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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.
Weekend Trips from Bangkok – Kanchanaburi
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.
If you want to understand and educate yourself about Thailand’s war history then Kanchanaburi is a historical place near Bangkok for a weekend trip, where you can learn about World War 2 history, visit museums, the Death Railway, Cemetery and Hellfire Pass.
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.
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 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.
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.
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Getaways from Bangkok – History
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.
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
Bangkok Day Trips
Bangkok Day Trips – Whale Watching (seasonal Aug-Nov)
Only two hours from Bangkok, the enormous Bryde whales can be seen! Entering the Gulf of Thailand to feed on anchovies these gentle giants are incredible and one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in Thailand. Wildlife Encounters Thailand offer weekly trips for 2500 baht including transfer from Bangkok and lunch on the boat. An amazing day out and still possible post covid in 2022.
I have recently been on this trip twice to see both the Bryde whales and Irawaddy dolphins in Thailand and absolutely love this day trip from Bangkok.
I have a whole blog post dedicated to whale watching in Thailand so please read here for more information about seeing whales near Bangkok!
For more about other wildlife in Thailand, read this article
A weekend trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
An interesting and cultural Bangkok day trip or weekend trip to experience some Thai history. Head to this ancient temple town, one hour by train or minivan from Bangkok. Rent bicycles cheaply and enjoy cycling around and soaking in the culture of these ancient temples and a former capital of Siam. Don’t forget to try my favourite dessert roti sai mai – kinda like a rolled up candyfloss.
Best Weekend Trips from Bangkok: Kanchanaburi
If you are interested in World War II history, then Kanchanaburi is a must visit as a weekend or slightly longer trip from Bangkok. Tourists come here to see the bridge over the River Kwai and understand more about the dark history of this area where prisoners of war were held by the Japanese during World War II. It is quite far for a Bangkok day trip but I have done it before in one day. I recommend staying one night though. Two hours by car/minivan or a little longer on the train.
Weekend Trips from Bangkok to Erawan Waterfall
You can combine this with a Bangkok day trip or overnight stay from Kanchanaburi. 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.
Beaches near Bangkok – Hua Hin
One of Bangkok’s nearest beaches and very big for kite surfing, this is definitely possible as a Bangkok day trip or weekend getaway. A large stretch of yellow sand beach for hanging out on and a wide range of accommodation is on offer here. Swimming is not always recommended as there are jellyfish lurking! Cha-am is another beach stop just before Hua Hin. You can take minivans or the slow train to either place from Bangkok.
Bangkok Weekend Trips: Water Park
Water parks are a great Bangkok day trip and a fun day out. There are many both towards 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!
Where are your favourite places for a Bangkok weekend getaway? I’m always looking for more inspiration!
8 thoughts on “Best Weekend Getaways from Bangkok”
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 🙂
aw thanks for your comment! Please do visit Bangkok! It’s great and Thailand has so much to offer! 🙂
Thanks for the suggestions I haven’t been to most of these places 😊
well I hope it inspires you! Bangkok is such a great base! 🙂 Hope you are loving it here as much as I am!