To see the most beautiful terrain, head to the north to check out the Doi Inthanon mountain (8514ft), also the highest point in the country. From Chiang Mai, the roads that traverse Mae Hong Son take you on a tour of Thailand's most elegant landscapes: dense forest and terrace cultivation, villages built entirely on stilts, bamboo-spotted valleys, caves and waterfalls. The far north and its capital Chiang Raï are part of a region known as the 'golden triangle'. This is an unofficial nickname originating from the revenues generated by the once intensive cultivation of poppy and opium in a region shared by three countries: Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. This place is well worth a few days stay during which you'll discover its amazing landscape (via treks and canoeing) and meet the people of the mountains, famous for their cloth-making tradition.
The 10th largest river in the world, the Mekong weaves through the mountainous landscape of northern Thailand© kjorgen/123RF
Doi Inthanon is the tallest mountain in Thailand, reaching 2575 meters at its peak© Phittavas / 123RF
The hot springs spout boiling water up to two metres high. You can even buy eggs from locals and cook your lunch in the springs!© Altanaka / 123RF
The village of Ban Thai Ruam belongs to Huai Nam Dang National Park© Wiratgasem / 123RF
Local women practice beautifully detalied embroidery, inspired by the stunning surroundings!© Phaitoon / 123RF