Thailand is truly a wonderful country with so much to offer. From culture and food to scenic landscapes, beaches and beautiful wildlife. Many on their trips visit the main cities such as Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and even Pattaya. While these places are great and worth a visit, there are so many other places that deserve some praise and attention as well.
Here are my top 5 picks for off the beaten path destinations in Thailand.
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Prachuap Khiri Khan
One of my most memorable road trip was to this charming province that comes towards the central-south of Thailand. Many people only reach Hua Hin district of this province but we made it further into Kui Buri, Prachuap city and even Bang Saphan.
Imagine mountains on one side and the beach on the other. Nature is everywhere and towns are quaint. It is a perfect scene where monkeys crawl everywhere while monks swim in the ocean. It's a charming town indeed.
A coastal city miles beyond the likes of Pattaya and Chonburi and just before you hit Trat. Chanthaburi is another quaint and charming place with lots of culture and history. There are national parks and temples worth seeing here while at night you sit down at cafes in town or relax at some of the up-and-coming resorts by the beach.
Chanthaburi is also known for gem & jewelry trade, churches, architecture and communities that are influenced by the French, Chinese and Vietnamese cultures.
Don't miss the lush mangrove forests or the viewpoints by the coast. They are a must-see.
Also in short known as Ubon, the province is best known for its Candle Festival that takes place every year in July. It is also known for its strong Buddhist traditions as well as some beautiful scenery. As the Mun River cuts through the province, it has gorgeous views and unique landscape.
If you go here, be sure to venture further off the city center to the Sam Phan Bok (Grand Canyon of Siam) to see this magnificent beauty.
However, be sure to go before the rainy season as the river flows over the rocks and you won't be able to see this phenomenal rock formation anymore.
Located in the central-north or lower northern region of Thailand, it featured some of the most beautiful mountain ranges, national parks, waterfalls and lakes.
There are several touristic spots here where mostly Thais and locals go but you hardly see any foreigners.
The Wat Pha Sorn Kaew in particular is a sight to see.
Another place that Thais and locals love to go on their vacation is Phu Tub Berk, which is the tallest mountain in Petchabun province. Here visitors like to camp out under the starry sky with views as far as the eyes can see - up until the clouds descend all you can see is white mist.
The air up here is crisp and cold, especially at night. Apart from tent camping, there are quite a few guesthouses where you can shack up for a night or two.
If you like the sound of this place, go before it becomes overly crowded, which is kind of already happening.
Koh Lipe / Koh Maak
When it comes to beaches, there are so many options in Thailand. While most people flock to Krabi, Phuket or even Koh Chang there are quite a few that get overlooked along the way.
In the South there is Koh Lipe, which is an island in the Andaman Sea, near the Malaysian border. It is part of Tarutao National Marine Park and is known for its coral-rich waters, white sandy beaches and azure blue waters.
On the other side of Thailand, in the Gulf of Thailand, you can opt to go to Koh Mak. Unlike Koh Chang, it is not very developed and not crowded with tourists. It is definitely fit for those looking for a relaxing time away from the chaotic city life. Koh Mak is also great for snorkeling/diving/water sports much like Koh Lipe.