A few days in Bangkok calls for a road trip to explore the surrounding areas. While there is plenty to do in the heart of the city both during the day and at night, there are some pretty amazing destinations just a few hours outside this urban area. From national parks to ancient city ruins, here are the six best day trips from Bangkok.
About an hour and thirty minutes outside of Bangkok you will find Otzki Wake Camp, the ultimate water arena to put your wakeboarding skills to the test. All skill levels are welcome. While wakeboarding can be thrilling, Otzki Wake Camp combines both the excitement of being on the water with peaceful, lakeside bungalows for those who wish to stay at its resort. Bungalows start at ฿1,000 per night. There are also day packages available for ฿2,000, which includes 30 minutes on the water and an organic lunch.
Otzki Wake Camp, +66 (0) 86 994 6883
Just a few hours outside of Bangkok is the historical city of Kanchanaburi. There is no shortage of things to see and do in Kanchanaburi; some of the top attractions include Erawan National Park, Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Death Railway Museum, the bridge over the River Kwai, and much more. You will struggle most with choosing which one of these attractions you want to visit during your day.
Cycle Bang Krachao
If you are looking to escape the city in hopes of getting some fresh air, Bang Krachao is the island to visit. This artificial island is alluring to tourists looking to cycle, which is almost an impossible endeavor in the busy city of Bangkok. Local bike tours have sprung up throughout the island, and tourists can also rent a bike for about $1 for the entire day to explore it via raised wooden paths that weave throughout. You will find Sri Nakhon Kuenkhan Park here. You can rent paddle boats and kayaks to explore its lakes. There is also a floating market on this island on the weekend, which is less tourist-infested than some of the more popular markets in and around Bangkok.
Explore Ayutthaya’s Ancient Ruins
About 70 kilometers north of Bangkok is Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. It was not until 1991 that the ruins in Ayutthaya were designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. Rent a bicycle, motorbike, or pay a tuk tuk driver to take you from one ancient site to the next, each seemingly more breathtaking than the previous. While visiting each and every temple is an exhausting endeavor, especially in Thailand’s heat, this is one of our favorite cities in all of Thailand.
Ayuthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayuthaya, +66 081 900 7442
Visit Khao Yai National Park
A little over two hours outside of the city, you will find Khao Yai National Park. It was established in 1962 and is Thailand’s first official national park, and it is also the third-largest park in the country. There are trails throughout, ranging from 500 meters to 8 kilometers long, making it a great destination for hikers and those who love exploring the outdoors. The trails are quiet in comparison to the busy campgrounds, waterfalls, and viewpoints found throughout the national park. One of the most famous waterfalls in Thailand can also be found here. Haew Suwat Waterfall is about 20 meters tall, and while its beauty certainly does make it popular, a film is what put it on the tourist map: this is the waterfall where Leonardo Dicaprio made his famous leap in the film The Beach.
See Ko Kret
Ko Kret is about 15 kilometers north of central Bangkok. It is here you will find one of Thailand’s oldest settlements of Mon people. Between the 6th and 10th centuries AD, they were a dominant tribe of central Thailand. You will also find many handmade terracotta pots, which are sold all over the artificial island. Like Bang Krachao, it also has a great weekend market, which is less touristy and offers visitors a wide array of fresh flowers, unique food, and souvenirs to browse. The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be sure to visit Ko Kret’s largest temple, Wat Poramaiyikawas, as well. The lack of cars on the island makes it easy to explore on bicycle.