Northern Thailand

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Northern Region

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Northern Region in Thailand
Largest city Chiang Mai
  Total93,691 km2 (36,174 sq mi)
 (2018) [2]
  Density77/km2 (200/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Khon Muang
Language Northern Thaiothers

Northern Thailand is geographically characterised by several mountain ranges, which continue from the Shan Hills in bordering Myanmar to Laos, and the river valleys which cut through them. Though like most of Thailand, it has a tropical savanna climate, its relatively high elevation and latitude contribute to more pronounced seasonal temperature variation, with cooler winters than the other regions. Historically it is related to the Lanna Kingdom and its culture.



North Thailand is bound by the Salween River in the west and the Mekong in the east. The basins of rivers Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan, all tributaries of the Chao Phraya River, in the central part run from north to south and are mostly very wide. The basins cut across the mountains of two great ranges, the Thanon Range in the western part and the Phi Pan Nam in the eastern. Their elevations are generally moderate, a little above 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) for the highest summits. Although formerly forested, many of these mountains are now denuded. [3]

Parallel mountain ranges extend from the Daen Lao Range (ทิวเขาแดนลาว), in the southern region of the Shan Hills, in a north-south direction, the Dawna Range (ทิวเขาดอยมอนกุจู) forming the western border of Thailand between Mae Hong Son and the Salween River. [4] To the east the Thanon Thong Chai Range (เทือกเขาถนนธงชัย), the Khun Tan Range (ทิวเขาขุนตาน), the Phi Pan Nam Range (ทิวเขาผีปันน้ำ), as well as the western part of the Luang Prabang Range (ทิวเขาหลวงพระบาง), form the natural region of the Thai highlands together with the former. [5]

These high mountains are incised by steep river valleys and upland areas that border the central plain. A series of rivers, including the Nan, Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan, flow southwards through mountain valleys and join to form the Chao Phraya in Nakhon Sawan Province in the central region. Sirikit Dam is on the Nan River in Uttaradit Province. The northeastern part is drained by rivers flowing into the Mekong basin, like the Kok and Ing.

The four-region system includes the northern parts of the central plain as well as some mountainous areas bordering the western and the northeastern limits.

Map of Thailand highlighting the provinces of the northern region in the six-region system Topography of northern Thailand.png
Map of Thailand highlighting the provinces of the northern region in the six-region system
Northern Thailand according to the four-region grouping system Thailand North.png
Northern Thailand according to the four-region grouping system

National parks

Within the northern region there are some sixty national parks. Chiang Mai Province has nine national parks of which Doi Inthanon National Park with the country's highest mountain and Op Luang National Park have a scenic river canyon, waterfalls, and caves. Doi Khun Tan National Park, which is located midway between the two provincial capitals of province Lampang and Lamphun, is best known for Thailand's longest railroad tunnel, which is 1,352 metres (4,436 ft) long. Doi Phu Kha National Park in province Nan is northern Thailand's largest national park.

Regional classification of northern Thailand

The northern region, as defined by the National Geographical Committee in 1978, consists of nine provinces. Geographically the division, in conformance with the six-region system, includes most of the mountainous natural region of the Thai highlands.

In the four-region classification system, northern Thailand gains the eight upper-central-region provinces: Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Phetchabun, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani and Tak, bringing the total to 17 provinces.

In 2019 it is common to subdivide the northern region into: nine provinces of the upper northern region and eight provinces of the lower northern region. All websites of these eight provinces state: "located in the lower northern region".

