Welcome to our guide on the 10 best places to visit in Thailand! With its stunning beaches, rich culture, and delicious food.
Thailand has become a popular destination for travelers around the world. In this article, we will introduce you to the must-see islands and visiting spots that will make your trip to Thailand unforgettable.
From the bustling capital city of Bangkok to the tropical island paradise of Koh Samui, we’ve got you covered. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Thailand has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
Welcome to the vibrant city of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand! With a population of over 8 million people, Bangkok is a bustling metropolis that offers visitors a mix of old and new attractions. From awe-inspiring temples and palaces to shopping malls and street markets, Bangkok has something for everyone. One of the must-visit attractions in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, a complex of buildings that was once the residence of the Thai King. It’s a stunning example of traditional Thai architecture and is home to the famous Emerald Buddha.
If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience, head to Wat Pho, one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. Here, you’ll find the famous reclining Buddha statue, which measures 46 meters long and 15 meters high. For a taste of Bangkok’s vibrant street life, head to Khao San Road, a popular destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of street food, shops, and bars. If you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop, head to the massive MBK Center, one of the largest shopping malls in Asia. Here, you’ll find everything from electronics and clothing to souvenirs and snacks. Finally, for a breathtaking view of the city skyline, head to the top of the Baiyoke Sky Tower, the tallest building in Thailand. From here, you’ll have a 360-degree view of Bangkok and its surrounding areas.
2. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, located in Northern Thailand, is a city packed full of culture, history, and stunning scenery. From ancient temples to bustling night markets, Chiang Mai offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for a cooler climate and a break from the beaches of Southern Thailand, Chiang Mai is the perfect destination. Here are some of the must-visit attractions:
|Wat Phra That Doi Suthep||One of the most famous temples in Chiang Mai, located on a mountain with stunning views|
|Chiang Mai Night Bazaar||A bustling market with hundreds of stalls selling clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs|
|Elephant Nature Park||A sanctuary for rescued elephants where visitors can observe and interact with them|
|Doi Inthanon National Park||A beautiful national park with waterfalls, hiking trails, and stunning views|
Chiang Mai is also known for its delicious food, including classic Northern Thai dishes like khao soi and sai ua sausage. Be sure to try some of the local specialties while you’re there.
Chiang Mai Festivals
Chiang Mai is known for its vibrant festivals throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular:
- Yi Peng Festival – a celebration of the full moon in November where thousands of lanterns are released into the sky
- Songkran – the Thai New Year in April where people splash water on each other in the streets
- Loy Krathong – a festival in November where people release floating lanterns and flower floats into the river
If you’re lucky enough to be in Chiang Mai during one of these festivals, it’s a truly unique experience.
3. Phuket, The Island Paradise
Phuket is a dream destination for many travelers, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore local culture, or party the night away, Phuket has it all.
Top Visiting Spots in Phuket
If you’re planning a trip to Phuket, make sure to visit these top spots:
|Patong Beach||One of the most famous beaches in Phuket, known for its lively nightlife and water sports activities.|
|Big Buddha||A giant Buddha statue that offers stunning panoramic views of the island.|
|Phi Phi Islands||A group of beautiful islands that offer great hiking, snorkeling, and diving opportunities.|
|Phang Nga Bay||A scenic bay with towering limestone cliffs and hidden lagoons, perfect for exploring by kayak.|
Things to Do in Phuket
Aside from visiting popular spots, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Phuket:
- Take a day trip to nearby islands like the Phi Phi Islands or Phang Nga Bay
- Explore local culture and history by visiting temples and museums
- Shop at local markets for souvenirs and try delicious street food
- Relax on the beach and soak up the sun
- Experience Phuket’s vibrant nightlife by visiting clubs and bars
When to Visit Phuket
The best time to visit Phuket is between November and April, when the weather is dry and sunny. The monsoon season runs from May to October, so it’s best to avoid visiting during this time.
“Phuket truly is a paradise, with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax or party, this island has it all.”
Ayutthaya, located only a few hours from Bangkok, was once the capital of Thailand from the 14th to 18th century. With its historical temples and ancient ruins, it’s a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in Thai culture. The city is home to many magnificent UNESCO-listed temples and ruins showcasing the rich history of Thailand. One such temple is Wat Mahathat, known for its iconic Buddha head entwined in tree roots. Other notable temples include Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and Wat Yai Chai Mongkol.
Visitors can also explore the ruins of the old royal palace, including the impressive Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit statue and its surrounding temples. The Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre is a great place to learn more about the city’s history and culture. Don’t forget to take a leisurely boat ride along the Chao Phraya River, which winds its way through the city, offering stunning views of Ayutthaya’s temples and ruins from a unique perspective. Ayutthaya is an easy day trip from Bangkok, but to fully appreciate the city’s offerings, consider staying overnight in one of the charming guest houses or resorts.
