elephants at an elephant sanctuary

20 Unusual and Unique Experiences in Thailand

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There are many beautiful things to do and iconic landmarks in Thailand, but here are 20 of the most unusual and unique experiences in Thailand for those travellers looking to do something a little different!

Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is world famous for being a popular (and affordable) tourist destination showcasing some amazing natural sights, famous Thailand landmarks, and delectable food. Visit one of the beautiful beaches such as Patong and Kata beach in Phuket, island hop around Phi Phi, or take some time out to visit one of the many temples spread across the country.

But did you know there is a whole world of strange and unique things to do in Thailand?

Unknown to the majority of tourists, Thailand has a plethora of activities that are very unique to Thailand. These unusual activities are ideal for those that are looking to experience something a little different on their next Thailand holiday. From eating 50-year-old soup to dancing under the stars at a full moon party in Koh Phangan.

So, what and where are these unusual things to do in Thailand? Here are 20 unique places in Thailand worth considering when you are on your next holiday adventure to the ‘land of smiles’.

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Did You Know?

  • Muay Thai boxing, Thailand’s national sport, is known as ‘the art of eight limbs’.
  • Macaque monkeys’ rule Lopburi’s old town neighbourhood, especially during the ‘Monkey Banquet Festival’ in November each year.
  • Deep-fried cockroaches are a popular snack.
  • Thailand hosts the world’s largest water fight called Songkran. Read more about the Songkran Festival here.

20 Unique Experiences in Thailand

Are you planning a holiday and looking for the most amazing experiences and what to do in Thailand? There are many top things to do in Thailand including the lots of Thai famous landmarks, but what are the unique things to do and see in Thailand? Read on to see what makes the bucket list of fellow travel bloggers as unique expereinces and awesome things to do in Thailand.

Baan Dam Museum, Chiang Rai

Recommended by Kenny at ‘Knycx Journeying’

thai temples in a circle with a path through the middle
Baan Dam Temple in Chiang Rai is one of the many unique things to do in Northern Thailand

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Baan Dam Museum in Chiang Rai is one of the many offbeat attractions in Chiang Rai, featuring the unique and incredible work of a national artist, Thawan Duchanee. In contrast to the white temple, Wat Rong Khun, which was an unconventional and striking Buddhist temple created by Chalermchai Kositpipat, the museum is nicknamed the “Black House” – as most of the houses and works in the museum are in black, or dark colors. Before it was turned into a museum, the artists have been working on this site as an art institute since 1975. It was the artist’s purpose to contribute, share his works with the city and make it a cultural learning center in Chiang Rai.  

Baan Dam is in Mueang, Chiang Rai, and the best way to visit there is by hiring a taxi, tuk-tuk, or private driver. The museum operates from 9 am to 5 pm daily, and the entrance fee is 80 THB. The site covers an area of over 160,000 square meters, with a number of buildings scattered from the cathedral, temple, pavilion, to triangle house. While the buildings themselves showcase delicate carvings, designs, bas reliefs, and engravings, they also house artworks and paintings and were made by Thawan Duchanee and other artists collected from the region. It is a unique and worthy experience in Thailand because it is one of the few museums in Thailand that is dedicated to an important local artist. 

Top Tip: Also drop by the Wat Phra Kaew upon returning to the city of Chiang Rai – it is also one of the most important religious sites in northern Thailand and where the Emerald Buddha was found. 

Address: 333​ หมู่ 13 พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านดำ Nang Lae, อำเภอเมือง Chiang Rai, Thailand

Opening Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: 80 THB

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: White Temple & Golden Triangle Day Trip from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Famous Temples Small Group Tour from Chiang Mai

Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls, Chiang Mai

Recommended by Brodi at ‘Our Offbeat Life’

water flowing down rocks surrounded by trees
Sticky Waterfalls near Chiang Mai

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The Bua Tong Sticky Waterfalls near Chiang Mai is one of the prettiest and most unique things to do in Northern Thailand. 

The Sticky Waterfalls gets its name because the falls are fed by a mineral-rich spring. This has added mineral deposits in the water that have made the rocks porous, like a semi-hardened sponge. As a result, the rocks over which the water flows are sticky and grippy, so you can walk on them without slipping! There are some ropes for balance, though.

The trip from Chiang Mai to the Sticky Waterfalls is 60 – 90 minutes, depending on traffic. The falls are about 60 kilometres north of the Old City, up Route 1001. They are located in the Mai Taeng Forest Preserve. The best way to get there is by hiring a local driver or tour guide. 

Admission to the Sticky Waterfall is free and there is generally plenty of parking available. The opening hours of the park are from 8 am to 5 pm daily. The best time to go is on a weekday because the waterfalls are popular with locals on weekends. 

