Rich in culture, with a mesmerizing scenic beauty, the mountains and lush tropical jungles of northern Thailand are threaded with historic tracks, hill tribe villages and luxury resorts that open out and embrace the landscape’s mystique and wonder.


Elephant and Mahout

The mist shrouded mountains of Northern Thailand offer a world of discovery for the curious traveller with an urge to explore. Beyond the urban conurbations of the lowlands, rugged mountains peppered with hill tribe villages swallow up the horizon to overlap with Myanmar, China and Laos. For centuries, nomadic travelers from all corners of Asia have traversed these mountains in search of new homes; crossing borders, trading and exchanging skills to create a unique culture that lives on to this day.

As a traveller, you’ll find living reminders of this region’s fabled past in the textiles and jewellery found in the markets of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai; in traditional music kept alive by people determined to hold onto their heritage; in the temples and shrines that date back to the 7th century; in the legends and festivals celebrated for generations; in the food that explodes with flavour and, most importantly of all, in the warm hospitality that radiates from the locals.

The scenic beauty of The North has been fairly well preserved and has more natural forest cover than any other region in Thailand. The mountains, threaded with majestic rivers stand at the heart of the Golden Triangle and are dotted with waterfalls and hidden hill tribe villages where people welcome tourists into their homes. Many travellers choose to hire a guide and trek through the forested mountains, stopping over in hill tribe villages and sailing down the rivers on bamboo rafts.

In Northern Thailand you can rummage through the sleepless markets of Chiang Mai and enjoy a night of fine dining and city nightlife. Discover one of the most beautiful Lanna temples in Lampang Province. Visit the fascinating Hall of Opium Museum and embark on a luminous journey through the history of opium. Hire a four wheel drive and venture into the wild and stunning landscapes of Mae Hong Son Province, a popular choice for trekking, river and motorcycle trips. Or drive to the top of Doi Tung Mountain, explore the beautiful gardens of Mae Fah Luang and watch the mist below your feet thicken and fade a s the sun slips away to the west.

Chiang Mai Market Tour

Another highlight of this region is encountering the enchanting world of elephants at Asia’s premier Elephant Camp, Anantara Golden Triangle.

Situated in lush jungle and boasting breathtaking panoramas of Myanmar and Laos, Anantara’s hilltop Chiang Rai resort offers unforgettable adventures. You’ll be invited to make friends with Thailand’s gentle giants as you learn to drive your very own elephant and trek through vivid jungle landscapes. Watch the babies of the herd playing and witness the antics of river bathtime, and if you’re feeling brave, jump in and experience the joy of bathing with an elephant.

Northern Thailand remains a region of simple pleasures shrouded in mystique and imbued with a rich cultural heritage all of its own.


Ancient wall sculpture art

When to go

Northern Thailand is a year round destination. The cool season coincides with the high season and begins in late October and ends in February. December and January are the coolest winter months. The hot season runs between March and May. The average daily temperature in March is 27° C rising to 36° C in April. The Monsoon season starts in May and ends in September. This is a particularly misty time of year but you can expect some sunshine on most days as it generally only rains in the afternoon, evening and night time. Aside from the rain, the weather is lovely and mild with average temperatures hovering at around 25° C.

Where to stay 

Anantara Vacation Club has two stunning Club Escapes in Northern Thailand.

Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa overlooking the Mae Ping River is a luxurious sanctuary of striking contemporary style, accented by traditional Thai and colonial elements. The exciting city of Chiang Mai sits on the doorstep with a choice of great nightlife, shopping and historic sites.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is situated in the heart of the Golden Triangle and offers breathtaking panoramas of Myanmar and Laos.


Northern Thailand offers a plethora of day trips to temples, historical sites and museums, excursions into the jungles where

you can go river rafting, elephant trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking and more.

Lanna temple


Transfers can be arranged to and from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai airports. There are regular bus services from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and regular train services linking Chiang Mai with Bangkok.


The Thai currency is the Thai Baht. ATMs are commonplace and all Visa Cards and Mastercards are accepted at Anantara Hotels & Resorts.

Local laws & Etiquette

When someone dips their head and holds the palms of their hands together in a prayer-like motion they are showing a form of respect called a ‘wai’, if you return this gesture with a smile you’ll find yourself making friends very quickly.

Always dress modestly and take off your shoes when entering a temple or somebody’s home. Never sit with the heels of your feet pointing towards someone and try to avoid resting them on table tops.

Never tap someone on the head, even young people.

Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai

[Source: Footprints Minor Hotel Group / Issue 8 / 2014]

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About Anantara Vacation Club Editorial Team

Anantara Vacation Club, launched in 2010, is an exclusive collection of luxurious Vacation Ownership resorts and suites, offering each generation the opportunity to explore the world’s most exciting destinations. Owners can purchase Club Points that determine the length of stay, time of year and the size and type of accommodation. Visit: Contact us:

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