When people travel to Thailand, they often visit the same places. Phuket, Koh Samui, and Bangkok remain favorites for both holidaymakers and travelers. The land of smiles, as Thailand’s second name, is a country of extreme beauty and diverse culture. With islands set in crystal blue waters, beautiful mountain ranges and cultural cities full of color and life, it’s hard to get out of ideas.
Let’s jump into 5 off-the-beaten path destinations in Thailand. Hurry since tourists started to notice these hidden gems recently.
#1- Koh Chang
In the east of Thailand, close to the Cambodian border sits Thailand’s largest island. Koh Chang is a 30-minute ferry journey from the town of Trat. This lush green island has it all, from family resorts to bohemian hippie beaches.
Koh Chang is different to many of Thailand’s islands since there is no airport or towns. You will not find shopping malls or bustling markets, but don’t worry as the beauty and tranquility will surround you on each step. On the north of the island, you will discover boutique resorts and exclusive spas. To the south, the island takes a more bohemian vibe with yoga retreats and smoothie bars.
That is the island to visit if you want to relax and escape the package holidaymakers. The island has one major road and very few cars. You can get around by hiring a scooter or use the local “Baht Bus” The more adventurous can venture inland, where you will find jungle, waterfalls and hot springs.
On the south of the island, the feel changes again and Koh Chang becomes even more relaxed. You will find wooden bungalows dotted around the beaches. The hippie magnet of Lonely Beach offers a journey to the old backpacker days. With one of the most relaxed party atmosphere in the whole Asia. Forget the drunken hordes of full moon party revelers on Koh Phangan and head for the bohemian paradise that is Lonely Beach.
#2- Bangkok (Without Kidding!)
Alright, so now you might think, what’s wrong with me including Bangkok in this list. I totally get it, but before you stop reading the article, keep in mind that Thailand’s capital isn’t just Khao San and other backpacker’s places. Bangkok has a stunning amount of hidden places and things to do, and if you have some extra time, I guarantee you’ll have a blast in flashy and never-sleeping Bangkok.
What would be better than starting the exploration by visiting Penis Shrine? Imagine walking around a beautiful park and you can’t see anything else than penis shrines in different sizes, colors and shapes. It’s a perfect activity to break the ice, so let’s continue.
Where else you have a chance to sit in the airplane in the middle of the busy city without going through the airport procedure? Well, head over to Bangkok’s airplane graveyard where you can chill and wander around remains of commercial airplanes overlooking the city.
Don’t forget to visit Wat Samphran temple. Oh, one more temple, right? This temple is unique as it features a realistic dragon surrounding the whole building with its head on top. It’s such a beautiful place where you can contemplate and enjoy the views of Bangkok and the surrounding area.
Don’t forget to check out other off-the-beaten activities in Bangkok and have an unforgettable time.
#3- Koh Wai
This island is only for the adventurous “chill” seekers. Koh Wai can only be reached by taking a 30 minute “long boat” ride from Koh Chang. The old style Thai peer that leads to the boat is an adventure in itself with sights and smells at every step.
Koh Wai has no roads, no shops and no electricity. The island is powered by generators that are turned off before midnight. That is your ultimate desert island getaway. Two restaurants are offering delicious, well-priced food. There is very little to do except lie on the untouched beach, eat and swim.
Koh Wai is a protected marine park, bring your own snorkel and enjoy the marine life. That is only meters away from your bungalow door. That is a place you visit for a few days and leave weeks later. If you want to party on Koh Chang, but if you wish to that “extreme chill out” you have been craving. Then Koh Wai is paradise.
#4- Chiang Rai, North Thailand
Most tourists visit the northern city of Chiang Mai. Famous for its template’s, food and hospitality Chiang Mai is a beautiful and laid back city. If you venture four hours further north, you will find the city of Chiang Rai. A place so laid back; you will feel like you are in a dream. With beautiful architecture and some of the friendliest people you will meet in Thailand, Chiang Rai is a place to be discovered.
The city itself can be discovered in a few days but experienced and enjoyed for months. The area that surrounds Chiang Rai is breathtaking. You will discover traditional tribal villages resting in the foothills of the Himalayas. Chiang Rai is the gateway to the famous Golden Triangle. The best way to see this region is by riverboat, it is slow, but absolutely beautiful.
#5- Phetchabun, North Thailand
All you have to do is google “Phetchabun” and look at the pictures. You will be packing your bags and jumping on a bus quicker than you can say “Kopun Krap.” Phetchabun is home to two of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks. The place is the home to wild elephants, bears, tigers and other lively and diverse wildlife.
Phetchabun has not been invaded by hordes of tourists and remains untouched and incredibly peaceful. The mountain ranges are Inspirational with dozens of impressive waterfalls and springs. If you’re looking for a place to relax in nature and get away from tourist flocks, this is the place to be!
Thailand is a very diverse, friendly and safe countries to travel in South East Asia, which makes it a perfect choice for travelers who’ve just started with traveling. Sure you can battle it out with the other tourist in Bangkok and Phuket where the Thai people come to make a fast buck or you could experience the true beauty of Thailand and its people have to offer.