Places of Interest in Thailand
North Eastern
Travel Guide

Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand is an area covered by 17 provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit. It occupies an approximate area of 170,000 square kilometers or the equivalent of 106 millions rai, bordering on the territories of Laos and Myanmar.

Much of the area's territory is mountainous, making it relatively cool compared to Central Thailand. The history of Northern Thailand is dominated by the Lanna kingdom, which was founded in 1259 and remained an independent force until the 16th century.


During the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), northern Thailand was referred to as 'Phayap'. Around 600-700 years ago, this area was known as the 'Lanna Thai Kingdom', the center of which was at Nopburi Sri Nakhon Phing Chiang Mai, located on the Ping River basin. Another strong state, known as the 'Nanthaburi Sri Nakhon Nan' was established during the same period on the Nan River basin. For this reason, the Lanna Kingdom was divided into two major parts. One was western Lanna with Chiang Mai as the center, and the other was eastern Lanna, with Nan at the center. Such cities as Phrae, Phayao and Lampang (located on the Wang and Yom river basins) were called 'Middle Lanna'.

Buddhist civilization

The north is the home of Thailand's earliest civilization and is famous for its many archaeological and cultural interests such as the Ancient City of Sukhothai. Sukhotai used to be the first capital of Thailand some 700 years ago. The Buddha's Relics at Wat Doi Suthep of Chiang Mai is a highly revered place for northerners. Phra Buddha Chinarat, which is said to be the most beautiful Buddha image of Thailand, is found at Wat Phra Si Ratana-Mahathat in Phitsanulok.

Places of Interest

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