My 16 secret and authentic places
Do you want to go to secret, authentic and off the beaten track corners and are you wondering what to see and what to do in Thailand ? Here are 16 places to know what to see and where to go off the beaten path in Thailand.
16 100% authentic secret places in Thailand
1 Pang Ung
It is a small village that borders the border with Myanmar. Very few tourists know this place, but if you take the time to come, you will be completely out of place. Here, no sand or turquoise water, but misty mountains, fragrant pine forests, and a quiet little lake.
2 Nan and its night market
This charming town is now accessible to persevering travellers, but it has long been cut off from the rest of the country. It’s a peaceful place really off the beaten track. The fortified walls and Wat Phra That Chae Haeng are also worth a look. If you plan to come there, plan to be there on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday to discover the night market (4 p.m. to 9 p.m., near Wat Phumin). On the program: a market with craftsmen and (as always in Thailand) lots of food and a large square with entertainment where you can sit down to taste everything you have gleaned from the market.
3 Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat
No bus will take you there, you will have to go there on your own. But all your efforts will be amply rewarded with the picturesque view. You will climb to the top of a mountain to discover pagodas perched on rocky peaks, with a dizzying void on either side. Fearful abstain!
4 Koh Bulon Leh
This small island is not part of the classic tourist circuits, and that’s good. You will be perfectly quiet there to relax on the dream beaches. But be warned, this ecological destination has some peculiarities: electricity is only available for a few hours a day, and there are no roads or ATMs.
Located near Cambodia, this city will surprise you with its Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, inside which sits an effigy of the Virgin covered with precious stones. Moreover, Chanthaburi is well known for its sparkling gem market.
6 Koh Wai
It’s a little corner of paradise, which few lucky people visit. And yet, Koh Wai has so much to offer: coral reefs, white sand beaches, jungle walks, deserted coves, and inexpensive accommodation. What more ?
7 Mae Sai
Only a few kilometers from Myanmar and Laos, Mae Sai is a cultural crossroads with a special atmosphere. If you need to leave the territory to renew your visa, you have come to the right place. Take the opportunity to visit the Temple of the Scorpion, and discover the delicate flavors of northern Thailand.
8 Koh Kut (Koh Kood)
If you dream of an (almost) deserted and remote island, with the lapping of the waves as the only soundscape, this place is for you. You can rent a scooter to navigate between the different beaches, unearth the waterfalls, and observe the century-old trees. Also, don’t forget to explore the Gulf of Thailand with fins or a canoe.
9 Mae Hong Son
Few tourists go as far as Mae Hong Son, located not far from the Burmese border. This quiet little town will allow you to recharge your batteries in a natural setting. It is also an opportunity to do a trek off the beaten track to discover the different ethnic groups: a good alternative to the very (too) touristic treks from Chiang Mai.
10 Sleeping with locals in a village of the Akha ethnic group near Chiang Rai
Discover for a few days the simple life of a small Akha village, a mountain people originally from China, by staying with the locals. The comfort is basic but the experience rich on a human level because you will share activities and meals with the family. Note that reservations in this small guesthouse are managed voluntarily remotely by a French woman.
11 Pak Nai – a village on the water
Here is a place completely off the beaten track: it is a fishing village lost in the Lam Nam Nan National Park where all the houses are floating. Moreover, the road stops at the village and starts again on the other side. The solution to cross? A large barge pulled by a very small boat makes the vehicles cross for a few Baths. A surprising experience!
12 Phayao Lake
Almost as beautiful as Inle Lake in Burma, Lake Phayao will surprise you! Especially since this place in Thailand is completely off the beaten track. You won’t come across any Western tourists there. Not to be missed: the night market at the end of Chaykwan road and the boat trip to a very small island where Wat Tilok Aram is located.
Near Chiang Mai is the quiet little town of Lamphun, totally forgotten by tourists and yet very cute with its moats and fortifications. Not to be missed: a visit to a very old teak house and the superb Wat Phrathat Haripunchai Woramahawihan temple. To make the experience of your visit even more memorable, you can travel to Lamphun from Chiang Mai by train.
14 Koh Yao Yai
Are you looking for an island in Thailand and near Phuket completely off the beaten track and you think it’s mission impossible? Nay, the island of Koh Yao Yai located 30 minutes by speed-boat from Phuket is made for you. Get on your scooter and go around this island still preserved from mass tourism. The atmosphere on site is really relaxed, which makes it possible to have more authentic encounters with the locals. And do not hesitate to ask a fisherman to take you for a ride on the small neighboring islands!
Large Thai city without great charm but not devoid of interest. First, the visit of Wat Phra sri Rattana Mahathat which houses the Chinnarat Buddha, a statue which is considered the most beautiful representation of Buddha. In addition, the city comes alive in the evening with its large night market. Don’t miss a drink along the river and lunch on a restaurant boat for a complete experience in this city.
16 Prachuap Khiri Khan
Located near the large seaside resort of Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan does not however attract crowds like its neighbor. And that’s good for you! However, its assets are numerous: a pretty seafront (with some very nice guesthouses), a temple located at the top of a hill where many monkeys live or even the beach of Ao Manao. If you want to visit a city by the sea, authentic and off the beaten track, this is the place to go!