Thailand truly is a fabulous country to visit. It is 12 hours from the UK and has so much to offer. Whether you are looking to get away from it all on a picture postcard beach or you fancy a long trek into the hills to find an undiscovered waterfall, this beautiful country has it all.
The winter months make a great time to visit Thailand, as there is plenty of sunshine. Chuck in the wonderful Thai people and utterly sublime food and you have yourself a winning destination. To make your next trip, this is our undiscovered guide to Thailand.
Try making one of these incredible Thai Recipes
What to See
Hill Tribe Villages, Northern Thailand
While many travellers visit the bustling northern city of Chiang Mai for its temples and street markets, those who want to get further off the beaten track should venture into the surrounding hill tribe villages. A hike along buffalo tracks and past emerald rice paddies will take you through colourful H’mong, Karen and Lisu villages and if you join a tour with a local guide you may also be able to join a local family for a traditional khantoke dinner or even spend the night as a guest
in their home.
Khao Sok National Park
For the most unbelievably secluded jungle experience, spend a couple of days in Khao Sok National Park. It’s the oldest evergreen forest in the world and you can follow walking trails through dense rainforests that hide a myriad of exotic animals and plants, swim in waterfalls, and take a serene long-tail boat ride across the stunning, island-studded Rajjaprapa Lake. For the ultimate room with a view, stay overnight in a floating bamboo rafthouse.
Around an hour’s drive from Bangkok, this UNESCO World Heritage site was once one of the ancient capitals of Siam. Although it lost many of its treasures when the Burmese invaded in the 18th Century, you can explore its picturesque ruins and several intricately carved temples, including Wat Phanan Cheoeng, which has a 19-metre-high Buddha image, and Wat Phra Mahathat, where an ancient Buddha head statue nestles among Banyan tree roots.
Erawan National Park
Close to Kanchanaburi, the gateway to the famous River Kwai, the highlight of this national park is a spectacular, seven-tiered waterfall. If you want to take a dip, the best falls for swimming are numbers 2, 3 and 5, but for more of an adrenaline rush it’s a one-hour climb to the seventh and highest tier of the waterfall. It can get busy during the day, so the best times to visit are early morning or just before sunset and it’s also possible to camp overnight in the National Park.
Ko Yao Noi
Set in the heart of Phang-Nga Bay, the chilled-out island of Ko Yao Noi is relatively untouched and a great place to relax away from the tourist trail. With gorgeous beaches, great food and a peaceful atmosphere, you can explore fishing villages, snorkel or perhaps learn to scuba dive. There are many other islands scattered around the bay that can be visited by long-tail boat if you want a change of scene.
Ko Yao Yai
This beautiful Andaman island is located halfway between Phuket and the Krabi mainland, and boasts lovely, deserted beaches of powdery white sand, surrounded by mangroves and forest trails. Even less developed than neighbouring Ko Yao Noi, it’s a good place to get a feel for the rural Thai lifestyle that still exists in the island’s paddy fields and rubber plantations, or just kick back and relax.
Peaceful Ko Hong has a group of sea caves in the middle of the island, which you can explore, as well as stunning tropical beaches for swimming and snorkelling. Overnight stays are not permitted on the island, and there are relatively few visitors, which means it offers a real ‘desert island’ experience.
Escape the full moon pack and head to the quiet island of Ko Adang in the Andaman sea, Thailand’s largest marine park. Expect fabulous waterfalls, pristine beaches, rolling tropical hills and crystal clear waters to swim, snorkel or dive to your heart’s content. There is accommodation on the island, which is perfect for getting away from it all, but very back to basics. Well who said paradise was easy.