Thailand is such a treasure-trove of stunning offbeat places that it is a shame to restrict your visit to just Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. If you are looking for some inspiration, check out our list of top offbeat places in Thailand that not many can claim to have visited:
Located just 2-3 hours of drive away from Bangkok in west Thailand, Kanchanaburi is getaway to the lush national parks of Thailand. Featuring in Pierre Boulle’s book The Bridge over the River Kwai as well as the movie adaptation of the book, the destination allures history and who come to see samples of its tumultuous past in architecture and popular attractions, particularly Thai-Burmese railway, infamous as ‘Death Railway’. Nature lovers seek the mesmerising beauty of Erawan National Park and enjoy languid walks along its scenic trails. The lush riverside resorts present a perfect retreat in this beautiful town that remain tucked at a distance of 123kms from Bangkok, away from the keen eyes of tourists.
Marked by ancient temples, palaces and cave shrines, riverside markets, pristine beaches and old teak shophouses, Pehtchaburi has such a diverse array of attractions that it is surprising how this sleepy town has managed to hide away from the tourists. The gigantic cave shrine of Tham Khao Luang are impressive, to say the least and the dense Kaeng Krachan National Park wows with its picturesque hiking and camping trails. The gushing waterfalls look dramatic and awe-inspiring at the same time. The beaches of Hat Chao Samran and Hat Puek Tian are perfect for a laid-back day under the sun; and if you visit in December, you might also spot Bryde’s whales here.
There are only few places left on earth where one can truly experience a disconnect from the modern world, hiding in the lap of Mother Nature and luckily for you, Thailand has just one of such astounding places hiding, just 7 hours of bus journey away from Bangkok. A canvas-painted representation of an idyllic island, Koh Kood is all about tying the hammock under the shade of a palm tree and reading that beach novel you brought with you without being disturbed by any sounds, perhaps with an aberration of the lulling sounds of the ocean. And when you’ve got a perfect tan for yourself, it makes sense to explore the drowsy sleeping villages, jungle-clad interiors and coconut plantations on the island or to enjoy a kayaking trip around the island.
Lying about 70kilometers north of Phuket, along Phang-Nga’s west coastline, Khao Lak boasts a 20 kilometre long stretch of white-sand beaches where exceptional serenity prevails. The lush and dense rainforests and dramatic mountains provide a perfect backdrop to the beaches where beachcombers spend idyllic hours away from the maddening crowds of Phuket. Khao Lak is also a great base for exploring the nearby islands of Similan Islands, Phang Nag Bay, Surin Islands, Khao Soak among others.
Some refer to it as a backpacker’s delight; a few others call it a hippie oasis, but no matter which definition you chose to go by, Pai will still amaze you with its eclectic offerings. The Pai Canyon, with its treacherous climb, will appeal to adventure-seekers as will Pembok Waterfall which can be swam up to. The languid and lush countryside can be explored on a bike or on foot. At night, the town comes alive with activity as the riverside pubs get to business. The streets become fragrant with the smell of street food belonging to different cuisines, including Indian, Chinese and Thai.