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5 Ways to Travel Deeper in Northern Thailand

Go north, young man! AFAR Ambassador Dan Tom recently heeded that call and—by avoiding Bangkok and the popular southern islands that he’d visited his first time around—got to experience Thailand in a whole new way. While in Northern Thailand, he learned to make traditional pottery, browsed a buzzing night market in Nan, and enjoyed scenic rides past rice fields and Buddhist temples. Read on for highlights that will inspire you to put this lesser-visited region on your wish list.
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Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai 64210, Thailand
At this park remain ruins from a former capital dating to the 13th and 14th centuries. As you explore the grounds, you’ll come upon the royal palace and more than 20 temples still in excellent, awe-inspiring condition. I recommend renting a bike...
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ซอย สุขุมวิท 7 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
I’ve been to my share of night markets in Thailand, but I have to say one of my favorites was in Nan. Not only is everything more affordable than at larger markets in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but there are also more unique items for sale. The Nan...
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Doi Mae Salong, Mae Salong Nok, Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai 57110, Thailand
Located about an hour from Chiang Rai, this mountain reaches 5,905 feet in elevation, qualifying it as one of Thailand’s highest peaks. I was surprised in the best way by the sheer beauty of the drive and the breathtaking views in every direction....
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Khlong Krachong, Sawankhalok District, Sukhothai 64110, Thailand
If you want to really appreciate the local cuisine, best to go to its source—literally. I had the opportunity to harvest duck eggs and get in knee-high water to farm rice paddies myself while at Bangkok Airway’s Organic Farm, right by Sukhothai...
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229 Moo 1, ตำบล เวียง อำเภอ เชียงแสน เชียงราย 57150, Thailand
It may sound over the top, but I felt that Anantara delivers on everything you would want from a hotel. Plus it gives you the opportunity to tailor your stay to what interests you most—be it a massage at the spa, a cooking class, something a bit...