10 Hidden Gems in Thailand no one told you about!
Explore beautiful hidden places in Thailand to visit
Thailand has a galore of islands to visit! Pick any place in Thailand and the sun, sand, and sea are not too far away. Traveling to Thailand is amazing because you are always surrounded by nature regaling in the fauna! Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Samui, you’ve done all the touristy places. But that doesn’t mean you’ve experienced it all! The best secrets are always hidden, and we’re uncovering a few hidden places in Thailand to visit for your next vacation.
Don’t do the normal, discover the path less taken in Thailand. Yes, you will explore beaches, islands, tropics, jungles, and more! Join us on journey to explore the hidden gems in Thailand, no one told you about.
Uncovering Hidden Islands and Beaches in Thailand!
Koh Tarutao in Satun-
Southwestern Thailand has a coastline of beautiful blue-green waters. And Koh Tarutao is a gorgeous archipelago flanked by the Andaman Sea and Strait of Malacca on either side. Imagine getting away with your partner to a tropical Paradise Island, where the ocean waves and birds wake you up every day.
Tarutao National Park in Thailand Image Courtesy: Instagram @nk_ch1990
The biggest island of the province and fourth-largest of the Thai Kingdom, Koh Tarutao takes its name after the Tarutao National Marine Park. Being part of the Tarutao National Park has ensured that this magnificent island is protected and promises untouched beauty. For those who would like to venture into the history of a place, Koh Tarutao used to be an island of criminals. YES! It was used as a detention center for criminals in WW2. The mystery of Koh Tarutao, its hidden stories, and the quiet backdrop is probably what brought the hit show – makers of ‘Survivor’ to shoot on this island!
West dock of Koh Tarutao | flickr photo by Argenberg
Tourists only stopover to take a few pictures, en-route Koh Lipe or Koh Khai. Hidden away from tourists, Koh Tarutao offers serenity and a Paradise Island for you to enjoy. While you are here camping or living out of the local cottages, breathe in the fresh air that Tarutao National Park has to offer. As one of the ASEAN Heritage Park, you better be ready to encounter a variety of birds and wild animals. Pick up your walking shoes and hike up to the Lu Du Waterfall. Hop onto a bike to pedal across the trails of the park for a jungle adventure. You won’t know where the day went!
An archipelago of 5 islands, Surin Islands, is a Diver’s paradise. Home to one of the world’s most famous dive site – Richelieu Rock, Surin Island is another hidden gem in Thailand. Protected by the Mo Ko Surin National Park, the waters are pristine and cool, beaches white and untouched.
Koh Surin Snorkeling
Surin Islands makes for the perfect vacation for divers – advanced and beginners as well as snorkelers! Abundant in marine life and breath-taking colors of coral reefs, most divers simply jump into the water as soon as they hit the sand. Several travelers island-hop as a day-trip to snorkel at Surin Island.
We recommend spending a few days by the beach to truly take in the peaceful vibe. If camping is not your thing, book yourself on a Liveaboard boat. And dive into clear blue waters whenever you spot a fish, you’d like to see up close. When you’re done diving and snorkeling, a leisurely long-tail boat ride is perfect from Surin Islands. Head to the Moken Village to see the houses on stilts, which makes them look like floating villages!
Poor network, few tourists, and no alcohol on Surin Islands means you get the perfect detoxing vacation you’ve been looking for!
Just when you thought Thailand couldn’t get better, we bring you Krabi’s neighbor a hidden gem, Trang! Krabi is usually the first choice for most tourists, but the Trang province is like having your world move at its own leisurely pace! With the Andaman sea as your backdrop and equally gorgeous, Trang is as good as the unexplored secret of Thailand!
Enjoy the quiet islands of Koh Kradan, Koh Libong, and Koh Mook in Trang waters.
Dugong in Koh LIbong Image Courtesy: @meinthailand
Maybe go see the rare Dugong in the sea grass fields of Koh Libong. When you’re not exploring the 70- mile coastline and hopping islands, head to Trang Town. A walk-through Trang town and you just can’t miss the whiff of strong coffee, the palm baskets, and hand-woven fabrics. Visit Take in beautiful Chinese architecture and delicious food with soupy noodles and barbecued pork!
Explore Tham Le Khao Kob Caves at Trang Image Courtesy: Instagram @shambattousai
Feeling adventurous? Go exploring the stalactites and stalagmites inside Tham Le Khao Kob Caves. Or probably spend a day at Meng Rock Mountain. Famous for being in the shape of a human being sleeping with a turning face up Hat Chao Mai Range.
Discover secret cities in Thailand mountains you’ve never been to
True Thai culture is found in the coziest villages and quaint towns. One such charming yet remote riverside town is Nan, making it a hidden place in Thailand to visit. Thailand isn’t all beaches; you have beautiful unexplored stories in Northern Thailand’s hidden gem Nan. Situated in the fertile river valley, Nan is a town seated inside mountains and valleys.
