From distant jungles and idyllic islands to snorkelling with luminous plankton and a temple formed like an elephant, readers share their discoveries
Dive bar … the undersea world off Mu Koh Surin nationwide park.
Winning tip: Camping and snorkelling, Mu Ko Surin nationwide park
The Surin islands within the Andaman Sea about 50km from the mainland are surrounded by coral reefs and regarded the very best snorkelling vacation spot in Thailand. There are quite a few day journeys however to essentially expertise the magic, keep a couple of nights on the back-to-basics campsite at Mai Ngam bay, a wonderfully shaped horseshoe bay. Spend your days hiring longboats captained by locals to take you to snorkelling hotspots comparable to Suthep Bay, Thailand’s first underwater sign-marked snorkelling path.
• Book at nps.dnp.go.th, two-person tent about £10 an evening, park entrance £12 for foreigners, open October-May
Train from Hua Hin to Petchaburi
Hua Hin railway station, opened 1911. Photograph: John W Banagan/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images
I began in Hua Hin, the place the king has his summer time palace (it beats Balmoral any day) and took a practice to a city an hour or so north known as Petchaburi. There is a temple and outdated wood homes and an honest lunch place on the river however actually it’s the practice journey there and again that had me. It returns at sundown, prices about 13p, the home windows are open, you undergo farmland and villages, and there are hardly any vacationers.
Ubon Ratchathani, Isaan
Strange rock formations at Sao Chaling, close to Ubon Ratchathani. Photograph: sugarbutty/Guardian Witness
A less-travelled a part of Thailand is Ubon Ratchathani province in Isaan. We stayed at Toh Sang Resort, which sits alongside the Mekong reverse Laos. We drove there from Bangkok however it may be reached by practice or aircraft. There are attention-grabbing and beautiful websites to go to comparable to three,000-year-old cave work in Pha Taem nationwide park and unusual rock formations at Sao Chaling. Boats will take you to see the place the two-coloured rivers the Mekong and the Mun meet.
Chiang Kham, a secret northern getaway
Unspoilt countryside within the Chiang Kham district. Photograph: Nath Phl Phechr Vththi/Getty Images
Chiang Kham district gives scenic, crowd-free countryside on the luxurious, mountainous border of Laos. Phu Sang nationwide park is home to uncommon crops and animals, limestone caves, waterfalls and remoted pure plunge swimming pools. There are additionally numerous hidden, stunning temples, comparable to Wat Saen Mueang Ma, and a museum of the resident ethnic Tai Lue inhabitants, whose vibrant woven materials enhance the city. Chiang Kham Grand Villa (doubles £16 an evening) is a welcoming place to remain. We went with our three-year-old son and he liked it.
Maya Bay Sleep Aboard
Maya Bay, made well-known in Danny Boyle’s The Beach. Photograph: MikeLadyman/Guardian Witness
We skilled a magical evening on the Maya Bay Sleep Aboard boat in Kho Phi Phi,visiting the cove made well-known within the movie The Beach. Arriving on the spectacular bay you have the chance to discover the seaside and surrounding caves and jungle earlier than watching the sundown with a chilly beer. As quickly because it will get darkish snorkels are offered for evening swimming with luminous plankton. Fresh native meals is served and bedding is offered for an evening on the seaside or aboard the boat if you want. £87 will get you the total expertise together with night meal.
Thai new yr
Thai folks celebrating Songkran (new yr). Photograph: Alamy
I went to Thailand in the course of the Songkran new yr celebrations. Think the most important water combat you have ever seen, plus pretty sizzling climate. Think a water combat on each single nook. It was essentially the most superb expertise and I nonetheless give it some thought. My tip could be to purchase a water gun early should you’re going – and guide early.
