Thailand’s most underrated holiday destinations

Stock photo via Thailand Local Travel

Thailand has some of the coolest destinations in Asia, and despite the more popular holiday destinations, some are less well-known. If you want to go off the grid a bit and see some of the more hidden gems that this beautiful country has to offer, check out our top 10 most underrated destinations in the Kingdom.

Thailand’s Top 10 Most Underrated Holiday Destinations

1. Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai was established in 1962 as the country’s first national park. It was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and its wildlife is understandably impressive. From rare elephant sightings to bats and birds, visiting this beautiful park is a great place to see wildlife. Visitors can choose their itinerary which includes trekking, wildlife watching, waterfalls, white water rafting, and staying overnight in the park. Hiking to the top of viewpoints is also recommended if you are into a bit of climbing.

Exploring Khao Yai National Park: A Visitor's Guide | PlanetWare
Khao Yai National Park

2. Koh Kut

Just 100 km off Thailand’s eastern coast and near Cambodia, lies Koh Kood. This island is full of mountains and tranquil beaches, making it the perfect place to relax. It is considered one of the most scenic places in Thailand and visitors agree. Moreover, travellers here can view splendid waterfalls, with the largest being Kling Chao. Snorkelling, kayaking, or a jungle trek are other nice options if you want to explore further than the beach. Furthermore, the island has several fishing villages, such as Ao Yai and Ao Salat that are worth a visit to see how local islanders live.

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PHOTO: Koh Kood by Nopparuj Lamaikul from Unsplash
PHOTO: Koh Kood by Nopparuj Lamaikul from Unsplash

3. Sukhothai Historical Park

Sukhothai, which means “the dawn of happiness” in the Thai language, is a great place for those wanting to see ancient city ruins. Here, Sukhothai was Thailand’s first capital back in the 13th century C.E., with King Ramkhamhaeng as its founder. Moreover, the ruins have been granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it an exclusive attraction all the more. Ancient temples, like Wat Mahathat, and monuments are also part of the site as well as the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum. Travellers can also visit The Royal Palace for a bit of cultural education. Lastly, Sukhothai features 2 national parks: The Ramkhamhaeng National Park and the Sri Satchanalai National Park.

Sukhothai Historical Park - Explore the World Heritage - TakeMeTour
PHOTO: Sukhothai Historical Park

4. Koh Muk

Travelling to Koh Muk takes a bit of planning as it includes taking a ferry from the mainland in Trang Province. However, once you arrive, Farang Beach will make you feel welcome. And, if you didn’t know already, “farang” is the name that Thais give to “white foreigners.” Here, you can depart to the most famous attraction on the island: Tham Morakot, which is a cave featuring emerald-coloured waters. Moreover, there are other things visitors can see, like the traditional fishing villages. Alas, you can always just plunk down a beach mat and relax at the beach if sightseeing isn’t your thing. Remember to dress conservatively as the island is comprised of mostly Muslim locals.

Thailand's most underrated holiday destinations | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Koh Muk by luis barroca from Unsplash

5. Lopburi

An easy trip from Bangkok, this city is most well-known for its crab-eating macaques that freely roam around. Thus, the city has been dubbed Monkey City as it is teeming with these 4-legged monkeys. Marco Polo is thought to be the city’s first explorer as he even mentioned it in his book, Travels. Moreover, visiting Khmer temples and shrines is another excellent choice when visiting Lopburi as they are stunning. A word of warning is to keep everything on your person hidden, as the monkeys are known for pick-pocketing. They can also attack if they think you have food, so be vigilant!

Lopburi – Thailand Travel Base
PHOTO: Lopburi

6. Koh Maak

Near the border of Cambodia and situated in the Gulf of Thailand, lies Koh Maak. Visitors to this island describe it as a tropical paradise and the pictures seem to back up their claims. The waters here are crystal-clear and the island features rubber farms and coconut plantations. Snorkelling here is also recommended as the coral reefs are visually appealing. Moreover, visitors can also choose to take Muay Thai or cooking lessons if lying on the beach gets too monotonous. One thing to know is that it is important to bring cash as there is no ATM on the island.

Koh Mak: The Island Jewel of Thailand | Thailand resorts, Thailand beaches, Maldives holidays
PHOTO: Koh Maak

7. Phetchaburi

Famous for its desserts, Phetchaburi is the place to go if you want some delicious Thai food. Here, Khanong Mor Gaeng, a very popular custard, along with other delicacies. The city is named the same as the capital of the province, which makes it a bit confusing. However, it is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, so history buffs will enjoy learning about its roots. The royal palace or Khao Wang, is located on a large hill, making it a popular attraction. And, visitors can also travel to the nearby Khao Luong Caves that feature Buddhist statues or ancient trees that are surrounded by stalactites.

Beautiful towns and villages in Phetchaburi
PHOTO: Phetchaburi

8. Koh Kradan

This peaceful island is set in the Andaman Sea and offers a tranquil place to relax. As it is part of the Had Chou Mai National Park, the island is protected land. Although the island is a short, narrow strip of land, it is known to offer great snorkelling as its coral reefs are close to the shore of Sunset Beach. The island’s other main beach, called Paradise, is better for sunbathing or taking in the scenery. Moreover, Paradise is great for viewing the other surrounding islands and mainland, making it a great photo op!

Koh Kradan: A Travel Guide to Paradise! - PlacesofJuma
PHOTO: Koh Kradan travel

9. Koh Yao Noi

Koh Yao Noi is nestled in Phang Nga Bay and is a 30-minute boat ride from Phuket. Known for being unspoiled by hoards of tourist destinations, the island only features a handful of resorts and budget accommodations. The island is dubbed “small long island” due to its appearance and features scenic mountains. The east side of the mountains is where you can swim and snorkel, while the west is great for viewing mangroves and rice flats. Diving lessons are offered here as well as taking a boat to other islands. This is one of the best places to relax in a hammock while basking in the tropical sun.

Luxury Koh Yao Noi Tours, Private & Tailor-made | Jacada Travel
PHOTO: Koh Yao Noi

10. Phimai Historical Park

Phimai Historical Park features some of the best-preserved Khmer temples in Thailand. As visitors say the temples are comparable to what you would see in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and the park is a great place to see. Moreover, unlike Angkor Wat, you won’t be tripping over others to get a good photo as the park is not teeming with travellers. An interesting tidbit about the park is that the temples were built by Hindus but in the style of Buddhist temples. However, they still retain Khmer architectural features. Most of the buildings in the park were built back in the 11th and 12th centuries, surely delighting those interested in the area’s history.

Phimai Historical Park | TakeMeTour
PHOTO: Phimai Historical Park Destinations

These lesser well-known holiday destinations can provide an amazing itinerary for those who have already visited the more touristy attractions. Thus, travellers can find ancient ruins to seriously serene beaches that are largely untouched by travellers. Those wanting to go on a sabbatical can venture to the pristinely quiet islands or learn more about Southeast Asia’s amazing history.

Check out for a local edition and also check out our partner’s website ‘Agoda‘ to find the best hotel for your trip.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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