Khaosan Road (Thanon Khaosan, ถนนข้าวสาร) is a true backpackers sanctuary with many reasonable priced hotels. Prices between 20 and 50 Euro/dollar are not uncommon. Backpacking doesn’t mean you have to live without the luxuries of life. Some of these hotels even have a swimming pool at the rooftop ! Since Bangkok is ranked among the warmest capitals on earth, this is a welcome amenity to get used to the climate of South East Asia.
Rice terraces in Thailand
Rice terraces are known from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand is lesser known for growing rice in terraces on the slopes of hills.
The most famous place with rice terraces in Thailand is Ban Pa Pong Pian บ้านป่าบงเปียง (sometimes spelt as Pa Pong Pieng or Ban Pabongpiang ), Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai province. It is located in the mountains on the western side of Doi Inthanon national park in the proximity of Chiang Mai city. Rice fields are very beautiful (green) during the rain season. Please be warned that the unpaved roads on the county side may turn in a big muddy and slippery affair. Bringing a vehicle that can handle these though conditions is recommended. Due to it’s remote location it is a great option to experience off-the-beaten path Chiang Mai, and its full natural beauty away from the tourist crowds.
The floating raft resorts of Kanchanaburi
Staying in a hotel that floats on the water can be done at several places in Thailand. The two most popular places to go are Khao Sok National Park and Kanchanaburi Province. Kanchanaburi province is only a few hours from Bangkok and therefore very popular. The floating hotels at the banks of the river Kwai are very well known among tourists. Most likely due to the 1957’s classic war movie ”Bridge over the river Kwai”. In Bangkok you can find many companies offering short trips to Kanchanaburi that include one ore more nights at a floating hotel. Far lesser known is the Srinakarin Lake. This lake was formed after the building Thailands third largest dam; the Srinagarind Dam (also known as the Srinakarin Dam) on the Kwai Yai River. The dam was built in order to avoid floods and to ensure water and electricity supply to the area’s residents. On this lake you”ll also find a lot of floating hotels. These are mostly visited by Thai people. Some even have only a name in Thai alphabet. Probably due to the larger distance to Bangkok and usually the need of private transport this lake is often overlooked by foreign tourists.
The following list contains only the hotels, guesthouses and resorts that have a website, Facebook page or other online presence. Many resorts are 100% floating accommodations and hotel facilities. Others have both floating raft houses and bungalows on the river banks. The websites, YouTube movies and Facebook pages behind the links in this article are very often in Thai language only.
List with floating raft house resorts in Khao Sok National Park (Cheow Lan Lake).
There are 15 or 16 different floating house parks on the Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park. They function as remote islands on the fresh waters between the lime stone cliffs. Electricity is usually generated by diesel engines and solar panels. Supplies need to be transported by boat. Wi-Fi and mobile phone network are often not available. Many resorts offer their guests only a mattress on the floor instead of a real bed. So don’t expect too much luxury and relative high prices here. But its all worth it.
The list with floating bungalows aka raft houses are clockwise from the Ratchaprapa dam. Here is a parking area, a souvenir shop, tourist information point and a pier from where most resorts pick up their guests by long tail boat.