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Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand's beautiful, rugged geography is the region's great temptation. Hidden among the forested mountains are Thailand's most iconic waterfalls and caves, as well as whitewater rapids and jungle trails. The area is a playground for outdoor pursuits – hiking, rafting, kayaking and caving opportunities abound.

As much of a draw are the diverse communities who populate the villages tucked away in the hills. Northern Thailand's proximity to Laos and Myanmar gives the region a unique multicultural feel, too, and the Burmese, Chinese and Shan influences in towns such as Doi Mae Salong and Mae Hong Son might make you wonder which country you are in.

Conversely, the south of the region is regarded as the birthplace of much of Thai culture. History buffs can go back in time at Sukhothai Historical Park and Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park. And when you're not trekking or temple-hopping, Pai's party scene will keep you busy.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northern Thailand.

Featured videos

Best of Northern Thai cuisine