The range of beauty on display across Thailand is truly overwhelming. Separating the incredibly constructed traditional villages and packed major cities are endless rice paddies, glowing rainforests, mountain ranges and stunning coastlines that bring every inch of the country to life.
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Filled with both natural wonders and marvels of modern history, Thailand offers everything an inquisitive traveler could want. One of the prettiest places on Earth, here are 10 of the most stunning locations within its borders.
10 Doi Chiang Dao
The country’s third-tallest peak, Doi Chiang Dao is one of the prettiest places in Thailand. Such is the beauty of the area, guards are now in place to ensure visitors hike with a local guide to prevent any chance of the intricate balance of flora and fauna on display here becoming compromised.
You can hike the summit within one day, but it's a strenuous journey and most travelers opt for the two days, one night option. This also allows for the experience of seeing how the landscape changes after the departure of the sun and arrival of the stars.
9 Pai Canyon
A laid back paradise that prioritizes mental health and happiness over all else, Pai encourages visitors to take part in yoga retreats, journey behind glistening waterfalls, stroll through pristine nature reserves and even learn new skills in its famed circus school.
Perhaps the most visited location in Pai, however, is the unique canyon within its territory. Precipitous orange slopes form mazes of rock that be explored for hours. Free to enter and easy to find, Pai Canyon is, much like Pai itself, simply beautiful.
8 Emerald Lake
A giant sinkhole nestled within the dense jungle, Emerald Lake is filled with clear blue water and a thriving population of mammoth catfish. Considered sacred by the locals, it can be difficult to locate but the effort is more than worth it.
The lake is a part of Ang Thong National Marine Park, a 42-island archipelago placed within the Gulf of Thailand. It is linked to the sea via a tunnel that can be explored by intrepid scuba divers and there is a picturesque lookout at the end of a walk that is likely to feature the sighting of the local monkeys, often lining the walkway.
7 Wat Chaloem
There are many day trips in Thailand that earn platitudes they are more than worthy of, but a day spent exploring Wat Chaloem makes a strong case for being considered the most wondrous.
Considered by many as walking through an open door into the ‘real’ Thailand, a road trip here will get travelers away from the tourist crowds and to the top of a mountain where beautiful pagodas somehow rest amongst the rock. The surrounding views are incredible and the local villages are welcoming and enthralling.
6 Doi Inthanon National Park
Just 70 kilometers southwest of the must-visit city of Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park takes pretty to a whole new level. One of the most popular national parks in Thailand, it is well known for its waterfalls, hiking trails, remote villages, unsurpassed lookouts, an array of wildlife, and so much more.
The park is locally known as ‘The Roof of Thailand’, and covers a remarkable 482 square kilometers and is actually a part of the Himalayan Mountain Range. It is one of the most perfect places in the country to see birdlife, never-ending lush forest, and sunsets that paint the skies with passion.
5 Koh Chang
While many of the holiday islands of Thailand have become extremely desirable by tourists in search of both relaxation and a party atmosphere, Koh Chang is a place that is well-enjoyed by travelers seeking a far-less crowded destination.
Officially a part of Mu Ko Chang National Park, the island maintains a rugged and remote feel with jungle-covered mountains, towering waterfalls, beautifully-busy coral reefs and relaxing beach huts. Hiking is a popular pastime here but many also find they need nothing more than to float in the pristine water and watch the sky turn from a glistening blue to a powerful black.
4 Erawan National Park
Famous for its gentle blue waterfalls that make their way down seven tiers of falls, this National Park is also home to deer and elephants as well as a huge network of caves desperate to be explored.
Made up primarily of deciduous forest, the park also contains limestone hills, open plains and several lovely flowing streams. The surrounding mountains, in addition to being visually stunning, also protect the area from some of the monsoonal rainfall, making this destination open all year round and always worth a visit.
3 Mae Hong Son
The province of Mae Hong Son borders Myanmar and is home to some of the most majestic mountains to ever scale the skies. To marvel at the magical mist rolling through the peaks and valleys here is an experience unlike any other on the planet.
The easiest way to get here is by staying in the nearby Pai, easily reachable by car. Aside from the stunning mountains, there are also endless caves, glorious hot springs and dedicated nature park spaces that soothe the soul and awaken adventure.
2 Koh Yao Yai
The secluded island of Koh Yao Yai rests in the Andaman Sea and graciously reveals its thriving nature, rich culture and traditional way of life to all who visit. Only 30 minutes from the tourist giant of Phuket, this island creates its own vibe and places emphasis on the authentic nature of Thailand life.
Roam through the rice fields with local guides, venture into the impossibly green rainforests, explore the village from the saddle of a bicycle, sail to neighboring islands or simply recline on the soft sand, Koh Yao Yai encourages it all.
1 Red Lotus Sea
One of the prettiest attractions in Thailand, the seasonal Red Lotus Sea is off the beaten path and relatively unknown on the world stage. Traditionally popular for local couples desiring a romantic week of relaxation somewhere special, it is something that is slowly becoming popular with overseas travelers.
The lotus flowers bloom from November to February and transform the lake they inhabit into a vibrant sea of color and delight that dazzles the eye. Set the alarm early when you head to bed here because it is at sunrise that the colors are at their most magical.