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Bangkok is the capital and largest city of Thailand, and it is a city that is rich in history, culture, and diversity. There are many things that Bangkok is famous for, and in this blog post, we will be exploring 15 of the top reasons why Bangkok is such a popular and beloved destination.

From its delicious food and vibrant street markets to its stunning temples and bustling streets, there is something for everyone in Bangkok. Whether you are a foodie, a shopper, or a history buff, you will find plenty to love about this vibrant and exciting city. 

So without further ado, let’s take a look at 15 things that Bangkok is famous for.

Delicious Thai Food

Firstly, Bangkok is famous for its delicious Thai food, which is known for its bold flavours and aromatic herbs. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, you can find a wide variety of delicious dishes in Bangkok. Some popular Thai dishes to try in Bangkok include tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup), pad thai (stir-fried noodles), and green curry.

Street food at a Thai Market, one of the many reasons Bangkok is famous

Street food at a Thai Market

In addition to traditional Thai dishes, you can also find a wide variety of international cuisines in Bangkok, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, and more. China Town in Bangkok is always a busy part of the capital! The city is a food lover’s paradise, and it is a great destination for anyone looking to try new and delicious dishes.

Vibrant Street Markets

Another thing Bangkok is famous for is its vibrant street markets. These markets are a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city, and they offer a great way to experience the city’s culture and find unique and affordable items.

You can find just about anything at these markets, including local handicrafts and souvenirs, clothes, electronics, and more. Whether you are looking for traditional Thai crafts or modern souvenirs, you are sure to find something that catches your eye at one of Bangkok’s many markets.

Bustling Streets

Bangkok is known for its bustling streets, which are always full of life and energy. The city is known for its chaotic, but somehow organized, traffic, and there are always people on the go. It’s similar to Vietnam and the scooters, but not quite as hectic. Nonetheless, the bustling streets of Bangkok are just one of the many things that make this city such a vibrant and exciting place to visit.

Stunning Temples such as Wat Arun and Wat Pho

Bangkok is famous for its beautiful temples, and two of the most iconic and stunning temples in the city are Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Wat Arun is known for its stunning architecture and intricate details.

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple, one of the most famous sites in Bangkok

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple

The temple’s central spire is adorned with ceramic tiles and seashells, and it stands over 80 metres (262 feet) tall. Wat Pho, on the other hand, is home to the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, which is over 46 metres (151 feet) long and 15 metres (49 feet) high.

Of course, they are beautiful to look at, but these temples also have a rich cultural and spiritual significance in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.

Shopping, including high-end malls and local markets

Bangkok is a paradise for shopping lovers. As already mentioned, there are plenty of excellent street markets. However, one of the most popular shopping destinations in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is astonishingly big and contains more than 15,000 stalls.

Other popular shopping areas in Bangkok include the Siam Square area, which is known for its high-end malls, and the Pratunam Market, which is a hub for wholesale fashion. There is without a doubt something for everyone in Bangkok’s vibrant shopping scene.

Thai Massage

Thai massages are very popular in Bangkok and can be found at many spas and massage parlours throughout the city. Thai massage is a traditional therapeutic massage that has been practised in Thailand for centuries. They involve the use of hands, elbows, knees, and feet to apply pressure to the body and stretch the muscles. Many spas in Bangkok also offer traditional Thai treatments such as herbal steam baths and oil massages.

Nightlife

The seventh thing Bangkok is famous for is its nightlife. The city is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, which caters to all tastes and budgets. From high-end rooftop bars and clubs to casual street food stalls and live music venues, there is something for everyone in Bangkok after dark.

One popular area for nightlife in Bangkok is the Sukhumvit Road area, which is home to many clubs, bars, and restaurants. A popular destination amongst those backpacking Thailand is the Khao San Road area, which is known for its budget-friendly bars and clubs.

