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Traditional Northern Thailand
17-23 Days if not driving
21-28 Days if driving

Do not come between January & May,
Agricultural burning makes the area hard to see, also the air quality is extremely hazardous.

The North of Thailand is a region that boasts stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse landscapes. The country and is known for its mountainous rolling hills, lush jungles, and winding rivers, stunning landscapes, rich culture, and delicious food. A hub of history with ancient temples and bustling markets. Northern Thailand offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

In addition to its cultural and natural attractions, the North of Thailand is also famous for its delicious food. Dishes such as Khao Soi and Sai Oua are must-try specialties, and visitors can find a variety of local street food vendors, traditional restaurants, and upscale dining options.

Overall, the North of Thailand is a region that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for travellers looking for an authentic and immersive experience

Lop Buri
Nakhon Sawan
Option (Bang Mun Nak)
Public Transport: Sukhothai
Option: Chae Son National Park
Chiang Mai

Back to Bangkok

(Driving Only)
Sukhothai on the way back
Nakhon Sawan
Khao Yai National Park
Back to Bangkok


3-5 Days here

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is known for its bustling streets, delicious street food, and colorful markets. Some must-see attractions in Bangkok include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho

Click below for more on Bangkok, including hotels, tours and flights

Now are you renting a car or using public transport?

Both available options are on this page

Keep in mind if you drive, that's a lot of driving! About 25 hours in total depending on how much you do,
or save hassle by booking a regular tour

3 Transport Options

Booking a tour: This is the most convenient and hassle-free way to explore the North of Thailand. You can find many tour operators that offer different packages and itineraries for this region. A typical tour will include transportation, accommodation, meals, entrance fees, and a guide. You will also have the opportunity to visit some of the most popular attractions in the area, such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai, Doi Inthanon National Park, and the Golden Triangle.

However, booking a tour can also be more expensive and less flexible than other options. You will have to follow a fixed schedule and share your experience with other tourists. Additionally, you may miss out on some of the hidden gems and local culture that are not included in the tour. If you prefer a more personalised experience and want to explore at your own pace, you might consider alternative options such as renting a car or motorbike, or planning your own itinerary using public transportation. I will walk you through any option you choose.

- Driving yourself: This is the most independent and adventurous way to travel in the North of Thailand. If you're planning to explore the region on your own, driving can be a great option. Here's some information to help you plan your trip:

Make sure you have an international driving permit, as it is required for driving in Thailand.

When driving in a foreign country, it's important to have valid insurance coverage. Check with your insurance provider to ensure that your policy covers international travel and driving. If needed, you can also consider purchasing additional insurance coverage from a local provider in Thailand.

The main highways connecting the North of Thailand are well-maintained, making the journey relatively comfortable. For example, if you're travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you can take Highway 31, then Highway 1, and then Highway 11. This route offers a mix of urban and rural landscapes, with opportunities to explore towns and attractions along the way.

- Taking the train: This is the most scenic and relaxing way to travel to the North of Thailand. You can take a train from Bangkok to various destinations in the North. The train ride offers breathtaking views of the countryside, mountains, and lush green landscapes along the way. You can witness the beauty of rural Thailand and enjoy a leisurely journey.

As you travel by train, you'll have the opportunity to witness the changing scenery, from the central plains to the rolling hills and mountains of the North. You'll pass through charming towns, rice paddies, and rural communities, offering an authentic glimpse into the local way of life.

However, it's important to keep in mind that taking the train can be more time-consuming compared to other transportation options. You'll need to check the train schedule in advance and plan your journey accordingly. It's advisable to book your tickets early, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your seats.

Once you arrive at your destination in the North, you'll need to arrange your own transportation from the train station to your accommodation or desired attractions. Taxis, tuk-tuks, or local transportation options are usually available at the stations to assist you.

You should download apps like "Grab" and "Bolt", which are Thailand's version of Uber just in case, they can get you to your destinations if you are in an area that is fairly built up.

Kamphaeng Phet.jpg


If you are planning a road trip from Bangkok to explore Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Lampang, Chiang Mai, and Khao Yai National Park before returning to Bangkok, renting a car can provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need.


However, there are a few important things to consider before hitting the road.

