Credit: The Travel Intern
March 2022

Time to get out of your comfort zone (and away from the crowds)!

Bangkok, Phuket and Krabi have amazing shopping, gorgeous attractions, and endless things to do. But instead of visiting the same places over and over again, how about going somewhere new? 

These hidden gems offer unique experiences that are perfect for a weekend retreat. Plus, they’re not as crowded as the usual Thailand destinations!

If wandering through floral fields, camping in the clouds, or visiting the ‘Grand Canyon’ sounds good to you, check out these offbeat places in Thailand: 


1) Khao Kho

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Khao Kho is just a six-hour drive from Bangkok, but it might as well be a world away. The so-called ‘Thai Alps’ is high up in the hills, and looks like heaven on earth. 

Mornings are especially beautiful in mountainous Khao Kho. You’ll wake up to the chilly morning air and enjoy a delicious breakfast in the clouds! 

Also be sure to visit the Wat Phra Thad Pha Son Kaew temple, with a breathtaking five-Buddha statue gazing out at the mountains.


2) Mae Hong Son

Photo credit: Tourism Thailand


Nestled in North Thailand’s high mountain ranges, Mae Hong Son is an ideal nature retreat. Enjoy the fresh air as you wander through sprawling rice fields and admire the tea plantations. 

For more excitement, head to Pai, just a two-hour drive away. This lively town is filled with outdoor adventures — think gushing waterfalls and rivers perfect for tubing. Have a good soak in the natural hot springs after your action-packed day!


3) Koh Tao

Photo credit: Tourism Thailand


Koh Tao is a scuba diving paradise, with clear turquoise waters and dramatic reef landscapes. It’s even earned the name ‘Turtle Island’, thanks to its vibrant population of Green and Hawksbill turtles. Divers have also seen stingrays, barracudas, and on some rare occasions, whale sharks! 

Besides diving, you can also choose to take a boat trip around the bays, or go on an island hike. There’s also ample opportunity for eco-tourism, like volunteering to feed turtles or do reef cleanups. 

The marine paradise transforms into a party capital at sunset. Koh Tao is known for its epic nightlife, with pool parties, chill bars, and stage performances! 


4) Ubon Ratchathani

Photo credit: Tourism Thailand


The sights in Ubon Ratchathani are so surreal, it’s hard to believe you’re still in Thailand.

Located in the Mekong River, this giant rock reef is etched with 3,000 holes, creating a truly otherworldly landscape.

Another must-see is the Wat Phra That Nong Bua Temple, filled with towering gold-and-white structures and unique, intricate details. The peaceful grounds are perfect for a late-afternoon stroll. Do visit the pond sanctuary and feed the fish for good luck! 

As the sun sets, head to the Wat Sirindhorn Wararam Temple, which is decorated with phosphorescent paint. Once darkness falls, the temple grounds start to glow in a blaze of light!


5) Khao Yai

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Step into Europe without ever leaving Thailand! While just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, Khao Yai is unlike anything else in the big city. 

Wander through colourful floral fields and pose for pictures with gigantic sunflowers! Or put on a costume and explore Khao Yai’s very own Hobbit House. The area is also known for its sprawling vineyards, perfect for kicking back with a glass or two!


6) Trang

Photo credit: Tourism Thailand


Trang is a great alternative to Phuket’s crowded beaches. This underrated beach getaway has pristine white sand beaches and sparkling waters. 

The best way to spend time in Trang? Hop on a ferry to explore the surrounding islands. These peaceful sanctuaries don’t have many tourists, and each island offers a unique experience. 

Go rock climbing at Ko Lao Leang Nong’s high-rise cliffs. The island also offers fantastic snorkelling, with rich marine life and pretty coral reefs. 

Or head to Ko Libong, where you can spot dugongs, an endangered species. These large, graceful mammals feed on the seagrass fields surrounding the island. 

For epic sight-seeing, head to Ko Muk. Besides its pretty beaches and vibrant restaurant scene, Ko Muk is also famous for the majestic Emerald Cave, named for its beautiful jewel-coloured sea. 


7) Hua Hin

Photo credit: Santorini Park


Beautiful Hua Hin is one of those destinations that seems to have it all.

Nature lovers can escape to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, home to the stunning Phraya Nakhon Cave. Meanwhile, shoppers can have a blast at the bustling Cicada Night Market, or Seenspace, a beachfront shopping mall. 

For a scenic getaway, visit Santorini Park, just a short drive from Hua Hin. Here you’ll find the iconic white-and-blue buildings, along with coastal cafes and colourful amusement rides. With its chill vibes and gorgeous Grecian architecture, it’s an idyllic slice of island life. 

There are also more eclectic things to do, like visiting a Shiba Inu cafe or a kooky animal farm! 


Image credit: The Travel Intern


Ready to see a new side of Thailand?

UOB Cardmembers can enjoy a variety of travel deals, with up to 15% off accommodation bookings with Agoda, and Expedia or up to S$50 savings on Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) bookings, with Klook or If you’re looking to rent a car to explore your destination, get up to 20% off Avis Car Rental or Budget Car Rental. Last but not least, don’t forget the Travel Insurance!


Don’t have a UOB Card? Find the right credit card for all your needs here.


Select country :