9 of one of the best hikes in Thailand

With wistful misty peaks, historical hidden temples, otherworldly karst outcrops and dense jungle teeming with wildlife, Thailand presents a veritable feast for hikers.

Whether or not you need to conquer mountains, circumnavigate beautiful sandy islands or just make your technique to Thailand’s largest waterfall, there’s a lot to select from. What’s extra, with an outstanding transport system, it is easy to achieve most climbing trails independently – although there are many wonderful trekking guides out there too.

So seize a heavy-duty insect repellent, pack some sunscreen and purchase some leech socks, we’re about to set off. These are one of the best hikes in Thailand.

Scout new methods to discover the planet’s wildest locations with our weekly publication delivered to your inbox.
It is definitely worth the steep climb to Tiger Cave Temple © Balate Dorin / Shutterstock

Krabi’s Tiger Cave Temple

Greatest hike to a temple

0.6 miles (1km), half day, average

It is a brief, steep climb as much as the 278m-high (912ft) limestone outcrop that overlooks Krabi City, however hikers who efficiently deal with the 1260 stairs to the summit are rewarded with a entry to Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple) and a few stellar views. The temple takes its title from the idea that tigers as soon as dwelled within the surrounding caves. Sadly there aren’t any prowling massive cats right here, as a substitute golden stupas and a big seated Buddha silently hold watch over the emerald forest and sprawling blue sea beneath.

Carry sufficient water for each the ascent and the humidity. Additionally bear in mind to put on culturally acceptable clothes (trousers or lengthy skirts and tops that cowl your shoulders) because it’s a Buddhist temple. A climbing pole may be helpful – each to haul your self up and to maintain the resident monkeys at bay. 

Khao Yai Nationwide Park

Greatest hike in a nationwide park

Distances differ, 2–3 hours, straightforward

Established as Thailand’s first nationwide park in 1962, Khao Yai is one of the best place for a jungle trek close to Bangkok. It boasts greater than 50km (31 miles) of climbing trails that teem with macaques, gibbons, civets, barking deer and endemic hen species such because the Nice Hornbill. 

For solo hikers, there are a few brief, round trails that start close to the park’s headquarters. Nevertheless, as wild elephants are sometimes noticed within the reserve, guides are required for venturing any deeper into the rainforest. Keep away from visiting on weekends and public holidays as automobiles typically fill the motorable roads to the principle sights, together with the 150m-high (492ft) Haew Narok waterfall and Haew Suwat cascade, whose 25m-high (82ft) drop dazzled hundreds of thousands in Danny Boyle’s cult movie The Seashore (2000).

Tourists gather on a lookout point on the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, Chomthong District, Chiang Mai of Thailand
Comply with the round path in Kew Mae Pan for spectacular views © nirutti / Shutterstock

Kew Mae Pan Nature Path

Greatest hike in Thailand

2.7km (1.6 miles), 2–3 hours, straightforward

The brief Kew Mae Pan Nature Path presents hikers an opportunity to see one of the crucial stunning panoramic views in Thailand. Set contained in the Doi Inthanon Nationwide Park close to Chiang Mai, the 2200m-high (7218ft) Kew Mae Pan mountain stands just a few hundred meters south of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak at 2565m (8415ft). 

The trek itself is a brief round path with boardwalks. It begins inside a forest of mossy timber and ferns that bursts with purple rhododendrons between January and March. After passing the Mae Pan waterfall, the thicket thaws right into a viridian grassland and leads hikers to the Kew Mae Pan Viewpoint (additionally referred to as Station 9) that dominates the entire reserve and is thought for its breathtaking dawn views. Guides are obligatory right here (200B per group).

Woman exploring the Bamboo forest in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Khao Sok is one one of the best jungle treks in southern Thailand © Sam Spicer / Shutterstock

Khao Sok Nationwide Park

Greatest jungle trek

Distances differ, 2–3 hours, average

Skirting the southern facet of Cheow Lan lake, the dense forest and towering limestone karsts of Khao Sok make the nationwide park the most effective jungle treks in southern Thailand. With 48 mammals roaming the forests, there’s loads of wonderful wildlife recognizing alternatives too. It’s gibbons, macaques and barking deer for probably the most half, however extra elusive species resembling solar bears, clouded leopards and tigers have been identified to make an look too.

A number of trails, every round 12km (7.5 miles) lengthy, begin from Khao Sok village on the southern fringe of the park. They then minimize by means of dense forest and wind previous tumbling waterfalls till they attain the southern shore of the lake. 

