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Heading up North

Potentially stop at Ayutthaya temples, only an hour north of bangkok. There is a local train from Bangkok’s main Hualamphong station to Ayutthaya roughly every hour or so with basic but clean 3rd class seats, taking a leisurely 1 hour 45 minutes for the 71 km (44 miles). Costs around 50p: http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm#Bangkok_to_Ayutthaya.

Second stop could be Sukhothai, which is half way between Bangkok and the Northern territories. No train station at Sukhothai, but you can take a comfortable train from Bangkok to Phitsanulok on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai main line, which is about 59 km from Sukhothai by bus.  Buses leave Phitsanulok for Sukhothai frequently between 07:00 and 19:00, fare around 40 baht or so, journey time 1 hour.  On arrival by train at Phitsanulok, simply ask one of the tuk-tuk taxis waiting outside the station to take you to the nearby bus station.  This train/bus combo avoids a nightmare 7 hours on a bus from Bangkok.  The 08:30 or 11:50 DRC express railcars from Bangkok would be a good choice to reach Phitsanulok, see here for train times.  Once capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom, the UNESCO-designated ruins are 12 km outside Sukhothai town, easily reached by local transport: http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm#Bangkok_-_Sukhothai

Sukhothai hostels: http://www.hostelworld.com/findabed.php/ChosenCity.Sukhothai/ChosenCountry.Thailand

Things to do in Sukhothai:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g303921-Activities-Sukhothai_Sukhothai_Province.html

Next stop potentially Chiang Mai:

Looks to take 5-6 hours on a bus, but an easy popular route: http://www.hostelworld.com/findabed.php/ChosenCity.Sukhothai/ChosenCountry.Thailand

http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/thailand/north/

http://www.visitchiangmai.com.au/

http://thetravelhack.com/thailand/an-insiders-guide-to-chiang-mai-thailand/

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Chiang Mai

Things to do in Chiang Mai:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g293917-Activities-Chiang_Mai.html

http://www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/attractions/top-ten.htm#

Nice Elephant place:  Patara Elephant Farm.

Mon Cham

Wat Prabat Si Roy

Watthummuangna

Bua Thong falls

Wat Umong

Mae Kampong Village

Wat Pha Lat

 

Pai:

Takes 3/4 hourish from Chiang Mai, Starting to become a bit more touristy, but near the Mae Hong Son Province which sounds remote.

http://www.jonesaroundtheworld.com/backpacking-pai-thailand-a-budget-travel-guide/

Things to do in Pai: 

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g303916-Activities-Pai_Mae_Hong_Son_Province.html

Tha Pai Hot Springs

Sai Ngam (secret) hot springs

Pai Canyon: AWESOME place for sunset

Waterfalls: Thailand is jam packed full of the things, so if you haven’t od’ed on watefalls already, check out the two best in the area – Pam Bok waterfall and Mae Ya waterfall.

Unexplored areas in the North, including Chiang Rai: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/70219

Mae Hong Son province – least populous region

Soppong – great town with caving and hiking

 

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