Welcome back to another weird and wonderful places in Thailand. Our first article covered another 15 weird and wonderful places in Thailand. If you missed it, you can read it HERE.
Pu Chi Fa Forest Park (Thoeng)- Pu Chi Fa, without a doubt, offers visitors the most breathtaking views of the Thailand sunrise. That being said, this venue is also quite off the beaten path. If you happen to be staying in Chiang Mai, the easiest way would be to get with one of the local tour companies and have them take you. They will drive you to the hiking point and drop you off, from there you can walk the rest of the way to the top.
There is a car park for individuals who decide to drive themselves. The car park has several different little vendors that sell trinkets and odds and ends.
From the car park, it is about a 15-25 minute walk up the hill (only about 760 metres). Having the greatest sunrise views in all of Thailand obviously makes this a very popular tourist destination in the mornings. If you aren’t into groups of tourists, it is far better to wait for the sun to come up (as that is when the tourists all disappear).
Sam Phan Bok- The Thai Grand Canyon (Ubon Ratchathani)- During Thailand’s dry season, the waters of the Mekong River withdraw and uncover a truly amazing landscape.
Sam Phan Bok translates to 3000 holes and that is exactly what the receding waters uncover. The landscape is fascinating and the holes are all different shapes and sizes. People always end up playing the shapes game with the holes and trying to determine what it is that they look like.
There is no entrance fee to Sam Phan Bok but there are guides and trucks that you can hire to drive you around and to lead you on the hike through the rocks. (Some minor climbing may be required). You can hire a truck for around 200 baht and they will show you around the area.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew- Beer Bottle Temple (Sisaket) – This gorgeous gem of a temple is not only an epic feat in craftsmanship and architecture but in beer drinking as well!
The temple was built in 1984 when the local monks got tired of seeing all of the rubbish around the area. Locals were encouraged to bring their empty beer bottles to the monks to build a temple complex. The beautiful brown and green glass of the nearly 1.5 million beer bottles that make up the temple is quite a sight to behold.
Koh Hin-Ngam – A small uninhabited island just off of Koh Lipe that is both beautiful and creepy. The entire island is made of smooth black and white rocks. The only way to access it is via a hired boatman from Koh Lipe.
Upon first glance of the beautiful stones that cover the island, your first instinct will surely be to grab a souvenir to show all of your friends back home. While in most places you can typically pocket a small trinket or stone with no repercussions, these stones are all believed to be cursed.
Legend tells that the stones are protected by the god of Tarutao (the creator of the stones) and anyone who dares to take a stone from the island will suffer a lifetime of bad luck. Sure, there are some people out there that don’t believe in curses and omens. One interesting note is that the national park office that oversees the island receives dozens of stones every year via mail, sent back by tourists who no doubt were trying to improve their luck by sending the cursed stones of Tarutao back home.
Sra Morakot – Emerald Pond (Krabi) – If you are the kind of person that appreciates nature and a little hike every now and again, you may find your utopia at Sra Morakot.
Sra Morakot is about 54 km from Krabi and offers a gorgeous nature walk through 1.4 km of green rainforest trails and past thermal springs and pristine lakes. If you happen to go on a hot day, you are able to take a dip in the pool.
One of the most popular sights at Sra Morakot is the blue pool. While you cannot swim in this particular pool, it is a gorgeous thermal pool with absolutely clear water that is worth a view. The downside to Sra Morakot is that typically it is extremely crowded with Chinese tourists. Right now actually may be a good time to visit as there are no Chinese tours running due to the Coronavirus threat in China.
Thi Lo Su Waterfall (Umphang)- The waterfall is beautiful but the real fun is in getting there. Thi Lo Su is located in the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary. It is Thailand’s largest waterfall, spanning over 5 football fields. Though it is a popular tourist destination, it is actually quite off-the-beaten-path.
The nearest city to Thi Lo Su is Mae Sot (about 204 km). Once you have reached Mae Sot, there are baht buses that depart hourly from the Mae Sot bus terminal.
If you aren’t a budget-wary traveller and are comfortable driving yourself, you can rent a car at the Mae Sot airport and drive yourself. Either way, the trip could turn out to be 4-6 hours from Mae Sot (especially if your baht bus has several stops along the way). You will be required to leave the vehicle at the park HQ and jump in local transport to take you the rest of the way.
The lower pools of Thi Lo Su waterfalls are often crowded with tourists cooling off. Adventurers will find plenty of trails in the area, however, to include some that lead up to the higher level pools, which are often less populated.
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (Tha Yang)- Animal lovers, this one is for you. The WFFT wildlife rescue centre cares for injured, confiscated and neglected wild animals. The centre is a fully-equipped wildlife hospital that cares for gibbons, wild cats, bears, birds, reptiles and elephants.
The best way to visit the WFFT in Tha yang is to schedule a day-trip from Bangkok, Cha-am or nearby Huahin. It is suggested that you allow yourself at least 3 hours to fully explore and take in the foundation but you will more than likely wish you had more than one day here.
