Known for its enigmatic cities and glistening island shores, Thailand is an obvious choice for an exotic long-haul holiday. But unbeknown to many travellers, in Thailand there’s a number of hidden gems that you wouldn’t easily find.
With our tips, make the most of Thailand’s diverse culture and natural beauty; from authentic floating markets and unique temples to secret caves and mind-blowing national parks…
Hidden Gems in Thailand
1. Laem Singh Beach
You won’t be surprised to learn that Phuket has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world but you may be to learn that there are a few that are still left undiscovered, just take Laem Singh Beach for example. Nestled between popular Kamala and Surin beaches, you’ll find this 150-metre wide bay hidden by exotic palms and made up of pristine golden sands. Make sure you take advantage and soak up a few of the sun’s rays.
2. Nan Communities
Take the opportunity to visit Thailand’s tribal communities in Nan. Visit the Hmong, N’tin and Khamu tribes with a local guide and you’ll get a truly authentic view of this inspiring, friendly and generous country. They don’t call it the ‘Land of Smiles’ for nothing! You could combine this trip with a visit to Phu Kha National Park too to spot the astonishing Thai Sakura (Cherry Blossom) – they only bloom in January and February though, so make sure you time it right.
3. Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market
If you’re in the heart of Bangkok, there are plenty of floating markets to choose from but why not visit one that’s still a local favourite? Head to Bang Nam Pheung on Thailand’s Chao Phraya River to take advantage of its bountiful photographic opportunities and indulge in its flavourful street food. This little-known floating market, in particular, is known for its enormous range of seafood – the chilli squid is a must.
4. Khanom Dolphins
If wildlife is more your thing, then you should visit Khanom during March and September to see the rare pink dolphins. The district is well known for these creatures among locals, some argue that they even have a special bond. The local fishing community only catches enough fish to feed themselves and the neighbourhood, they always ensure there’s enough left for the dolphins to thrive.
Read more: Take a look at our other Asian adventures.
5. Ban Bor Thor National Park
If you’re thinking of including Krabi in your Asian itinerary, then you need to head to Ban Bor Thor National Park to explore its extensive network of rivers and dramatic limestone caves. Rent a kayak, paddle through mangroves and spot the river’s wildlife before discovering Tham Lod and Tham Pee Hua Toh Caves. Decorated by stalactites and stalagmites, beneath an enormous cliff, you may also spot 3,000-year-old cave drawings left by Thailand’s oldest ancestors.
6. Koh Mak Marine Park
With the majority of travel companies not accessing Koh Mak just yet, it’s still an unknown and secluded paradise. Stay near the transparent turquoise waters of this island’s National Marine Park and sample some of the best diving in the whole of Thailand but never fear, if diving isn’t for you, then you can also windsurf, kayak or just dip your toes in!
7. Wat Sri Suphan
Just outside Chiang Mai, you can marvel at Wat Sri Suphan, nicknamed the Silver Temple. Upon seeing this magnificent building, you’ll realise that it’s entirely made out of silver – the only temple to be created this way in Thailand. Wat Sri Suphan is in the heart of Chiang Mai’s silver-making district, whom is largely responsible for the temple’s intricate panelling; each hand-crafted panel represents a stage in Buddha’s life. Each one is more beautiful than the next!
8. Lampang City
Lampang is one of the more charming hidden gems left in Thailand. Chae Son National Park is a large part of this, where you can swim at the base of a number of beautiful waterfalls, take a dip in the park’s hot springs and spot hundreds of curious species in its forests. But head into the city itself and you can enjoy a traditional horse and carriage ride – the only place left in Thailand that still uses this mode of transport.
9. Sukhothai Historical Park
Known for its part in Thailand’s Golden Age during the 13-14th century, Sukhothai Historical Park showcases a kingdom’s ruins in all its splendour. Although the park itself is popular with tourists, there are still pockets of it that rarely see visitors but if you’d rather not run the risk then visit Si Satchanalai, just north of Sukhothai, an abandoned medieval city.
Have you got any gems you’d add to the list? Leave them below in the comments…
Life in Wanderlust