The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continues to expand the ‘12 Hidden Gems’ campaign, which encourages visitors to go off the beaten path and discover new Thai local experiences in emerging destinations around the kingdom.
Apart from the tourist hot spots of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket circuit, there are 12 more special provincial towns to explore, discover and keep memories to make your journey a lifetime experience. The highly recommended combinations to travel further are as follows:
Although known as the city of horse carts, it’s recommended to take a walking tour through Lampang’s old town for the best views and local emersion. Begin at the Ratsadapisek Bridge, once the longest bridge in Thai history, before adventuring towards the famous thousand-year-old Wat Phra That Lampang Luang.
Jump on a bike and discover the unwavering beauty of Nan with every peddle. Experience the countless authentic restaurants lining the Nan River, beautiful national parks, and Wat Phumin – where gorgeous unique murals depict the everyday life of the citizens of Nan. This quant city is perfect for travelers looking for cozy accommodations with boutique hotels.
Experience the breezy weather of Petchabun while sleeping under the pine trees in the renowned National Parks before visiting the famous Buddha images in Wat Trai Phum and Wat Sat Thai. This colorful destination is filled with sights and scents of flowers, strawberries and winter vegetable farms.
Discover Thailand’s most recent hotspot with a visit to Loei, and become emerged in the traditional Thai culture. Travel to the village of Chiang Khan, and experience the yearly Phi Ta Khon Festival that occurs at the Dan Sai Folk Museum at Wat Phon Chai.
Check out the thrilling experiences of Buri Ram by stepping atop an extinct volcano while visiting Prasat Hin Phanom Rung. Travelers are also encouraged to see the i-Mobile football stadium and Chang International Racing Circuit, which will host the Motor GP motorcycle events in 2018.
Enter the noodle and entertainment heaven of Ratchaburi, home to an assortment of restaurants featuring one of kind fresh, egg-noodle dishes. Experience the Thai New Year celebration with Nang Tai shadow puppet performances and visit one of the most important temples in town, Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat.
After visiting the bronze Buddha in Samut Songkhram, stop by the Mae Klong Railway Market for a fresh and tasty seafood lunch. Travelers can also check out the Amphawa Chai Pattananurak project for beautiful handcrafted items and gastronomy tourism from local canal houses that have been transformed into galleries and gift shops.
Trat is the perfect gateway destination to visit the islands of Ko Chang, Ko Mak, and Ko Kut and experience the stunning ocean views. The community of Khlong Bang Phra features old shop houses from colonial times with many crab noodle, rice and curry restaurants.
The province’s 111-kilometre-long coastal road is peaceful for bike rides to the ‘Red Building’ and picturesque village of Rai Phan Din. Chanthaburi features 400 homes built on stilts over the sea and the remarkable Klung district, which has countless seafood restaurants.
Chumphon is the jumping off point for Ko Tao and is full of natural charm with the beautiful nearby Mu Ko Chumphon National Park – known for its kayaking opportunities. The Prince of Chumphon shrine, in honor of the Royal Thai Navy, is considered a must visit attraction on Sai Ree Beach. Other must-visit destinations include the uncrowded beaches, Thung Zang Bay, Mo Bao Beach and Laem Thong Cape from May to October.
Nakhon Si Thammarat
For the ultimate Thai local experience, take a boat tour to see the endangered pink dolphins and 100-year old market houses, or view a Nang Talung traditional shadow puppet show put on by famous artist Suchart Subsin.
Trang is well-known for its gastronomy tourism with amazing dishes including grilled pork, dim sum treats and seafood. When visiting Trang, the offshore islands of Ko Muk, Ko Kradan, Ko Chuek and Ko Ma are wonderful destinations for day trips to learn first-hand about the life of local Thai fishermen. Tourists are also encouraged to experience the largest botanical garden, Thang Khai, with its wide range of flowers and trees.
For more information visit TATnews.org.