Hiking in Thailand: 10 Trails with the Most Picturesque Views

Hiking in Thailand: 10 Trails with the Most Picturesque Views

Take your pick of hiking trails and trek through luscious landscapes in Thailand. We promise that the view is more than worth the climb.

While many people associate Thailand with great street food, elephant sanctuaries and sandy beaches, there’s much more to the country if you look behind the screen of mass tourism. In fact, Thailand is one of the most diverse countries on earth, home to coral reefs and mountains, vast numbers of fauna and flora, and several different cultures. What a lot of people don’t realise is that there’s also world-class hiking in Thailand.

The most popular region for hiking in Thailand is the area around Chiang Mai, which is by far the best known. There are, however, also many other Thai regions that offer great hiking. In this article, we’ve compiled an overview of the best hiking destinations/trails in Thailand.

1. Chiang Dao

Image credit: Doug Mulvaney

Situated about an hour north of Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao provides fantastic hiking opportunities. Your options range from easy strolls through the woods to hardcore jungle treks. This area features hill tribe villages, riverside landscapes, beautiful forest scenery and Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third-highest mountain in Thailand. A hike to this mountain’s summit is challenging but exceptionally rewarding. Getting there and back again takes about eight hours, making for a superb full-day hike.

2. Umphang

hiking trails in thailand

Image credit: Amir Yalon

One of the remotest places in Thailand, the valley of Umphang lies roughly halfway between Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Although it’s a popular destination for Thai people, it’s still off many foreign tourists’ radar. This region is best explored on overnight treks. The best one is a three-day, two-night excursion taking you to the famous Thi Lo Su waterfalls and a typical Karen village. (With their long and ringed necks, the Karen are arguably the most famous tribe in Thailand.)

3. Koh Phi Phi View Point

Image credit: Daniel Peherstorfer

It might be a pretty easy hike, but the vista from Koh Phi Phi View Point is spectacular. Located on one of the most touristy of Thailand’s islands, the views take in the ocean, forested hills and coastlines.

4. Chiang Rai

hiking trails in thailand

Image credit: On.My.BigfOot

Chiang Rai is Thailand’s second busiest hiking centre—after Chiang Mai. Also located in northern Thailand, the Chiang Rai region is characterised by lush jungles, rice paddies and charming authentic villages. A dense network of hiking trails offers you the chance to explore the region at your own pace. Your options range from pleasant afternoon walks to multi-day treks.

5. Doi Inthanon

Image credit: Grant Mallory

The summit of Doi Inthanon is the tallest peak in Thailand. Located in what’s considered to be the foothills of the Himalayas, the views from the top are quite phenomenal. There’s no actual hiking trail leading up to Doi Inthanon, though, but there is a road. Active travellers can walk to the top on the side of the road. From the parking lot near the summit, several easy nature trails allow you to explore the area. This mountain lies in Doi Inthanon National Park, one of the most popular parks in Northern Thailand, famous for its waterfalls and jungle scenery.

6. Sri Phang Nga National Park

Image credit: Jason Thompson

On the island of Khao Lak, you can join the eight-kilometre Extreme Trekking Adventure organised by The Sarojin, a local boutique resort. This great four-hour hike takes you into Sri Phang Nga National Park, one of the largest parks in the country, boasting a huge biodiversity. The hike runs past tumbling waterfalls and through thick jungle.

7. Kamphaeng Phet

Image credit: John Shedrick

Kamphaeng Phet is renowned for its centuries-old ruins, which are similar to the more famous ones in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. These, however, are much less visited. About 40 kilometres west of the village, close to Khlong Lan National Park, you can explore a few minority villages on pleasant hiking trails. This area isn’t spectacular by any means—it’s just very pretty!

8. Nan

hiking trails in thailand

Image credit: Nixts

If you’re a nature lover, you might want to focus your attention on the town of Nan. This hub is surrounded by a handful of nature reserves and national parks—a hiker’s dream destination, in other words. Many local companies offer overnight treks, but you can also head out on your own for a self-guided adventure on the region’s countless hiking trails.

9. Soppong

hiking trails in thailand

Image credit: Doug Knuth

The Soppong region is dotted with interesting caves and home to many hiking trails. While you can go on longer treks, day hikes are the most popular thing to do. This region’s cave scenery is a nice alternative to the rural landscapes and jungles you’ll find in many other places in Thailand.

10. Khao Pom

hiking trails in thailand

Image credit: Jens Schott Knudsen

On Ko Samui, the most popular tourist island in Thailand, you can choose to laze your days away on the beach and party all night long. Alternatively, however, you can also opt to do what very few visitors do—explore Khao Pom, a mountain in the jungle. Several hiking trails crisscross their way up the mountain, from the summit of which you’ve got a pretty extraordinary view. The roundtrip takes about four to five hours.

Also read: 10 Mountains to Climb in Thailand With the Most Incredible Views

About Author

Bram Reusen

Bram is a freelance writer, translator and travel photographer. He was born and grew up in a small town in Belgium and currently lives in a small town in Vermont, USA. He likes to try different travel styles and he has backpacked across Australia, cycled from Belgium to the North Cape and back, spent three months immersing himself in the Irish culture, hiked across England, climbed numerous mountains in New England, and visited many a handful of European cities. Besides writing and traveling, Bram spends his days reading, working out and trying to live a healthy life.

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