The Chao Phraya River and Boat Tours

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

The Chao Phraya River is a major river in Thailand that flows through the centre of Bangkok. The river is an important transportation hub and is home to a network of waterways that are commonly referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Boat tours along the Chao Phraya River are a popular way to explore the city and experience its unique waterways. 

Museums, such as the Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok is home to a number of interesting and informative museums that offer visitors a chance to learn about the city’s rich history and culture. Some popular museums in Bangkok are the National Museum, which houses a large collection of Thai art and artefacts, and the Bangkok National Gallery, which features a diverse range of contemporary and traditional Thai art. Bangkok’s museums offer a fascinating insight into the city’s past and present and this is why they are famous around the world.

Beautiful Parks

Bringing in the 10th reason that Bangkok is famous is its beautiful parks.

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

is the largest and most well-known park in the city, and it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the park features lush gardens, a lake, and numerous paths.

 

It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including turtles and monitor lizards. There are many other great parks in Bangkok too as they are an important part of the city’s attractions and contribute to its reputation as a destination for nature lovers.

Backpacking Culture and Communities

Backpacking is a form of budget travel, where a traveller lives out of a backpack, stays in hostels and tries to travel as cheaply as possible. Backpacking South East Asia, known as the Banana Pancake Trail is an extremely popular route for backpackers.

Thailand is in the heart of the trail and is commonly where the backpacking journey for many begins. Throughout Thailand, there are likely thousands of backpackers at any given time. The country is filled with hostels, backpacking bars and other cheap ways of life.

It’s clear to see why Thailand is so popular with backpackers, as it is a beautiful and affordable country. Backpackers would typically spend around a month in Thailand, if not more, and this allows for enough time to see most of the country. 

Cultural Attractions

At number 12 is Bangkok’s cultural attractions. They provide visitors with a glimpse into the city’s rich history and traditions. One of the most iconic cultural attractions in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, which is a complex of ornate buildings and temples that were once the residence of the Thai royal family. The palace is a popular tourist destination and is known for its intricate architecture and stunning decor. 

Floating Markets like Damnoen Saduak

Bangkok’s floating markets are a popular tourist destination and offer a unique and authentic look at Thai culture. The markets are held on the waterways that crisscross the city and are known for their colourful boats filled with fresh produce, flowers, and other goods.

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The most well-known floating market in Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Visiting a floating market is a great way to see a different side of Bangkok and to purchase unique and locally-made products.

Bicycle Tours and other Outdoor Activities

Bangkok is famous for its cycling tours, which offer visitors a unique and active way to explore the city. There are several different cycling tour companies in Bangkok that offer guided tours of the city, ranging from leisurely sightseeing tours to more strenuous rides through the city’s streets and parks. Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Bangkok and is a great way to get around and see the city from a different perspective. 

Cultural Festivals and Events

Lastly, Bangkok is known for its cultural festivals and events, which celebrate the city’s rich history, traditions, and religion. One of the most popular festivals in Bangkok is Songkran, which is the Thai New Year celebration and is held in April.

Songkran is known for its water-throwing celebrations, which take place on the streets of the city. Another important festival in Bangkok is Loy Krathong, which is held in November and involves the release of floating lanterns into the waterways.

The festival of Loy Krathong

The festival of Loy Krathong

Of course, there are endless other festivals too, Bangkok’s cultural festivals and events offer visitors a unique and authentic look at Thai culture and traditions.

What Is Bangkok Famous For: Conclusion

And there you have it, 15 reasons why Bangkok is famous around the world. Bangkok and the rest of Thailand are such a unique part of the world and are definitely worth visiting if you get the chance. As you can tell, there are plenty of reasons that Bangkok is famous and these reasons are appealing.

From the cultural landmarks and festivals to the street and floating markets, from the cuisine to the massages, Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world. And there are good reasons why it is famous. 

