Nature spots in Thailand that resemble Japan
After being restricted in our homes for months during the pandemic, taking a trip abroad feels just like heaven. However, many countries require visitors to go through extensive quarantine periods, while some others still have tourist bans.
So, we’ve got another idea for us to “travel overseas” without having to leave Thailand at all. Here are 10 stunning nature spots in Thailand that look just like Japan you can visit in the meantime – all are less than 3.5 hours away from Bangkok by car.
1. Rimtara Camping
Looks like: Konashidaira Camping Ground
Image credit: Rimtara
For many of us, the best escape from the bustling city is a peaceful nature retreat, like camping in a quiet forest.
Just 3 hours from Bangkok, Rimtara Camping in Ratchaburi gives us the same experience without having to spend hours climbing hills or trekking through the deep jungle.
Image credit: Rimtara
Like Konashidaira Camping Retreat in Japan, Rimtara has a natural stream going through the site, providing the zen sound of running water 24/7.
This peaceful campsite is available at ฿150/person per night and doesn’t allow online booking, only walk-in guests.
Note that there are no rental camping gears on the spot, so you’ll need to bring them yourself.
Address: Tanaosri, Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi 70180
Telephone: (+66)063 073 8554
2. Khao Krajom Viewpoint
Looks like: Mt. Takao in Tokyo
Image credit: @littleworldoftop
If anyone has been to Japan’s Mt. Takao in the morning, they would know that it offers one of the most breathtaking views of Tokyo enveloped by a sea of mist.
Experience beauty of a similar scale at Khao Krajom viewpoint in Ratchaburi, which is only 3 hours drive from Thailand’s capital city.
Image credit: @nara_mw
The journey begins early, though. You’ll need to drive up to the viewpoint from as early as 4am. By the time you reach the destination, you will be greeted by warm sunrise and a cool sea of white mist around you.
We recommend visiting this place during winter (November – February) for the optimal experience.
Khao Krajom Viewpoint
Address: Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi 70180
Opening Hours: 4AM – 9PM, Daily. (Suggested times for going up and down)
3. Hindad Hot Spring
Looks like: Shiobara Onsen in Tochigi
Image credit: Tripgether
Similar to Shiobara Onsen in Tochigi, Hindad Hot Spring in Kanchanaburi is situated right next to a cold, refreshing natural stream from the mountain.
After a relaxing session in the spacious hot spring pools, we can jump right into the stream to cool ourselves down.
Image credit: @lovetravel65
Another great thing about this place is that both hot spring pools and the stream are surrounded by lush trees and plants, the best sight to relax our eyes.
It takes around a 3.5-hour drive from Bangkok to reach this place.
Hindad Hot Spring
Address: Hin Dat, Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi 71180
Opening Hours: 6AM – 10PM, Daily
Entrance fees: Thai: ฿10 (adults), ฿5 (children). Foreigners: ฿40 (adults), ฿20 (children)
Telephone: (+66)034 531 048
4. Ban Rao Rim Koen
Looks like: Ashinoko Lake
Image credit: Check In Chill
Your dream of camping in front of a calm lake and lush mountainous view as if you’re at Ashinoko Lake is about to come true at Rayong – only 3 hours away from Bangkok by car.
Welcome to Ban Rao Rim Koen, a campsite situated next to clear dam water with dense jungle and mountain views in the background.
Image credit: @bom_dei
Besides cooking and mingling with friends, you can also rent a paddleboard for ฿250 per hour and get in the water.
Install your tent here by paying a campsite fee for ฿300/tent per night. No tents? No problem. You can just rent a tent and gears here from ฿500. However, we suggest calling the campsite beforehand to double-check the prices.
Ban Rao Rim Koen
Address: 111 Moo 8 Thung Khwai Kin, Klaeng District, Rayong 21110
Opening Hours: 10AM – 8PM, Daily
Telephone: (+66)086 335 8498
5. Shinto Park
Looks like: Oyama Jinja Shrine in Tateyama
Image credit: แดนสวรรค์ตะวันตก
We don’t have to travel all the way to Tateyama to pray at Oyama Jinja Shrine – just come to Shinto Park in Kanchanaburi, which is only 2.5 hours from Bangkok by car.
The park was built in an authentic Japanese style to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II. All history geeks can’t afford to miss this place.
Image credit: Kanchanaburi
The highlight of this peaceful garden is a humble-sized museum where you can find precious items like Japanese armoury, stuffed animals, hand-painted ceramic dishes, and many more.
Address: Lat Ya, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71190
Opening Hours: 9AM – 5PM, Daily
Telephone: (+66)093 018 9247
6. Bore Klueng Hot Spring
Looks like: Nyuto onsen in Akita
Image credit: ททท
Located 3 hours away from Bangkok, Bore Klueng Hot Spring is another hot spring in Thailand you have to visit.
