Thailand, endowed with beautiful beaches, awesome islands, amazing foods, enduring temples, marvelous royal palaces, rich culture, and friendly people, has become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It is second only to China in Asia and has attracted over 38 million tourists just in 2018. No wonder backpacking Thailand has become a trend among frequent travelers as of late.
Backpacking Thailand is the cheapest way to enjoy all the goodies its ancient cities and natural endowments can offer. It’s certain that you’re guaranteed an adventure that you can never get anywhere else. Here’s some information on ten cool and interesting must-visit places when backpacking Thailand.
Bangkok: Experience The Effects Of Modernity On Antiquity
The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is the most visited city in the country by tourists. Assuming your first touch in Thailand is Bangkok, you should enjoy the amazing nightlife, shimmering temples, beautiful parks, and the friendly locals before trailing towards other destinations. With over 400 temples in Bangkok, you should visit at least two or more different temples during your Thailand trip.
Visit the “Wat Phra Kaew,” also commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. The opportunity to visit this temple allows you to see the fascinating Grand Palace in Bangkok as well. In this temple, you will be able to see a series of interesting structures, golden figures, and wall paintings. Also, at the “Wat Pho” (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), you can take some pictures with the 15-meter high, 43-meter long Buddha image. This image is decorated with gold leaves and a nacre.
Besides visiting the amazing temples and museums, spice up your stay in Bangkok by visiting its colorful floating markets. They offer you an opportunity to taste delicious Thai foods, enjoy a new and unique shopping experience on canoes, and appreciate the Thai culture. Some of the popular floating markets that you might want to visit include the Amphawa, Damnoen, Taling Chan, and the Khlong Lat Mayom floating markets.
Similan Islands: Relish Different Water Sports
Thailand is blessed with eleven amazing islands; and the largest of them is Koh Similan. Also, the nine islands Koh Bangu, Koh Tachai, Koh Ha, Koh Bon, Koh Hin Pousar, Koh Huyong, Koh Payan, Koh Meang, Koh Payang, and Koh Payu together make up the famous archipelago situated in the Andaman Sea; on the west coast of Southern Thailand. Developed into a national park, the Similan Islands are rated as one of the top diving destinations in the world. So, if you enjoy snorkeling, swimming, or scuba diving, visit the Similan Islands.
Opened to visitors only between October and May, hundreds of hikers visit the Similan Islands to immerse in the beauty of the park. So, plan your Thailand trip carefully to enjoy the optimum experience the Similan Islands have to offer. Also, do not forget to catch some fun while catching fishes at the nearby Tab Lamu, Khao Lak!
Chiang Rai: See The Awesome Beauty Of The Mae Fah Luang Garden
Backpacking Thailand is never complete without trailing the former capital city of Thailand whose lands are blessed with fascinating mountains, beautiful hills, amazing parks, and numerous rural areas of intriguing historical relevance. On your visit to Chiang Rai, a hike to The Golden Triangle shouldn’t be missed. The Golden Triangle is famous for bordering three countries; Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Here, many backpackers have enjoyed the expansive view of the river at Sob-Ruak. Also, a must-do activity for adults is a visit to the House of Opium. Here, you can learn Thailand’s history of enjoying opium without restriction for hundreds of years.
Extend your backpacking trip to the flower hills of Doi Tung. Here, you can witness the attractive scenery offered by the flower-covered 25 acres of land in Mae Fah Luang Garden. Also, nearby the gardens are the mountains of Doi Mae Salong where hikers and backpackers explore nature. The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is also worth visiting in Chiang Rai during any backpacking trip. However, to really enjoy the amazing views and avoid overcrowding, visit the temple early in the morning before your other adventures.
Note: They usually charge an entrance fee of $1-$3 for tourists.
Khao Sok National Park: Encounter 300 Species Of Animals
Khao Sok National Park, located in the southern part of Thailand in the Surat Thani province covers an area of 739 square kilometers. A visit to this place will let you see one of the oldest rain forests in the world. The park is divided into two areas which are, the Khlong Sok town, and the Cheow Lan Lake. The lake allows for many water-related activities such as canoeing, bamboo rafting, swimming, fishing, and boat tours. Also, this tropical rain forest is home to wild animals. Some of these include wild elephants, over 300 species of birds, reptiles, tigers, bears, and more.
The Khao Sok National Park also contains many caves such as the Diamond Cave, Nam Talu cave, and the Khang Cow cave. These caves are definitely something you would love to visit during your travels through Thailand. However, you will require the service of a local guide to take you through various parts of the rainforest.
