bangkok weekend getaway

Best Weekend Getaways from Bangkok

Last Updated on 19/06/2024

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Staying or living in Thailand and looking for the best weekend getaways from Bangkok? Bangkok is a wonderful city to visit and it is also a fantastic base to have to plan weekend trips from Bangkok to other areas of Thailand.

Weekend Trips from Bangkok

There are so many places to visit outside Bangkok, many of them are just 2-4 hours travel making these the best short trips from Bangkok to do for a weekend getaway from Bangkok or some of them even a Bangkok day trip.

Having lived in Bangkok for 5+ years, here are all the best weekend trips from Bangkok to experience jungles, beaches, history recommended by me during my experiences of travelling Thailand.

Weekend Getaways from Bangkok – Nature

As a big, bustling, metropolitan city, people spending lots of time in the nation’s capital often want to have a Bangkok weekend getaway somewhere green and get into nature. Here are the best things to do outside Bangkok if you are craving nature and greenery.

Weekend Trips from Bangkok – Khao Yai National Park

One of the all time best short trips from Bangkok is to spend the weekend in the jungle, away from the bustle of the city. Khao Yai National Park is one of Thailand’s oldest national parks. If you love nature and the wilderness then, this is the one of the best weekend trips from Bangkok to do. Inside the National Park you can see wild elephants, monkeys, gibbons, snakes, porcupines, deer and many more of the amazing wildlife in Thailand. From Bangkok to Pak Chong (the park’s nearest town) it takes approximately 2 hours making this a great place to visit outside Bangkok for a Bangkok weekend getaway full of nature. For my full Khao Yai National Park guide, read my article here.

best weekend getaways from Bangkok
Visiting waterfalls inside Khao Yai National Park – one of the best weekend getaways from Bangkok

Weekend Trips from Bangkok – Kanchanaburi Province – River Kwai

Another wonderful Bangkok weekend getaway is to head to Kanchanaburi province. Full of magical waterfalls, a jungle filled national park, historical landmarks and floating bungalows, Kanchanaburi is one of the best getaways from Bangkok. There is so much to explore in Kanchanaburi province that you will most likely spend a couple of weekend trips from Bangkok to this area. If you want some nature things to do outside Bangkok then stay on a floating bungalow on the River Kwai and sign up for SUP or Paddleboarding, a peaceful and relaxing cruise down the river Kwai.

Weekend Trips from Bangkok to Erawan Waterfall Kanchanaburi

One of the best weekend trips from Bangkok is to explore Kanchaburi, particularly the Erawan waterfall. Visit these stunning, blue coloured waterfalls with 9 steps inside Erawan National Park. Around 45 minutes by car from Kanchanaburi, bring a picnic and spend the afternoon swimming in stunning pools, cliff jumping and getting back to nature. You can swim at most steps of the Erawan falls. It is also possible to visit the Erawan waterfall as a Bangkok day trip but it will entail a lot of travel time.

Bangkok day trips
Bangkok Day trips: Swimming in blue waterfalls in Erawan National Park

Kanchanaburi is about 3 hours drive from Bangkok via car, minivan or for a more relaxed pace take the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi making it a great Bangkok weekend getaway.

Weekend Getaways from Bangkok – Elephant Rescue Centre

If you want to get up close and personal with elephants in an ethical animal experience in Thailand, then check out I Love Phants lodge. At just 2 hours from Bangkok and 1 hour away from Hua Hin, the I Love Phants lodge is the perfect weekend getaway from Bangkok if you love animals. It is a wonderful way to experience wildlife, by giving your money to a rescue centre that truly helps animals – Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. It is one of the best weekend getaways from Bangkok if you want to experience the animals of the jungle with a little luxury. You can view elephants while in the swimming pool enjoying a cocktail. For my full guide to staying at I Love Phants for a Bangkok weekend getaway then read this article here.

places to visit in Thailand near Bangkok
Sitting on the edge of the swimming pool at I Love Phants

Best Weekend Getaways near Bangkok – Beaches

Visiting the beaches near Bangkok is a popular weekend getaway from Bangkok. While the beaches are perhaps not as pristine and the water not as clear as beaches in the South of Thailand or East of Thailand, you can still find beautiful white sand beaches and some clear water on beaches near Bangkok. Some of these are mainland beaches and some of them are islands near Bangkok. Note that when travelling for a Bangkok weekend getaway you will need to take into account boats such as ferries or speedboat transfers to the islands which can make the travel time longer.

Weekend Trips from Bangkok – Beaches near Bangkok

One of the most popular beaches near Bangkok to visit for those that live in Bangkok is Hua Hin. Hua Hin is a huge, long stretch of beach to the South West of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand. Hua Hin is a fairly developed area with many different hotels and villas to stay in on or near the beach. Near Hua Hin there are activities to do like water parks, shopping, markets and nearby national parks.

Bangkok day trips

Bangkok Weekend Getaways – Koh Samet

Koh Samet (also spelt Koh Samed) is one of the best islands to visit in Thailand near Bangkok. It is very popular with Bangkok residents so can get busy at the weekends and on long weekends. It is a great Bangkok weekend getaway because it is one of the closest islands to Bangkok. To travel to Koh Samet takes approximately 2 hours from Bangkok and then a speedboat (30mins) or ferry (45mins). Koh Samet offers a range of accommodation from budget to high end and one of the best beaches near Bangkok, Ao Prao beach. If looking for luxury stay at Ao Prao resort or check out Tubtim Resort for cheaper beach bungalows.

