The north has many ancient historical sites and monuments, among them are the Sukhothai Historical Park, the Doi Suthep Shrine in Chiang Mai, and the Phra Buddha Chinarat image in Phitsanulok. The north is also home to several hill tribes -the Musers, Yao, Meo, E-kaw, and Karen-who each possess their own distinctive culture and way of life. The region abounds with many natural attractions such as mountains, caves, waterfalls, and lakes. Tourist attractions include bargain hunting for local and tribal handicrafts in the bazaars and markets, while in the major towns like Chiang Mai, western-style night entertainment is widely available.

The north is a mountainous area where winter temperatures are cool enough to allow the cultivation of temperate fruits such as apples, strawberries and peaches. In the northern forests, visitors can see elephant training camps [these huge beasts are still used in the teak forests] as well as the colorful nomadic tribes that still roam this corner of Thailand. There are also opportunities for rafting and trekking.