What do you think of when you think of Thailand? Is it the incredible beaches, the lush green jungles, and fascinating culture? This is what comes to mind for most visitors. Yet, hidden beneath all that is a landscape eager for company. So, consider skipping the tourist hotspots and  hitting the trails to do one of the best hikes when you’re in Thailand next. But, finding trails while traveling can be difficult. Luckily, I’ve done all the dirty work for you already. Enjoy.

Tiger Cave Temple Trail

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

Incredible views and one of the most sacred temples in Thailand? Can I count you in?

Less of a hike and more of a climb, this is one of Thailand’s top spots to visit. To make it easier for yourself, find accommodation in Krabi Town.

At the bottom of the mountain, you can explore the Tiger Cave temple, which has an intriguing story. After that, begin climbing the 1,260 steps to the top.

But all this hard work is worth it when you arrive at the top.

The tropical forest extends in all directions. The tree-covered mountains jut up and down like they’re playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. 

In the distance, you see the azure waters of the Andaman Sea meet the mainland, and tiny islands dot its waters.

If you’re looking for the best time to go, aim for the late afternoon. Foreigners and locals alike rave about the sunsets from the summit of Tiger Cave Temple Mountain.

There are many mesmerizing sunsets in Thailand, but this one ranks up there with its best.

Hike Details

Length: .5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

From Krabi Town, you can take a bus or rent a motorbike. It’s around a 15-minute drive from the center of town to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike

For this hike, you’ll head to Khao Sok National Park. An interesting fact about this park is the oldest evergreen forest in the world covers it.

And wildlife and plant life thrive in this environment.

This hike is an out-and-back hike that takes you along the Sok River. Along the trail, monkeys hide in trees, birds fly from branch to branch, and greenery erupts from the ground.

At the end, you can dive into the chilly waters at the base of the Ton Kloi waterfall to reward yourself for a job well done.

The trail has a few hills that are easy to handle initially. But, about halfway through the hike, the path becomes more difficult. There are guides you can book to navigate you through this section.

If you’re unsure of your navigational skills, I recommend a guide for this section.

Hike Details

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Accommodation is plentiful near Khao Sok National Park, and it’s easiest to book a stay at a place nearby to fully explore the park. From there, you can enter Khao Sok National Park at the main entrance ($9 entrance fee). 

From there, follow the road down to the Khao Sok Park HQ. There’s a bridge where you cross the Sok River (it has a sign that says Ton Kloi Waterfall Nature Trail) until you arrive at the trailhead.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Suthep Monk’s Trail

Markers along the Monk's Trail

Orange flags mark the path along the Monk’s Trail

Doi Suthep is located right next to Chiang Mai. In fact, it towers over the city like a behemoth, keeping watch for any intruders. But, trails make this behemoth a trekker’s playground.

Tropical forests surround you like a wet blanket, blocking out any sunlight trying to find its way to the forest floor. 

Yet, throughout all this, you will find a well-maintained trail system.

The Monk’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai. The hike is well-marked with orange flags and takes you to Wat Pha Lat, a temple built in the 14th century.

After the temple, you’ll head to a viewpoint that provides you with a vista you won’t forget. After this, it’s back to the starting point to finish the hike.

Tip: The hike itself isn’t strenuous, but you’ll be traversing over rocks and roots. So, bring proper footwear and avoid sneakers. And get plenty of water; the Thai heat will add to the difficulty.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

To find the trail, follow Suthep Road to the end, which is near Chiang Mai University. Keep going forward and turn right at the following intersection. It will head toward the rear entry of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

From here, keep your eye out for a large tower (painted red and white). Here’s the start of The Monk’s Trail.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

We arrive at the only hike that requires a guide — the Doi Luang Chiang Dao trail. Being the third-tallest peak in Thailand, this hike is for experienced hikers. Hence why a guide is necessary.

You can’t book a guide on the day of the hike, so you should book in advance (at least one day if it’s not high season). Also, there’s a daily visitor limit of 150 people, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.

