-top Wat Phra Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai – climb the steep staircase to the top for stunning views over the city below. But it’s not just all about temples! Walk through the night bazaars for souvenirs, clothing and handicrafts or visit Bo Sang Village to pick up hand painted umbrellas and parasols.
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