Pai: The Home Of The White Buddha & The Pambok Waterfall
While Pai is a small town in the Mae Hong Soon province of Northern Thailand, it hosts thousands of backpackers every year. This is because of its serene environment, cool atmosphere, and enjoyable nights with the inhabitants. The white Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) on top of the hill, is one very interesting sight worth seeing in Pai. Although reaching the top of the hill is quite strenuous and stressful, it is definitely worth the hike.
To juice your trail in Pai and to easily reach all its interesting hot spots, you may need to rent a scooter. If you don’t know how to drive one, you can have fun being driven by the locals. Also, located beneath several cliffs is The Pambok Waterfall. This wonderful place offers you a nice camping environment with the shade provided by the amazing cliffs and the cool, refreshing pool of water. Other interesting places worth visiting in Pai include the Pai Hot Springs, Sai Ngam Hot Springs, Mo Paeng Waterfall, Thee Pai Canyon, and Tham Lod cave.
Enjoy Some Climbing At The Railay Peninsula
The high cliffs surrounding the Railay Peninsula attract climbers who enjoy its beautiful beaches and quiet atmosphere. Located between Krabi and Ao Nang, multiple cliffs block the town from the roads. Also, it’s only accessible by boat. Additionally, explore the Princess Cave (Tham Phra Nang Nok), which attracts numerous fishermen from neighboring villages. The Diamond Cave (Sa Phra Nang) is a sight to see with its striking rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites. These caves offer protection from the heat, and the magnificent rock formations give amazing background for great photos. Also, nearby is the Hidden Lagoon and the Holy Princess Pool which are fun places backpackers love to visit.
The Hong Islands: Enjoy The Best Fishing Experience
This actually consists of four islands called the Koh Hong Group and they are located off the coast of Krabi in Southern Thailand. These islands are part of the Thanbok Kharanee National Park. So, in order to enjoy it, you are required to pay a stipend as a park entrance fee. These islands feature a beautiful natural lagoon, a delightful white sandy beach, coral reefs, and breathtaking scenery.
So, if you enjoy swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, sunbathing, and other water-related activities, you definitely should visit the Hong Islands on your Thailand trip. Also, fishing with the locals is one of the most awesome experiences you can get in the Hong Islands. Since tourists are not allowed into the park at night, you have to maximize your adventure during the day. Furthermore, using a long tail boat when visiting the islands will make your journey a lot more fun.
Ayutthaya: Explore A City Considered As One Of The Wealthiest In The East Of Old
This town is located in Central Thailand, north of Bangkok. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, backpackers who love history have found this town interesting and amazing. Ayutthaya was the capital of the kingdom of Siam. It hosted as an international trading port until it was destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese army. This then led to the collapse of the kingdom. Currently, the ruins of the ancient town now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park which features temples, palaces, statues, and monasteries.
The Wat Phra Si Sanphat is one of many interesting places that you should visit in Ayutthaya. It used to be the holiest temple on the site of the royal palace. It had a five-tiered temple roof, each of which was covered in gold. Also, the temple had a sixteen-meter tall image of Buddha that was cast and covered with gold. However, all of these wonders were destroyed; the gold was melted and taken by the Burmese soldiers. Today, the remnants of this temple and the Ayutthayan Empire are still an amazing sight for tourists exploring Thailand.
Also, other notable places worth visiting are Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Na Phra Men, St. Joseph’s Church, the Portuguese village, the Bang Pa-in Palace, and the Ayutthaya Floating Market.
Koh Phangan Island: Enjoy The Full Moon Party After A Hectic Hike
Koh Phangan Island lays claim to being the fifth largest island in Thailand. It is located in the Surat Thani province, in the southeastern part of the country. Refresh yourself alongside other backpackers at the awesome Full Moon Party on the Hat Rin beach. A light trail to its two sister islands — Ko Samui and Ko Tao — gives views of sandy beaches, incredible waterfalls, a tropical paradise, and the magnificent scenery of Koh Phangan Island. Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Phangan is great for swimming, beach football, beach volleyball, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and much more. Also, yoga centers, the Thong Sala night markets, Phangan parks, and waterfalls are some interesting places that you can visit in Koh Phangan.
Kanchanaburi: Explore The Death Railway (Burma Railway)
About 123 kilometers west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi offers backpackers a good exposure to World War II activities. The cool environment offered at the confluence of the Kwae Noi and Kwae Yai rivers is a great place for relaxing. Backpackers have had great times touring the World War II museum, war cemeteries, the Burma Railway, and the River Kwai Bridge. Also, many have enjoyed visiting the Elephant Sanctuary, and trailing the Sai Yok National Park.
A backpacking trip allows you to explore nature. These Thailand destinations recommended represents where the works of nature fall in tune with the activities of man. The many interesting places, activities, events, and adventures make Thailand an amazing country to visit. Truly, backpacking Thailand is an exciting and interesting way for you to do just that!