No drone, no problem! Whichever province you visit in Thailand there is almost certain to be at least one viewpoint where you can get a birds-eye view of the landscape. We’ve chosen a mixture of locations across Thailand to highlight some of the country’s most spectacular viewpoints. While most of them require a bit of legwork to reach the viewing point, this is all part of the experience and makes for a great holiday workout. And as you can see from these photos, the view at the top is ample reward for the effort you put in. For those of us who aren’t as young or as fit as we once were, we’ve also included a few viewpoints which can be reached with minimal walking. Shown here in alphabetical location order, check out our suggestions for 21 of the best viewpoints in Thailand.
1) Ang Thong National Marine Park
Ko Wua Talap viewpoint, Ang Thong National Marine Park
This viewpoint is on Ko Wua Talap, one of the 42 islands that are part of the gorgeous Ang Thong National Marine Park in the Gulf of Thailand. The easiest way to reach Ko Wua Talap is on a tour from nearby Ko Samui or Ko Pha Ngan. Most tours will also include a stop at another photogenic viewpoint, the Emerald Lake on nearby Ko Mae Ko.
King Power MahaNakhon, Bangkok
Rising 314 metres above the Thai capital, the King Power MahaNakhon building is home to the highest observation deck in Thailand. With an indoor and outdoor viewing area, this is the place to visit for incredible 360 degree views of Bangkok. A state of the art express lift takes you to the top in no time and with a handy location adjacent to the BTS Skytrain at Chong Nonsi, this is one of the easiest to reach viewpoints on this list. It’s also good to see that the observation deck has wheelchair access.
3) Bueng Kan
Hin Sam Wan (Three Whales Rock), Bueng Kan
Situated in North-East Thailand, Bueng Kan is the newest province in the country. Previously part of Nong Khai province, Bueng Kan is home to the natural wonder of Hin Sam Wan (Three Whales Rock), When viewed from above, the origin of the name becomes clearer with the ancient rocks taking on the appearance of three whales swimming in a sea of green. The top of the rocks provide impressive views over Bueng Kan and out towards the Mekong River and Laos. From the park headquarters at Phu Sing, a 4-wheel drive truck will take you most of the way to the top and then it’s a short walk along a trail to reach the different viewing areas.
Read more ideas for what to see and do in Isaan
4) Chiang Mai
Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai
Standing at 2,565 m (8,415 ft) high, Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand. Located in Chiang Mai province, a visit to Doi Inthanon National Park is a popular day trip from the city of Chiang Mai. The best views can be found below the summit on the various walking trails near the magnificent Royal Pagodas.
5) Chiang Rai
Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
If you visit Chiang Rai province there are a number of viewpoints to visit. One of the most famous for Thai people is the mountain top at Phu Chi Fah to witness the early morning sea of mist. More convenient to reach for visitors without their own transport, the Golden Triangle at Chiang Saen is a good choice. Located on the banks of the Mekong River where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar converge, the area was infamous in the past because of the cross-border drugs trade.
Khao Dinsor, Chumphon
The highest spot in Chumphon is also one of the best locations in the country for birdwatchers. Between September and November, birds of prey on their migratory path between the northern and southern hemisphere fly over Khao Dinsor. Whatever time of the year you visit, Khao Dinsor provides a lovely vantage point of the coastline below. And while you’re in the Chumphon area, make time too for Khao Matsee viewpoint and impressive views of the Chumphon estuary.
Khao Chang Puak, Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi may be best known to overseas tourists for the Death Railway and wartime sites, but it’s also an area of outstanding natural beauty. Make the trip out to Thong Pha Phum National Park and hike along the trails at Khao Chang Puak. Daily visitor numbers here are limited and you’ll have to make arrangements with the National Park HQ in advance, but this makes it all the more rewarding when you do get here.
8) Ko Adang/Ko Lipe
Chado Cliff, Ko Adang
The lovely little island of Ko Lipe is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday amidst the gorgeous scenery of Tarutao National Marine Park. Do make time on your holiday for the short boat ride across to neighbouring Ko Adang. Follow the signs behind the National Park HQ to the walking trail that takes you up Chado Cliff. There are three different viewpoints here to be enjoyed, so even if you find the going tough you can stop after the first one. The two higher viewpoints do involve clambering over rocks in a few places so it’s best to wear trainers or shoes with some grip rather than flip-flops.
9) Ko Nang Yuan
Ko Nang Yuan viewpoint
No visit to Ko Tao is complete without visiting neighbouring Ko Nang Yuan, a trio of islands connected by slivers of soft sand. A relatively easy walking trail gets a little more strenuous at the very top, but worth the exertion for spectacular views of the three interconnected islands.
10) Ko Samui
Jungle Club, Ko Samui
While some of the viewpoints on our list require a lot of walking, Jungle Club on Ko Samui is one where a car can take you to the top. There is also the added bonus of being able to relax on the decking with a cold drink and good food as you savour the views of Samui. If you don’t mind a little bit of exercise, seek out the viewpoint overlooking Lamai Beach which can be found close to Hin Ta and Hin Yai (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks).
11) Ko Tao
John Suwan viewpoint, Ko Tao
The hills of Ko Tao offer up a number of scenic viewpoints. Arguably the most impressive is John Suwan viewpoint on the southern tip of the island. Hike along the trail behind Freedom Beach and enjoy sublime views over Chalok Baan Kao Bay and Thian Og Bay.