Upper and Lower Northern provinces Thailand Upper Lower North.png
Upper and Lower Northern provinces
FlagSealProvinceCapital DOPA PopulationArea (km2)Density ISO
Flag of Chiang Mai Province.gif Seal Chiang Mai.png 1 Chiang Mai Chiang Mai 141,763,74220,107.088TH-50
Flag of Lam Phun Province.png Seal Lamphun.png 2 Lamphun Lamphun 54405,9554,505.990TH-51
Flag of Lampang Province.png Seal Lampang.png 3 Lampang Lampang 53742,88312,534.059TH-52
Flag of the Uttaradit Province.png Seal Uttaradit.png 4 Uttaradit Uttaradit 75455,4037,838.658TH-53
Flag of Phrae Province.png Phrae seal.svg 5 Phrae Phrae 41445,0906,538.668TH-54
Flag of Nan Province.jpg Seal Nan.png 6 Nan Nan 26478,98911,472.142TH-55
Flag of Phayao Province.jpg Seal Phayao.png 7 Phayao Phayao 34475,2156,335.175TH-56
Flag of Chiang Rai.gif Seal Chiang Rai.png 8 Chiang Rai Chiang Rai 131,292,13011,678.4111TH-57
Flag of Mae Hong Son Province.png Seal Mae Hong Son.png 9 Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son 45282,56612,681.322TH-58
Flag of Nakhon Sawan Province.png Seal Nakhon Sawan.png 10 Nakhon Sawan Nakhon Sawan 231,063,9649,597.5111TH-60
Flag of Uthai Thani Province.jpg Seal Uthaithani.png 11 Uthai Thani Uthai Thani 76329,4336,730.349TH-61
Flag of Kamphaeng Phet Province.gif Seal Kamphaeng Phet.png 12 Kamphaeng Phet Kamphaeng Phet 5727,8078,607.385TH-62
Flag of Tak Province.png Seal Tak.png 13 Tak Tak 17654,67616,406.640TH-63
Flag of Sukhothai Province.png Seal Sukhothai.png 14 Sukhothai Sukhothai 66597,2576,596.191TH-64
Flag of the Phitsanulok Province.png Seal Phitsanulok.png 15 Phitsanulok Phitsanulok 38866,89110,815.880TH-65
Flag of Phichit Province.png Seal Phichit.png 16 Phichit Phichit 37539,3744,531.0119TH-66
Flag of Phetchabun Province.png Seal Phetchabun.png 17 Phetchabun Phetchabun 40994,54012,668.479TH-67


See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Thailand Thailands geography and meteorology

Thailand is in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia. It has a total size of 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) which is the 50th largest in the world. The land border is 4,863 km (3,022 mi) long with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. The nation's axial position influenced many aspects of Thailand's society and culture. It controls the only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore. It has an exclusive economic zone of 299,397 km2 (115,598 sq mi).

Chao Phraya River

The Chao Phraya is the major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.

Central Thailand Region in Bangkok

Central Thailand is one of the regions of Thailand, covering the broad alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. It is separated from northeast Thailand (Isan) by the Phetchabun mountain range. The Tenasserim Hills separate it from Myanmar to the west. In the north it is bounded by the Phi Pan Nam Range, one of the hilly systems of northern Thailand. The area was the heartland of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, and is still the dominant area of Thailand, containing as it does, the world's most primate city, Bangkok.

Nakhon Sawan Province Province of Thailand

Nakhon Sawan is one of Thailand's seventy-six provinces (changwat) lies in lower northern Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit, Phetchabun, Lopburi, Sing Buri, Chai Nat, Uthai Thani, and Tak.

Thai highlands Natural region in Thailand

The Thai highlands or Hills of northern Thailand is a mountainous natural region in the north of Thailand. Its mountain ranges are part of the system of hills extending through Laos, Burma, and China and linking to the Himalayas, of which they may be considered foothills.

Nan River

The Nan River is a river in Thailand. It is one of the most important tributaries of the Chao Phraya River.

Yom River

The Yom River is a river in Thailand. It is the main tributary of the Nan River. The Yom River has its source in the Phi Pan Nam Range in Pong District, Phayao Province. Leaving Phayao, it flows through Phrae and Sukhothai as the main water resource of both provinces before it joins the Nan River at Chum Saeng District, Nakhon Sawan Province.

