Created in collaboration with OutsidePursuits.
Known for its breathtaking turquoise waters, opulent palaces, and historical ruins, Thailand isn’t short on adventures. However, did you know that it’s also one of the best countries in the world for hiking? From lush green rainforests to an array of stunning waterfalls, there’s no shortage of trails to ascend. Lace-up your hiking shoes, because we have the top 5 most beautiful hiking spots in Thailand just waiting for you to traverse.
1. Hang Nak Mountain Nature Trail
While it may be around 4 hours roundtrip, the Hang Nak Mountain Nature Trail is more than worth it. Approximately 500 meters above sea level, the summit features coastal views along with environments that look other-worldly. Rather than a steep and intense hike, the well-marked trails allow you to take your time and enjoy the sights. However, somewhere in the middle, you’ll find one steep ascent that you’ll need to conserve a bit of energy for. Once there, you’ll get to bask in the Ao Nang and Krabi area scenery.
2. Doi Inthanon
As the summit is the tallest peak in Thailand, it kind of goes without saying that you’ll be soaking in incredible vistas. You’re not going to find proper hiking trails, though there is a road in which you can walk along on the side. The flora and fauna the national park houses will show you a multitude of animals you won’t be able to find anywhere else. However, it’s also renowned for its awe-inspiring waterfalls and jungles. As it faces east, we highly recommend this route for catching the sunrise.
3. Ban Ruam Mit
This is a spot many tourists still don’t know about, offering a genuine, culture-rich experience. The hillside village is comprised of an array of communities, though most are Karen. The hilly location does have an elephant camp, though hiking is the way to go, as a friendlier, sustainable option. Placed right next to a virid river, the climate is fresh and trails are notably well-marked to make it easier to get from one place to another without confusion. From Chiang Rai, you can easily access the area via boat.
4. Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
If you’re a more inexperienced hiker or are set on more touristy locations, check out the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint. The most popular way of reaching these amazing viewpoints is by various sets of concrete stairs. Taking less than just 30 minutes to reach the top, you’ll be quickly rewarded by memorable ocean views, forests, and coastlines. Remember to bring a bit of cash as there’s an entrance fee of 30 baht (though this changes all the time). Hiking just before sunrise will yield you golden hour views, fewer people, and cooler temperatures.
Located smack dab between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, it’s perfectly located for those traveling from one city to the other. Often frequented by locals, many tourists still aren’t aware of this gem. Best suited for overnight hikes, you’ll want to set out at least 2 or 3 days to take full advantage of the famous Thi Lo Su waterfalls and a traditional Karen village with tribes who are recognized for their elongated necks.
No matter how long or intense the hike, you’ll need to be prepared to avoid any mishaps, illnesses, or general unpleasant times. Thailand is a rainforest/jungle environment that can be rough on the body if you’re not prepared. Make sure you have at least a couple liters of water handy, along with a snack in case your blood sugar runs low. Hiking pants will prevent any uncomfortable chafing and be able to move with your body to allow for steep climbing and high steps. Make sure your socks are nice and breathable and ideally carry an extra pair in your pack. Finally, keep proper hiking shoes on your feet to keep out moisture and pebbles, provide excellent traction, while supporting your arches.
Now that you’ve had the chance to read through the best and most beautiful hiking adventures in Thailand, which one has caught your eye? These tried-and-true locations are not only visually captivating but will offer you memories and cultural experiences that will last a lifetime. Thanks for joining us and happy hiking!