Thailand is home to one of the world’s most visited cities, so its appeal as a tourist destination is no secret. But if you look beyond the full-moon parties and bustling Bangkok streets, you’ll find plenty of unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences. We asked Expedia.com.au for their favourites.
Relax on secluded islands
Koh Samui and Phuket aren’t the only Thai islands. If you dream of lazy days snorkelling and lounging on a beach with no crowds in sight, try these islands.
Koh Lao Liang is known for the towering limestone cliffs that frame its pristine beaches. Located off the coast of Trang in southern Thailand, the only accommodation here is beachfront camping, which is run by the national park and includes perks like complimentary kayaks and three meals a day.
Koh Kut, in eastern Thailand near the Cambodian border, has beachfront bungalows and romantic resorts with more amenities than Koh Lao Liang, but the island remains relatively undeveloped. With waterfalls, rainforests, quiet fishing towns, and coconut plantations, it’s a taste of the Thai islands before they got popular.
Explore hidden temples
Thailand’s temples are one of its biggest draws, but you don’t have to follow the crowds. Here are two unique temples that are off the beaten path.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, in north-central Thailand’s Phetchabun province, is sometimes called the country’s most beautiful temple. Covered in thousands, if not millions, of tiny mosaic tiles, and topped with five huge Buddhas that rival the surrounding mountains, this temple is worth the trip.
Wat Phra That Phanom is one of the most important—and oldest—Thai temples. Said to house a piece of the Buddha’s breastbone, the 53-metre-high chedi is topped with a solid gold spire. But the serene, reverent atmosphere is the true reward for the trek to this site on Thailand’s eastern border with Laos.
Discover new cities
If you’re here for the markets and nightlife. Thailand has plenty of options for city vibes without so many tourists.
Chumphon sits next to Myanmar in southern Thailand, and its capital city of the same name has everything you could want: a lively night market, a neon-lit Royal Palace, gorgeous beaches, a glittering gold temple, and outdoor adventures like rafting.
Pai is the latest northern Thailand spot to be discovered by backpackers. Sink into hot springs and hike to waterfalls by day, enjoy the food stalls and bars of Walking Street by night, then relax with all the amenities of your Pai hotel from Expedia.com.au. It’s the perfect combination of laid-back and lively.