Top Tip: Book a guided tour because most of them include a tasty Thai picnic lunch at the Sticky Waterfalls!

Address: 108 หมู่ 8 Mae Ho Phra, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: Free Entrance

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall and Private Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Tour

Chiang Mai Lantern Festival / Yee Peng Festival – Chiang Mai

lantern in the sky at Chiang Mai Lantern Festival
Chiang Mai Lantern Festival: Image by Leon Contreras at Unsplash

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The Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, or Yee Peng Festival, is held annually in the beautiful city of Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. This festival is unique to northern Thailand, and is Thailand’s second most important festival after Songkran. It really is one of the Thailand festivals in November to experience!

Paying respect to the Goddess of Water, this festival is when locals believe the rivers are filled to their fullest and the moon is at its brightest. This is believed to be the perfect time to ‘make merit’ and set your floating krathong (floating basket) off on the Ping River. Yee Peng is also a festival to worship a Relic of the Lord Buddha, Ket Kaew Chulumaneed, by releasing lanterns into the sky.

The act of releasing or letting go of the lantern and krathong symbolizes letting go of all bad luck, mistakes, ills and misfortunes in the previous year. It is said that if your lantern disappears into the darkness before the candle burns out, you will have extremely good luck that year. However, if it crashes while the candle is still lit, you will have bad luck for the entire year.

If you are planning a trip to the Chiang Mai to celebrate the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival, read our post on the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival and a 4 day itinerary for Chiang Mai to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

Top Tip: Arrive at the location where you plan to participate in, or observe the festival, early on in the day and buy your khom loy (paper lantern) and krathong (floating basket) early in the day to ensure they don’t sell out.

Address: Chiang Mai, Thailand

When: Annually in mid-November: 8 – 10 November, 2022

Duration: 3 days

Entrance Cost: Free of Charge

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Doi Suthep, Wat Umong & Wat Pha Lat Sunrise Small-Group Tour

Climb Dragon Crest Mountain, Krabi

Recommended by Cheryl at ‘Live Why Wait’

views with ocean and islands
The views from Dragon Crest Mountain on Krabi

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Khao Ngan Nak, or Dragon Crest Mountain is in the Krabi province and 20 kilometres northwest of AoNang.  The 3.7 kilometre climb up the mountain is challenging with rutted trails and exposed tree roots to navigate.  

It’s a steep climb that will have you scrambling over logs and boulders, with the occasional rope to help you pull yourself up. And at about the halfway mark there’s a section of stairs, although they’ve seen better days, so be careful.  

This climb will test your fitness but if you make the trek, what awaits you at the top is so worth the effort. The views of the ocean, mountains and valleys from the summit are stunning and some of the best in Thailand.

The start of the trail is at the Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park where you check in with your name, phone number and pay a 200 THB per person entrance fee. It’s a short walk to the entrance where you’ll walk under the sign “Khao Ngan Nak Nature Trail” and you’re on your way.
The best way to get there is by scooter which you can hire for about 200 THB per day. Or if you’re not into scooters, you can hire a Grab or taxi to take you out there.

Best time to visit Dragon Crest Mountain is during the dry season (December – March). The trails are difficult enough dry, and wet trails would be treacherous.  

Top Tip: Give yourself a whole day for this experience. The climb to the top will take around 2 hours and the descent around 1 ½ hours. Once you’ve made the challenging climb take the time to enjoy the view while you catch your breath. Also, make sure you wear good walking shoes and take plenty of drinking water.  

Address: Khao Ngon Nak National Park Office Nong Thale, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand

Opening Hours: N/A

Entrance Cost: 200 THB per person

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Private Dragon Crest Mountain Hike, ATV & Kayaking

Elephant Sanctuary – All Over Thailand

Recommended by Katy at ‘A Rambling Unicorn’

elephants at chiang mai nature park
Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park

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If you’re looking for a unique experience during your visit to Thailand, then be sure to visit an elephant sanctuary. Elephants are the country’s official animal and seeing one in-person is an incredible experience. These gentle giants are highly intelligent creatures that have played an important role in Thailand’s history over the centuries.

While there are elephant facilities and camps all over Thailand, some are better than others. Be sure to do your research ahead of time and find one that treats its animals ethically. Some sanctuaries allow limited interaction with the elephants (such as bathing or feeding) and some only allow visitors to observe them from a distance.

Avoid any camps that allow tourists to ride on the elephants or that force their animals to perform tricks. These are red flags. Remember that just because a place is called a sanctuary doesn’t actually mean that it is one.

