Back on the Road: The Ultimate Southern Thailand Explorer Itinerary
There has never been a better time to explore your own backyard. This summer, with adventures in faraway lands on hold, destinations on home turf beckon. A narrower horizon doesn’t have to translate to a limited variety of experiences, however. Thailand residents are particularly lucky in that respect, with a wide range of natural attractions, cultural richness, or gastronomic adventures on their doorstep.
As an alternative to mini-staycations and extended weekend getaways, a week-long road trip around southern Thailand, from Bangkok to Phuket via Hua Hin, promises the entire family a much-needed break from the daily grind. Change of scenery aside, the therapeutic value of checking into some of Thailand’s most luxurious resorts and allowing yourself a spot of pampering shouldn’t be underestimated.
As you drive out of Bangkok on this Southern Thailand tour early in the morning, gaze upon rustic countryside vistas with a stop at Phra Nakhon Khiri historical park. A quick cable car ride deposits you among the birdsong and monkey calls, while the museum pleasantly surprises with some excellent period furniture.
Hua Hin Beach
Hua Hin’s days as Thai royalty’s playground might be behind it, but the seaside destination has successfully rebranded itself as a family-friendly beach paradise. Spend a few days exploring lively markets or hit the waterparks if feeling in the mood for thrills and spills.
Ask the team at Anantara Hua Hin to assemble a gourmet picnic basket for dining on the road and continue towards the south via Sam Roi Yot National Park to explore the caves and freshwater marshes.
Sam Roi Yot National Park
Nam Tok Ngao National Park
Stop at the laid-back Baan Krood beach for a quick dip, visit a shrimp farm in Chumphon, and, time permitting, explore Nam Tok Ngao National Park in the picturesque Ranong province. Evergreen forests, flowering orchids, imposing mountain ranges and an abundance of waterfalls await. If you only have time to see one, make it the spectacular The Ngao Waterfall.
The Mojito Factory at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort
Pool Villa at Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort
From here, you have a number of options. Continue towards Phuket to enjoy the white sands of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, the lush nature of Sirinat National Park and the iconic Thalong road and its famous market.
Beach at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort
Or travel by ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan where the all-villa Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan resort promises both adventure and indulgences. If Samui’s buzzing beaches is more your cup of tea, you could do worse than make a private pool villa at Anantara Lawana on Chaweng Beach your base; with special family packages available to book now. A visit to Chaweng’s hottest new day club, SEEN Samui is a no brainer.
A Hua Hin encore
On the way back, stop at the often overlooked Khuraburi. A speck of a town, the market community offers a roadside gateway to the Surin Islands and some of southern Thailand's best community-based tourism opportunities. If you want to prolong the adventure by a day or two, Hua Hin is a great spot for topping up your batteries before getting back in the whirl of the country’s capital.