The Fact Maker

8 Exciting Road Trips to Take with Your Travel Buddies in Thailand

Many travellers know Thailand for its coastal attractions, street food and popular temples but if you want to truly discover its hidden attractions with your friends, a road trip is the most ideal choice. From traversing amidst breathtaking Thai countryside to exploring pristine caves, rivers and monuments, these roads will take you on the adventure of a lifetime:

Mai Hong Son Loop

The Mae Hong Son Loop is one of Thailand’s most famous and longest motorbike routes, spanning 600 kilometres. Commencing in Chiang Mai, these roads will take you and your travel buddies across the green paddy fields, hidden waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain scenery in the northwest. As you ride past the quaint towns of Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, and Pai, don’t forget to witness the unique culture of Northern Thai tribes and taste the delicious Lanna cuisine. Note that these hilly roads have plenty of hairpin bends and steep climbs so make sure you are well prepared.

Best time to visit: October to February

Highlight of the trip: Mae La Na Cave in the Mae Hong Son Province is Asia’s longest cave, where the Mae Lana stream flows 12 km deep.

Bangkok-Kanchanaburi

If you are deeply fascinated by historical monuments and natural attractions, a day trip from bustling Bangkok to serene Kanchanaburi should be on your bucket list. The City of Waterfalls, Kanchanaburi sits at the confluence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers, forming the Mae Klong River. During the journey, you will witness spectacular waterbodies, lush forests, and three of Thailand’s largest reservoirs. Park your vehicles and enjoy white water rafting, golfing or explore mind-blowing attractions like Srinakharin Dam, Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall, Erawan Waterfall, Mueang Sing Historical Park, Three Pagodas Pass, Wat Wang Wiwekaram, Underwater City, the Bridge of the River Kwae, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, World War II Museum and Art Gallery.

Best time to visit: October to December

Highlight of the trip:  The Erawan waterfall hidden in the Erawan National Park is considered the most beautiful waterfall in Thailand.

Krabi-Phuket-Phang Nga

Owing to its breathtaking routes along the Andaman Sea, the Krabi-Phuket-Phang Nga route is a dream for many road trip enthusiasts. As you begin the ride from Krabi, you and your fellow riders will be greeted by towering limestone cliffs, pristine beaches and vibrant towns lining the picturesque coastal roads. En route to Phuket, there are plenty of opportunities for island hopping, snorkelling, and diving in mesmerising turquoise waters. The journey culminates in Phang Nga, where the famous limestone karsts and hidden caves provide a breathtaking backdrop for exploration with legendary locations like James Bond Island and Hong Island just a boat ride away.

Best time to visit: November to April

Highlight of the trip:  The coastal roads with stunning sea views and the chance to explore the beautiful Phang Nga Bay.

Chanthaburi-Trat

The Chanthaburi-Trat route is a hidden gem on Thailand’s eastern coast. Starting in Chanthaburi, you will be led through lush landscapes filled with tropical fruit orchards and historic gem markets. Heading South, the serene beaches of Chao Lao and the untouched beauty of the Koh Chang Archipelago in Trat await. It is an excellent place to rest up after a long ride and you will find plenty of stops to explore local culture and pristine coastal spots. Don’t forget to try the local seafood and island-hopping adventures before moving on.

Best time to visit: October to May

Highlight of the trip: The tranquil beaches of Koh Chang and the vibrant local markets in Chanthaburi.

Nong Khai

The road trip to Nong Khai offers a peaceful journey along the Mekong River where tranquillity and cultural immersion take centre stage. The route takes you through lush rice paddies and quaint villages, with numerous opportunities to visit ancient temples and local markets. Nong Khai, known for its serene riverside atmosphere and the unique sculptures of Sala Kaew Ku, is an ideal travel destination if you seek a laid-back experience and a chance to explore quaint rural regions.

Best time to visit: All-year-round

Highlight of the trip: The riverside views along the Mekong and the surreal sculptures at Sala Kaew Ku.

Phayao

Phayao will take you on a journey through rolling hills and ancient ruins of Northern Thailand where plenty of adventures lie in store. The scenic Kwan Phayao Lake provides a peaceful retreat and natural attractions like Phu Sang National Park offer glimpses of rare flora and fauna like the Siamese big-headed turtle. Lead your friends or family to witness the last light of the day while sailing to worship the temple in the middle of the lake. Then, drive up the mountain to embrace the thick mist on Phu Langka.

Best time to visit: October to February

Highlight of the trip: The tranquil Kwan Phayao Lake and the historic sites along the way.

Nakhon Si Thammarat-Phatthalung-Songkhla

The route around Songkhla Lake, spanning Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, and Songkhla, is a captivating journey through southern Thailand’s diverse landscapes. Starting from the coastal town of Songkhla, explore long, serene beaches and picturesque islands with your travel buddies. The route offers stunning views of Songkhla Lake and the Gulf of Thailand, with plenty of opportunities to experience local culture and cuisine. Head to the deep caves and find the hidden beauty of nature; enjoy the sight of crystal-clear bays; take a boat trip to the exotic Red Lotus Sea; or cross the longest bridge over a lake in Thailand. This road trip would be perfect for you if you enjoy a mix of coastal scenery and cultural exploration.

Best time to visit: November to April

Highlight of the trip: The long stretches of beach and the scenic views from Tinsulanonda Bridge.

Nakhon Ratchasima-Nakhon Nayok

The road trip from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nakhon Nayok is a journey through Thailand’s rich historical sites and lush landscapes. Ride with your companions to ancient Khmer ruins and the dense forests of Khao Yai National Park. The route offers a mix of cultural and natural attractions, making it a great choice for those who enjoy diverse experiences. Don’t forget to take advantage of the park’s protracted hiking and biking trails and check out its tall waterfalls including the Haew Narok and Haew Suwat, featured in Danny Boyle’s movie ‘The Beach’ which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

Best time to visit: November to April

Highlight of the trip: The ancient ruins of Prasat Hin Phimai and the lush trails in Khao Yai National Park.