And that spot will be worth it as you reach the summit. Mountains extend in all directions, rolling up and down like ocean waves. But they truly shine at sunset/sunrise. Colors fill the valleys, providing a borderline religious experience.

The best place to stay is in Chiang Dao itself or Chiang Mai, about an hour and a half from the mountain.

If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Thailand, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is with the best of them.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

If you’re staying in Chiang Dao, you simply have to drive to the entrance of the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. From here, meet your guide and enjoy the trek!

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, you can rent a car/motorbike to drive to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve entrance. Rental motorbikes run from $3-15 per day depending on the size. Car rentals range from $10-$30. 

Otherwise, you can get a taxi to drive you to the entrance (around $25-$35).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Phuket’s Manik Mining Trail

This is a hike you’re not going to find on other blogs — I can promise you that. I didn’t discover this trail, but I’ve run/hiked it so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. 

And the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hikes in Phuket.

This hike starts near Manik Dam in Phuket — you can find the dam in the north-central part of the island. It’s an out-and-back that takes you up above the dam, where you get an incredible view over the island’s northern and southern parts.

You can even see Radar Hill and Big Buddha on a clear day!

Most people don’t think of hiking when they visit Phuket. Instead, visitors choose Phuket’s world-famous beaches and sky-blue waters. But, you miss out on the side of Thailand that most tourists don’t see.

Don’t be one of those tourists.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles (a little over 3.5 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Finding this trail will be easy. Head to Manik Dam (one of three dams on the island). Once you arrive, you can park in the dam’s parking lot. Head east on Sawatdirak Road until the road starts to go uphill. Here you will see a dirt road that veers off on the left side. 

Follow that trail until it comes to a three-way split — one going left, one going straight, and one going right. Follow the trail that goes right (and slightly uphill). This is the start of the hike.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Thailand – Final Thoughts

While Thailand is a well-known backpacking destination, it’s less known for hiking, but that’s the beauty of it. As you hike, you’ll have the trails to yourself. So, take it slow, and enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding you. But you should get there quick. You won’t have them to yourself for much longer.

While hiking in Antalya, Turkey, you’ll experience spectacular landscape views of beaches, mountains, canyons, lakes, and national parks. The Antalya province is home to the Tarsus Mountain range and the Mediterranean coast, making it a hiking lover’s dream.

No matter which hikes you choose, you’ll have dramatic mountain views and the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean at every turn. We created the guide to hiking in Antalya to share the best hiking locations on the Mediterranean coast in Turkey.

The best time to hike in Antalya is March to May or September to November when the weather is mild. You will find the summer months in the Mediterranean region are hot and humid with the winter months bringing the rainy season. For optimal conditions, Spring and Fall are the best times to enjoy hiking in Turkey.

Next, we’ll look at some of the most popular hikes in Antalya.

Lycian Way

Breathtaking views on the Lycian Way while hiking in Antalya

Breathtaking views on the Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is one of Turkey’s most popular long-distance hikes through the mountains in Turkey just inland of the Mediterranean coast. It’s a 540-kilometer cultural trail from Antalya to Fethiye and can take around 30 days to complete in its entirety.

Typically, hikers will start in Fethiye, but you can start the hike from whichever place you want to. The route connects Lycian ruins, coastal beach towns, nomadic footpaths, and ancient Roman roads. From Antalya, the trail starts in the mountains at Geyikbayiri.

In addition, the trail has 17 segments that you can hike individually. You’ll find some of the best partial hiking routes of the Lycian Way around the beach towns of Patara, Kalkan, or Kas. Hiking the Lycian Way promises breathtaking views and great adventures along the way.

Termessos

"Visit

One of the best hikes in Antalya is up to the ancient city of Termessos at the top of Mount Solymos. Access the trail at the Gulluk Dagi National Park, about 30km from the Antalya city center. Drive up to the trailhead to park, then you can take off up the path to the top.