Firstly, you must have a valid international driving licence to rent a car in Thailand. Make sure to apply for one in your home country before your trip. You'll need to present your passport, national driving licence, and two passport-sized photos to the relevant authorities; the authorities vary depending on your country of origin. Google is your friend here. In the UK, you just go to a Post Office.

Secondly, it's crucial to have adequate insurance coverage for your rental car. Most car rental companies in Bangkok offer various insurance plans, such as collision damage waiver, theft protection, personal accident insurance, and third-party liability insurance. Carefully review the details and exclusions of each plan before signing the contract. Some credit cards also provide rental car insurance benefits, so it's worth checking with your card issuer.

If you use the links below, both Economy Bookings and Rental Cars provide cover options.

Lastly, be prepared for the driving conditions in Thailand. Traffic in Bangkok can be congested and chaotic, especially during rush hours. It's advisable to avoid driving in the city centre if possible and instead use toll roads or motorways to quickly exit the city. The driving distance from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is approximately 80 kilometres and takes around 1.5 hours by car. The road is well-maintained and offers scenic views.

The distances between other destinations on your itinerary may vary, and it's recommended to plan your route and driving time accordingly.

Follow my guide for a realistic journey!

Please note that in Thailand, driving is on the left side of the road. While the majority of drivers adhere to this, it's not uncommon to encounter some uncertainty, so remain cautious. Not many people with Mo-Peds have a licence, which doesn't take long to find out.

Below are some options for booking economy cars and rental cars in Bangkok. You can compare prices and features to find the most suitable option. Most importantly, they offer their own car insurance options, making the process hassle-free.

Once you're ready, take a look at the suggested route and attractions for an unforgettable road trip experience!

All you have to do is follow the destinations I've chosen for public transport, but instead of using public transport, you drive!



50 minutes from Bangkok

1- 2 nights here

​If you reserve transportation that will leave you at a location other than your hotel, you will need to take a taxi. However, the hotel may offer this service, and typically public transportation and taxis can be found at the drop-off spot. I recommend downloading the Bolt and/or Grab apps, which function similarly to Uber, just in case.

Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand for over 400 years. There are several options for transport between Bangkok and Ayutthaya, depending on your budget, time and preferences. The fastest and most comfortable way is to take a taxi or a private car but of course, at a price.


The cheapest and most authentic way is to take a local train, which will cost around 100 baht and takes about 45 mins to 1 hour. The train station in Ayutthaya is close to the historical park, where you can rent a bike or a tuk-tuk to explore the ruins.

Alternatively, you can join a guided tour that includes transport, and then just stay in Ayutthaya instead of going back to Bangkok, about eight hours. A guided tour will give you more information and insights about the history and culture of Ayutthaya, as well as save you the hassle of arranging your own transportation.

Through this guide, I will provide links that will make it easy and convenient for you to book. I take a small commission for providing these links, but it is at no extra cost to you.

Or book a 1-day tour as a one off

Ayutthaya is a historic city located in central Thailand, about 80 kilometres north of Bangkok. It was the second capital of Siam (modern-day Thailand) from 1350 to 1767 and is known for its well-preserved ruins of ancient temples and palaces. Ayutthaya was once a prosperous and cosmopolitan city, attracting merchants from around the world and serving as a centre of Buddhism and politics.

Click below for more on Ayutthaya, including hotels and tours!

Lop Buri

Lop Buri is 1 hours from Ayutthaya

1 night here

You can take a train from Ayutthaya railway station to Lop Buri railway station, which takes about 90 minutes and costs between 100-200 baht, depending on the class of service.

Lopburi is an ancient city with a rich history, having been inhabited for over 1,000 years and serving as a key centre of power and commerce in several different kingdoms and empires. Today, Lopburi is known for its well-preserved historical sites, including ancient temples and palaces, as well as its large population of macaque monkeys.

Click below for more on Lop Buri, including hotels and tours!

Nakhon Sawan

Nakhon Sawan is 1 and 30 minutes from Lop Buri

Spend 2 nights here

The train is your main option, taking only 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Nakhon Sawan. The trains are reliable and scenic.

Or you can get a taxi when you're there.

​Referred to as the "Gateway to the North" due to its location at the confluence of the Chao Phraya, Ping, and Nan rivers, Nakhon Sawan is known for its scenic beauty, including lush green forests and rolling hills, as well as its historical and cultural sites.