Wain Yuen Nam
Koh Yao Noi
Morning on Klong Jark seaside, Ko Yao Noi. Photograph: Lucy Brown/Getty Images
This pretty little island round an hour from Puhket by boat is inhabited by Muslim fishermen and their households and isn’t your typical Thai island. Most folks get round on scooters and bicycles. I stayed in Namtok Bungalows (doubles £11), a spot of hammocks and backyard huts by the seaside, run by a Thai girl and an American man who have made this island their home. The meals served by the couple was native, recent and scrumptious and was at all times within the company of different off beat travellers and climbers. I additionally found a Muay Thai boxing college run by an ex nationwide champion who allowed me to college students in his open-air health club by the seaside.
Hiking by the jungle in Pai
Jungle close to Pai. Photograph: Vyacheslav Argenberg/Getty Images
Pai, about 25 miles from the Myanmar border, is home to hidden geographical treasures. A brief method from our resort, we noticed an indication for Mae Yen waterfall, which was among the finest discoveries of our journey. The stroll as much as the waterfall took round three hours although, with such superb wildlife, it appeared like no time in any respect. Local farmers alongside the way in which run small stalls promoting fruit, with an honesty field in the event that they’re out. We had been a little bit spooked by the primary “river crossing” part, however small indicators alongside the way in which, with useful additions written by fellow travellers helped paved the way. Our sneakers acquired a little bit moist as we walked however the views all through the trek had been superb.
Nai Yang seaside
A number of steps from Phuket airport is among the quietest and most peaceable seashores in Thailand, so earlier than your early or late flight, spend an evening at any resort close to the airport and simply stroll a brief method south to search out delicate sands and funky waves. It’s a superb birdwatching spot, too, as there’s close by inexperienced forest and small canals.
Wat Ban Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima province
Wat Ban Rai, an elephant-shaped temple in the midst of a lake. Photograph: Shei La
This temple in north-eastern Thailand is a gem for 2 causes: being much less identified … and for being out of sight. From Bangkok,it’s a three-and-a-half-hour highway journey. Wat Ban Rai is an elephant-shaped vibrant temple in the midst of a lake and guarded by two gigantic 19-headed nagas, a bunch of serpent gods in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Besides its distinctive elephant construction, Wat Ban Rai boasts astonishing statues and work depicting Buddha’s life. From pillars to partitions to ceilings, Wat Ban Rai has an infinite spectacle of vibrant artwork. Every go to is sort of a stroll in an gallery – and the shrine collects no price from guests.
Photograph: James225/Guardian Witness
We rented a automobile in Thailand and it reworked our time on this stunning nation. We meandered down the gulf coast from Bangkok, stopping to make the most of out-of-the-way locations to remain and eat. Near the laid-back city of Ban Krut, 350km south of the capital, the idyllic and super-friendly Sirarun Resort (from £90 an evening) has enormous bungalows on what appears like a personal seaside, with free bike and canoe rent. Somewhat additional on, Bang Berd Bay is a tree-lined golden strip of sand with beachside seafood eating places serving deep-fried mackerel or squid with basil and chilli. The roads are good, the signposts are in English and Google maps works for navigation.
Craft beer tour of Nonthaburi
The Fellowship of Beer brewery, north of Bangkok
Experience the rebel towards Thailand’s lager duopoly by sampling the craft beer hotspots of Nonthaburi, north of Bangkok. Start at Chitbeer on the artifical island of Koh Kred. Here the pioneer of Thailand homebrewing Khun Wichit sells his microbrews. Next, get pleasure from an open-air beer at Na Mi Beer in Pak Kret, which has artistic Thai beers (authorized and unlawful) on draught, comparable to Pandan Pale Ale. A brief drive from right here, pattern award-winning Bang Bang IPA on the Fellowship of Beer brewery faucet from the Sandport Brewing Company. Last, head to Rattanathibet Road to fulfill Tao at Taopiphop Bar Project. Tao grew to become a poster boy for the craft beer wrestle in Thailand when he was arrested in January 2017 for illegally brewing beer. His now-legal Hurtster Saison, a potent fruit beer, is an everyday on faucet.