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Things to Do in Northern Thailand

17 Reasons to Skip Bangkok and Visit This Northern Thailand City Instead

Though it is the largest city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has less than an eighth of Bangkok's population. Travelers seeking a quieter location that still has the offerings of a metropolitan area will love the gem that is Chiang Mai. The city is surrounded by mountains, and in addition to its historic sites, it has a great coffee culture, local day and night markets, art scene, and countless different restaurants with an array of ambiances and types of food that will satisfy whatever craving you may have.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hilary White

Thailand has been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. I've dreamt of the sunny beaches of Phuket and the bustling streets of Bangkok for years, but I didn't know very much about Chiang Mai, the name of the province and the largest city in Northern Thailand, until now. Pandora jewelry recently opened a new crafting facility in the city of Lamphun near Chiang Mai, and I was able to attend the grand opening event of the environmentally friendly site. After staying a few days at the beautiful Dhara Dhevi resort, I decided to extend my trip and do some solo travel in the Chiang Mai province for pleasure once work wrapped up — and I'm so glad I did.

Going into this new adventure, I'd heard nothing but good things about Chiang Mai, from its lush green mountains, quieter way of life, and ancient temples to its delicious Lanna Thai cuisine. The province more than surpassed my expectations, and while I'd love to return to Thailand to visit all the other amazing parts of the country, I will most definitely be stopping back in to Chiang Mai to explore everything I didn't get to see the first time around and to return my favorite spots that I won't ever forget. Here's why you should visit Chiang Mai ASAP.

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