For visitors to Northern Thailand looking for a great Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary, Elephant Nature Park (ENP) is one of the best in the area. ENP provides homes for distressed elephants and rescues animals that are disabled or injured. Other reputable Chiang Mai sanctuaries include Burm & Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary, Into the Wild Elephant Camp, and Elephant Green Hill.

Visits to Elephant Nature Park range in duration from a 2-day sleepover (5,800 THB) to a half-day trip (2,500 THB). The sanctuary is located approximately 2 hours away from Chiang Mai but transportation is typically included. The best time to visit Chiang Mai is during the dry season (October-January).

Top Tip: tickets for Elephant Nature Park typically sell out weeks or months in advance during the high season, so be sure to book ahead

Entrance Cost: Elephant Nature Park – half-day trip (2,500 THB) to a 2-day sleepover (5,800 THB)

Emerald Cave, Koh Mook

Recommended by Lauren at ‘Never Ending Footsteps’

white sand beach inside a cave
Beach inside the Emerald Cave

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One of the very best attractions on the island of Koh Mook — if not all of Thailand — is the Emerald Cave.

Part of the lesser-visited Trang islands, the Emerald Cave is a sinkhole on the west coast of Koh Mook that’s accessible only by sea. From the water, the entrance is concealed, giving the impression that you’re in front of a solid cliff wall. 

When you jump into the sea, however – flashlight firmly affixed to your head – you’ll notice a small crack in the rock. Swim through a dark tunnel for a couple of minutes and you’ll be greeted by a spectacular sight. 

A beautiful white-sand beach, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, with turquoise waters lapping at the shore. It’s one of the best beaches in Thailand, but hardly anybody knows about it. 

The easiest way to get to the Emerald Cave is from Koh Mook, where the sinkhole is located.

You’ll pay 800 THB for a longtail boat from Koh Mook, for four hours, and can combine your Emerald Cave visit with excellent snorkelling off the coast of Koh Kradan, as well as a couple of hours on Koh Kradan itself. 

The Emerald Cave is part of Hat Chao Mai National Park, so you’ll pay a 200 THB entrance fee to get in. 

If you’ll be visiting from further afield in Thailand, it is still possible to see the Emerald Cave as a day trip. Longtails run from Koh Lanta, the mainland, and most other nearby islands. 

While the Emerald Cave is open year-round, the best time to visit is during the dry season, between November and March

TopTip: When booking your longtail to the Emerald Cave, tell your driver that you’d like to try to avoid the crowds. The cave can get packed with people during peak times of the day, and you could find yourself sharing that pristine beach with as many as 200 people. 

To improve your chances of having it all to yourself, aim to visit at the start or end of low tide. The cave is only open during low tide, so if you can get there as the passageway becomes accessible, you’ll stand a good chance of avoiding other people. 

Address: Ko Mook, Tambon Ko Libong, Kantang District, Trang, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: 200 THB – Hat Chao Mai National Park fee

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: From Ko Lanta: 4 Islands Snorkelling Tour by Long Tail Boat and 4-Island Adventure Tour to Emerald Cave

Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan

Recommended by Lana at ‘Wallflower in Wanderland’

full moon party sign lit up at night

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The Full Moon Party in Thailand is one of the most infamous parties across the globe. Held on every night of the full moon, this incredible festival-like party is located on Haad Rin Beach on Thailand’s party island, Koh Phangan. Starting at around sunset, the party peaks between 12 and 3am, with some partygoers continuing to dance and drink until past sunrise. 

The Full Moon Party is a one-of-a-kind event that many countries and cities have tried to copy, but none are as famous or as incredible as the original held on Koh Phangan. What started out as a group of backpackers celebrating a birthday in the 1980s, the Full Moon Party now attracts over 30,000 attendees and is a must do on any Thailand bucket list, especially if you love to party. Tradition has it that partygoers must be decorated in UV paint and come sunset, the 800-meter Haad Rin Beach is transformed into an open-air club by thousands of lights displays and sound systems. 

The entrance fee is 100 THB (around $3/£2), so don’t be fooled into paying the ridiculously high tour prices. You can check for upcoming dates and information on the official website.  It’s so easy to make friends in Thailand, and if you plan on staying in a hostel, you’ll be sure to meet lots of other travellers heading over too. If you are looking for a hostel with a great social vibe, and with a great location, look no further than Phanganist Hostel

Top Tip: One of my top tips for surviving the Full Moon Party, is to avoid the fire activities. It should be common sense, but everyone becomes a little more daring when they are intoxicated. As awesome as they look, you should leave it to the professionals. 

