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Hiking in Thailand: Journeying to Buddhist Temples and Mountaintops

The Best Places to Go Hiking in Thailand

Hiking in Thailand isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when visiting such a beautiful, tropical climate. Beaches and drunken shenanigans are indeed, a huge part of visiting Thailand but if that’s all you do, you’ve severely missed out. Going back home with FOMO about that hike you didn’t go on should be avoided at all costs. Hiking in Thailand brings incredible sunset views, a sense of accomplishment and comradery among backpackers to the table. You can always make it back to your hostel for happy hour anyway!

In this article, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite hiking trails in Thailand. We’ve actually covered these throughout our blog already, so if you’re staying in a particular location, just click the images or headers to read more about hikes in the area. The places with amazing hikes include Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.

Rice Fields in Thailand

This is a question we get asked often: How and where can you visit rice fields in Thailand? The short answer is: close to Chiang Mai. That’ll be your easiest and safest bet, as well as our favorite. The most breathtaking views of rice fields in Thailand are Pa Pong Piang, located inside Doi Inthanon National Park. The national park is best known for its shining golden temple, Doi Suthep, which is one of the best hikes in Chiang Mai.

hiking in Thailand rice fields

Hiking in Chiang Mai

Starting off with what’s locally known as The Monk’s Trail is the hike between Wat Pha Lat and Wat Doi Suthep. As mentioned earlier, this is part of Doi Inthanon National Park. And it’s quite a hike! If you’re going to fully immerse yourself in all the park has to offer, we recommend sparing at least 2-3 days out of your backpacking trip.

  • The Monk’s Trail: Wat Pha Lat to Wat Doi Suthep
  • Doi Pui to Doi Suthep
  • Doi Inthanon Nature Trail
  • Doi Luang Chiang Dao
  • Pa Pong Pang Rice Terraces

hiking in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hiking in Phuket

While Phuket is best known for its white sand beaches and the infamous Bangla Road, which claims the livers of backpackers every night, there’s much more to it than that. But you’ll need to get your hiking boots on to see the best Phuket has to offer! Awaiting you are lush, green jungles and limestone cliffs (similar to Krabi, actually)!

hiking in Phuket to the Big Buddha

Hiking in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is a wonder of nature so it’s no surprise that it has some of the best hiking trails in Thailand. With world class beaches in Koh Samui, you might not feel up for anything other than pure relaxation but it’s totally worth it. Waterfalls, ancient Buddhist statues and mountain viewpoints await your footsteps!

Magic Buddha Garden in Koh Samui, Thailand

Hiking in Koh Phangan

Much like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is an island where people really miss out on amazing Thai hiking trails. Best known for being home to the world-famous Full Moon Party, backpackers often take off on their travels immediately after. We’d recommend staying in Koh Phangan longer to get a chance to explore, however. Rent a bike and take off to some of the best views in the country! Khao Ra is absolutely beautiful, with a view that reaches all the way to Koh Samui and Koh Tao!

  • Khao Ra
  • Bottle Beach
  • Haad Yuan

hiking in Koh Phangan, Thailand