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Northern Thailand is composed of 15 provinces and borders Myanmar (Burma) to the northwest and Laos to the northeast. This verdant, mountainous terrain, which includes Thailand's largest mountain, 2,563m (8,409-ft.) Doi Inthanon, supports nomadic farming, teak plantations on the hillsides, and systematic agriculture in the valleys. The hill-tribes' traditional poppy crops have largely been replaced with rice, coffee, tea, soybeans, corn, and sugar cane. Northeast of Chiang Mai, lowland farmers also cultivate seasonal fruits such as strawberries, longan (lamyai), mandarin oranges, mango, and melon. The lush fields and winding rivers make sightseeing -- particularly in the cool season -- a visual treat. Textiles, mining, handicrafts, and tourism-related industries also contribute to the growing northern economy.

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