WFFT has volunteer options that open up from time to time but they fill up quickly so be quick. Visitors can feed the elephants and wander around while taking in the scenery and enjoying the sights of the wildlife doing their thing.
There are so many cool things to see and do at WFFT that you may never want to leave so leave some extra time set aside just in case.
Mummy of Luang Pho Dang – Wat Khunaram (Koh Samui)- It is said that at the age of 79, Luang Pho Dang predicted his own death. He told his followers prior to it happening that if his body were to decompose upon his death, to cremate him, if not, to put him on display to serve as an inspiration for future generations to follow Buddhist teachings.
When you look at the mummy of Luang Pho Dang, it is as though he just passed a few months ago. Thais believe that the reason for his preservation was that he died during a deep meditation after not having eaten or drank anything for a week up to finally dying in 1973 while he was still 79.
This is a very active temple and it is important to make sure you dress appropriately. The mummified monk is highly revered and hundreds of Thai locals, foreigners and other monks come to offer their prayers and blessings. Visitors are recommended to act accordingly. Not sure what the rules are at a Buddhist temple? Read up on them here: Good Things To Know Before Visiting a Buddhist Temple
Red Lotus Sea (Udon Thani)- Ever dreamed of boating on an endless sea of beautiful flowers? The Red Lotus Sea is the place to do just that. The best time to visit, however, is during the water lily blooming season from December to February.
There are several different areas to walk and bicycle around the area or boats should you decide you would like to be out in the middle of it all. Visitors can catch amazing sunrises from the lake so it is recommended that you visit before the sun comes up. This is a “take your camera” destination that offers tons of gorgeous photo opportunities of Mother Nature at her finest.
The Red Lotus Sea is about a 40-45 minute drive from Udon Thani city centre but there are a number of paid public transportation options to get you where you want to be from Udon Thani.
Sook Station – Prison Hotel (Bangkok) – For travellers that are on the hunt for something unique, Sook Station (Pronounced “Suk”) may be just the ticket. The prison-themed hotel has everything your inner-criminal truly desires, down to the striped pyjamas.
Guests can choose from a variety of barred cells, to include bunk-bed rooms for the wee ones. It is stated on the Sook Station website that some rooms may require you to share a bathroom (just an important note).
Guests also can enjoy an indoor/outdoor co-working space, an event space and a gathering space for food and drinks. This is a hotel experience that you won’t forget anytime in soon, or maybe ever.
Check out this video of Sook Station by Culture Trip:
La-lu (Sa Kaeo)- A small farming village in the Ta Phraya District of Sa Kaeo. The unique thing about La-lu is its unusual and almost alien-like natural land formations.
Wind and rain erosion has caused much of the hard-packed clay in the area to be washed away, leaving behind formations that can only be described as something from another planet.
It is difficult to miss La-lu as there are many signs posted around the area that will lead you to the car park. From the parking, it is about 1 km to the first of the interesting landscapes.
Visitors can hire one of the tractors in the area and they will take you around to the important areas of interest. The prices to the different sites vary as some of the larger ones are much further away than the others. It is a good thing for the farmers in the area as it provides them with a supplemental income.
Keemala – Tree House Resort (Phuket) – Keemala Resort is the closest thing that you will find to a “fairy-tale” resort in Thailand. Keemala overlooks the Kamala Village and the Andaman Sea from a beautiful Thai rainforest setting.
The accommodations they offer are taken straight out of a storybook. Guests can choose between gorgeous clay pool cottages, or if you are a little more nomadic at heart, perhaps one of their stunning tent pool villas is more to your liking. If being a bird has always been a dream of yours, the tree pool houses or bird’s nest pool villas situated high up in the trees may be more your style.
No matter which room style you choose, you will feel like you stepped away from the real world and right into something magical. Keemala is the perfect place for honeymooners and couples looking for a longer escape.
Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn (Bangkok) – By far one of the most famous and photographed temples in Thailand. Wat Arun is beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain and features a soaring 70-meter-high spire.
The temple is quite easy to find and while it is not as large as the Grand Palace in Bangkok, many people believe it is a site just as worthy of a visit. Wat Arun offers phenomenal photo opportunities, so make sure to bring a camera.
Other places to visit near Wat Arun are Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace is not that far away and well worth a visit as well.
Sai Ngam Banyan Tree (Phimai) – What may look like an entire grove of trees is actually a single tree. That’s right, this banyan tree is 350+ years old and spans an area of 1,350 square metres. While it isn’t the biggest in the world, it is the largest banyan tree in Thailand.
Visitors can stroll casually stroll along under beautiful naturally-formed arches that the tree’s top has created. The gnarled roots have somewhat of a “dark forest” feel about them. Regardless, the banyan tree is the perfect place to relax, walk around, take in the scenery or perhaps take a bicycle ride.
Make sure to take plenty of pictures, you may never see a tree this large again, plus it will definitely get you some social media cool points.
This concludes 15 Weird and Wonderful Places in Thailand Vol. 2. We hope we were able to introduce you to a few places you weren’t aware existed and hopefully now you can add some new things to do to your list. For more great Pattaya and Thailand, related articles visit us on the web at PattayaUnplugged.com