Address: Ban Tai, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand

Opening Hours: N/A

Entrance Cost: 100 THB

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan Day Trip by Speedboat and Mu Ko Ang Thong Park Sunset Cruise

Learn to Scuba Dive, Koh Tao

Recommended by Carine and Derek at ‘We Did It Our Way’

colourful fish and coral
Marine Life in Koh Tao: Image by Hiroko Yoshii at Unsplash

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Thailand is known for being a budget-friendly place full of unique and different things to experience. It’s also one of the cheapest places on earth to learn how to scuba dive

An Open Water Course will set you back about $360 USD, 10 fun dives cost $260 USD, while your advanced course will be about $330 USD. In many parts of the world, you can expect to pay over $450 USD for your course and over $120 USD for 2-tank dives. This is why scuba diving in Thailand is such a unique experience to live.

Beyond the cost, Koh Tao is home to a ton of different dive sites and scuba diving schools. If you’re looking for a great one, with fun but very professional staff and high standards, be sure to head to Roctopus

The dive sites here are what make it so unique to Thailand. Expect to see beautiful coral gardens, and amazing marine life. We swam with schools of over 1,000 barracuda and we even got to swim with a whale shark!

Most of the waters around the island are calm with minimal current, making it the perfect place to learn to scuba dive. Although the water here is always warm (between 28-29 degrees Celsius), the best time to go diving is from March to September.

With over 35 dives under our belts, scuba diving in Thailand is still one of the best experiences we’ve had. It’s truly a unique thing to do in Thailand!

Top Tip: Just know that July and August are the busiest times of the year, so crowds are to be expected. While monsoons will reduce visibility in October and November, the rainy season from November to February will also make the diving less enjoyable. 

Address: Ko Tao, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani, Thailand

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Try Scuba Diving 1-Day Experience and Open Water Scuba Diving 4-Day Course

Lopburi Monkey Buffet Festival – Lopburi, Thailand

monkey eating bamboo

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The mischievous monkeys who roam the streets of Lopburi, located 150 km north-east to Bangkok, are honoured with their very own banquet on the last Sunday of November each year. More than 10,000 people, both locals and tourists, flock to San Phra Kan shrine and in Phra Prang Sam Yot shrine, the unofficial gathering point of the local macaque monkeys.

The festival begins with live performances and dances that draw the curious monkeys out. Long tables covered with red tablecloths are laid out with a great variety of fresh fruits, sticky rice, salads and Thai desserts. These are all designed in colourful shapes and patterns to please the monkeys.

Once the banquet begins, more than 3000 long-tailed macaque monkeys who live in the area gorge themselves in a feeding frenzy. Culturally, and according to the local faith, the non-spiritual feast of feeding the monkeys brings good luck to the local townspeople.

Throughout the day, there are also many musical performances featuring the ethnic culture of the region, along with many other fun-filled displays and contests. Expect lots of stalls featuring amazing Thai food and a real carnival atmosphere.

This is one of the most unique November festivals around the world and should be added to your Thailand itinerary if you are travelling at this time of year!

Top Tip: Book your transportation and accommodation well in advance as many locals, as well as tourists, will be travelling to Lopburi for this festival.

Address: Lopburi, Thailand

When: Annually on the last Sunday of November: 27 November, 2022

Duration: 1 day

Entrance Cost: Free of Charge

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Private Car Hire to Lopburi the Monkey City from Bangkok | Ayutthaya & Lopburi Monkey Temple Private Day Trip from Bangkok

Maeklong Railway Market, Maeklong

Recommended by Helen at ‘Destination Differentville’

market along rail tracks
Maeklong Railway Market

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If you’re looking for unusual Thailand experiences, how about a market which has a giant train thundering right through the middle of it, just inches from the stalls and the crowds of onlookers, eight times a day?

This is Maeklong Railway Market also known as the ‘Umbrella Market’ as, at the point when the stall holders know that the train is coming, they lift up their wares and pull back the umbrella shades they use to keep the sun away. The train does its thing, whistle blowing, and within seconds of its passing, the shades go back and things are normal again. It’s an amazing sight to watch and definitely one of the most unique things to do in Thailand.

Maeklong is just over an hour’s drive away from Bangkok, but you can take a number of tours to the railway market from Bangkok city, many of which also go to one of the nearby floating markets.  These ensure you’re at the market at the right time of day to see the train.

Top Tip: The cheapest, and most fun, way to visit Maeklong Railway Market is to arrive on the train itself and then head to the side of the tracks to watch it leave again. For more details on exactly how to do that, check out this guide on how to get to Maeklong by train.

