The Best Places to Visit in Thailand are Calm and Quiet
Rather than ticking off the same tourist sites as everyone else on Instagram, how about exploring some amazing hidden places to visit in Thailand? These gems are just as beautiful as their more famous cousins but come without the coach trips and the tourist hassle. We’re sharing some of the best-kept secrets in the Land of Smiles. While we could merely focus on the most photogenic islands in Thailand, we’ve already written about that and want to expand onward!
Easily overlooked on the way across the mainland from Phuket north towards Bangkok, Khao Sok is one of Thailand’s best national parks and boasts hundreds of square kilometers of virgin rainforest to enjoy. Take a hike, hire a canoe or drift down a river on a bamboo raft! If you want to stay overnight then choose from treehouses and lakeside cabins. Sound idyllic? Add in a bit of gibbon watching and a sunset beer and it sure is!
Lively party islands like Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are great, but they’re not the only option that Thailand has to offer. Tiny Koh Jum is almost the exact opposite, being little-visited and home to a predominantly Muslim population. The drinking scene isn’t big here but the relaxation scene certainly is; spend your days wandering barefoot through deserted coves and your nights listening to the quiet lapping of the sea on the shore. It doesn’t get much more laidback than this. The island is accessed via a longtail boat from Krabi pier.
Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat
This little-known temple is virtually unknown even within Thailand, but we think it deserves a mention on this list of hidden gems because of its stunning location. Wat Chaloem is built at the top of a rocky outcrop giving stunning views across the plains below, and even the most jaded temple-visitor will appreciate the setting. There’s something very special about watching the sun glistens off the golden pagoda roofs as you sit and contemplate the limestone karst scenery.
Public transport is non-existent here, but you can visit as a day trip from Chiang Mai if you have your own transport and the willingness to hike up the steep hill!
Our next pick is great place to hang out and experience traditional Thai life. Sangkhlaburi is a network of traditional floating and stilt villages, where life has changed little for centuries and you can leave the modern world behind. Staying here is a great way to meet some of western Thailand’s ethnic population without visiting a hill tribe village that might feel a bit exploitative, and its location on the Myanmar border ensures a real melting-pot cultural feel.
Head to Khao Laem National Park to find the villages and enjoy immersing yourself in some of the most enjoyable relaxed communities you’re likely to find in Thailand.
If you love weird attractions then you’ll love the little-visited region of Chaiyaphum. First off you can go see the monolithic sandstone outcrops at Mor Hin Khao, which look manmade but are actually the result of strange weathering patterns. Next head to the neighboring fields in wet season to see miles upon miles of tulips that appear from the earth to bloom each year in a riot of color, before finishing at Prang Khru to see some 13th century Khmer temple architecture.
You’ll almost certainly be on your own at all of these sites, and whole days can go by without any visitors at all. Off the beaten track it definitely is!
The Best Places to Visit in Thailand Offer Unique Experiences
There’s something particularly intoxicating about discovering these hidden gems for yourself, without having to share them with anyone else. Don’t follow the crowd! Strike out on your own and fall even deeper in love with what this awesome country has to offer.