Have you ever wondered what you should do if you find yourself in Thailand? Often, we immediately think of beaches and shopping, and why not? Thailand’s beaches are some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the world! And shopping here is a different experience altogether! Nevertheless, did you know that there’s so much more to this fascinating country? If this is a question you’ve already thought of, here are 5 other sites you must visit on your next trip to Thailand that aren’t related to beaches or shopping!
Right in the heart of Khao Sok National Park, is the almost mystical Cheow Lan Lake that seems to have come right out of the movie The Avatar. Submerged trees, mountains dressed in lush green forests, limestone islands, and abundant wildlife, this lake is picture-perfect and is one of the most serene places you’ll ever visit. You can either visit for a day or stay in one of the floating eco-houses around the lake.
The lake was formed only in the 1980s along with the formation of the Ratchaprada Dam to provide electricity to neighboring areas, to control flooding, and to help with irrigation and fishing. Though a well-known destination amongst the locals, Cheow Lan Lake opened for tourist activities only six years ago with strict regulations to preserve its wildlife and unspoiled nature.
You can go kayaking, climb waterfalls, birdwatching, explore trekking, and occasionally bump into animals that are free to roam the area.
Literally translated into the Wilderness Temple of the Great Glass Pagoda, the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known as the Temple of a Million Bottles, was built by Buddhist monks to help reduce pollution in the local community. Mostly built with beer bottles Heineken, and local favorites Chang and Singha, the main temple alone took two years to complete. The monks from this temple have no plans to stop, as more bottles are being sent to them, they plan to keep building, and as of 2009, there were 20 buildings built with bottles— a prayer room, bathrooms, water tower, and houses for the monks to live in. This eco-friendly construction saved the monks a lot of money and helped clean up the local area.
Located in Erawan National Park, the 12th National Park in Thailand, the Erawan Falls is a 7-tiered- waterfall that is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. While access to the waterfalls gets more difficult as you go higher, each tier is as beautiful as the next one with crystal-clear emerald waters. Due to its famed beauty, the falls attract a lot of crowds every day, however, the higher you go, the fewer people you’ll find— it’s definitely worth the climb.
One of the most mysterious and magnificent locations in Thailand, Phraya Nakhon cave, is found at Sam Roi Yot National Park, not too far away from the coastal area of Hua Hin. Phraya Nakhon Cave is not easy to reach. After about a 40-minute drive to the local village, you need either hike for 30 minutes or choose a quick boat ride to Monkey Island, where you will need to trek up to find the passage of the cave. This is not your average cave though, for its inside is not dark nor is it dead. It is filled with vegetation and sunlight cascading down into a pavilion where previous kings rested while visiting the cave.
While the journey is no doubt exhausting, it will also give you some of the most beautiful views of the national park’s mountains and beaches.
Among the 127 National Parks in Thailand, Pang Sida is unique for one reason— butterflies. This national park is home to around 400 different species of butterflies that gather in hundreds and sometimes even thousands! The park and the local province annually hold a butterfly-watching festival around May or July, the best time to watch butterflies. If you’ve always dreamed of hearing thousands of butterflies flap their wings, this is an experience you shouldn’t miss.
As beautiful as the beaches are, maybe it’s time to explore the country’s other treasures.
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