Bangkok weekend getaway to Koh Samet
Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet – the best island to visit near Bangkok

Best Weekend Trips from Bangkok – Koh Lan

Koh Lan is another island to visit in Thailand near Bangkok. It has one beach that is more beautiful than the others and is easily accessible by boat from Pattaya making it easy to get to for a Bangkok weekend getaway for island lovers. It has a whole host of different accommodations for all budgets. Sometimes this island does cater to large groups of Chinese tourists but this is less of an issue post covid.

Getaways from Bangkok – History

There is so much history in Thailand that is often overlooked in favour of Thailand’s beaches. From the ruins and temples of Ancient Siam, to World War II history there are many historical places to visit in Thailand.

Best Getaways from Bangkok – WWII History

Another reason to visit Kanchanaburi is for the historical sites in Thailand. Spend time visiting the Death Railway museum and nearby cemetery to learn about the Prisoner of War camps under the Japanese army during World War 2. Take a walk along Hellfire Pass which is war thousands of soldiers and workers suffered terrible conditions while being forced to build a railway linking Thailand and Burma. There is an extended walk you can do along this route which is peaceful and looks into Burma. Visit the Hellfire Pass memorial museum for lots of information which is not generally shared such as the fate of the Romusha, Asian workers tricked into forced labour who suffered alongside POWs. Walk across the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and take a train along the route the POWs and forced labourers built. This can also be done as a Bangkok day trip.

Weekend Trips from Bangkok to Lopburi

A great weekend trip from Bangkok is to head to the famous monkey town of Lopburi. Taking just a few hours on the train this makes Lopburi a great weekend trip from Bangkok and it can also be done as a Bangkok day trip.

Lopburi is famous for its monkeys – friendly macaques that the locals feed regularly and who live in and around the ancient temples. It’s all slightly off the tourist trail which might be a welcome sight for many. I recommend collecting a map of the different temples from the temple opposite the station and deciding on where to visit. Most temples you can visit are walkable and there are certain ones that are home to huge families of macaques. Please be aware of not feeding the monkeys any food that is not natural for them. They also will grab your sunglasses or anything else in range so be careful.

If you feel like renting a scooter then you can access the gorgeous sunflower fields (seasonal around November- January) and the Peacock temple is worth a visit as well. Along with the birds there is also a great viewpoint if you feel like some exercise up many stairs.

lopburi bangkok day trip
Monkeys in one of Lopburi’s temples

Weekend Trips from Bangkok to Ayyuthaya

Just an hour from Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayyuthaya is one of the many wonderful places to visit in Thailand near Bangkok. Ayyuthaya is the ancient capital of Siam and is home to many historic temples making this an interesting and cultural Bangkok day trip or weekend visit. Head to this ancient temple town by train or minivan from Bangkok. Rent bicycles and enjoy cycling around and soaking in the culture of these ancient temples and a former capital of Siam. Don’t forget to try the favourite local dessert roti sai mai – kind of like a rolled up candyfloss.

Bangkok day trips
The ideal cultural Bangkok day trip: explore the ruins of Ayutthaya

Best Getaways from Bangkok – Flying

It is definitely possible to visit Southern Thailand from Bangkok for a weekend by flight with low cost airlines.

Best Getaways from Bangkok – Krabi

The flight and journey from Krabi to Ao Nang is such a smooth and efficient route that it is definitely possible to visit Krabi as a weekend getaway from Bangkok. Ao Nang is around 30 minutes from Krabi airport making it a great place to visit in Thailand on a weekend trip from Bangkok because it does not take long to get settled into a hotel from the airport. For my full Ao Nang guide and where to stay and activities to do in Krabi check this article out.

If you don’t fancy the lively area of Ao nang then I recommend Tubtaek for a beach stay and it’s really close to a great hike to a viewpoint too.

Read my article here for the different areas to stay in Krabi. 

Best Getaways from Bangkok – Phuket

If visiting Phuket for a weekend getaway from Bangkok, it is wise to consider which area of Phuket you will explore as it is a huge island. One option is to stay in hotels near Phuket airport and experience the planes coming overhead at Nai Yang beach. Alternatively be prepared to travel further in Phuket. A personal favourite is to stay in between Kata and Karon beaches to be able to easily spend time on both beaches.

Bangkok Day Trips

Bangkok Day Trips – Whale Watching

Just outside of Bangkok you can see huge Bryde whales on a whale watching Thailand experience. Entering the Gulf of Thailand to feed on anchovies these gentle giants are incredible and a must see for anyone who loves wildlife and marine life. Wildlife Encounters Thailand offer weekly trips on their boat. During certain times of year it is also possible to see the endangered Irawaddy dolphins in Thailand. Contact Wildlife Encounters to find out what animals have been seen recently and to book your trip. Read more about what to expect from whale watching in Thailand for more information about seeing whales near Bangkok.

For more about other wildlife in Thailand, read this article

Bangkok day trips
A Bangkok day trip that was a whale of a time!

Bangkok Day Trips – Water Parks

Water parks are a great Bangkok day trip and a fun day out. There are many, in the direction of both Pattaya or towards Hua Hin. I loved Splashdown, near Pattaya. It is more of an inflatable obstacle course, this brightly coloured water park will have you and your mates running around behaving like big kids, plus a few beers!

Bangkok day trips
Big Kids Day out in Splashdown – funnily enough no-one made it all the way across these giant floating obstacle courses on our Bangkok day trip.

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8 thoughts on “Best Weekend Getaways from Bangkok”

  1. Thank you for such a great and comprehensive list!
    I’ve never visited, but do wish to go to Bangkok one day – I’ll be keeping all this in mind :)

    1. well I hope it inspires you! Bangkok is such a great base! :) Hope you are loving it here as much as I am!

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