The trail is steep and rocky and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the 1,000-meter mountain top view. You’ll have views of the Taurus Mountain range and get to explore the archeological site with an impressive great theater that boasts views of the sea and mountains. There are trails all through the ancient site and along the mountain. Plan on 4 to 5 hours to hike and explore the site. Be sure to take water and snacks with you.

Tazi Canyon

Tazi Canyon, also called Eagle Canyon, is a hike in Antalya in Koprulugu Canyon National Park that you do not want to miss. The hiking path is difficult in some places, being rocky with some larger boulders to climb over.

Along the 11km hike, you’ll see plenty of wildlife and many different species of plants. You’ll have breathtaking views from the top of the canyon with the cliffs dropping a steep 400 meters. Be sure to bring water, snacks, and your camera.

Goynuk Canyon

Hiking in Antalya isn’t complete until you’ve visited Goynuk Canyon where you can enjoy hiking or canyoning. The trail is 3km long with the highest point being 1km into the hike. It’s a beautiful hike surrounded by pine trees and the sound of the river. There is a lake at the end of the trail where you can take a break and enjoy the ice-cold water, especially on a hot day. This is an easy hike for beginners with stunning views of the mountains, canyon, and river.

St. Paul Trail

The St. Paul Trail is thought to be one of the oldest paths for hiking in Antalya, stretching over 500 km taking approximately 27 days to hike. The trail is made up of old Roman roads and forest trails.

The hike starts in the Perge and follows the footsteps of the Apostle Paul to the ancient city of Antioch. The trail is marked along the way with options for village houses or pensions to stay in. Subsequently, on longer stretches of the hike, you will have to camp.

Kas to Limanagzi Bay

This is about a 2-hour hike of the Lycian Way that takes you to Limangazi Beach which can only be reached by hiking or a water taxi from Kas Harbor. As you’re hiking on the trail, you’ll come up to a split in the trail leading to the beach.

If you take the cliff route, it’s steep and would not be safe if you’re carrying a heavy pack or if you had rough weather. The views from the cliff path are fantastic and well worth the winding path along the cliffs. Alternately, if you take the inland path, you’ll pass by ancient ruins along the way to the beach.

Most importantly, bring your swimsuit to swim in the sea once you arrive. There are local cafes on-site where you can enjoy breakfast or lunch before heading back. If you do not want to hike back, you can catch a ride back to Kas on a shuttle boat.

Mt. Tahtahli (Olympos)

Snow-capped Mt. Tahtahli in the distance. One of the best hikes in Antalya

Snow-capped Mt. Tahtahli in the distance

Mt. Tahtalhli is the steepest trek in Antalya along the Mediterranean coast. Start the hike from Kemer and head straight up the mountain to the 2,365-meter summit. The hike is challenging and takes a little over 7 hours to complete, so start early and bring plenty of food and water.

From the top of Mt. Tahtali, enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Antalya mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Afterward, you can hike down the mountain or take a 10-minute ride down to the mountain base in a cable car.

Saklikent Gorge

Other-worldy Saklikent Gorge

Saklikent Gorge near Antalya

Saklikent Gorge is an hour from Fehtiye in Saklikent National Park in the mountains of Turkey. The gorge is in the Tarsus Mountains and is considered the 3rd largest canyon in Europe, stretching 18km and 300m deep.

The path is narrow and follows along the river. At times there will be times that you will walk through the water on your hike, so wear footwear that can be submerged in water along the way. If you want to take the high road, there are boardwalk routes available to stay above the water.

The best views are past the first river crossing. Sometimes that path is wide, sometimes so narrow you must climb over boulders to pass through. While hiking you’ll see the natural beauty of the canyon as it climbs up to 720 meters tall, icy cold mountain water, waterfalls and pine trees that cover the mountain range above. This is a great hike during the summer when it is hot outside. You can enjoy the cooler air in the canyon and take a dip in the water.

