Northern Thailand Holidays

Chiang Mai, the “Rose of the North”, is the region’s hub and a laid back place to hang out or use as a base, if heading to the hills for trekking, rafting and other soft adventures.  If temples are your thing, Chiang Mai has lots, including the impressive Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Phra Singh and the massive Wat Chedi Luang. The area is also rich with cottage industries and you can visit workshops to watch artisans at work, then head to the bustling Night Market to haggle for handicrafts and souvenirs, and feast on authentic Thai cuisine.

Thailand’s most northern city, Chiang Rai, is gateway to the infamous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) meet. Along with a relaxed pace and array of beautiful temples, Chiang Rai is also a launchpad to the surrounding mountains, hills and forest parks. If trekking isn’t for you, take a stroll by the Kok River where you’ll even find a stretch of sand, or simply shop for hilltribe handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing at the Weekend Walking Street Market or Night Bazaar.

Hemmed in by high mountain ranges, sleepy Mae Hong Son nestles remotely in a pretty valley near the Burmese border. Trekking is a major attraction and a terrific way to appreciate the superb scenery and visit some of the hilltribes that inhabit the area, each with their own unique style, language, customs, traditions and cuisine. Mae Hong Son also has several temples, including the striking Phra That Doi Kong Mu.  Set high up on a hill overlooking Mae Hong Son, visit at dawn to see the town bathed in mist or later in the afternoon for far-reaching views.

    Why visit Northern Thailand?
  • Fascinating culture
  • Historic temples
  • Elephant trekking
  • Hilltribe villages
  • Incredible scenery
  • Fantastic soft adventure

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Where to stay in Northern Thailand











River Kwai


Essential facts about Northern Thailand
Local Time

GMT +7 hours


Thai Baht

Travel information

There are no direct flights from the UK to Northern Thailand. From Bangkok the flight north to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. The flight from Bangkok to Mae Hong Son takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, or just 30 minutes from Chiang Mai.

Best time to go

The popular cool season (December to February) brings daytime temperatures over 30ºC but chilly evenings. The hot season (mid-March to June) has higher humidity and while the rainy season (June to November) brings torrential downpours, they tend to clear up quickly.

Most popular in Northern Thailand