Top 10 beautiful hiking and trekking trails in Thailand

Thailand boasts some of the most unique landscapes in the world, with pristine rainforests, spectacular waterfalls, and tranquil sandy beaches, among other attractions. As a tropical country, Thailand is ideal for trekking year-round. However, the most suitable time for trekking is from January to March, known locally as the 'cold season,' when the temperature is relatively cool yet still tolerable for outdoor activities. This time of year is particularly popular for trekking in the Northern provinces of Thailand.

And there are a lot of stunning destinations for you to trek. Here are the most beautiful trekking paths in the Land of smiles.

1. Ban Ruam Mit

Situated right beside the Kok River, the hillside village Ban Ruam Mit is the general home to some communities including Thais, Lahu, Lisu, Akha…but the main one is Karen. Although there aren't many tourists like the neighboring city of Chiang Rai province, many tourists have come here to visit the Ruam Mit elephant farm. However, this mountainous community has more to offer tourists than just riding an elephant. Due to the beautiful location along the riverbanks, this place is very suitable for walking, trekking, and relaxing.

2. Khao Chong Wildlife Development and Conservation Park

Located more than 12 miles from Trang City, Khao Chong Wildlife Development and Conservation Park own a botanical museum and numerous amazing trekking paths starting from the headquarters. Along the way, there are plenty of things to explore, from rare plant species to the three main splendid waterfalls: Ton Noi, Ton Yai, and Ka Chong waterfalls.

3. Trail 11, Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai has made a famous name in Thailand. As the first national park established in this country and the third-largest national park, groups of nature-loving tourists have begun to bring this national wonder to their itineraries. Lying just around a three-hour drive from Bangkok, the park is home to various kinds of rare wildlife, pristine forests, and countless spectacular mountains. Additionally, it is home to a variety of trails with different terrains and lengths. Among them, trail 8 is one of the easiest, and trail 11 is a bit more difficult. Standing about five miles long, this is a trail for adventurous travelers seeking more than a challenge.

Nature trail in Thailand

4. Phu Kradueng National Park

Belonged to the province of Loei to the Northeast, Phu Kradueng National Park is considered one of the most well-known national parks in Thailand. The vast plateau at the height of 4,000 feet tall spreading through the area is the highlight of the park which attracts lots of hiking lovers coming to conquer every year. It takes around 3-4 hours to climb up to the top but it is doable, and the final destination, beyond the views, is definitely worth trek. Those who are not interested in trekking can spend time exploring the 30 miles hiking trails inside the park.

5. Mae Sa Valley

Chiang Mai, the charming city in northern Thailand, is the choice of many people who want to find a hideaway place to relax out of the busy daily life, taste delicious food, and visit beautiful religious sites. However, beyond the city limits have an absolute gold mine of things to explore and experience. One of the most stunning places worth visiting is the Mae Sa Valley which is located nine miles from the city center. From waterfalls to botanical gardens, the Mae Sa Valley offers guests everything to see and do to make day trips out of the journey. There are plenty of tourist attractions along the way like monkey schools and snake farms disrupting the tranquil vibe of the area but put these aside and head straight to one of the winding walking trails in this valley. Although it can take all day to walk, this trip itself is relatively easy.

6. Kew Mae Pan nature trail

Situated inside Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon is a famous sightseeing place in northern Thailand in general and an attractive trekking spot for active travelers in particular. Coming here, you should not miss the chance to feel the beauty and peaceful atmosphere while trekking on one of the loveliest trails in this green reserve, the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. Besides having the chance to enjoy the majestic surrounding landscapes and the breathtaking peaks, there are also a few fresh waterfalls and stops at very worth discovering places. The road only takes a few hours to complete and is suitable for all levels of hikers.

7. Pranburi Waterfall

Being the largest national park in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan is home to numerous wildlife species such as butterflies, birds, bears, elephants, etc. Pedestrians may be lucky enough to meet some of this wildlife on the way to Pranburi waterfall, located inside the national park. It takes nearly a day for trekking around the area and a local guide is a good idea for assisting tourists who wish to explore the splendid three-story waterfall.

Adventure travel in Thailand

8. Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son is one of the best places for trekking in the area. The mountainous province is located close to the Myanmar border and unlike some of the national parks that can be crowded on weekends, the area is almost deserted without hill tribes, including Shan and H'Mong. One of the region's most famous landmarks is the Sutongpe Bridge, a bamboo structure cut through striking rice fields, with gentle hills on either side. It stretches about 500 meters, and while it's certainly not the riskiest work, it's both noticeable and picturesque. The area is also still relatively cool compared to other parts of Thailand, and it is especially beautiful during the rainy season. A popular trekking tour that tourists take is the one from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, which usually takes about eight days.

Best trekking trails in Thailand

9. Khao Pom, Koh Samui

Although some of the best trekking opportunities are in northern Thailand, there are plenty of stunning national parks and walking trails along Thailand's southern coast. One of them is on Koh Samui, the second largest island in Thailand which has the perfect balance of tourist facilities and lush vegetation. Unlike some islands that are flooded with hotels, restaurants, and bars, Koh Samui is still a picturesque island, regardless of the tourists who flock to it. Also, one of the most amazing trekking opportunities can be found on this island. Khao Pom is a large mountain found in the center of the island. At over 2,000 feet high peak, this mountain offers ample pedestrian opportunity to explore the lush jungle terrain and get a great view of the island.

10. Doi Chiang Chao peak

Located at 7,299 feet above sea level, Doi Chiang Chao has two trekking paths leading to the summit: Pang Wua Trail and Den Ya Khat trail. This is one of the best trekking trails for bird watchers, with numerous species for hikers trying to spot. In addition to birds, Doi Chiang Chao is home to many colorful and rare orchids. Doi Chiang Chao is under the protection of Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a great place to get out and explore Thailand's tropical forests.

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