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Thailand Tourist Attractions In The North
The region borders on two countries, both by mountains rivers. The northern frontier runs from Tak Province upward to Mae Hong Son, some districts of Chiang Mai and on to Chiang Raii. To the ease, the border touches mainly on Laos demarcated mostly by mountain ranges from Phetchabun upwrd through Uttaradit, Nan, Phayao and Chiang Rai. Only the sectors passing through Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts are marked by the Maekhong River along a stretch of 90 kilometres.
Evidence ot long occupation by minorities has been found in the sites around the present day basin areas. Each group followed its own lifestyle and developed individual cultural and commercial contacts among the groups inevitably led to inter culfural blending among them selves.
Prior to the 12th century, the land was under the domination of the mons and the Khmers. There are chronicles and legends on ancient towns particularly of the upper area of the Mekong basin. Historical records became much more exact in the 13th century when large and small cities were merged into kingdoms. Prominent were the Sukhothai Kingdom ruled by the Thais. And the lanna with Chiang Mai as its core. Both kingdoms emerged almost during the same period and both flourished for about 200 years.
The Kingdom ot Sukhothai was founded in the 13th century when Khmer power was beginning to wane. Lts power base was in the Yam basin with Sukhothai as its capital. There were several cities under its domination including Kampbaeng phet and Phitsanulok. Sukhothai reached its zenith ot influence during the reign of King Ramkambaneg the Great militarily, administratively. culturally and commercially. Close commercial contacts were established with China. Lts power began to decline after two centuries and the kingdom was eventually absorbed into the Ayutthaya Kingdon, which held sway in the central region.
The Lanna Kingdom was established by King Mengrai with Chiang Mai as its centre. Nineteen successive kings ruled fhe land fasting about 280 years before it fell to the Burmese (circa 16th Century). Some two hundred years later, the Trip Chang dynasty was founded and ruled Lanna as a vassal state of Thailand during the reign of King Ramal.
By Car - Phahonyothin is the main highway from Bangkok connecting the central region with the North all the way to Chaing Rai, which is the uppermost province in the North. Branching out from Phahonyothin are secondary highways leading to all northern provinces and many other districts.
Passenger buses and coaches are available at Mo chit Bus Terminal on Kampaeng Phet Road serving all provinces and major districts. Call more information at 0-2936-2852-66.
Provincial bus services run between the provincial seat and various districts. There are also inter-provincial services. In major cities such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phitsanulok are car rental services to go to tourist attractions. For more traditional mode of Transport, try pedal tricycles which are available in all provinces. It is suggested that tares be negotiated beforehand.
By Train - There are daily train services starting from hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok which run through Bang Pa- In, Ayutthaya. Lop Bun, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Ltttaradit, Den Chai. Lampang, Khun Tan,Lamphun, and terminate in Chiang Mai. Call 223-7010,223-7020 for more informa tion.
By Boat - Most of the boating routes in the North are designed for sightseeing purposes. Some major routin9s include cruising the Ping River by large tour boats from the Bhumiphol Dam in Tak to Doi Tao in Chiang Mai. Or Traveling by boats or rails from Tha Ton in Chiang Mai along the kok River to Chiang Rai. Then there is boating Chaing Saen district ob the Golden Triangle to Chiang Khong.
By Air - Thai Airways Internation operates frequent blights from Bangkok to northern destination -Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Phitsanuiok, Phrae, Nan, Mae Hong Son and Mae sot. There are also inter-provincial services between Chiang Mai and other destinations such as Chiang Ral, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sot, Nan,Phitsanulok and Phuket, as well as between Nan and Phitsanulok. For more information, call Thai Airways at 1566 or 628-2000.
In additions, Bangkok Airways (Tel: 229-3456) operates flights between Bangkok - Sukhothai an Sukhothai Chiang Mai. Angel Airlines ( 953-1111, 953-2260 ) flies Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Udon Than.
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