Are you planning a trip to the gorgeous ‘Land of Smiles’ and keen to get off the beaten track? Here is what you need to know about finding Thailand’s hidden gems and experiencing everything the best of what this fascinating country has to offer.
Koh Kood Island
This island is in Trat Province and is the easternmost island in the Gulf of Thailand before Cambodia. Although it is a fairly large island, it has managed to remain off the main tourist trail. You will find no ATMs, no nightclubs and no streetlights on Koh Kood, just mostly deserted white-sand beaches, waterfalls and traditional fishing villages. The main activity scuba diving, allowing visitors to discover the many underwater creatures the tropical sea has to offer. This is a place you really can get away from it all.
Mainly an agricultural region, Isaan is in the north-east of Thailand and has no coastline, which may explain why it is often overlooked by tourists. The Khao Yai National Park has a lot to offer in terms of wildlife and waterfalls and is a good place to escape from the hordes of tourists which you will find in much of the rest the country. The region of Isaan is close to the Thai borders with Laos and Cambodia and thus has a rich history. Phanom Rung and Phimai Historical Parks feature beautiful Khmer temples and architecture and the small town of Chiang Khan has a temple inside a mountain.
While it might not be quite as grand as the main sights of Ayutthaya and Sukkothai, Lopburi is a delightful alternative for those wishing to discover majestic Thai temples. Rather than coming on a day trip from Bangkok, why not stay longer to experience the daily life of a typical Thai town, complete with cheeky monkeys? Near the train station there is a great night market selling delicious Thai food. If you want to see how the locals live, a wander through the area around the town allows visitors to get a feel for Thai rural life.
There’s so much to see and do in Thailand you’ll find it hard to leave (and who’d want to anyway?) but however long you plan to stay, it’s important to make sure you are covered whilst enjoying your adventure.
When you take out travel insurance for your trip, make sure you are covered for activities such as scuba diving and water sports which are very popular at many beach destinations around the country and don’t forget to read the small print!
Article by Chris Rowlands