Are you ready to explore Thailand like it’s never been seen before? The country has a wealth of hidden gems and incredible places where you can have once-in-a-lifetime experiences. However, it can be overwhelming to figure out where you should visit. Luckily for you, we have model, TV host, and Muay Thai fighter Mia Kang to help us uncover some famous destinations, eateries, and hidden gems in Thailand through our Trailblazer Thailand video series.
While you may know Mia for living the fabulous life of a top model, she was actually in a difficult place in life when she first stumbled upon a Muay Thai gym in Samui a few years ago. That trip to Thailand helped her regain her confidence in herself. “In Thailand, I found my happiness again, and I discovered a passion for this beautiful country,” Mia said. “I felt inspired.”
Since Thailand is a big part of Mia’s reinvigorated spirit, we couldn’t think of a better host to take you on a journey to discover Thailand’s most iconic and unique local experience in Trailblazer Thailand!
In this 3-part series, Mia Kang explores the 3 different regions of Thailand: Northern, Central, and Southern. In each region, she’ll receive clues on what some of the best Thailand experiences are in the area. Her mission is to complete each clue and activity in order to become a true Trailblazer in Thailand. Here’s a roundup of her tour around hidden gems in Thailand, starting with the Northern region.
Episode 1: Northern Route “Where The Adventure Begins….”
If you want to immerse yourself in local Thai culture, Northern Thailand is where you want to be! In this episode, Mia starts her Trailblazer Thailand journey by visiting Sukhothai. What was the first clue she uncovered?
She was able to figure out that her first stop is at Sukhothai Historical Park, where the first monarchy of Thailand once stood. Rich in history, the park is made of numerous historical sites, including one of the most iconic Buddhas that she gets to see up close. She’ll also show you ancient traditions, such as creating a Loy Krathong and the powers involved in creating a special amulet.
Thai culture is known for its good fortune. At the Buddhist Votive Tablets Learning Center, Mia was able to craft her own luck for the Trailblazer adventure by making her own amulet. Water is also important in Thai culture, as it signifies purity, life, and new beginnings. Mia made her own Krathong and released it into the water as a way to celebrate and pay respect to water.
Did you know the origin of the word tie-dye? It actually comes from Thai-dye, where indigo dye was first popularized in Northern Thailand. The most iconic indigo dye comes from Chiang Mai, where Mia created her own indigo dye at Studio Naenna. Perhaps, you might be the lucky customer who purchases Mia’s first dyed scarf.
Chiang Mai is also home to a lot of temples, but have you ever seen one that’s made out of silver? Wat Sri Suphan is a great place to become enlightened by Buddhists by participating in a candle meditation or a monk chat. Keep watching as Mia explores these breathtaking sights in this episode.
Mia wasn’t alone in her journey, as she made some new giant friends when she visited the Into the Wild Elephant Camp. Mia helped feed and clean the elephants during her visit. The camp also gives back to communities by allowing the locals to help take care of the elephants and using the money they get from trekking tours to support those communities.
Mia ends her Northern Trailblazer Thailand journey in Pai, where she visited Ko Ku So Bridge, also known as the ‘Bridge of Merit.’ The bridge is a testament of a firm belief in Buddhism by local villagers of Ban Paem Bok. The walkway winds through their rice fields to shorten the time monks would use on their morning alms mission traveling from the nearby temple to the village and vice versa. Being surrounded by nature and breathtaking views, it’s also a great spot to do some yoga as well. After a long trip around Northern Thailand, Mia took a dip at the Sai Ngam Hot Springs to rejuvenate and relax. The Hot Springs would be the highlight of most travelers’ trips when they visit this region.
Episode 2: Central Route “Adventures Beyond Bangkok”
From riding Tuk Tuks through Bangkok’s bustling city to visiting the local Mon people in Sangkhlaburi, there are many ways to immerse yourself in Thai culture in Central Thailand. In this episode, Mia Kang starts her Central Trailblazer Thailand trip by touring Bangkok.
Mia explored Thailand’s capital by riding the country’s most iconic form of transportation: the Tuk Tuk. The country is known for its amazing food, and a trip to Thailand isn’t complete without visiting Yaowarat (Bangkok’s Chinatown) for delicious street food! There, she was able to try barbecued squid and black sesame dumplings, and also tried her hand at cooking Thailand’s national dish: Pad Thai.