Blessing Buddha – Wat Phra That Khao Noi Image Courtesy: @nittaya_1985
Ride up to the hilltop temple of Wat Phra That Khao Noi for stunning panoramic views over Nan and its hillside. Yes, the Blessing Buddha is situated right atop, making it the perfect place to view mesmerizing sunsets. Admire the rustic village life and charming wooden houses across the river.
King Nan’s Teak House Image Courtesy: Ellnik Wikipedia Coomon Source
Don’t miss the King of Nan’s Teak House built in the 1800s. Ever walked under a tunnel of flowers? Well, the Frangipani tunnel at the entrance of Nan National Museum will transport you back to the era of kings!
Nan is a peaceful world to be explored at its own pace. When the mountains beckon, turn to the unhurried life of Nan in Thailand.
Another picturesque city, brimming with natural beauty is Nong Khai. The capital city of Isaan province, Nong Khai is a river town close to the Laos border. Unexplored by most tourists, Nong Khai ticks all the boxes for a traveler looking for solitude and quiet. Its strategic location on the Mekong river and on the border makes Laos one step away with complete access to the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge.
Seven headed snake mythical Mekong Giant Snake at Sala Keaw Khu Sculpture Park. Image Courtesy: Instagram: @theadventuresgerson
Known as Naga city, Nong Khai is a thriving city of culture, warmth, architecture, and markets. And also, home to hundreds of Naga statues, the Mekong giant serpent which is believed to be guardians of the city. These statues are a reflection of Nong Khai, especially the seven-headed Naga at the entrance of the Sala Keaw Khu Sculpture Park.
Image Coutesy: Instagram @ping_zendo at the horse shoe skywalk!
To truly enjoy views from the rugged mountains of Nong Khai, head up to Wat Pha Tak Suea and walk across the 16-meter glass sky walk! Yes, walk into the vast open with only a glass bridge below and tower above the mountains. The horseshoe-shaped glass sky walk is sure to give you a thrill 550 meters above sea!
You could also head up to the Than Thip Waterfall near the Mekong river for a quiet moment or a dip in the cool waters! Walkthrough the busy markets for good bargains on souvenirs. And if you feel your spirits are high, head over to the famous Isaan rum distillery for a walkthrough on natural quality rum.
3000 years of history and Buddhist culture sits in this hidden city of Thailand at Sakon Nakhon! And this tranquil city inside the dense Phu Phan mountain range is evidence of it. With the five Buddhist stupas, Buddhist forest temples, and monasteries, Sakhon Nakhon is the birthplace of Thai Forest Tradition. Located amidst the mountains makes Sakhon Nakhon as one of the hidden places in Thailand to visit.
Nong Han, largest natural lake of northeast Thailand Image Courtesy: @the.wanderlust.guru
Catch the fishermen busy at work in the mornings at the Nong Han Lake. Or simply watch the sunset and feel at peace with time stopped right in its tracks in the biggest lotus park of Thailand. Visit Wat Tham Phae Daen to see Buddha’s footprint atop a mountain and a view to calm your mind. You could even try a meditation retreat at one of the forest Buddhist temples in Sakhon Nakhon. Refresh yourself with waterfalls like the Kam Hom Waterfall and Gang Kra Arm Waterfall.
Sakhon Nakhon Indigo -dyed fabric Image Courtesy: Bangkok Post
If you’re up to some bustle after all that relaxation, browse through the markets for local handmade natural-dyed indigo fabrics and handicrafts. And if you time your Sakhon Nakhon visit during October, you could catch the infamous Wax Castle Parade and the Long Boat Races. A complete traveler’s delight!
A quaint riverside town that borders both Cambodia and Laos, Ubon Ratchathani is in the middle of the lush greenscape called ‘Emerald Triangle’. A yet undiscovered gem along the Mun River in Isaan province, Ubon is surrounded by a green cover. This flourishing green landscape is attributed to Isaan’s natural, national parks. Untouched and unvisited Phu Chong Nayoi and Pha Taem national parks will form the backdrop of your vacation in the hidden gem of Thailand.
Sam Phan Bok, the grand-canyon of Thailand Image Courtesy: @yoooko.ym
When traveling to Ubon Ratchathani, Sam Phan Bok, the grand-canyon of Thailand must definitely be part of your itinerary. It is a natural wonder of 3000 holes and in rocks caused by the erosion of the Mekong River. A fascinating landscape with unusual hollow shapes formed eons ago with shallow waters, Sam Phan Bok is a drone photographers paradise!
Training as monks in Robe Sewing at Wat Pah Nanachat
Home to several Buddhist monasteries, Ubon’s Wat Pah Nanachat allows foreigners to experience the monk life, train, and live as monks in Thailand! If only architecture interests you, spend your days at Wat Luang that houses a 100-year-old Buddha sculpture, or Wat Thung Si Muang, the temple on stilts.
