Ten of the Very Best Backpacking Routes in Thailand

Are you planning a backpacking or walking holiday in Thailand? If you are I think these ten routes you are about to see are the best you can do. Some of them are perfect for beginners and others are for much more seasoned backpacking professionals. Now we have packed our bags, lets get on with those ten amazing routes…


Bangkok to Siem Reap - Best Backpacking Routes in Thailand

Bangkok to Siem Reap

At just over 80 hours of backpacking, this is one of those routes you will need to plan ahead, especially if you plan to use the local bus routes. While it is a little direct for some it does take in some of the main tourist routes and is often considered to be one of the safest to use.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

If you want to take in all the culture of Asia without going to some of the risker depths of the jungles you can always take this route which is directly along the Tonie Sap Lake leading to some of the most amazing hill-top views you will ever see.

Ho Chi Minh Saigon to Phnom Penh

This route not only make good use of a ferry, but you also get to cross countries. There are a few alternative ways to go with this route which are the north and south routes. The northern one takes in Chrey and Tay Ninh and the Southern route takes in some of the better tourist locations like Neak Loeung and Krong Svay.

Ho Chi Minh Saigon to Siem Reap

This is one route that only seasoned backpackers should consider walking and takes in 455km of some of Thailand’s biggest cities. But what better route to take when you end up taking in the sights of the Tonlé Sap Lake and relaxing with some drinks. It will make you wish you could turn around and walk it all again.

Siem Reap to Sihanoukville

This is one of those routes that again has two main routes. The norther one going around the Tonie Sap lake is the more scenic of the two, but going south through the Phnum Samkoh wildlife sanctuary is a route that is not only beautiful, but it takes in many of Thailand’s most beautiful jungle making you feel more in tune with the local culture.

Kampot to Phnom Penh

If you only have a week or so why not take this direct route that stays on the main routes, but still manages to make you feel like you are seeing the real Thailand. The best thing about this route is the choice of hotels and dorm rooms you get to stay in along the way. You are sure to meet some interesting people in at least one of them.

Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville

This route is all about the hard slog along the main roads, but the big reward by ending up in Sihanoukville. Just imagine all those long days walking, only to end up on the beachfront with a nice glass of wine (or 3). It would be the perfect end to a rewarding journey.

Koh Rong to Sihanoukville

While it is a short route some say the ferry ride here is the highlight of any Thailand backpacking holiday. The best thing I can suggest here is to make sure you book the ferry ride ahead as at peak times it can get very busy and the last thing you need is to be disappointed or worse not be able to get back (if you are staying in Koh Rong).

Koh Rong Salome to Sihanoukville

This route again requires you to get a ferry (make sure you book ahead), but what I like about this one is that you can do it in a day trip and still have enough time to take in all the sights and sounds of Sihanoukville, while still managing to head back to the peace and tranquillity of Koh Rong Salome.

Chau Doc to Phnom Penh

And last but not least I have chosen a route that is perfect for people new to backpacking in Thailand. While you can take the direct route here it is far better to stick to the Mekong River and enjoy some of the sights and sounds there. You can also do this via the boat rides there and really take in some of the local cultures. If you have enjoyed backpacking in Thailand and have a better route than those featured here do let me know in the comments below.

Author: Gus Barge

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