Address: Mae Klong, Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: Free of Charge

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market and Floating & Railway Markets Tour from Bangkok

Mekong River Cruise, Northern Thailand

Recommended by Noel at ‘The Mature Traveler

view of mekong river with pink flowers nin foreground
Mekong River Cruise at Loei, Thailand

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One of the cool and unique experiences to do in Thailand is to cruise the Mekong River that divides the country of Laos and Thailand in the northern borders of both countries.

You can take ferries and day cruises that actually do fun tours along the river or hire out your own long boats to cruise different parts of the river. The mighty Mekong River separates the two nations for quite a distance, but also showcases the unique aspects of townships and landscapes of those particular countries.

The area that I did a cruise was in the Loei district of Northern Thailand and there are many small Thai communities that you can cruise around. This is a great way to spend a day on the river which is quite pleasant to do whilst enjoying the views of the two countries from a river viewpoint.

There are also tours on these long tail boats that are organized through tour groups to visit some of the fun places to stop along the way. They provide a tour of the area and stop at fantastic restaurant venues to enjoy a delicious meal in the area. 

Taking a history water cruise on the Mekong River is a one of a kind experience and you really get up close and personal to what daily life looks like along the river and a lifestyle which is unlike any other part of Thailand.

Top Tip: The ideal time to cruise on the Mekong River is in the dry season which starts in November and ends in April; however, the period which is from November through January is optimum time. Also, don’t forget mosquito repellent.

Pig Island Koh Samui

pigs on the beach at Pig Island Koh Samui
Some of the friendly local pigs on Pig Island near Koh Samui

There are so many unique things to do when visiting Thailand, but did you know you can swim with pigs?

Pig Island near Koh Samui is a popular tourist attraction that draws visitors to its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and adorable swimming pigs. Located off the southern coast of Koh Samui, guests can take a 30 minute speedboat ride to the secluded Pig Beach to interact with these cute creatures.

We have found that the best and easiest way to visit Pig Island is by booking a tour. We recommend this tour because they not only take you to visit and go swimming with the pigs on Pig Island, but also to go snorkelling at Koh Tan. They include a delicious lunch, water, use of snorkelling equipment, kayaks and sunbeds upon arrival at Pig island.

However, it’s important to note that locals take good care of the pigs and visitors are encouraged to respect their natural habitat and not feed them anything harmful.

Whether you’re traveling alone or with family and friends, spending time with the pigs on Pig Island is a one-of-a-kind experience that should not be missed when visiting Koh Samui.

Add Pig Island to your list of must-visit destinations for a unique and fun adventure.

Top Tip: Avoid planning your visit during the monsoon / rainy season (from late-October to mid-December) as the sea can get rough and unsafe for swimming and snorkelling.

Address: Koh Madsum, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: 50 THB per person

Where to Stay:

Sala Keoku Buddha Park, Nongh Khai

Recommended by Baia at ‘Red Fedora Diary’

lots of large statues
Sala Keoku

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Tourists visit Nong Khai mainly to cross the Thai Lao border. But only a few know what gem the city hides. If you are into less-known places to visit in Thailand, come here to explore its Buddha Park.

In Thai, the park is called Sala Keoku and features bizarre and massive sculptures inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism. Neighbouring Laos has a similar park making it one of the best things to do in Vientiane. Both of them were created by a Lao citizen Luang Pu. The first one was erected in Laos, and the second in Thailand, after he escaped because of political matters.

Sala Keoku sculptures are grander and full of fantasy; some even reach 25-meter height, especially the one showing meditating Buddha below the seven-headed snake serving as his protector. With fewer tourists, you can visit it at your own pace and marvel at each sculpture in detail.

Wheel of Life is the most unique and impressive monument representing the life and death of a human, which then lasts permanently unless they enter the Nirvana and succeed in leaving that vicious circle.

Top Tip: To get to the park hire a tuk-tuk as there is no public transport. The driver will wait for you at the entrance and bring you back to the city.  

Address: Wat That, Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: 40 THB per person

Where to Stay:

Songkran / Thai New Year Festival – All Over Thailand

water fight on the street with water pistols
Songkran in Bangkok

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If you are travelling to Thailand in April, one of the most popular April festivals in the world, Songkran, is something to be experienced. Songkran is considered to be one of the best festival experiences to have in South-East Asia. It is a Buddhist festival marking the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year according to the Luna or Solar Calendar. This important Thai festival is extremely popular with both locals and tourists alike, and is a unique and fun way to ring in their New Year. Just be prepared to get soaking wet during this massive water fight!

Traditionally, water was lightly sprinkled on themselves and others (now it comes in the form of soaking people in water). To the Thai, water symbolises plenty of rainfall in the coming year, and the cleansing of themselves of bad things, and also a symbol of fertility.