Enjoy true Thai traditions with the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival in July, where elaborately decorated candles light up the city in a parade.
A 2-hour drive from Bangkok will uncover a peaceful countryside hidden gem in Thailand, Nakhon Nayok. Being so close to Bangkok, Nakhon Nayok has become a short stopover or day-trips for tourists, making it one of the hidden places in Thailand to visit. To fully explore this hidden gem, we recommend a few days of stay to take in the idyllic waterfalls, temples, rice paddy fields, and mountains.
Recharge in nature’s blissful lap, with rafting in Nakhon Nayok River. Or take a short boat ride upstream to Khlong Kram, the water source of Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the blossoming greens of the mountains as you lazily ride on the waters. Feel like some waterfalls, take your boat up to Chong Lom Waterfall, Pha Ngam Ngon Waterfall, and Khlong Kram Waterfall.
Take an early morning walk in the bamboo grove at Wat Chulabhorn Wanaram and pay homage to the Buddha statues inside the Thai Forest temple.
Makha Bucha Buddhism Memorial Park in Thailand Image Courtesy: @henghengtrip
Visit the Makha Bucha Buddhism Memorial Park to be stunned by hundreds of golden Buddha’s. Nakhon Nayak is also home to the Ganesha Park and Ganesha museums.
Forest Elephant herd walking on a road in the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. Image Courtesy: @khaoyainationalpark
Hike through the Khao Yai- Jungle Treks and nature trails to be greeted by elephants, birds, and other wildlife. Or a walk on the wooden bridge of Thung Na Mui Bridge, bang in the middle of rice fields. The bridge makes for some stunning pictures because it levels just at the right height!
Missing the city just a little, head over to Teng Terd Terng night market for a lively vibe, eat some crunchy scorpions (if you dare), and souvenir shopping.
Uncovering the largest protected province in Thailand, Prachin Buri! A city whose fauna is a product of three national parks Khao Yai, Thap Lan, and Pang Sida National Parks and scores of rice fields.
River Rafting in Prachin Buri. Image Courtesy: Instagram@pennueng_k
Sitting hidden on the Cambodian border, Prachin Buri is perfect for the explorer who wants to get away from it all. Waterfalls, river rapids, trekking and hikes, mountain viewpoints, camping, and more.
And for those who want to relax, Prachin Buri is home to Thailand’s major golf courses, the Hillside Country Home Golf and Resort and the Phrom Yothi Camp Golf Course. Indians can simply pick up your Thailand Golfers passport and escape to beautiful greens and a full day of golfing!
Golfing in Thailand
You could also find your inner peace at the Buddhist temples of Wat Kaeo Phichit and Wat Bot.
Don the explorer hat and head over to Si Mahosot Ancient Town, which still has ancient relics and architecture. Or explore the ancient Sa Morakot Archaeological Site to see Thailand’s largest and oldest Lord Buddha’s Footprints on a laterite floor.
With three national parks at your disposal, take a pick of your trekking route. One of the best hidden places in Thailand to visit, Prachin Buri is for the traveler who loves the outdoors. You could pick Thap Lan National Park or start from Khao Yai National Park and see some stunning waterfalls on your way!
Kalasin Dinosaur Park for Archaeological site
You’ve watched Jurassic Park way too many times, now it’s time for the real thing upfront! Hidden away in Ni Khom in Kalasin at the bottom of Phu Kum Khao Mountain, is the Sirindhorn Museum also known as Kalasin Dinosaur Park. The Kalasin Dinosaur Park as the name suggests is an artificial prehistoric jungle created with full-size, life-like replicas of dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Sirindhorn Museum Image Courtesy: @ns_yazii
The museum houses real bone-fossils of dinosaurs unearthed right here in Thailand! Frequented by families, tourists, and locals, Sirindhorn Museum allows you to take pictures with real life replica exhibits of skeletons and hosts educational games.
Dinosaur fossil sites at Phu Kum Khao Dig Sites
But if you truly want to see the actual footprints and archaeological dig sites, you must head up to Phu Kum Khao Dinosaur Excavation Site. Located inside Wat Sakkawan, adjacent to the museum, Phu Kum Khao is one of those hidden places in Thailand, where these bones were first discovered. Phu Kum Khao Mountain has uncovered the greatest number of dinosaur bone -fossils – more than 700 bones! You can also take a short scenic riverside walk up to Phu Faek Forest Park to see gigantic dinosaur footprints embedded in rock, in the riverbed. It truly is a hidden gem in the middle of a forest!
Have we convinced you to pack your bags and head out yet? Especially after working from home and staying at home for too long, we hope you choose the path less trodden in Thailand. Explore the secret mountain cities and hidden islands in Thailand to find your quiet and solitude.