Eternal Flame of Chimaira

In the village of Cirali, you’ll find a well-known trail for hiking in Antalya, the eternal flames of Mt. Chimaira. There are several places where flames burn straight from the rocks up on the hill.

The hike starts at the ruins of Yanartas at the bottom of the mountain. You can drive back to the entrance or walk from the beach. You will pay a minimal entrance fee to hike up to the flames. The 2 km trek has a nice dirt path but is steep in places with places to stop and rest as needed.

You’ll have great views of Cirali beach and the Mediterranean Sea as you make your way up the trail. You’ll need about 2-3 hours to hike in to explore and then back down to the entrance.

Sapadere Canyon

Sapadere Canyon Waterfall

Sapadere Canyon Waterfall

The Sapadere Canyon hiking trail is in the mountains of Turkey with rewarding mountain views, waterfalls, and natural pools at the end of the trail. It’s an easy 30-minute hike to reach the village of Sapadere, where you’ll see plenty of wildlife, local plants, mountains and the river.

When you reach the end of the trail, you can jump into the ice-cold water of the waterfall pools to cool off. There are several cafes where you can enjoy tea or have a simple lunch.

Final Thoughts on Hiking in Antalya

Ultimately, you cannot go wrong hiking in Antalya with the picturesque views of the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy hiking through canyons, Antalya mountains and the coastal trails to experience the culture, history and beauty of Turkey.

Hiking in Antalya: Best Hikes in Turkey

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Hiking in Antalya

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Seoraksan National Park in Korea is one of the most impressive sites to visit, both for its nature and its hiking possibilities. Considered the best national park in Korea by many, there are a range of trail options from beginning to advanced. Keep reading to learn all about the best hiking trails in Seoraksan National Park.

Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail: The Easiest Hiking Trail in Seoraksan

Exploring the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail in Seoraksan National Park

Exploring the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail in Seoraksan National Park

The name of this place and trail is confusing – there is no actual fortress. The rocks along the Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail themselves are meant to create the image of a fortress. And it certainly is beautiful!

You can get a view of Ulsanbawi (the most famous ridgeline consisting of 6 peaks in the park) in the distance from this trail.

Gwongeumseong is part of a 1.5 km path (one-way) which you can take the cable car up to or down from. This makes it a very flexible option and great for families with small children which might have just begun learning to hike. It’s considered the easiest hiking trail in Seoraksan National Park and should be fairly easy for most hikers.

From the top, there are also views of Sokcho, a beachside vacation city that’s a great place to base your trip out of.

Biryong Falls Trail

Biryong Falls at the end of the hike in Seoraksan

Biryong Falls at the end of the famous hike in Seoraksan National Park

Difficulty: A Small Challenge 

So, I would not say these are the most impressive waterfalls in Korea. However, if you are used to the typical Korean hike, then these falls suddenly become very impressive indeed. When hiking in Korea, you’re not often faced with a big reward at all at the end of your giant trek (simply more trees)!

Luckily, the Seoraksan National Park hiking trails all feature great views and experiences.

Even if the falls are not necessarily Instagram-worthy, the journey to them is absolutely beautiful. Your value for views is maxed out on the Biryong Falls trail, especially if you can visit during the autumn season.

Do note, the end of the trail is technically Towangsang Falls Observatory (expect an additional 600 stairs beyond the falls to get here).

The Biryong Falls Trail is a 2.9 mile in & out path. For someone fairly new to hiking in Korea, this trail should be a small challenge, but for the experienced individual, it will be a simple walk in the park.

Ulsanbawi Trail: The Most Popular Hike in Seoraksan National Park

Exploring the 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan on the Ulsanbawi Trail

Exploring the 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan National Park on the Ulsanbawi Trail

If you want to see the iconic 6 granite peaks of Seoraksan National Park, the Ulsanbawi Trail is the path to take. Even though it is the most popular hiking trail in Seoraksan National Park, it is one of the more difficult ones. It’s essentially all stairs.