Today, the tradition of water sprinkling has turned into a massive water fight (the largest water fight in the world) and happens over three days. Anything can be used to splash people such as hoses, ‘Super Soakers’ water guns and buckets filled with icy cold water. April is one of the hottest months in Thailand so being splashed with water is a welcome relief.

Everywhere you look people will be soaking wet, dancing, drinking and having a great time! 

Some of the best places to celebrate Songkran are in Bangkok at the Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

Songkran is one of our favourite Thai festivals and is a lot of fun! Anyone and everyone gets involved in the celebrations. But if you are out and about during Songkran, you are guaranteed to end up soaking wet but with a smile on your face!

Top Tip: Book your transportation and accommodation well in advance as many locals, as well as tourists, will be travelling to the main areas in Thailand.

Address: Celebrated all over Thailand

When: Annually on the 13 – 15 April: 13 – 15 April, 2023

Duration: 3 days

Entrance Cost: Free of Charge

Where to Stay: Check Accommodation Availability Here

Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai

Recommended by Linda at ‘Muy Linda Travels’

thai temple with water in foreground
Sukothai Historical Park

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You’re sure to love visiting Old Sukhothai in Thailand. The beautiful ruins of the ancient Khmer city in the Sukhothai Historical Park date back to the 13th Century and are UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Old Sukhothai was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam for over 200 years and is thought to be the birthplace of Thai culture. Today it’s one of Thailand’s earliest and most important historical sites.

Within the Old City walls are the crumbling remains of 26 Hindu and Buddhist temples, elegant Buddha statues, and a royal palace with canals, lakes and lily ponds that are a delight to discover. The grounds are beautifully kept and quite large. You can explore on foot or hire a buggy or a bicycle to get around. To visit the impressive Buddha statues at Wat Sri Chum and Wat Saphan Hin several kilometres outside the city walls, you’ll need a bicycle or a tuk-tuk.

To see all the attractions in Old Sukhothai, purchase a pass for all 5 zones (350 THB) and aim to spend a day or two exploring.

Old Sukhothai is located in the northeast of Thailand, more than 400 kilometres from Bangkok. To get there, head to New Sukhothai and from the bus station catch a tuk-tuk or a songthaew (local pickup truck) to Old Sukhothai, around 12 kilometres away.

It’s best to stay in Old Sukhothai and there are lots of comfortable accommodation options near the Historical Park. Get out and about early to beat the heat and book a hotel with air-conditioning and a pool. The best time to visit is from November to February.

Top Tip: Visit the beautiful Sukhothai historical park at sunrise or sunset for stunning photo opportunities and unforgettable views of Wat Mahathat.

Address: 3 498/12 Mueang Kao, Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai, Thailand

Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday: 6:30am – 7:30pm; Saturday 6:30am – 9:00pm

Entrance Cost: 100 THB Per Zone or All Zone Pass is 350THB

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Sukhothai Historical Park and Countryside Cycling Tour

Thai Cooking Class, Chiang Mai

Recommended by Alex and Leah at ‘Alex and Leah On Tour

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One of the most unique things you can do in Thailand is undoubtedly to take a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai. It should be on every Chiang Mai itinerary!

Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand and is the biggest and most populous in the region. The city itself epitomised old Thailand through its culture and moat that still surrounds the Old City to this day. 

As the cooking classes are conducted inside, you can really do this any time of the year so long as you’re in Chiang Mai. However, northern Thailand as a whole is impacted by poor air quality between February and April due to the burning season; where farmers burn their land in preparation for the new season. Moreover, the rainy season exists between June and October so if you want all things perfect, visiting between October and January is prime time

The best way of booking any cooking class is through your hostel or hotel which will have numerous brochures for multiple different classes. We’d suggest looking through each of the brochures and deciding which one you fancy depending on what they offer. 

Whilst there are numerous classes you can do throughout the whole of Chiang Mai, Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School was amazing and we’d definitely recommend it. 

Regarding cost, Asia Scenic for example offers a full day at 1,000 THB per person which includes 7 dishes from 7 categories listed whilst a half day is 800 THB per person and includes 5 dishes from 5 categories listed. Included in the price is a pick-up and drop-off service from your accommodation which is very handy. 

Taking a cooking class in northern Thailand is unique because you’ll get to make amazing dishes like Gaeng Hor (Northern Mixed Curry) and Khao Soi (Northern Thai Coconut Curry); if you like spicy food and noodles, the latter is definitely for you! Moreover, with Asia Scenic, Gayle takes you to the local market and shows you all the ingredients you use, what it’s used for and where it all comes from. However, making spring rolls and curry paste was definitely a highlight! 

Top Tip: If you’re keeping to a budget, doing the half day class is ideal as it’s affordable whilst still allowing you to make a number of yummy dishes! 

