2020 came with a lot of unpredictability, and like everything else, travelling came to a halt. As you look forward to going back to exploring the world sometime in the future, make the most of your time at home figuring which destination best fits your requirements. One thing is for sure, offbeat and unknown will definitely be on top of that list. And for an experience that offers offbeat locations and natural social distancing, there’s no place better than Thailand! Imagine the possibility of parking yourself in a scenic location, leaving behind all your worries, and enjoying the moment with no one else in sight for miles on end.
Thailand ranked first place on the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index (out of 184 nations) for its effective handling of the pandemic. This feat is bound to accentuate your safety on a vacation to the country. When you get down to planning your Thai itinerary, you can also look for tourism businesses in Thailand with SHA (Safety and Health Administration) Certificates, which are awarded to tourism businesses & services that have undergone strict inspection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With all this in tow, all you need to do is figure out which part of the country you wish to start with! Here’s a list of less-visited and secluded places in Thailand that you can consider for a holiday based on your interest, for when you feel safe to travel again.
Surrounded by towering mountains and the Pai River, this quaint town is just a 3-hour drive away from Chiang Mai. After relishing a delightful breakfast at one of the many tasteful cafes in town, you can visit some of the gorgeous places it is home to, such as Muang Paeng Hot Springs for a dip and the Pai Canyon for a surreal sunset. Do not forget to get your fill of Yunnan cuisine on your visit to Pai as well. Cool off at Mae Yen Waterfall and include a trip to Tham Lod Cave if you’re in the mood to explore the unusual!
If you are a history buff or wish to spend a few days amidst one of nature’s greatest marvels, Kanchanaburi is the place to be! The bridge is known for ‘The Death Railway’ over the River Kwai, and an adrenaline-pumping visit to explore the World War 2 story about this bridge is highly recommended. Kanchanaburi offers travellers a mix of white water rafting, hikes, rescued animal initiatives, and a choice of serene national parks, all within a few hours’ distance of each other. Reaching Kanchanaburi by train, which departs from Bangkok and goes through the mountains of Western Thailand, is an experience in itself!
Kanchanaburi is renowned for its floating houses as well, so make sure you include a stay in one of its many houses stationed along the banks of the River Kwai. After all, what could be more isolated than a secluded accommodation in the middle of a jungle?
3. Similan Islands
While we all have heard of Phuket being one of the most touristy places in Thailand, just 84 km north-west of Phuket lies Similan Islands. This group of dream-like islands is a paradise in the truest sense. Similan Islands are an archipelago in the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand, and are also designated as a national park due their marine life diversity.
The islands are known for one of the best scuba diving experiences in Thailand, and the PADI websites offer enough details about where and how to plan your scuba experiences. Staying options are limited, but campsites or bungalows can easily be arranged on Koh Meang, Koh Tachai and Koh Similan islands.
Nan is the administrative town in the province of the same name in Northern Thailand. The rugged limestone mountain range and the opportunity to experience grade 2 and 4 rapids during white water rafting in the Nam Wa River are good enough reasons to isolate yourself in this town. Start your adventure in Nan by exploring its beautiful wats (temples), spa shops and art galleries. A motorbike is the best way to explore nearby places such as Doi Phu Kha National Park, Wat Phra That Chae Haeng and Wat Nong Bua. Choose from a selection of exquisite cafes dotted across the town and unwind with a cuppa after a long day’s worth of exploring Nan!
5. Khao Mo Ko Chu
Khao Mo Ko Chu is the place to be for travellers for whom travel is incomplete without spending time in the mountains! The 1964-metre high peak is one of the highest mountains in Thailand. Khao Mo Ko Chu is situated in Mae Wong National Park and you can go on a five-day trek here if a gorgeous adventure away from all of humanity is on your mind. Unpacking your bags in Khlong Lan town coupled with a serene trek is a great way to make up for all the months of not being able to travel!
Sukhothai, which means ‘the dawn of happiness’, was the erstwhile capital city of the Sukhothai Kingdom in north-western Thailand. The ancient city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and bears a striking resemblance to the Khmer temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia, because of the same historic influence. Putting up in one of the many accommodations away from the city is the best way to enjoy an isolated vacation, all the while visiting the ancient sites and piecing together the stories about the history of Thailand’s first capital.
7. Koh Chang
Save the best of Thailand for last with a visit to Koh Chang. This unheard of island is arguably the country’s one of the best-kept secrets! Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang is a hidden gem despite being the third largest island in Thailand. Dense and steep jungles, hiking trails, an idyllic life – it has all the ingredients of a socially distanced vacation. A shuttle bus from Mo chit or Ekkamai Bus Station in Bangkok to Laem Ngop, followed by a ferry from is the ideal way to get there. Rejuvenation is a natural outcome if you wish to spend a few days or weeks here without any disruption.
Don’t restrict your Thai holiday to just these places. Apart from the destinations mentioned above, there are far too many places to choose from in Thailand if you are seeking solitude. Recommendations include Koh Lanta, Koh Mak, Hua Hin, Khao Yai, Khao Lak, Ayutthaya, and Koh Bulon Lae. A trip that includes disconnecting on an island, exploring deep-rooted culture and a mix of nature and adventure in Thailand will surely make up for all the months of not being able to travel!
In association with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
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