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Best places to take a road trip in Thailand




Stock photo via Remote Lands

Road-tripping through Thailand is one of the best ways to see the nation’s natural beauty. From endless palm trees to local villages, travelling by car gives visitors insight into the Thai way of life. Moreover, being in control of your own itinerary makes it easy to stop at any time and experience whatever you like along the way. In addition, finding a hotel on your journey is convenient with no planning required. Thus, these popular road trips are the best routes to take in the Kingdom as they offer stunningly scenic views of this tropical Southeast Asian country.

5 Best Places To Take A Road Trip In Thailand

1. Bangkok to Phetchabun

A Bangkok to Phetchabun road trip offers explorers beautiful views of the Kingdom’s countryside. Moreover, this 5-hour road trip features mountains, scores of lush greenery and farms. The drive is also quite pleasant as it is not usually windy or hilly, making it quite an easy adventure to go from Thailand’s capital to this rural city.

Upon arrival, travellers can take in the area’s most famous attraction of Wat Pha Sorn Kaew. This magnificent temple is comprised of colourful mosaic tiles. Furthermore, visitors will love seeing the famous Sea of Mist in Khao Kho or the freshwater jellyfish at Kaeng Bang Rachan. With many delightful things to see and do, this road trip from Bangkok to Phetchabun is truly a must for those looking for a scenic adventure.

The Future for People Living in Phetchabun – Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center (TRC)


2. Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

A 7-hour drive from the ancient city of Ayutthaya to the northern capital of Chiang Mai; this road trip will be one to remember. Visitors will pass through multiple national parks, including the Doi Khun Tan National Park and the Wiang Kosai National Park among others. Furthermore, Chiang Mai’s Lanna culture is evident upon arrival through its buildings, markets, and hill tribes.

Travellers can also visit the Doi Pui Village, a Hmong settlement that offers a glimpse into traditional hill tribe life. Here, learning a bit about the history of the many ethnic groups that have settled in the northern Thai mountains is certainly an eye-opening experience for most.

10 Best Chiang Mai Hotels, Thailand (from $5)

Chiang Mai

3. Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

This popular trip by car or motorbike is easily achievable as the journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai is only 4-hours. The mountainous region also serves as an amazing backdrop for your road trip, with plenty of sights in between. Travellers can also be assured that it is easy to find a place to grab a bite to eat and dip their feet in the areas’ hot springs.

Furthermore, upon arriving in Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun is definitely recommended as a place to visit. Moreover, the White Temple is regarded as one of the most stunning temples in the country. Visitors to Chiang Rai can also take a selfie at the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos officially meet. Moreover, travellers can enjoy the country’s best tea by visiting the Choui Fong Tea Plantation and sampling a green tea.

10 Best Chiang Rai Hotels, Thailand (from $5)

Chiang Rai

4. Chiang Mai to Pai

If you are looking to test your driving skills, this trip is definitely the most intense as it features winding roads and turns. Thus, it is recommended to embark on your road trip during the day as its hills and narrow roads can be difficult to navigate at night. Only a 4-hour trip from Chiang Mai, many travellers enjoy venturing out on their own towards this smaller, more hippie town.

As one of Thailand’s most coveted cities, Pai offers a laidback vibe with plenty of delicious snacks and fun adventures along the way. Visitors here can also enjoy the hot springs, cave explorations, waterfall hikes and bamboo rafting down the Pai River. A nature-lover’s dream, Pai is definitely a great place to explore.

Tarnjedton Pai Resort, Wiang Nuea, Thailand


5. Rayong to Pattaya, Bangkok, and Hua Hin

This ultimate road trip starts on the island of Koh Samet in Rayong Province, where you’ll catch a ferry to the main land. Then, the fun continues as travellers embark on a journey for about 1-hour to Pattaya. Pattaya was once home to some of the most infamous nightlife in the world. Needless to say, staying overnight is a good idea, especially if you plan to experience the Walking Street.

After a night in Pattaya, the trip will continue for 2-hours before arriving in Bangkok. Spend some time in the city, then embark on a 3-hour journey to the beautiful resort city of Hua Hin. Here, you can relax on the beach with a drink in hand.

Hua Hin Travel Guide - Discover the best time to go, places to visit and things to do in Hua Hin, Thailand | Insight Guides

Hua Hin

Taking in Thailand’s scenery by road is one of the best ways to travel. From designing your own itinerary to having the luxury of reclining in the passenger seat while your friend drives, road tripping definitely offers a unique experience. And, it is easier to visit nearby places by doing it yourself instead of booking public transportation online.


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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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