Krabi, located on the southern coast of Thailand, is a popular beach destination for visitors looking for a relaxing getaway. With its stunning limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and secluded beaches, Krabi offers a unique blend of natural beauty and tranquility. One of the top attractions in Krabi is Railay Beach, accessible only by boat. Its towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for rock climbing and snorkeling. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, check out Tonsai Beach, a short hike away from Railay.
|Top Things to Do in Krabi||Location|
|Visit Railay Beach||Railay|
|Explore Tonsai Beach||Railay|
|Take a boat tour of the Phi Phi Islands||Phi Phi Islands|
|Visit the Tiger Cave Temple||Krabi Town|
Another popular activity in Krabi is taking a boat tour of the Phi Phi Islands. Located just a short distance from Krabi, the Phi Phi Islands are a group of six islands known for their gorgeous beaches and stunning natural scenery.For those interested in culture and history, a visit to the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi Town is a must. The temple is home to a giant golden Buddha statue and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area from its viewpoint. No matter what your travel style is, Krabi has something to offer. Whether it’s relaxing on the beach, exploring the natural beauty, or diving into the culture and history of the region, Krabi is a destination not to be missed.
6. Railay, the Hidden Gem
If you’re looking for a secluded paradise with stunning beaches and a laid-back vibe, Railay is the perfect getaway destination. Located on the southern coast of Thailand and only accessible by boat, Railay is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique experience.
What sets Railay apart from other destinations in Thailand is its towering limestone cliffs that provide a dramatic backdrop to its pristine beaches. The turquoise waters and secluded beaches also make it a popular destination for couples and honeymooners.
The Best Time to Visit Railay
The best time to visit Railay is between November and April when the weather is dry and temperatures are pleasant. However, this is also the peak season, and the beaches can get crowded. If you prefer privacy and a more relaxed atmosphere, consider visiting during the low season, between May and October, when the beaches are less crowded but the weather can be unpredictable due to the monsoon season.
Things to Do in Railay
While Railay is primarily known for its beautiful beaches, there are many other activities to enjoy during your stay. Here are some of the top things to do:
|Rock Climbing||Railay’s limestone cliffs provide some of the best rock climbing opportunities in the world, with routes for both beginners and advanced climbers.|
|Kayaking||Rent a kayak and explore the hidden coves and lagoons around Railay.|
|Island Hopping||Take a long-tail boat and visit the neighboring islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.|
|Snorkeling and Diving||Explore the underwater world and discover the colorful marine life around Railay.|
Where to Stay in Railay
Railay has a range of accommodations options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts to budget bungalows, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the top-rated hotels in Railay:
- Railay Bay Resort & Spa – a luxury resort with stunning views of the ocean and cliffs
- Avatar Railay – a budget-friendly option with clean and comfortable rooms
- Railay Village Resort – a mid-range option with a beautiful pool and spacious rooms
Getting to Railay
Railay is only accessible by boat, and the nearest town is Ao Nang, which is about a 20-minute boat ride away. From Bangkok, you can take a flight to Krabi Airport, and then take a taxi or shuttle bus to Ao Nang. From there, you can take a long-tail boat to Railay.
“Railay is the ultimate destination for those seeking a secluded paradise with stunning beaches, towering cliffs, and a laid-back vibe. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem during your visit to Thailand.”
7. Pai, the Alternative Destination
If you’re looking for a break from the tourist crowds and a laid-back vibe, Pai is the perfect alternative destination to add to your Thailand travel itinerary. Located in the mountains of Northern Thailand, Pai is known for its stunning natural scenery, hot springs, and relaxed atmosphere. One of the best ways to explore Pai is by renting a motorbike and taking a leisurely tour around the town and its surrounding areas. There are many scenic routes to choose from, including the Mae Hong Son Loop and the Pai Canyon Drive.
One of the top attractions in Pai is the Pai Canyon, where you can hike and take in panoramic views of the valley below. Other must-visit spots include the Pai Night Market, where you can sample local food and buy handmade crafts, and the Tha Pai Hot Springs, where you can soak in the natural hot springs and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Pai is also home to a vibrant arts and music scene, with many live music venues and art galleries showcasing the works of local artists. There are also many yoga and meditation retreats available for those looking to unwind and reconnect with themselves.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Pai is definitely worth a visit during your trip to Thailand.
8. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a tropical island paradise located in the Gulf of Thailand. Its palm-fringed beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets make it a favorite destination for tourists seeking relaxation and natural beauty. Here are some of the top things to see and do on Koh Samui:
- Take a dip in the refreshing waters of Na Muang Waterfall: This stunning waterfall has two cascades: the first has a 30-meter drop and the second is smaller but still picturesque. Take a refreshing swim in the natural pool below the falls.
- Get a glimpse of the Big Buddha: The 12-meter tall golden statue of Buddha is one of the island’s most iconic landmarks. Located on a hilltop in the northeast of the island, it boasts stunning views of the coastline.
