Get Close to Nature in Beautiful Chaiyaphum province
Ranking as one of the best hidden travel destinations of Thailand, Chaiyaphum province is a taste of the real Thailand. It’s compact, rural, unspoilt and beautiful, so it should really be on every travelers’ Asian bucket list! It’s also home to some of the best national parks in Thailand and a trip here can be a really diverse experience. Let’s dive straight into what Chaiyaphum has to offer.
Pa Hin Ngam National Park: Floral Heaven
If you’re into wild landscapes and colorful flower meadows then a trip to Pa Hin Ngam National Park is for you. Imagine field upon a field of pink Siamese tulips blooming against a backdrop of rock formations of all shapes and sizes, all contrasted with a deep blue sky. It doesn’t get much more picturesque than that! Visit in June and July to hit the peak of the floral display. Tents are available for overnight rental if you just can’t bear to tear yourself away.
Tat Ton Waterfall: Riverside Relaxation
Tat Ton Waterfall is within Tat Ton National Park and is a lovely place to hang out for the day. The falls themselves are wide and fast-flowing for most of the year, with cool clear water and a great set of plunge pools that are perfect for cooling off on a hot day. Beware the restricted zone though, don’t jump in here or you might end up taking a trip over the edge that you didn’t bargain for! This is peak picnic territory so bring some food and a couple of Leos and let the day drift by.
Mor Hin Khao: The Stonehenge of Thailand
Inside the Phu Laen Kha National Park (well we did say that Chaiyaphum had some of best national parks in Thailand!), Mor Hin Khao is a world-class tourist site. Also known as the ‘white hills’, Mor Hin Khao is collection of sedimentary standing stones that look for all the world like an ancient civilization put them there deliberately. The stones themselves are actually a result of weathering patterns on sedimentary rock, and a trip around the site at sunrise or sunset is a delightfully peaceful experience. Head to the collection of stones at Pah Hua Nak for the best views of the surrounding area.
Prang Ku: Angkor Wat on a Micro Scale
Prang Ku is notable in Thailand as it’s an isolated structure built in a Khmer style which is pretty unusual elsewhere in the country. The other unusual thing about it is that it’s on a traffic island! There’s something pretty weird about visiting an important heritage site while tuktuks and songthaews whizz round you, but with a 12th century pedigree and a beautiful Mon Buddha inside, it’s well worth a look.
Chaiyaphum Travel Guide logistics
The easiest way to get to Chaiyaphum from Bangkok is to jump on a bus for around 400 baht, or $12.50. The journey takes about 6 hours so no need for a night bus here. Get up early and you can be there by lunchtime! If the train is more your thing then a standard ticket costs anywhere between 600 baht ($19) and 1700 baht ($53) depending on carriage class, and the journey time is about 7 hours.
There’s plenty of accommodation in Chaiyaphum and the surrounding towns, and plenty of helpful locals ready to give you advice and guidance on getting around. With natural beauty, awesome heritage sites and a reputation as one of the best hidden travel destinations of Thailand, there’s a long list of reasons to get yourself there!