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: Authentic Thai Cooking Class & Market Tour and Authentic Thai Cooking Class & Farm Visit

Tham Lod Caves, Between Mae Hon Song and Pai

Recommended by Jenoa at ‘The Travel Folk

water inside a cave system

Website / More Info                Directions

Tham Lod Caves are a complex system of three caves in Northern Thailand. Known for its incredible stalactites and stalagmites, this cave complex is over 1 kilometre long. During your visit, you are guided through the caves by locals. You’ll see ancient coffins and pottery, and learn about the people that once dwelled inside these caves over 10,000 years ago.  

One of the best parts about visiting the Tham Lod Caves is taking bamboo rafts along a canal to get between the caves. The experience is quite eerie, but it’s definitely worth it. 

The Tham Lod Caves are located outside the town of Pang Mapha in Northern Thailand. The caves can be visited on a day trip from either Pai or Mae Hong Son and is a stop on the multi-day Mae Hong Son loop.

The easiest way to get to the Tham Lod Caves is to rent your own scooter for the day. Beware, the road is windy and takes you up and down steep terrain. If you aren’t comfortable on a scooter, then you can try to hire a taxi driver for the day either from Mae Hong Son or Pai. With that being said, we were fairly inexperienced drivers and were able to manage the roads pretty well. 

If you plan to drive from Mae Hong Son to the Tham Lod Caves, the distance is 75 kilometres and takes around 1.5 – 2 hours. The distance between Pai and Tham Lod Caves is 50km and takes between 1 – 1.5 hours to drive. 

The entrance cost is based on groups of 1-3 people. To visit only the first cave, the cost is 200 THB / group. To visit the first 2 caves, the cost is 250 THB / group. And to visit all 3 caves, the cost is 500 THB / group. The bamboo rafting between the caves is included in the price. I’d recommend visiting all three caves if you have time.

The best time to visit is during the dry season – from November to early Spring. During the wet season, the caves can fill up with water and potentially become inaccessible. 

Top Tip: If you plan on driving or riding a scooter, plan on some extra time to take breaks and to stop for the beautiful views along the way. 

Address: 107 หมู่1 Tham Lot, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150, Thailand

Opening Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: First Cave Only: 200 THB / group (1 – 3 people), First 2 Caves: 250 THB / group, All 3 Caves: 500 THB / group. 

Where to Stay:

Tubing, Pai

Recommended by Alex and Leah at ‘Alex and Leah On Tour’

tubes on river bank

Website / More Info                Directions

Pai is incredibly easy to get to if you’re coming from the city of Chiang Mai. You can choose to take the twice daily minivan that departs from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike and enjoy the scenic route and winding lanes. 

One of the activities you MUST do in Pai is tipsy tubing. Here, you float along the river Pai in inner tubes whilst enjoying any beverage of your choice. Despite the dirty water and mini-rapids, it really is a fun experience and totally worth spending a couple of hours doing. 

Top Tip: Do NOT wear any swimwear that is white; it’ll be hard to get the stains out! 

The best time to visit is during the Thai rainy season between July and October where the river will be fast but also deeper. Having said that, visiting outside of this season is still highly enjoyable and you’ll still have an amazing experience.

What makes this experience so unique is that you cannot find anywhere else in Thailand that allows this experience. It is a great way to have fun in Thailand!

The best place to book tipsy tubing is on Pai Walking Street, next to the Banh Banh Pun Pai Vietnamese Sandwich. Included in the 200 THB per person ticket is a free pick up, drop off, free water and a small barbecue once you’ve finished your excursion. 

Overall, tipsy tubing in Pai is an utterly amazing, unique experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world!! 

Where to Stay:

Wat Tham Ta Pan / Heaven and Hell Temple, Phang Nga

Recommended by Vidyut at ‘Triplyzer’

strange and scary statues in a forrest

Website / More Info                Directions

When backpacking in Thailand, you will most likely come across a truly unique site known as the ‘Heaven and Hell Temple’. Officially called Wat Tham Ta Pan, it is a unique Buddhist temple located in Phang Nga.

The star attraction of the compound is the sculpture garden filled with gory figures. These are the depictions from Naraka, the Buddhist hell. You literally enter into a dragon’s mouth, passing through a dimly lit tunnel. It opens up to the ground built to resemble Naraka, and here you will find disturbing statues of people receiving punishment from the hands of terrifying beings.

Ta Pan Cave, located on the same grounds, is perfect for cooling off and taking in a moment of silence. Monks and devout Buddhists come here to pray as evident from the Buddhist symbols and statues inside.

