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Northern Thailand is a top domestic travel destination this cool season, as over 30% of Thais look to travel to rural destinations – especially more remote, off-the-beaten-path destinations*.

With the holiday season just around the corner, travel is beckoning and Thais are looking to the North for its cooler climes. The region’s appealing mix of mountains, rich culture, and delicious cuisine are just some of the reasons Thais are making northern Thailand their top choice for end of year travel.

Keen to explore hidden neighbourhoods and engage with local communities, a recent YouGov survey* conducted by Airbnb found that over 30% of Thais want to travel to rural destinations, especially to more remote and off-the-beaten-path destinations. From mountain treks to immersing in nature and savouring local dishes, #RediscoverThailand with these unique northern Thai destinations:

Chiang Mai: Capital of the North
When thinking of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is often the first destination in mind. Easily accessible, Chiang Mai is known for its unique traditions and creative communities, and is a popular retreat for nature lovers.

Guests can dive into local culture with this Chiang Mai Street Art Tour & Workshop or learn how to make delicious dishes with this Chiang Mai Lanna Cooking Experience. If you’re looking for a modern stay with local design touches, try Serene Lanna Style HomeAewmai Pool Villa or Chang Villa in the Old City. For those looking for something more rustic, Local Woodhouse HomestayTraditional Wooden House & Rice Barn and Baan Sri Dha are beautiful options worth exploring.

Lamphun: Rural tranquillity
Often seen as a day trip destination from Chiang Mai, Lamphun has much to offer those seeking authentic travel and connection. Take a few days to wind down and enjoy a slower way of life; immerse yourself in the rich local culture, explore the historical sites and weaving communities, and enjoy the beauty of Lamphun and its stunning landscapes and natural sites. While exploring Lamphun, stay amongst nature at these farms – Baan Kaimuan and Villa (de) Paramee – or stay in the heart of Lamphun town at Lychee Home.

Chiang Rai: Radiant cultures
Thailand’s northernmost province, Chiang Rai is known for its colourful and artistic temples as well its myriad of cultures and cuisines, influenced in part by Chiang Rai’s proximity to neighbouring Myanmar and China which together make up the Golden Triangle. Visitors can enjoy this Tour the Colorful Chiang Rai Temples Airbnb Experience to learn about Chiang Rai’s beautiful temples, while seeking out local arts and crafts and enjoying the wide array of food options across the province. Enjoy the fresh air with these stays close to nature: Sawanbondoi CottageLuxury RetreatLittle Cottage Homestay, and this Stunning Wooden Stilted House.

Phetchabun: Scale the Thai Alps
Known as “little Switzerland” for its cooler weather and mountain range that during the cool season can be shrouded in mist, Phetchabun offers a convenient escape from the capital’s hustle and bustle. Enjoy the views, fresh air and mountain vistas from Khao Koh and explore the hillside temples. Choose from appealing  stays such as Luxury Villa in Khao Kho and Where We Met Khaokor, or explore the province’s hinterland with its abundance of nature and national parks with stays at Exclusive Farmstay at Vintage Barnhouse and The Green Vale Organic Farm.

Mae Hong Son: Adventure, nature and culture
A mountainous province that borders Myanmar, Mae Hong Son is home to beautiful temples, breathtaking waterfalls, hill tribe villages,  popular night markets filled with local arts and crafts, and tasty delicacies. Stay by the lakeside in this Quiet Cozy Comfy Home2 Bedroom Villa or Thai Wooden Home. If you’re looking for adventure, then head to Pai and make Hide Away Home or Utopai Secret Getaway your home away from home as you explore local neighbourhoods with their hip cafes and art shops, and whitewater rafting for adventure-seekers.

*Findings from a YouGov survey of APAC Travel Trends in Thailand, commissioned by Airbnb, from October 20, 2021.