The North is the birthplace of the earliest Thai civilisation and has many
sites of archaeological and cultural interest. Northern people are famous
for their courtesy and hospitality, and the region is also noted for its
variety of cultural traditions. Many tourists from the surrounding provinces converge on Chiang Mai for the annual Songkran Festival, and to Sukhothai for Loi Krathong.

The North falls into two distinct areas, the plains of the lower north from
Nakhon Sawan to Sukhothai, and the mountainous upper north leading to borders
of Myanmar and Laos. The mountain ranges along the borders are breathtaking,
with waterfalls and fast-flowing rivers ideal for rafting. They are also the
home of many ethnic hill people.

The region has three seasons, hot from March to May, wet from June to November
and cool from December to February. High up in the mountains, though, “cool”
may often mean extremely cold.
The Thai nation had its origins in the North, in city states that were gradually incorporated into the Lanna kingdom centred on Chiang Mai. Sukhothai became the first capital of Thailand, but the influence of the Lanna states of Laos and
Myanmar can be clearly seen in the architecture and cuisine of the North.

The nomadic hill people of the region pursued their own course, moving back
and forth across frontiers. There are six main tribal groups, Karen, Hmong,
Lahu, Mien, Akha and Lisu, each with its own unique customs and clothing. Today,
they are settled in villages on the mountainsides, a great attraction for

Most overseas visitors make for Chiang Mai, the northern capital, as a base
for visiting ethnic tribes, soft adventure activities and shopping. Further
north still, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son are centres for rafting, trekking
and tours of tribal villages. To the south, the Historical Park at Sukhothai
is an essential destination for all those wishing to discover more about the
history and culture of Thailand.

The 17 provinces that comprise the North are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Tak,
Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phichit, Uthai Thani, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, and Uttaradit.

source :,Tourist Guide to Thailand book,
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