Wat Tham Seua, Krabi
If you’re visiting Krabi try to take time away from the beach for a trip to Wat Tham Seua. Located just outside Krabi Town, the temple makes for a great way to experience local culture and enjoy dazzling views at the same time. It’s a challenging walk up the 1,237 steps to the top, but worth the sweat for the panoramic views at the hilltop pagoda. Wear comfortable clothes, but this is a religious site so no matter how hot you are, please dress modestly and respect local culture. If you’re adventurous you can also find two other notable viewpoints in Krabi; Dragon Crest Mountain (Khao Ngon Nak) and the viewpoint above Railay Beach/Phra Nang.
Skywalk at Phu Khok Ngio, Chiang Khan, Loei
A new glass walkway opened in 2020 in the Chiang Khan district of Loei province in North-East Thailand. Jutting out from Phu Khok Ngio hill, the walkway provides glorious views over the confluence of the Mekong and Hueang rivers. At around 2 metres wide and 100 metres long, the glass walkway isn’t for the faint-hearted, but a memorable experience for those who can overcome their fears. Stay in the charming riverside town of Chiang Khan and relax into the charms of Isaan life. This is actually the second glass walkway in Isaan with another to be found in Nong Khai (see #16 below).
14) Mae Hong Son
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, Mae Hong Son
No trip to Mae Hong Son town is complete without a visit to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, the hillside temple that sits above the provincial capital. Mae Hong Son is known as the ‘City of Three Mists’ because of the morning mists that can be seen during each of the three seasons; cool season, hot season and green season (wet season). If you visit the temple in the morning there’s a good chance you’ll be able to watch the valley below slowly transform as the temperature rises and the mist and low cloud starts to lift. From the front of Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, there are glorious views over Mae Hong Son city and the mountains beyond. Take a walk round to the coffee shop and viewing areas behind the temple for more panoramic views of the Mae Hong Son mountains.
Wat Phuket, Pua district, Nan
Without doubt one of the most scenic provinces in Thailand, Nan is always a pleasure to visit. And this area of North Thailand proves that there are definite advantages to travelling during the low season when the chance of rainfall is higher. The trade-off is that travelling in Nan during July to October allows you to really appreciate why this time of year is also known as the green season with the countryside and rice fields looking resplendent. You’ll find lots of different viewpoints dotted around Nan province, but one of our favourites is at Wat Phuket at Bang Ket in Pua district. Cars can drive up to the temple where a viewing platform provides expansive views over the rice fields below and the mountains of Doi Phu Kha National Park behind.
16) Nong Khai
Wat Pha Tak Seua, Nong Khai
Opened in 2016, the glass walkway is a striking addition to the hilltop temple of Wat Pha Tak Seua. Extending from the cliff, the walkway is an ideal vantage point for views of the Mekong River and out towards neighbouring Laos. Located in Nong Khai province, this was the first walkway of its kind in Isaan, but has now been joined by the glass skywalk in Loei (see #13 above).
17) Phang Nga
Samet Nangshe viewpoint, Phang Nga
Located to the north-east of Phuket in Phang Nga province, the Samet Nangshe viewpoint provides magnificent views over Phang Nga Bay. Although the amazing seascape at Phang Nga Bay with its limestone karsts was made famous in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun, the series of viewpoints at Samet Nangshe were said to have been discovered in more recent years by a Thai photographer. The area has subsequently added more infrastructure making it easier to reach and there is also an option for overnight camping.
18) Phi Phi Island
Phi Phi Don viewpoint
For picture-postcard perfect views of Phi Phi Don, make the short hike up the hill from Tonsai Village. There are three different viewpoints to be enjoyed here with panoramic views of the twin bays of Tonsai and Loh Dalum below. The route to the viewpoint is well sign-posted and not too strenuous so you don’t need to be super-fit to reach the top.
Karon viewpoint, Phuket
For Phuket, we’ve selected the Karon viewpoint and the view of three of the island’s west coast beaches. From this viewpoint you can see Kata Noi, Kata and beyond that, Karon Beach. Also visible is the island of Ko Pu just across from Kata Beach. The hills of Phuket provide a number of photo opportunities for views over the island with equally impressive views found at locations including the Big Buddha, Promthep Cape on the southern tip of the island, and Khao Rang in Phuket Town.
20) Prachuap Khiri Khan
Khao Daeng viewpoint, Prachuap Khiri Khan
If you’re travelling to Hua Hin, don’t miss the opportunity to visit nearby Sam Roi Yot National Park where you can get a fabulous view of the area at Khao Daeng viewpoint. Stretching out below you can see the Prachuap Khiri Khan coastline, mountains, villages and shrimp farms. Sam Roi Yot National Park is a great location for nature lovers and as part of a day trip can be combined with a visit to Phraya Nakhon Cave and Royal Pavilion and also to Kui Buri to see wild elephants in their natural habitat.
Ko Kam Tok, Laemson National Park, Ranong
Situated on Thailand’s Andaman Coast, Ranong often gets bypassed by tourists who opt instead for the better known destinations of Phuket and Krabi. But as you can see from this photo of Ko Kam Tok in Laemson National Park, Ranong is home to some idyllic islands. If you’re looking to see more of ‘Unseen Thailand’ on future visits to the country, take a look at Ranong.
If you do embark on any of these hikes or walking trails, be sure to wear suitable footwear and keep hydrated. Use sun protection and even on a cloudy day, don’t underestimate the effects of the tropical sun.
Have you visited any of these viewpoints on your travels in Thailand? What would be top of your list? Follow @fanclubthailand on social media and share your stories and photos with us.