There’s always a sense of awkward FOMO every time a long weekend rolls around and you haven’t made any plans. Those smart enough to book in advance always end up in Phuket or Samui, and those who got caught up in work never realised Monday or Friday was a day off. But it needn’t be that way. These 7 road trip ideas near Bangkok will give you that much-needed getaway without too much hassle or advance planning.
Ranging between 30 minutes and 4 hours drive time, these road trips are fun and easy to do from Bangkok, and are ideal for the 3-day weekend ahead of us this October. We’ve paired each destination with a boutique hotel that’s worth checking out, for a weekend trip with plenty of character. Read on and get inspired for your next big ride out of town.
[Hero and Featured Image Credit: MASON Pattaya]
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Granted, this one is hardly a road trip in its classical sense, but if you’re not one for long drives, it may still give you that out-of-town feeling. A “hidden sanctuary” by the Charoenkrung art space ATT19, The Cocoon opened earlier this year as a cool and contemporary boutique hotel in Samut Prakarn. Combining, nature, art, and design, head here to unwind (i.e. take plenty of naps), read books, and simply switch off for a few days.
[Image Credit: @247journeyy/Instagram]
Whether you wish to head to Ayutthaya to make merit or merely eat river prawn, the ancient and historical city is always worthy of a visit. Baan Pomphet is a relatively new addition to the boutique hotel scene here, serving as the backdrop for many Ayutthaya ‘grams. Well-known for their restaurant and family-style rustic cuisine, you’ll get to enjoy river views and the beauty of the hotel’s namesake, the Pomphet Fortress nearby.
Are you more of a beach person? Pattaya is just about the closest major beach to Bangkok, so why not take a road trip to MASON? The villa-only boutique hotel is admired for its unique design by award-winning architect Vasu Virajslip, and is located on Na Jomtien beach. You’ll get to witness the Pattaya skyline to your right, and a local fisherman village to your left, as well as Angsila, the unique community of local rock carvers and artisans nearby. Contemporary and cool, with a touch of culture.
Was there a destination trendier than Hua Hin during the partial lockdown? It feels as if Bangkokians have fallen in love with the (formerly) pretty sleepy beach town again, and have been flocking there ever since. We’ve got our eye on Putahracsa for a boutique stay this time, a 67-room and villa property with a natural design ethos. You can have dinner right on the beach or sit in the bakery reading books all day. It’s a popular hangout for weekenders and locals alike.
Hua Hin too mainstream for you? Head a little further south, and check out the more private Pranburi. More and more travellers are discovering this even quieter beach town, with several hotel chains starting to set up camp. Aleenta is one of the originals here, featuring 25 private villas and suites to enjoy — each with a stunning view over the Gulf of Thailand. Romantic for couples, and fun for families, too.
Maybe you want to immerse yourself in nature, but don’t want to wave goodbye to luxury amenities just yet. Head to Kanchanaburi and stay at Tara Villa if this sounds like your jam. Located on the riverside of Kwai Yai, the resort is ideal for larger groups who wish to stay in private villas together. Between private pools and in-room afternoon teas, this calming and minimalistic resort is the amalgamation of nature and comfort.
If you’re not a beach person, maybe you’re a mountain (or valley, rather) person. Head to Khao Yai to explore Khao Yai National Park by day, and farm-to-table cuisine at Roukh Kiri by night. The villa-only resort opened just last year, and boasts a barn-inspired design. Take a dip in the saltwater pool, explore the vegetable garden, and enjoy farm life in all its glory here.
If you’re down for the journey, Koh Samed is definitely worth visiting for a road trip out of Bangkok. Paradee is a well-known all-villa resort here, located on a tropical hillside that overlooks the beach. Providing over 100sqm of living space, it’s a great place to go for those who like their space. You could hide away on the beach or in the lush gardens, though the massive bathtubs are definitely our favourite spot.