A Tour of Thailand's Most Beautiful Lakes

Thai lake
Thai lake | © gridkr/Flickr
Kelly Iverson

Nothing can compare to Thailand’s immense coastline, chock full of incredible beaches. That being said, those looking for a body of water with a little less salt and fewer tourists should make a trip to one of Thailand’s many fresh bodies of water. Here, a tour of the kingdom’s most beautiful lakes.

Bueng Boraphet

The city of Nakhon Sawan largely remains off the itineraries of travelers making their way to Thailand. Regardless of this, there are quite a few attractions in the city, and one of the most popular is Bueng Boraphet. This body of water is actually the largest freshwater swamp in Thailand. The lake is equipped with statue-still water decorated with lush submersed foliage throughout. Bueng Boraphet covers about 200 square kilometers of land, and is home to some 200 species of both plants and animals. Visitors can rent boats with a guide to explore the lake, otherwise known as the Northern Sea and the Great Lake.

A Baya Weaver at Bueng Boraphet

Thale Sap Songkhla

Songkhla lake

Thale Noi

Visitors heading north from Thale Sap will find themselves at Thale Noi, or Small Lake. The name is comical at best, considering this lake stretches almost as far as the eye can see, with seemingly never-ending water when looking from one shore to the next. The smallest of the three Songkhla Lakes, Thale Noi is one of the most stunning natural resources in Thailand. The lake is graced with thousands of pink and white waterlilies with vibrant golden stems abuzz with bees. To birdwatchers’ delight, visitors can expect to see a number of stunning winged wildlife, including purple herons and cotton pygmy geese if they are lucky. Those hoping to birdwatch should visit from February to April.

Waterlilies on Thale Noi

Nong Han Lake

Not as immense as Lake Songkhla, but certainly as noteworthy is Nong Han Lake. The lake nearly borders Laos, and neighbors Phu Phan National Park and Phu Phan Yon National Park. This fairly shallow lake remains several meters deep all year round; however, it shrinks in size during the dry season from November to March. The lake is surrounded by gradual hills on every side, making for some incredible views no matter where visitors find themselves.

Nong Han Lake

Kwan Phayao

With distant mountains acting as its backdrop, visitors of Kwan Phayao will find themselves in awe of both the lake’s size and beauty. However, the most noteworthy feature is probably the temple that sits half-submerged by the lake’s shimmering surface. Wat Tilokaram, also known as the Sunken Temple, has become a watery home for a number of different plants and animals; because of this, any plans to restore the temple have been postponed due to the environmental impact it would have. Believed to be over 500 years old, this ancient temple has not always been submerged in water. In 1939, irrigation needed improving, and thus Kwan Phayao was created. It is now the largest lake in Northern Thailand.

Kwan Phayao

Pang Ung Lake

Mae Hong Son is a sleepy northern city close to the border with Myanmar. The city exudes beauty and charm; decorated with mountainous terrain and with the stunning Pang Ung Lake located a little over two hours away, this is the perfect destination for those with a passion for exploring the natural world. The route to the lake is a winding one, but the end destination is surely worth the dizzying journey. Do not expect 5-star amenities, as there are only simple homestays and accommodation options, as well as areas where visitors can pitch their own tents. Early-risers are greeted with misty mornings, as this area tends to get a bit chilly, especially from November to February.

Pang Ung Lake
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article