The beginning will take you through easy wooded paths and over beautiful carved bridges. You will pass some small temples and shrines along the way. Once you reach Heundeulbawi, with a view of the iconic Ulsanbawi, your real challenge begins.

Make sure you are wearing shoes that have good grip, the stairs are made of a variety of materials (uneven stone or slippery metal). However, the stunning views of the countryside once you complete the 3.8 km – one-way – will have been worth the effort!

This hiking trail in Korea is challenging, and you can expect it to take around 4+ hours to complete. There will be many others on the same path, so if you are expecting peace and quiet, then the Ulsanbawi Trail is not the trail for you.

Daeseung Waterfall Trail

Difficulty: Challenging 

If you want to hear rushing water while you hike, the Daeseung Waterfall Trail is a fantastic option. Daeseung Waterfall is the third-biggest waterfall in Korea, so it’s certainly a step up from the Biryong trail.

It is important to note that the waterfall is not always impressive due to its dependence on seasonal rainfall. Make sure you check whether the hike will be worth it before going, or make sure you’re going during or just after the rainy season.

An absolutely stunning place to hike, the Daeseung Waterfall Trail was a favorite of Korean kings throughout history. Getting there, however, is going to be a challenge. The path is very steep and can take the average hiker around 6 hours.

It’s an 11.3 km round-trip and not recommended for beginners. It’s important to note that Korea is over 85% mountainous, so if Koreans consider something to be difficult to climb – it really is! But the path will go by fascinating rock formations, burbling streams, and lingering ponds, making it well worth the effort.

Daecheongbong: The Highest Peak in Seoraksan National Park

View over the landscape from Daecheongbong

View over the landscape from Daecheongbong

Difficulty: Incredibly Challenging (Consider turning it into a multi-day hike) 

If you like heights, consider giving the tallest point in Seoraksan National Park a try. It’s also the 7th highest peak in South Korea, so if you’re planning to tackle more, then this is a good warm-up. There is a shelter to stay in overnight called the Heeungak shelter.

This is the only multi-day hike option in Seoraksan National Park, but it can be done in one day if you are highly experienced.


And those are the best hiking trails in Seoraksan National Park that you should consider on your next vacation in South Korea! Interested in living or working in South Korea? Check out my post on Why Teaching English in South Korea is a great opportunity!

The Best Hikes in Seoraksan National Park in Korea

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With 2022 full of hope, it’s time to dust off your backpack and think about where to go next. If you’re on a budget, you may be wondering about the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. The thing is, especially if you’ve been aching to get back out there, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. People go traveling to see something new, and once it finally becomes possible to go backpacking in 2022, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself.

The way to travel on a budget without feeling too limited is to go backpacking destinations where food, accommodation, and transport are cheap. This will allow you to stretch your budget and splurge on the occasional special activity to get the most out of your trip. The good news is, after you figure out a cheap way to get to your destination, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful destinations on earth for less than $20 a day. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than to stay at home considering your normal rent and daily expenses! 

So without further ado, here is our updated list of the cheapest backpacking destinations for 2022.

Bulgaria – The best Eastern European country for budget travel

Even though Bulgaria is the cheapest backpacking destination to visit in Eastern Europe, it has an abundance of gorgeous landscapes that rival its neighbors. During our 5 days in Bulgaria were able to see Alpine mountains, forested countryside, sandy beaches on the Black Sea, plus beautiful cities like Sofia and Veliko Tărnovo.

The Rila Monastery near Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world

The Rila Monastery near Sofia, Bulgaria

Because we were traveling in the off season, we were able to splurge on the occasional high-end luxury accommodation for less than $100 a night. Of course, you can always find cheaper hostels in Bulgaria. Food and drink are also super affordable, with the average price of a beer being about a dollar.

