Must Go in Northern Thailand
This is a small town not too far off the beaten path and close to the Burmese border, which gives it a great Burma/Thai flavour. The food was spectacular, and the mix of cultures and languages isn’t something that you see in the rest of Thailand.
The sunset at the national park just outside town was another highlight – something everyone should see. There are look out points which are elevated over the farmers fields, on every corner once you enter the park.
Must do in Northern Thailand
A motorbike adventure
Motorbikes are cheap to rent ($5-7.00 USD/day) and the best way to see the countryside. The Mae Hong Son Loop is approximately 600km around the province and would take about a week to ride. T
here are little towns every 50km or so it is easy to arrive before dark at the next destination and find a room to stay. The loop is a perfect beginner trip; the road is full of curves and you are forced to go slow, and it is all paved. (Immaculately I may add.)
A Waterfall Trek
Chiang Mai province is beautiful and as you walk around the old city on every corner literally there is someone offering to take you on a trek. If you have the time spend a couple days doing it. The waterfalls are stunning and offer a cool swim after a hot day, and many treks offer village stays which allow you to see up close and personal rural Thai life.
Must eat in Northern Thailand
Khao Soi – A Chiang Mai Specialty
Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand and they do know how to make a delicious yellow chicken curry. It is a blend of flavours, chilis, egg and fried noodles and seriously cooked to perfection. It is a little difficult to eat with chopsticks as the noodles are wet but the hard work is well worth it.
Mango and Sticky Rice
Mango, Sticky Rice, and Coconut Milk. Three simple ingredients and a surprisingly difficult recipe to master – Mango and sweet sticky rice is a dessert you can’t pass up. The rice is cooked in coconut milk for nine hours before it is served though the combination may sound a little out there I promise you it won’t disappoint.
Cultural tips for Traveling in Northern Thailand
Learn to Say Hello and Thank You
Even if you are only there for a few weeks making the effort to learn a little language goes a long way. Thai people are extremely friendly and used to tourists but it is easy to say Sa-wat-dee kraup (male speaker) Sa-wat-dee Kah (female speaker) (hello), acknowledge you are in their land and are willing to learn.
Know the King
Thailand is a kingdom and the king is widely respected. Though democracy may be the way of the west the monarchy there is in power generally viewed as doing a good job. It is something to know and be aware of if nothing else. Political views differ everywhere and it is good to be conscious not just in Thailand but anywhere, how yours are delivered.
Cheap travel tips for Northern Thailand
Hostels are widely available and inexpensive in the North. You will be able to find a dorm bed for under 200Baht or approximately $7.00/night. If you are traveling with a partner it is often cheaper to go halves on a private room to save a little more.
Thanks so much for sharing, Taylor! Do any of you have Thai travel tips to share?