For the uninitiated, a holiday to Thailand may mean nightclubs and bar hopping, booze and cabaret shows – but there is more to this tropical country. Thailand has a host of national parks where you can set up camp and enjoy the privilege of being close to nature.
If you are tired of sheltered experiences in luxury hotels and marble-tiled bathrooms, book a camping ticket to Doi Inthanon National Park and enjoy the experience of being in the great outdoors. Or you can hike to the beautiful Thi Lor Su Waterfall and enjoy rafting and fishing in the gorgeous Maeklong River.
At Korat, there is something unique — the site offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance of camping in a trailer park, on the banks of a breathtaking pond. Brace yourself for an earthy and arduous camping adventure with no wifi or modern amenities.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Experience the joy of camping at the highest point in Thailand! With a formidable altitude of 2565, Doi Inthanon mountain is an unparalleled adventure when in Thailand. The national park houses several waterfalls and an unmissable summit. It is one of the most popular camping sites in Thailand owing to its crystal-clear waterfalls, hamlets and wide range of adventurous jungle trails.
The camping site is at the main headquarters of the park, and you have to pay only 250-500 THB to get basic camping gear. If you are looking for an offbeat experience, hire tents, mats and sleeping bags from the lodges and head to the campground for a starry night under clear skies. The grounds are located in the middle of groves of pine trees, and it is a sheer delight to wake up to the sound of rustling leaves and birds humming.
There are several restaurants located near the campsite, so you don’t have to worry avoid bringing your own food. You can easily get a meal for 40-50 THB here, so it won’t burn a hole in your pocket either. Enjoy a night of campfires and charades with your friends, and get drunk on Thai wine. There is a lot to explore in the jungle around you, and it is a great chance to get up close to nature.
Khao Yai National Park
Wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts call this place a paradise, and for good reasons. The second largest park in Kaeng Krachan, Khao Yai is home to over 200 Asian elephants, and it is your best bet to witness these majestic beasts in their natural habitat.
Not only is camping one of the cheapest ways to explore this jewel in Thailand’s crown, but it also gives you a chance to get close to the wild animals that reside in the lush green jungle. Boasting of housing over 70 species of mammals and 300 species of birds, you are sure to spot the beautiful animals out in the wild.
The great Thailand outdoors can truly be experienced by camping at one of the many sites in the park. With large open landscapes and grasslands surrounding lakes and waterfalls, this park is truly photogenic. Go swimming, follow the trails into the woods, and play with the wild elephants. Enjoy your vacation to the fullest here.
Thi Lor Su Waterfall
One of the most unexplored, untainted, and virgin regions of Thailand is Thi Lor Su. Experience the thrill of camping at a waterfall in the middle of the woods, completely cut off from civilization. Just remember, getting to the waterfalls is quite an arduous task and may require a guide.
The falls are the largest in Thailand, with water flowing through steep cliffs measuring 200 metres and falling over boulders to create a thundering sound that can be heard throughout the forest. Camping close to the falls is a rich and unique experience.
The forest is rife with wild animals like deers and elephants that you will get to interact with up close and personal. You can also go rafting and fishing in the Maeklong River. Unlike other camping destinations on this list, the waterfall is not as crowded by throngs of tourists. So, it is the perfect place to unwind and relax for those of you who just want to get away from the humdrum of city life.
Camp Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai may have exceptional nightlife and raging beach parties, but there is so much more to the city. If you are an adventurous spirit, there are places like Doi Khun Tan National park where you can swim in clear blue waters, hike through lush green forests, and witness the natural splendour of Thailand in all its glory. Chiang Mai is also popular for the best adventure sports and sightseeing in Thailand.
Since the park is not on the radar of regular tourist, you will also get to enjoy some much-needed seclusion and serenity here. Set up camp on the hill and get to witness the star-studded dome far away from the city lights. There are several vantage points around looking over the green blanket that covers the valley and makes you feel as if you have been transported to another world. The National Park is also home to a wide array of wildlife, such as porcupines wild Boars, weasels and Siamese hares. For camping, you can take a tent along with you or book a hut on the hilltop.
Naga Noi Beach Camp, Phuket
The beach camp on Naka Island is owned privately and consists of a total of 5 tents facing the ocean. The camp is only a 10-minute drive from Phuket and offers a stunning and serene site for camping.
During the day, the beach is crowded with tourists, but come dusk and you will have the entire beach to yourself. The camp provides gear for snorkeling and kayaking that is free of charge, if you like to engage in adventure sports.
You can sit on the beach and have a cocktail, witnessing the sunset with its gold, yellow, and orange hues. The tents are spacious, and equipped with sleeping bags, small tables, and power sockets. Bathrooms are shared, and there is complimentary breakfast included in the package.
You can also request for barbecues and seafood, although that will incur extra charges. The cost of camping here ranges from THB 2500-3000.
Camp out Korat
Located just a few hours’ drive from Singapore, the Korat camping site is ideal for people who want to enjoy the outdoors feeling without getting their hands dirty. Also known as Nakhonratchasima, the city is famous for its caravan camping style.
The trailers are parked in the middle of lush green forests and ponds with virgin blue waters, and they offer a whole range of services designed to make your life easy while you are on the grounds. Amenities offered include barbecue dinners, paddle boating, fishing in the pond, dinner under the night sky, and feasting on local delicacies.
There is a restaurant nearby, so you can check out other cuisines too. If you are travelling with your partner, camping at Korat is probably one of the most romantic and intimate things to do in Thailand. The cost of camping here ranges anywhere from 1300-1500 THB.
For the adventurous spirits looking for raw experiences detached from the luxurious stays that have come to be associated with travelling these days, there is no better activity than camping at Similan island.
The island features no hotels, bars or restaurants and there are no roads, motorbikes or cars available. It’s just you and the untainted beauty of the natural world around you. If you are going camping for the first time, this may not be the holiday for you. The tents are basic, and there are no facilities or luxurious amenities, so make sure you are ready for this before making your reservation.
With lush green forests and white sand beaches to explore around you, this is the perfect place to rejuvenate your mind and relax your body. Explore the island to your heart’s content, go on long walks by the beach, enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling, and take speedboat tours around the island. The holiday will be a salve to your weary soul, and you will make memories worth cherishing for a lifetime.
Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park is located a few kilometres from Bangkok, and if you are on a trip exploring Thailand, you will forever regret it if you do not nights camping at this gorgeous park.
Far away from the traffic sounds and concrete building of Bangkok, the park provides a perfect jungle retreat for the weary tourist. Not only is the weather here cooler, but also offers spellbinding views of the falls after which it is named. The falls also form natural swimming pool along the rocks, so do carry your swimsuit.
At a measly price of 150 to 200 THB, you get to experience the joy of sleeping under a clear sky packed with glittering diamonds, wake up to the sound of thundering waterfalls, and go hiking deep into the woods.
The trail up the falls is adventurous and refreshing, with various pools on the way where you can take a relaxing dip in the cold water. Don’t forget to carry a camera along, because you will want to relive the moments again and again.