Sakae Krang River

The Sakae Krang River is a tributary of the Chao Phraya River. It originates in Mae Wong National Park, Nakhon Sawan Province. It is 225 kilometres (140 mi) long, with most of its length in Uthai Thani Province. It joins the Chao Phraya River in Uthai Thani city near the Wat Tha Sung.

Chat Trakan District District in Phitsanulok, Thailand

Chat Trakan is the northernmost district (amphoe) of Phitsanulok Province, central Thailand.

The Wat Ta Yom River is a tributary of the Nan River in Thailand.

Topographical features within the Phitsanulok Province of Thailand include the Phetchabun Mountains, the Nan River and several of its tributaries, waterfalls, swamps, forests, grasslands, caves, a reservoir and an extensive network of canals. Populated areas of the province are largely cleared of natural vegetation and adapted for farming. The land in the province is in the Greater Nan Basin, which is part of the Chao Phraya Watershed. The province includes land within both of the greater Nan basin's sub-basins, i.e., the Nan Basin and Yom Basin. The provincial capital of Phitsanulok is sometimes called Song Kwae, the "city of two rivers", an ancient name dating to a time centuries ago when the Nan and Khwae Noi Rivers met near the city. These two rivers of the Phitsanulok Province are still of major significance to the residents of the region.

River systems of Thailand

Thailand has 25 river basins with 254 sub-basins. Rainwater is one of the most important sources of water. Thailand's water resoukle per capita is less than that of other countries in the region.

This is a list of articles related to Thailand, sorted by alphabetical order. It represents the majority of articles contained within the Thailand category. For a list of key articles arranged by topic, see Outline of Thailand.

Luang Prabang Range

The Luang Prabang Range, named after Luang Prabang, is a mountain range straddling northwestern Laos and Northern Thailand. Most of the range is located in Sainyabuli Province (Laos), as well as Nan and Uttaradit Provinces (Thailand), with small parts in Phitsanulok and Loei Provinces. Several rivers such as the Nan, Pua and Wa river, have their source in this range. Phu Fa waterfall, the biggest and the tallest waterfall in Nan Province, is also located in these mountains. This range is part of the Luang Prabang montane rain forests ecoregion.

Phi Pan Nam Range

The Phi Pan Nam Range, also Pee Pan Nam, is a 400 km (249 mi) long system of mountain ranges in the eastern half of the Thai highlands. It is mostly in Thailand, although a small section in the northeast is within Sainyabuli and Bokeo Provinces, Laos.

The 44th Thailand National Games were held in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand from 12 to 21 December 2015. The opening ceremony, scheduled for 11 December, was postponed by Bike for Dad ปั่นเพื่อพ่อ, to 12 December. There were matches in 43 sports and 77 disciplines. The games were held in Nakhon Sawan Sport Center and Nakhon Sawan sport school. Nakhon Sawan also hosted the 28th national games in 1995.

Kayah–Karen montane rain forests

The Kayah–Karen montane rain forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion in Myanmar and Thailand. The montane rain forests cover several connected mountain ranges, including the Dawna Range, Karen Hills, Thanon Thong Chai Range, Daen Lao Range, and Khun Tan Range.


  1. Advancing Human Development through the ASEAN Community, Thailand Human Development Report 2014, table 0:Basic Data (PDF) (Report). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand. pp. 134–135. ISBN   978-974-680-368-7 . Retrieved 17 January 2016, Data has been supplied by Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, at Wayback Machine.[ dead link ]
  2. 1 2 "รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ศ.2561" [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2018]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior (in Thai). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  3. Forest data: Thailand Deforestation Rates
  4. Northern Thailand Archived 2012-01-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ดร.กระมล ทองธรรมชาติ และคณะ, สังคมศึกษา ศาสนาและวัฒนธรรม ม.1, สำนักพิมพ์ อักษรเจริญทัศน์ อจท. จำกัด, 2548, หน้า 24-25

Coordinates: 19°N99°E / 19°N 99°E / 19; 99