- Explore the Fisherman’s Village: This charming village is home to a mix of vintage and modern architecture, including old wooden houses and trendy bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the Friday night walking street market, where you can sample delicious street food and shop for souvenirs.
- Visit the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks: These unique rock formations are located on the southern coast of the island and are said to resemble male and female genitalia. Legend has it that they were created by an old couple who turned into rocks after they died at sea.
These are just a few of the many attractions that Koh Samui has to offer. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, exploring the island’s natural wonders, or indulging in its delicious cuisine, Koh Samui is a must-see destination for your Thailand trip.
Pattaya, Thailand’s self-proclaimed “City of Sin”, may not appeal to everyone, the huge variety of fun things to see and do make it worthy of a place on this list. While most people associate Pattaya with its notorious Walking Street and numerous go-go bars, there’s plenty to enjoy without stepping foot in the more adult-orientated areas. First off, there’s the beach. It may not be the prettiest of Thailand’s beaches, but it’s nice enough for a few days of sun, sea, and sand. There are several lovely islands off the coast that offer even nicer sands and snorkeling. Attractions-wise, Pattaya definitely isn’t lacking.
The huge Sanctuary of Truth, carved entirely from wood, is a jaw-dropping sight. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a lovely place to stroll among the well-ordered flower beds, statues, and water features, and you can sample locally produced wines at the pretty Silverlake Vineyard. Tour Thailand’s major landmarks at Mini Siam, have fun at Art in Paradise, shop at Pattaya Floating Market, feel the rush at Flight of the Gibbon, have your mind blown at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and enter a wintery wonderland at FROST Magical Ice of Siam.
10. Sukhothai, the First Thai Kingdom
Sukhothai was the first Thai kingdom, dating back to the 13th century. Located in Northern Thailand, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit for anyone interested in Thai culture and history. At Sukhothai, you can explore the ancient ruins of the city, including the impressive Wat Mahathat temple, which houses a stunning Buddha statue.
|What to do in Sukhothai:||What to eat in Sukhothai:|
|Explore the ruins of the ancient cityVisit Wat Mahathat templeTake a bike tour of the city||Sukhothai noodles (kway teow Sukhothai)Pad ThaiTom yum soup|
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, make sure to add Sukhothai to your itinerary for a glimpse into the country’s ancient past.
Koh Tao, the Diving Paradise
Koh Tao is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand that has become a popular destination for those looking to explore the underwater world. With its beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine life, Koh Tao is a diving paradise like no other. But that’s not all the island has to offer; it’s also home to stunning beaches, hiking trails, and a laid-back atmosphere that’s hard to resist.
|Best time to visit||The best time to visit Koh Tao is from March to May, when the weather is dry and the water is clear. Avoid visiting during monsoon season, which runs from October to December.|
|How to get there||You can fly to Koh Samui and take a ferry to Koh Tao, or take a bus and ferry from Bangkok. Alternatively, you can take a direct ferry from Chumphon or Surat Thani.|
|What to do||Aside from diving, there are plenty of other activities to do on Koh Tao. You can relax on one of its many beaches, hike to viewpoints for stunning island views, or take a yoga class to unwind.|
|Where to stay||Koh Tao has a range of accommodations, from budget hostels to luxurious resorts. Make sure to book in advance, especially during peak season.|
Whether you’re an experienced diver or new to the sport, Koh Tao has something to offer. Its clear waters and diverse marine life make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the underwater world.
FAQs for Thailand Visiting Places
Planning a trip to Thailand and its islands can be exciting but overwhelming at the same time. To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about visiting Thailand’s top destinations.
When is the best time to visit Thailand?
The best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the weather is cooler and drier. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. March to May is the hottest and driest season, while June to October is the rainy season.
What should I pack for a trip to Thailand?
Light, breathable clothing is key for Thailand’s warm and humid climate. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, and sun protection. Also, keep in mind that Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, so it’s important to dress modestly when visiting temples and other religious sites.
Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?
Most visitors to Thailand can enter visa-free for up to 30 days. However, if you plan to stay longer or have a different type of travel itinerary, check the visa requirements before you go. Visas can be obtained in advance at a Thai embassy or consulate, or on arrival at the airport.
Are there any cultural customs I should be aware of?
Yes, there are a few cultural customs to be aware of when visiting Thailand. Remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple, and dress modestly when visiting religious sites. Also, it’s considered impolite to touch someone’s head or point your feet at another person. Finally, always show respect for the Thai royal family.
Is it safe to travel to Thailand?
Thailand is generally a safe country to visit, but like any destination, it’s important to take certain precautions. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry with you, be aware of your surroundings, and keep your valuables in a secure place. Be cautious when using public transportation, too.
What currency is used in Thailand?
The currency used in Thailand is the Thai baht. Most major credit cards are widely accepted in tourist areas, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases and street vendors.
Now that you have all the information you need, pack your bags and get ready to discover the beauty and culture of Thailand’s top destinations!