Holidays to Northern Thailand

Relax and travel at a leisurely pace as you discover the culture and history of the mountainous region of this South East Asian country. Here you’ll find ancient Buddhist temples where monks in orange robes chant in the evenings and hill tribes holding on to traditional ways of life. Spend a few days in the northern capital Chiang Mai, practising bartering skills at the night bazaar or stay in Chiang Rai on the banks of the Koh River. Journey away from the cities to discover rushing waterfalls, bubbling hot springs and elephant sanctuaries promoting eco-tourism.

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Northern Thailand Travel Information

There are no direct flights to Northern Thailand from the UK – you’ll need to change internally from the south.
  • Currency: Baht 
  • Time difference: (GMT+6) 
  • Flight from UK: 11 hours to Bangkok, plus connecting flight (just over an hour) 
  • Visa: Tourist visa (on arrival) 
  • Language: Thai 
  • National drink: Local spirits (regional) 
  • National dish: Khao soi (regional)

Travel Tips & Advice for Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand Activities

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.

Northern Thailand Food & Drink

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!

Northern Thailand Attractions

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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