Looking for some inspiration in Bangkok? The creative district of Bang Rak is perfect if you’re looking for art that comes in many forms; from art galleries to street art. One of the art galleries that Mia visited in the district is Arum Gallery, which displays art from all around the world.
Rice is a staple food in Thailand, and Suphan Buri is known for its rice farming. Mia went to the Learning Center of Farmer’s Way of Life and Wisdom, where she learned how to plant the seed that feeds all of Thailand. She learned one of the traditional methods of rice planting by sticking rice seedlings right into the mud.
One of the iconic spots in Kanchanaburi, the railway Sai Yok Noi Waterfall station has a lot of history behind it dating back to World War II. Along the path is the Sai Noi Waterfall, a crumbled mountain with an unforgettable view that you’re sure to fall in love with.
Mia’s final stop on her Trailblazer Thailand journey in the Central region is Sangkhlaburi, a province that’s full of Mon culture. There she explored the Srisuwan Sunken Temple that recently emerged from underwater. Did you know that in the 1980s a dam near a Mon town flooded and the Srisuwan Sunken Temple is the only part of the town that remains above water? The temple is one of the more mysterious hidden gems in Thailand.
Every morning at Mon Bridge, Thailand’s longest wooden bridge, locals and tourists offer merit to monks who dedicate their lives to teaching others the good path. Mia got a chance to walk the bridge firsthand as a native Mon would do every day.
Episode 3: Southern Route “Islands in the Sun”
Southern Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world and is the ideal place to reconnect and find balance with your body, mind, and soul. In this episode, Mia Kang wraps up her Trailblazer Thailand trip by visiting hidden gems in Southern Thailand.
A region known for its untouched and beautiful nature, Thale Noi is a one-of-a-kind local tourism experience. Go on a boat ride at the crack of dawn in Pakpra Fisherman’s Village and watch the fishermen lower enormous fishing nets into the sea. This iconic scene as well as the famous lotus flower lake are not to be missed when visiting Southern Thailand.
We know you probably have seen a regular dolphin before, but have you seen its blushing cousin? At Had Khanom – Mu Koh Taletai Marine National Park in Nakhon Si Thammarat, you can go on a boat trip and see pink dolphins up close! The locals live harmoniously with these beautiful creatures at this hidden gem in Thailand.
Looking for the best place to destress and relax? Then Mia’s last stop of her Trailblazer Thailand journey in Ko Samui is the place for you to visit. Go for the Samui Coconut Body Scrub Treatment at Melati Beach Resort & Spa if you want to experience Thai relaxation. This treatment uses coconut materials to help you relax, including coconut milk, oil, and shells.
If you’re also searching for the meaning of life and inner peace, monks can help guide you to your answer. You can attend a Monk Chat and meditation session at Dipabhavan Meditation Center, which is open to anyone.
Looking for a place to train and fight like a Thai and throw down with some of the best Muay Thai fighters? As a Muay Thai enthusiast, Mia visited Yodyut Muaythai Gym to get some training in. Muay Thai is more than just a sport. Not only is it a full-body workout and improves your stamina for an amazing cardio workout, but it also enhances your self-discipline and teaches you about patience. The more you practice and see yourself progress towards your goals, the more inspired and motivated you’ll be.
Plan to Create Your Own Memorable Experiences in Thailand in 2021
We hope that Mia’s experiences in some of the hidden gems in Thailand will help inspire you to go on your own Trailblazer Thailand adventure soon.
Want to stay up to date with travel updates to Thailand? Learn more about the recent visa updates and other travel related news on our FAQ Blog Post here.
We would like to thank our partners in Thailand who helped make Trailblazer possible. Please support them and visit their website and social media for more information.
Buddhist Votive Tablets Learning Center
Facebook: Buddhist Votive Tablets Learning Center
Baan Ma-Kwid Resort
Facebook: Baan Ma-Kwid Resort
Into the Wild Elephant Camp
Bodhi Tree Yoga Pai
Supanniga Eating Room, Tha Tien
Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel
The Learning Center of Farmer’s Way of Life and Wisdom
The Float House River Kwai Resort
Ban Mae Nam Resort
Sri Pakpra Boutique Resort Phatthalung
Varni Southern Wickery
Khanom Beach Resort and Spa
The Lamai Samui
Dipabhavan Meditation Center
Coconut Museum Samui
Melati Beach Resort & Spa
Yodyut Muaythai Gym