Learn more: Backpacking in Bulgaria

India

India is one of those countries where budget travel is almost entirely dependent on your willingness to haggle. If you strike the right tone, India can be one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world.

When booking guesthouses, you’ll most certainly get a better price by booking directly with the guest house versus booking online through an agency. Transportation-wise, it is super cheap to get around in India. In the big cities, we recommend using Uber it’s actually much cheaper than the prices you’ll be quoted for a tuk-tuk ride. For intercity travel, trains cost between $8 – $30, and you can even find flights within that price range!

Learn more: Backpacking in India

Portugal – The cheapest backpacking destination in Western Europe

Portugal is a great option in Western Europe for travelers on a budget. You’ll be able to experience the vibrant European culture as well as world-famous food and wine at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in France or Spain. 

Learn more: Backpacking in Portugal

Cambodia

Cambodia has so much to offer, and you can travel there for about $20 a day. Private rooms in a nice guesthouse will cost you about $10, and tuk-tuk rides are a savvy way to get around. Our guest house helped us arrange a private tuk-tuk driver to help us visit the many temples of Angkor Wat for just $12!  You can even get a 30-day SIM card with 1.5 GB of data for $2.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia, one of the cheapest backpacking countries

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

Learn more: Backpacking in Cambodia

Georgia

With medieval fortresses, majestic mountains, and friendly locals, the country of Georgia should be much higher on the list of top backpacking destinations. And with delicious meals starting at $3, and $1 local buses, it’s one of the best countries for budget travel. You don’t have to withhold on the cultural activities here, since most entrance tickets cost around $2.

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

Learn more: Backpacking in Georgia

The Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the old trope ‘beer is cheaper than water’ is actually true. While the Czech Republic boasts much of the same beauty as its neighbors like Germany and Austria, it’s possible to travel here at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more: Backpacking in the Czech Republic

Bolivia – the cheapest backpacking destination in South America

Bolivia is one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world and is very popular with adventurers. Here, it is possible to get a 3-course meal for less than $2. Accommodation in a hostel dorm room costs between $8-$12 a night, and local and long-distance buses are a cheap way to get around. Even the most famous backpacker destination in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flats, won’t break the bank, costing around $200 for 3 days, which is relatively cheap for this bucket-list destination!

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Learn more: Backpacking in Bolivia

Nepal

Trekking in Nepal doesn’t have to cost as much as you might imagine. Other than the Everest Base Camp Trek (an exorbitant expense), there are plenty of beautiful Himalayan treks where it is possible to go by yourself. The Short Annapurna Circuit, for example, is well-marked with guesthouses along the path for about $5 a night, so you won’t have to carry tons of gear. (If you want to go all the way to Annapurna Base Camp, you’ll need to go with a guide). Food and drink in Nepal are also very affordable, with meals costing between $2-$3.

Learn more: Backpacking in Nepal

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly one of those countries where you can travel on a budget or live in the lap of luxury for relatively affordable prices. Their infamous train system (a bucket-list item in itself) is the cheapest way to get around the country. Or, you could hire a private taxi to travel between cities with a few other people from your hostel. Keep a special travel budget set aside for entrance fees to nature reserves and UNESCO Heritage sites!

Learn more: Backpacking in Sri Lanka

Colombia

Colombia is one of our favorite backpacking destinations because of the friendly locals, diverse landscapes, and of course, affordability. You could easily backpack in Colombia for a month with just $1000 in your bank account. By taking long-distance buses, staying in hostel dorm rooms, and cooking your own food in the hostel kitchens, you can visit destinations like Medellín, Cartagena, and Salento on a budget.

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

Learn more: Backpacking in Colombia

Honorable Mention

Denmark

This country certainly doesn’t scream ‘budget travel’ but it’s the cheapest destination in Scandinavia. If visiting this part of the world has been a dream of yours, we can definitely recommend Denmark in comparison with its more expensive Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in Scandinavia

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more: Backpacking in Denmark