In October and December, the world’s largest (and smelliest) parasitic flower, the Rafflesia kerrii, blooms, which may be fairly a sight. Publish-hike, Cheow Lan’s floating homestays, surrounded by fang-like karsts that rise from the water, are a preferred spot to expertise the lake and the northern facet of the reserve.

Koh Jum

Greatest island hike

Distances differ, 4–6 hours, straightforward to average

Bikes are the one autos allowed on the low-key island of Koh Jum, simply off of Krabi. Fortuitously, probably the most rewarding technique to discover this paradisical atoll is on foot. The western coast has a flat path that flits between coves and quiet seashores for 6km (3.7-miles), however for views so far as Ko Phi-Phi (on clear days), deal with the steep climb up Khao Koh Pu hill.

There are two trailheads that result in the 400m-high (1312ft) summit. Probably the most direct of which begins on the 2.9km signal on the round highway surrounding the hill. Navigating the empty rubber estates may be difficult, however locals will take visitors up for about 1000B.

Sunrise at Um Phang Wildlife Sanctuary, Phang Nga Bay
You will not should share the path with many different guests at Um Phang and Tak © Bangprikphoto / Shutterstock

Um Phang

Greatest multi-day hike

Distances and occasions differ, average to laborious

Missed for the extra in style Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces, Um Phang and Tak provide spectacular climbing however with a fraction of the guests. All treks begin in and across the Um Phang Wildlife Sanctuary and use the Mae Klong River as a useful artery for deeper jungle exploration.

The area is nice for multi-day hikes. Vacationers might spend every week trawling its hills, bunking down at Karen villages and climbing south alongside the Burmese border to the Three Pagodas Move at Sangkhlaburi, a border between Thailand and Myanmar that when was the principle provide line for the development of the Japanese Thailand-Burma railway in WWII.

Nevertheless, most come to see Thailand’s largest waterfall, Nam Tok Thilawsu. From the wildlife sanctuary, it’s a two-hour hike to the hanging cascade by means of dense palm, large bamboo and strangler figs. Its swimming pools are appropriate for swimming too. Superior hikers and peak-busters ought to try the grueling 20km (12.5-mile) slog to Mount Kagerla, the fourth highest peak in Thailand. Nevertheless, at 1428m (4685ft), it’s not for the faint of muscle.

Phanom Rung

Greatest hike to an historical temple

0.6 miles (1km), half-day, straightforward

It will not be a conventional hike, however few locations are extra inspiring than the Phanom Rung complicated close to Buriram. Standing on the rim of a dormant volcano, some 200m (656ft) above the rice fields of Isan, this Tenth-century Khmer temple is constructed from pink sandstone.

Not solely a hanging archaeological website, the climb to Phanom Rung follows an historical walkway flanked with the heads of Naga (serpent guardians), including to its character. From the automotive park, the path morphs right into a stairway to the plateau the place the principle temple and its fifteen doorways await.

A person in silhouette on the top of a mountain with the setting sun against the clouds creating a ripple effect in the sky
The climb of Phu Kradueng will get harder as you strategy the summit © mr_gateway / Shutterstock

Phu Kradueng Nationwide Park

Greatest hike to a peak

5.9 miles (9.5km), 4–6 hours, average to laborious

Phu Kradueng (Bell Mountain) is the principle peak within the namesake nationwide park of Loei Province in northeast Isan. The climb isn’t that taxing to start with, but it surely will get harder as hikers strategy the plateau-like summit. A campsite on the high presents hikers the possibility to spend the night time and hire bicycles for these eager to discover the world at their very own tempo. 

Locals usually full the climb in a day, however staying over on the high affords hikers the possibility to see a surprising sundown over the Mak Dook cliffs. Dawn over the Nok Ann cliffs is equally compelling. The descent is tough on the knees; borrow one of many strolling sticks on provide.

Bangkok Phrapradaeng Loop 

Greatest hike close to Bangkok

7.5 miles (12km), 3 hours, straightforward

Often known as the “Inexperienced Lung” of Bangkok, this strolling path and bicycle path begins on the Bang Kachao Pier and has been protected by long-standing legal guidelines prohibiting the development of tall buildings on this space. Mountain climbing out here’s a uncommon alternative to see how the Thai capital appeared a number of a long time in the past.

A lot of the route follows suspended pathways constructed above a mangrove swamp with various houses constructed on stilts. Attempt to hike on a Sunday when the Talad Bang Nam Phueng market sells scrumptious avenue meals and all kinds of products, from pearl earrings to coconut pancakes.