The enchanting confluence of old world charm and modern atmosphere is what makes Thailand an ideal destination for travelling solo, with friends, loved ones or family. Thailand has a buffet of attractions – From finger licking cuisine to great shopping experience and rocking adult night life, beautiful natural sites to explore along with opportunities for snorkeling, diving, rock climbing, canoeing, sailing and water sports. And not to forget some of the best spas in the world, where you can give some rest to your aging bones. But does the average traveler really know anything beyond the Bangkok shopping malls and the many Go-Go bars spread over the red-light areas of the country? I bet you have not even heard some of these places… Here are the six hidden gems as best places to visit in Thailand beyond Bangkok…
Beautiful beaches, water sports, extensive dining and entertainment options are some of the many reasons what makes this small island a hot favourite. It takes just about an hour to reach from Bangkok by plane to this island which is located off the coast of Surat Thani province. And once you set your feet on the ground you are surrounded by stunning combination of lush forested hills along with white sand beaches with sparkling blue waters and coral reefs. Most famous beaches on the east coast are Chaweng and Lamai.
If you are fond of trekking, try some of the easy treks to Na Muang waterfalls. Not to miss is the visit to Big Buddha Temple, Secret Buddha Garden, weekly Walking Streets market at Lamai and Bophut.
The most popular and largest island destination is an hour’s flight from Bangkok. This modern cosmopolitan island boasts of popular hangouts, rainforests, waterfalls and sparkling beaches like Patong, Bang Tao, Nai Thon, Nai Harn, Kata beaches. Also there is abundance of posh resorts, amazing restaurants with bars, great shopping and nightlife attractions. And if you have animal instincts within you, try out Butterfly Garden, Crocodile Farm, Sea Aquarium and Insect World. To watch the best sunset on Phuket Island, head to Laem Promthep. Also a sail to Phi Phi Island is a great way to spend a day with the family.
Former fishing village and retreat of Thailand’s royal family, is located at 3 hours drive from Bangkok. You can find luxurious, world-class ocean front resorts dominating this beach destination. Must see places include many dining options like Coco 51, Mekong Café, Night Bazaar and vineyard tours. The 11-tier Pa La-u Waterfall is one of the most popular day trips from Hua Hin. And don’t forget to explore the Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Thailand’s first national marine park.
For those looking for adventure, head to an exotic escape in Krabi province; which is about an hour by flight from Bangkok. Honeymooners rush to Ao Nang Beach and Hat Noppharat Thara beach which offer fantastic hiking and trekking opportunities as well to explore subterranean caves and climb rock faces.
If you wish to seek the off-the-beaten path holiday, head to Koh Lanta which is an hour’s boat ride from Krabi. Things to do in Koh Lanta include visiting the culturally diverse village Lanta old town which has the mixture of Thai, Chinese and Gypsy influence. Also you can explore the stunning Khao Mai Kaew caves located in the interior. Gorgeous beaches include Klong Dao, Kor Kwang, Kantiang Bay.
Chiang Mai is a city and province in the north of Thailand. Famous for its jungles and mountain treks, Chiang Mai is the destination for those who want nature and a relief from the crowd of the city. The city is home to many temples, or wats, including the famous Wat Chedi Luang, built in 1402.
Located just 8 kilometers away from the Trat, Koh Chang or Elephant Island is a part of 52 – island archipelago which forms the Muko Chang Marine National park. Not much tourists here, which means Ko Chang’s rustic atmosphere remains sheltered and preserved. Best beaches to name are Ao Khlong Son, Hat Sai Khao, Hat Khlong Phrao.
Head over to Thailand – there is more to experience than you have ever imagined.
Amazing Thailand! Been There? Done That? What best places to visit in Thailand can you suggest beyond the very touristy places?