Finally, you can stroll in the serene temple gardens with a number of colourful statues of Hindu gods and monks. There is also a viewing platform rewarding you with fantastic views of the bay.

Admission is free but a donation is encouraged for the upkeep of the place. Phang Nga is well connected by public bus from Phuket. Alternatively, you can drive for about 2 hours from Phuket to get here.

Top Tip: Be warned; it is not for the faint hearted and definitely not for children, so plan accordingly.

Address: 79 Thamtapan 5 Alley, Tham Nam Phut, Mueang Phang-nga District, Phang-nga, Thailand

Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm Everyday

Entrance Cost: Free but a donation is gratefully appreciated

Where to Stay:

Suggested Tours: James Bond Island Excursion by Longtail Boat and James Bond Island Luxury Sunset Cruise

Wattana Panich, Bangkok

Recommended by Sarah at ‘Japlanease

large bowl of soup with lady serving

Website / More Info                Directions

You’ll know when you’re at Wattana Panich Restaurant in the Ekkamai area of Bangkok when you see the most gigantic bowl of soup bubbling away in the front of the shop. Now, there are lots of restaurants selling soup in Bangkok, so what makes this one worthy of a mention in a post on unique Thailand? Because, each day, they add a little of yesterday’s soup to today’s mix – a rotation that’s been going on for over 45 years.

Germaphobes shouldn’t panic though, because the soup is boiling continuously, there’s very little chance of anything worrying happening and so, if you wander inside you’ll be treated to a delicious bowl of beef soup.  Admittedly, you’re not going to find white table cloths and ordering can be a case of smiling and gesturing to whatever looks good in the bowl next door, but that’s all part of the fun. Oh, and it won’t exactly break the bank either – at around 150 THB a bowl, Wattana Panich is not only unusual, it’s also one of the best cheap eats in Bangkok too.

You’ll find Wattana Panich on Soi Sukhumvit 63, just past Soi 18. The closest BTS is Ekkamai and it’s about a 20-minute walk from there. It’s best to go for lunch; while the shop is officially open 9.30-7.30pm, if they sell out of soup, they will close early.

Top Tip: Don’t miss the nearby Tuba Bar and Restaurant – if you’re looking for unique things to do in Bangkok, this is another gem full of quirky décor and fun cocktails.

Address: Ekkamai Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand

Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm

Entrance Cost: Free of Charge – Bowl of soup is 150 THB

Where to Stay:

Unique Experiences and Unusual Things to Do in Thailand FAQs

The most crazy and unique things to do Thailand are the following:

  1. Siriraj Medical Museum
  2. Wand Saeng Suk Hell Garden
  3. Wat P Maha Chedi Kaew – The Beer Bottle Temple
  4. The Sathorn Unique – Ghost Tower
  5. Watch a Ladyboy Cabaret Show

The most beautiful places in Thailand are the following:

  1. Cheow Lan Lake
  2. Koh Bon
  3. Koh Phi Phi’s Maya Bay
  4. Su Tong Pae Bridge
  5. San Phan Bok

The most unique places in Bangkok are the following:

  1. The Sathorn Ghost Tower
  2. Airplane Graveyard
  3. Maeklong Railway Market
  4. Khlong Toey Market
  5. Try 45-Year-Old Soup at Wattana Panich Restaurant

The most unique experiences in Phuket are the following:

  1. Harmony Naturist Resort
  2. The Upside Down House of Phuket
  3. Ko Panyi Floating Village
  4. Get a selfie with a plane landing at Mai Khao Beach
  5. Rum Tasting and Cocktail Making Classes at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

In Summary – Unique Places to Visit in Thailand

With so many amazing, unique and interesting things to do in Thailand and experience, you will be spoilt for choice! Whether you’re looking to see spectacular natural landscapes or stunning beaches, or visit sights with historical significance, there’s plenty of unique things to experience when you’re in Thailand.

Are you planning a holiday to Thailand? Have you done any of the Thailand experiences listed above, or have we missed an unusual uniquely Thai experience we should add to this list? Post your tips and questions below.

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Want more info to help you plan your Thailand holiday? Check out all the articles we’ve written on travel in Thailand below and continue planning your trip.

Essential Travel Planning Resources for Thailand

These are our favourite companies to use when we travel to Thailand. They consistently turn up the best deals and offer great customer service, and overall, are better than their competitors. These companies are always our starting point when we need to book a flight, hotel, tour, transportation etc.

Book a Tour:
We mostly travel independently, however, some places are better to visit with a guided tour. We use both GetYourGuide and Viator to find great deals on tours in Thailand.

Always Carry With You:
When travelling in Thailand, we always carry a daypack for excursions and the Lonely Planet Guide.

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