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Overview

A complex tapestry of mountains, valleys and rivers, Northern Thailand straddles the most important historical crossroads of northern Southeast Asia, a place where peoples from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have long traded goods and ideas in a fusion of cultures. This blend is further enlivened by the presence of tribal societies whose ethnic heritage knows no fixed political boundaries. These hill tribes frequently come down from their highland homes to trade in Chiang Mai and other cities of the north. Outside of the cities Northern Thailand boasts more natural forest area, and more numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, ...

A complex tapestry of mountains, valleys and rivers, Northern Thailand straddles the most important historical crossroads of northern Southeast Asia, a place where peoples from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have long traded goods and ideas in a fusion of cultures. This blend is further enlivened by the presence of tribal societies whose ethnic heritage knows no fixed political boundaries. These hill tribes frequently come down from their highland homes to trade in Chiang Mai and other cities of the north. Outside of the cities Northern Thailand boasts more natural forest area, and more numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, than any other region of the country. River rafting, hiking, birding and camping attract those interested in interaction with Northern Thailand's natural surroundings, while visitors keen on learning more about the region's ethnic minorities can visit semi-remote villages on mountain slopes.

Joe Cummings
About the Expert

Joe Cummings has contributed to more than 35 guidebooks, maps, atlases, phrasebooks and photographic works, including his bestselling Lonely Planet Thailand and Buddhist Stupas of Asia: The Shape of Perfection.

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Now Happening in Northern Thailand

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Thailand, one of the 5 regional groups of Thailand, usually describes the area covered by 17 provinces. Much of the area's territory is mountainous, making it relatively cool compared to Central Thailand.
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: Thai Baht
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November through February (cool and dry), June to October (warm and rainy)