Thanks to all the beautiful plants surrounding the hot spring, this place shares a similar look to Japan’s ancient Nyuto Onsen in Akita.
Image credit: Ratchaburiteer
Here, visitors can either enjoy bathing in hot water in the outdoor area or move inside the pavilion if the sun is too strong during the day.
Bore Klueng Hot Spring
Address: 27 Moo7 Bore Klueng, Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi 70180
Opening Hours: 8AM – 5.30PM, Daily
Entrance fees: Thai: ฿5 (adults), ฿10 (children). Foreigners: ฿50 (adults), ฿30 (children)
Telephone: (+66)089 918 2114
7. CORO Field
Looks like: Daio Wasabi Farm
Image credit: @hipster.boundaries
Although this farm in Ratchaburi doesn’t produce wasabi like the famous Daio Wasabi Farm, it still offers an advanced farming experience often found in Japan, which is the first of its kind in Thailand.
Image credit: @cafestorythailand
At CORO Field, they aim to cultivate rare crops from around the world such as Holland Cherry Tomatoes and Japanese Sweet Potatoes. However, the produce they’re best known for is their melons.
Here, you can take a tour in a greenhouse where you can plant and harvest your own vegetables.
Image credit: @cafestorythailand
At the end of your trip, you can chill and fill up your tummy at Coro Café, where many dishes are cooked with homegrown ingredients. Then, spend some time at their market and shop for organic produce to bring home to your loved ones.
Address: 117 Ratchaburi – Pha Pok Road, Tambon Pa Wai, Amphoe Suan Phueng, Ratchaburi 70180
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun and public holiday: 9AM – 7PM
Telephone: (+66)095 738 9001
8. Alpaca Hill
Looks like: Nasu Alpaca Farm in Tochigi
Image credit: @fangmpc
Alpacas are one of the cutest animals out there and many dream of visiting their farm in Nasu Alpaca Farm in Japan. But since you can’t go back to Japan soon, why don’t you share some love with alpacas at Alpaca Hill in Ratchaburi?
For ฿290, you can get up close and personal with these South American mammals and snap some cool photos with them with majestic mountain views in the background.
Image credit: Tourism Treasures
Due to the animals/ well-being, the farm limits the number of visitors who can get up close per day to 200 guests. To make sure you get to spend time with alpacas, you should reserve your place online or contact the farm to secure your spot.
Image credit: @suparada_
Besides alpacas, you can spend your day with other animals like white geese, lambs, owls, and sheep.
The tickets sell at various prices, each with their own activities and benefits. Read more about the different ticket packages you can get here.
Address: 357 Moo8, Phapok-Tako Land Rd, Suanphung Ratchaburi 70180
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu: 9.30AM – 5PM, Fri – Sun: 9AM – 6PM
Entrance fees: ฿290 – ฿1,290
Telephone: (+66)080 821 2108
9. The Scenery Vintage Farm
Looks like: Mother Farm in Chiba
Image credit: @beawtii
Like Mother Farm in Chiba, The Scenery Vintage Farm in Ratchaburi gives you and your family an opportunity to spend time with a group of gentle sheep in a spacious landscape.
Here, you can play, feed, and take pictures with fluffy sheep under the staffs’ supervision.
Don’t forget to visit the sheeps’ best friends like goats, pigs, and horses while you’re here.
Image credit: @alangkan9989
After spending time with all your new furry friends, take refuge in the farm’s cute restaurant and enjoy a cup of coffee with some homemade pastries before leaving.
But if you feel like staying here for the night, check out the farm’s homestay here.
The Scenery Vintage Farm
Address: 234, Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi 70180
Opening Hours: 9AM – 5.30PM, Daily
Entrance fees: ฿50
Telephone: (+66)081 000 6677
10. Kaeng Krachan National Park
Looks like: Lake Toya
Image credit: Sanook
Like Lake Toya, Kaeng Krachan is a national park with a lake so big it looks like an ocean surrounded by small green islands.
Sitting on the border with Myanmar and adjacent to Tanintharyi Nature Reserve, Kaeng Krachan National Park is Thailand’s largest national park.
Image credit: Tripgether
For all the Thai youngsters who have been here, we couldn’t help snapping a picture with the park’s iconic suspension bridge as it was made famous by a popular Thai high school romantic movie, A Little Thing Called Love.
Image credit: Thai National Parks
For wild animals lovers out there, Kaeng Krachan is your go-to place as it is reported to have seen mammal species such as leopards, bears, barking deer, elephants, golden jackals, gaurs, and many more.
Kaeng Krachan National Park
Address: Kaeng Krachan, Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi 76170
Opening Hours: 6AM – 6PM, Daily
Telephone: (+66)032 772 311
“Japanese” trip to nature spots for the weekend
It’s always better to travel with friends – whether it’s a day or overnight trip. So don’t forget to reach out to your besties and plan a weekend escape together and feel like you’re right in Japan.