Thailand is full of colour and diversity. That much is obvious at first glance, and has inspired tons of film, music, and even apps. With movies like the Hangover 2 popularising the kind of debauchery the capital is known for, there is much more to Bangkok, and indeed the country as a whole. From the offshore islands of Koh Mah and Koh Kood, to the southern peninsula destinations like Trang, Koh Phayam, Khao Sok national park and Koh Kraden (Ngai), there is so much more than you will find in a two page brochure on the country.
Why wade through crowds of sex-tourists in Bangkok when you can be on the cutting edge of the less popular and less populous areas that are rich in culture and natural beauty? This off the beaten path tourism is the kind of travel that not only inspires the young to leave their country and explore a place like Thailand, but serves as the breath of life for many creative endeavours across many media. With that in mind, let us take a look at the kind of travel one should go out of their way to find, if only because it has served as brain food for cultural creatives the world over.
Well off the radar of the major guide books, this is part of chain of islands known as the Koh Chang chain that you will have to bust out the magnifying glass to spot on the map. Off the eastern gulf of the nation, the tropical sunsets, fisherman boats, and palm trees are the kinds of things that you can only find in movies or online games such as travel themed slots at Euro Palace. Get away from crowds and discover unspoilt beaches at Koh Mak.
While not quite the Koh Samui beaches or Ko Phi Phi Leh, those places are more frequented thanks to the popularity the film brought it. For a place that has recently seen more tourists since the construction of a high speed ferry and five star resort, this is still a relatively uncommon getaway that evokes images of Weezer’s smash hit, Island in the Sun. Why Koh Kood then? For the diving at Koh Rang national park, rainbow coral, and clear azure waters, of course.
Khao Yai National Park
For those near Bangkok, this UNESCO-protected site has forest and mountains as far as you can see. The star of the show is Haew Suat, one of the highest national waterfalls as depicted in the Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Beach.