An impressive assortment of beautiful mountain ranges, unspoiled forests, and engaging recreational activities make Northern Thailand a great spot fora romantic getaway or honeymoon.
Chiang Mai is a splendid place to start your romantic Northern Thailand vacation. And once you are done exploring all that the city has to offer – here are some more places to visit in the surrounding area.
Just to the north of Chiang Mai is Doi Suthep, a large mountain with the temple of Wat Phrathet Doi Suthep which is not only one of the most important Buddhist temples in the whole of Thailand, but also offers quite stunning views of the city of Chiang Mai. Travel further up the mountain & you will find the Bhubing Palace which is the Queen Mothers Summer Palace, the gardens provide a lovely place for a stroll offering yet another cultural experience on a romantic getaway. Be sure to visit the moat and library and do get there before closing time at 3pm.
A bit further afield is Mae Hong Son located on the doorsteps of Mayanmar(Burma) its a relatively small place with a picturesque lake and several surrounding temples. Wat Phra That Soi Kong Mu (Wat Phai Doi) overlooks the town from the west and offers superb views.
To get to Mae Hong Son you need to take the incredibly scenic route from Chiang Mai north through Mai Rim and then turn left onto road number 1095 which leads you up into the mountains, offering stunning views & several unique photo opportunities, this route is also known as “Pai 762” ,which denotes the number of sharp curves in the road between Chiang Mai & Pai!.
The total journey time between Chiang Mai & Mae Hong Son takes between 10-12 hours by car,an ideal “stopover” on the way is the small mountainside market town of Pai.
Most visitors to Pai either use the town as a base for trekking activities or come here simply for the relaxed atmosphere and to visit thehot springs, waterfalls and temples. There is also a wonderful canyon which provides the perfect spot for watching a sunset.
Worth a stop on a romantic itinary is Cinema Paradiso, which offers private movie rooms screening the movie of your choice, at any time. Cozy rooms have worn out old armchairs or floor mattresses, cushions and large TV screens.
Having left the mountain paradise of Pai behind, your next “date” is with the sleepy remote Hill Tribes village of Soppong, its located just one hours drive north of Pai on the Mae Hong Son road.
The best day to visit Soppong is a Tuesday, as on that day each week the village becomes a bustling aladdin’s cave as all the local hill tribes people descend upon the village to sell their wares & buy supplies, the whole village becomes a giant market just for the day.
This village is far less touristy than Pai, and a great place to use as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, which are littered with caves – including the fantastic Tham Lod Bat Cave system.
After leaving Soppong and its lovely hill tribes people behind your final suggested romantic “liason” is with Tham Pla – Namtok Pha Suea National Park, which is located just 17km before you get to Mae Hong Son, here you will enjoy a lovely stroll through the tropical evergreen forests seeing all the stunning flora & fauna that this area is famous for.
The park also contains beautiful caves, waterfalls & a dam.The most romantic spot for me is the river that flows through the caves feeding a number of creeks that run through the grounds. The main attraction is the Fish Cave which is packed with Phluang fish which is blue/black in colour and is a type of carp.