Thi Lo Su Waterfall
Reaching over 800 feet tall and almost 1,500 feet wide, Thi Lo Su Waterfall is the largest waterfall in Thailand. While you can’t bring your own vehicles into the waterfall’s park site, you can take local transportation close to the falls. From the drop-off, there’s a 30-minute trek through the jungle to reach Thi Lo Su, but it’s more than worth the journey.
Phang Nga Bay
Located in Phuket, Phang Nga Bay is a breathtaking natural phenomenon. Made famous by movies like The Man with the Golden Gun, visitors are mesmerized by the countless limestone karsts emerging from crystal turquoise waters. Renting kayaks or paddleboards is the easiest way to explore small caverns and unexplored nooks to where boats can’t venture.
Phae Muang Phi Canyon
Once a sacred location to the ancient villagers of Toong Hong, Phae Muang Phi Canyon is now a popular tourist destination, offering rock shelves almost 100 feet tall. This natural wonder was created by the erosion of sandstone over time, which created a dynamic landscape with different shapes, heights, and carvings. In addition to the canyon, the park is comprised of many nature walks, trails, and gardens with rare plants native to the northwestern region of Thailand.
Red Lotus Sea
Officially called Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake, this at times normal old lake transforms into a most spectacular and magical sight during the cooler months (November to February), when it’s blanketed in rose-colored lotus flowers in full bloom. The only way to truly soak in its beauty is to take a boat ride (narrow channels in the flowers allow boats to move through with ease).
Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat
Approximately a two and a half-hour drive from Chiang Mai, Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat is the perfect example of humans incorporating nature into breathtaking structures. Over a decade ago, monks discovered the beauty of these mountains and decided to dedicate them to the 50th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s claim to the throne. Many call this area the home of the floating pagodas, as monks built religious Buddhist temples and shrines on top of the mountain peaks. More impressively, the monks built these structures by hand, walking each piece of building material up the mountain.
Mae Hong Son
On the northern border of Thailand close to Myanmar, lies the city of Mae Hong Son. Considered a remote destination and made for travelers wishing to seek out their next adventure, this lakeside city offers varied and incredible jungle treks. Mae Hong Son houses the famous Namtok Mae Surin National Park, so guests can wander to the ‘Nam Hu Hai Jai Cave and the Mae Surin Waterfall.
Bua Thong Waterfall
Known to locals as the Sticky Waterfalls, the name comes from the grippy, almost spongelike texture of the rocks which allows for Spiderman-like climbing—unlike most other slick and slippery falls. A calcium-rich spring at the top pours over the rocks to create the grippy texture and prevent algae from adhering. There are five different levels of waterfalls to climb, as well as nature trails, picnic areas, and natural pools located throughout the park site.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Made up of the Himalayan mountains, dozens of waterfalls, various hiking routes, and its very own flower garden, Doi Inthanon National Park encompasses every potential manifestation of natural beauty. Since the mountain is located in the Chiang Mai region, it’s fitting that the mountain is named for the last king of Chiang Mai, King Inthawichayanon. It is also named for the tallest mountain in the range (and the entirety of Thailand), Doi Inthanon.
A favorite location of many backpackers and travelers heading to northern Thailand, Pai is home to many hot springs, mountains, and (most notably) canyons. The journey to Pai from Chiang Mai is four hours of winding roads through Thai jungle and countryside. If stopping on your journey to visit local hot springs, make sure to test the water, as some can be scalding hot and unswimmable. Once in Pai, you’ll notice the calm “hippie” vibe of expats and locals versus the crazy and hectic chaos of the other Thai cities.