When we think of Thailand, Bangkok and Pattaya are the names that instantly pop up in our mind. But Thailand also has several awesome hill stations too. If you want to enjoy a cooler weather and lesser crowds, the hill stations in Thailand are the perfect places to visit. Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles” and rightly so for the entertainment and relaxations it offers. It is the perfect place to retreat from a hectic schedule. Adventure sports, magnificent beaches, forests, ancient temples, national parks, wildlife sanctuary, islands and mountains along with great cuisines- the place offer all of it.
Much less explored are the hilly places in Thailand which we have compiled here to help you plan the perfect vacation.
1. Doi Tung
The Doi Tung mountain is 1389 meter above sea level and rises steeply. It is located at the Thailand Myanmar border and the highest point of Doi Nang Non. It is located in the Chiang rai province which is also notes among the hill stations of the country. However, Doi Tung stands out on its own merit because of the spectacular flower gardens and the royal villa. The flower garden or Mae fu Luang garden is located in a place that was originally an Akha village. The best time to visit is December and January when the flowers are in full bloom. You also get to enjoy a long tree top walk here which is another unique attraction. It is a gorgeous mountain top destination with deciduous forests and tribal villages.
2. Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is located at the north of Thailand and is a provincial town with numerous hill summits and various mountain ranges. It is the perfect destination for mountain excursions and trekking. If you are an adventure lover this place holds a lot of attractions for you. Have fun with activities like trekking, river cruises, rafting, meeting farm hill tribes and elephant spotting. Apart from that, the place has numerous ancient temples too. The place is not as remote with a thriving night life and shopping areas. It is one of the major cities in North Thailand. You can also get a glimpse of the Koi River at the north, joining the Mekong River and at the south there is the Lao river.
3. Phu Khao Ya
Phu Khao Ya translates to “Grass Hills” and is located 12km from the Mueang Ranong Municipality. It is considered a rare geographical anomaly which made it one of the most significant hill stations in Thailand. The place resembles a Swiss pasture primarily due to the lack of trees. The mountain and hills are covered in thick grasses which have a spectacular and picturesque view during the rainy seasons. It is located in Tambon Ngao. From November to April the hill is barren and the grasses turn brown making it appear “bald” but it is lush green from May to October. Close by, there is another tourist attraction- the Namtok Ngao National Park.
Kanchanaburi is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand for the nature lovers. It is located in the west of Thailand in the Kanchanaburi province. Magnificent landscape, waterfalls, national parks, rivers, caves- the scenic beauty is equivalent to paradise for the visitors. It was established as a defensive outpost in the 18th century by King Rama I and has a rich cultural background too. The location is where the rivers Khawae Noi and Khwae Yai converge adding to the beauty of the town municipality. You can also enjoy many adventurous activities here like mountain biking, jungle trekking, bird-watching, river-rafting and fishing.
5. Mae Ya Waterfalls
Though not exactly a mountainous region, the Mae Ya waterfalls is a spectacular tourist spot in the Chiang Main region which is known for the hills and mountains. It is one of the biggest waterfalls in Thailand and extends over 30 storeys of rocky cliffs. The misty ambience and the roaring of the water make it a perfect place for a day out for the adventurer travellers. It is a perfect spot for a relaxing day. If you are visiting the Chiang Main region, this is a perfect place to visit.
If you are looking for quaint and serene vacation, the lush greenery of Khao Sok is the perfect place. The rainforests and the deep valleys have a pristine and peaceful ambience without any crowd or chaos. If you are looking forward to staying away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, you must keep this place in your list of destinations. This is also the largest virgin forest in southern Thailand that is even more diverse compared to the Amazon Forest.
7. Wat Tham Khao Luang
Located at the north of Petchaburi town, Wat Tham Khao Luang is approximately 100m high. The place is like a hidden gem and a wonderland with many caverns that are dedicated to Buddha. You will find many relics of Buddhism here along with over 170 images of Buddha. There is also a huge statue of Buddha which was commission by Rama V and is a major attraction here. You also get to witness stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave systems. Overall, it has a very calm and serene ambience which make it a great place to retreat.
8. Doi Inthanon
The highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon is located in Chiang Mai Province and was named in the honour of the last king. He was dedicated about protecting the watershed forests here. Today the place is an established national park with spectacular bird life. Apart from that you also get to witness natural beauty, cool weather, and waterfalls. Especially when the temperature drops, the area becomes misty and has an enchanting scenic beauty. This is also a great honeymoon destination in Thailand.
Thailand has a rich culture and history along with many tourist attractions. But if you are looking for pleasant weather and more offbeat places, the beautiful hill stations in Thailand are the perfect places. We have listed the eight most popular places which you can easily include in your itinerary for your vacation to Thailand.