Click below for more on Nakhon Sawan, including hotels and tours!

Now do you want to go to a completely off-the-beaten-track village or skip it?

(Option) Bang Mun Nak

Spend 2 nights here

If you are driving, you can go straight to Bang Mun Nak by following Route 225 (it's pretty bendy, just to warn you).

or get the train

For some reason, tickets are not available very often in the widgets below (probably because the village is small), but if you go to Nakhon Sawan train station, you'll see where to go. The option is definitely there. Someone will help you. They will understand the words, "Bang Mun Nak".

Bang Mun Nak is a small village in Thailand's Phichit province, located in the northern part of the country. It is known for its traditional way of life and its close-knit community. The village is surrounded by lush greenery and is located on the banks of the Nan River. The village is known for its friendly locals and its delicious local cuisine, including dishes made with fresh local produce and seafood from the nearby river. Although Bang Mun Nak is relatively small and off the beaten path, it offers a unique glimpse into traditional Thai village life and is a popular destination for those looking for a more authentic cultural experience.

Click below for more on Bang Mun Nak, including hotels

Then, once you're done in Bang Mun Nak, go to Phitsanulok via the train station, switching tracks at Phichit Station.

Once again, tickets are available at the train station, even if the links here don't show the trains.


Just use a taxi service; they are cheap around this area, but ask your hotel to book one for you, or you'll be charged more.


If you skipped Bang Mun Nak - Phitsanulok is 2 hours from Nakhon Sawan

Spend 1 night here

If you want to travel from Nakhon Sawan to Phitsanulok, you can take a train that runs two or three times daily. The train journey takes about 2 hours and 14 minutes.

You can also take a taxi, but this will be more expensive.

From now on let's just assume, you can always take a taxi, but it will cost more! Saves me repeating myself.

The only buses found on 12Go below take a long detour.

Phitsanulok was once a major city in the Sukhothai Kingdom and is now a centre for trade and commerce in northern Thailand. The city is famous for its temples.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Phitsanulok is surrounded by scenic mountains and forests, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as trekking and hiking. The city also has a lively night market where visitors can sample local food and purchase crafts and other items.

You will likely return to Phitsanulok for a night, so this is a good place to look for a hotel spa. Have a Thai massage here after a lot of journeying; your body will be grateful for it.

Click below for more on Phitsanulok, including hotels and tours!


Sukhothai is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Phitsanulok

2 nights here

This maybe the most expensive spot you go to but worth it if you're into history.

If you want to travel from Phitsanulok to Sukhothai, you have to get a taxi, which will cost you around $50 US.

You may be able to find something cheaper when you're there, but maybe you don't want any Tom, Dick, or Harry to take you.

You can skip Sukhothai, but it's a kingdom even older than Ayutthaya, so it's great to check out; however, that's up to you.

Before Ayutthaya was the regional power, Sukhothai was.

Sukhothai is a historical city in northern Thailand, located in the Sukhothai Province. It was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom, which was one of the earliest kingdoms of Thailand and existed from the 13th to the 15th century.

Sukhothai is famous for its historic temples and ruins, which have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

You may wish to book a tour when you're here. This is because the historic park is amazing, so it might be worth knowing what you're looking at.

Click below for more on Sukhothai, including hotels and tours!

Phitsanulok again

You have to head back to Phitsanulok again (1 hour 20 minutes) because transportation from Sukhothai isn't easy.

You will have a long journey the next day, so rest up in Phitsanulok before continuing.

Maybe get that Thai massage!


Chae Son

Chiang Mai


Book a Tour

You decided to save yourself some hassle and book a tour for your trip to the North of Thailand. That's a smart choice, as it allows you to enjoy your vacation without any stress. Let the experts handle the details and show you the best of these beautiful destinations.

To help you find the perfect tour for your budget and preferences, we have compiled a list of tours from all the major tour booking websites. You can compare the prices, ratings, itineraries, and reviews of each tour and choose the one that suits you best. Whether you want to explore the cultural wonders of Chiang Mai, visit the White Temple in Chiang Rai, or witness the historical sites in Ayutthaya, there is a tour for you.

Scroll down through the tours, and you will find options with pick-ups available in both Bangkok and the various destinations in the North!

Unfortunately, both Viator and Klook are having technical problems, but I will put their tours up as soon as i can

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