Thailand, also known as the “Land of Smiles,” is a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia that offers a mix of cultural experiences, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. With its vibrant cities, ancient temples, and picturesque beaches, Thailand has something for every type of traveler.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and wondering which places to visit, we’ve got you covered. We’ll share the top 13 best places to visit in Thailand that should be on your travel bucket list. You can arrange your own transportation by car rental or hire one of the many tour guides to get you to your location. Since this is a tropical country it is recommended that you dress comfortably, light colors, cotton and lightweight.
Bangkok,the capital city of Thailand, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis that offers a mix of modernity and traditional charm. Known for its vibrant street life, magnificent temples, and delicious food, Bangkok is a must-visit destination for any traveler. The city is home to some of Thailand’s most iconic landmarks, including the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Wat Arun, all of which offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage.
In addition to its ancient temples, Bangkok is also a shopper’s paradise. From high-end luxury malls to bustling street markets, the city has something for every type of shopper. Don’t miss the chance to visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the largest markets in the world, where you can find everything from antiques to street food. For those who are interested in jewelry, Bangkok is the home of many rare gemstones like Rubies and Emeralds. If you venture outside of the city you may go to the many lapidaries in the country to buy uncut gemstones. I was able to purchase a beautiful ruby ring in one of the many retail stores in the city and appraised in California for ten times what I paid! Dont miss the Bangkok Jewelry Factory or Gems Gallery International is you want to see some stunning jewelry. Oh, and if you want to stop and have lunch try Lamphu Tree for a bowl of Thai Coconut Soup!
Bangkok is also known for its delicious street food, which is a must-try for any foodie. From savory noodle dishes to sweet desserts, the city’s food scene is a feast for the senses. Don’t miss the chance to try some of Thailand’s famous dishes, like pad Thai, green curry, and mango sticky rice. I was advised to be cautious eating off the food carts found on the streets and alleys but never had any problems with hygiene. Be careful to note if things that are refrigerated are cold enough for consumption.
Phuket, a beautiful island located in southern Thailand, is a paradise for beach lovers and adventure seekers. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical forests, Phuket offers a unique blend of natural beauty and modern amenities.
One of the island’s main attractions is its beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the world. Whether you’re looking for a secluded beach to relax and unwind or a bustling beach with water sports and nightlife, Phuket has it all. Phuket has some of the most well-known beaches like Karon BeachPatong Beach, and Kata Beach . Feeling more adventeorus try out CC’s Eco Tours on a Big Buddha Jungle Trek. Want to look down at the vast jungle, a zipline adventure may be more to your liking, Viator tours has it all.
In addition to its beaches, Phuket also offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From visiting the Big Buddha, a 45-meter tall statue that overlooks the island, to exploring the Phuket Old Town with its charming Sino-Portuguese architecture, there’s something for everyone.
Phuket is also a great destination for adventure seekers. You can go on a zip line tour through the rainforest, go scuba diving or snorkeling to explore the vibrant underwater world, or take a hike to the top of one of the island’s many hills for breathtaking views. If fishing is one of your passions like mine, go out for a day on Phuket Fishing Charters at the Chalong Pier. You might get lucky and bag a Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi or some delicious Sea Bass or Tuna.
Chiang Mai, a city located in northern Thailand, is a cultural and historical gem that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the country’s rich heritage. The city is known for its ancient temples, traditional handicrafts, and delicious food, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler.
One of the city’s main attractions is its temples, which are some of the most beautiful in the country. Don’t miss the chance to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a stunning temple located on a hilltop overlooking the city, or Wat Chedi Luang, a 15th-century temple with a towering chedi that is over 80 meters tall.
Chiang Mai is also known for its traditional handicrafts, which include everything from intricate wood carvings to handmade textiles. You can visit local markets and workshops to see artisans at work and buy unique souvenirs to take home.
Another highlight of Chiang Mai is its food, which is some of the best in Thailand. From delicious street food to high-end restaurants, the city offers a wide range of culinary experiences. Grazie Thai Local Food-Wanton Noodle offers everybody’s favorite Pad Thai, deep fried fish and unforgettable Mango Sticky Rice. Priced reasonably, its got to be on your list.
Krabi, a province located in southern Thailand, is a paradise for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters, towering limestone cliffs, and lush tropical forests, Krabi offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure.
One of the province’s main attractions is its beaches, which are some of the most stunning in the country. From the famous Railay Beach, which can only be accessed by boat, to the secluded Phra Nang Beach, there are plenty of options for those looking to relax and soak up the sun.
Krabi is also known for its natural attractions, including its limestone cliffs and caves. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Tham Phra Nang Nai Cave, which is filled with stalactites and stalagmites, or take a boat tour through the majestic mangrove forests.
For adventure seekers, Krabi offers a range of activities, including rock climbing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. You can also take a hike through the Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, where you can see waterfalls, wildlife, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Koh Samui, a stunning island located in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. The island offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, culture, and adventure. It is famous for its stunning beaches, lush tropical jungles, and clear blue waters.
One of the most famous attractions in Koh Samui is the Big Buddha Temple. The 12-meter-high golden statue of Buddha is visible from miles away, and visitors can climb the steps to the top of the hill to get a panoramic view of the island. Another popular attraction is the Na Muang Waterfall, where visitors can take a refreshing dip in the cool waters.
Koh Samui’s beaches are undoubtedly the main attraction for visitors. From the lively Chaweng Beach to the peaceful Lamai Beach, there is something for everyone. The beaches offer a wide range of water sports, such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. And for those who prefer to relax, there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants where visitors can enjoy a cocktail or a traditional Thai meal while taking in the stunning views.
Ayutthaya, located about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam from the 14th to the 18th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Thailand’s most important historical sites.
Visitors to Ayutthaya can explore the ruins of the ancient city, which are scattered throughout the modern town. The most impressive of these ruins is the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which contains several temples, palaces, and ancient structures. The most famous of these is Wat Mahathat, which is home to the famous Buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree.
Another must-visit attraction is the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, which was built by King Rama V in the late 19th century. The palace is a beautiful blend of Thai, Chinese, and European architectural styles and is surrounded by stunning gardens. This was also the summer palace of the King.
In addition to its historical sites, Ayutthaya is also known for its delicious cuisine. Visitors can sample traditional Thai dishes like boat noodles, som tam (spicy papaya salad), and khao soi (curry noodle soup) at the many street food stalls and local restaurants.
Kanchanaburi, located about 130 kilometers west of Bangkok, is a charming town nestled in the heart of Thailand’s countryside. It is famous for its beautiful natural scenery, rich history, and friendly locals.
One of the main attractions in Kanchanaburi is the Bridge over the River Kwai, which was built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II. Visitors can walk across the bridge and visit the nearby War Museum and the Allied War Cemetery, which pay tribute to the over 100,000 laborers and prisoners who lost their lives during the 16 month construction of the bridge in 1942-1943. The bridge was used to bring men and supplies to the former Burmese front which was a former Brittish colony. Thailand remained neutral during this time but Japanese troops had already occupied the territory so the Thai government aided in getting resources to them to mount offenses to the Brittish. For more information on these events, there is a museum in what is now Myanmar. This area is considered one of Thailand’s most beautiful areas.
Kanchanaburi is also home to several beautiful national parks, including Erawan National Park and Sai Yok National Park. These parks offer visitors the opportunity to hike through lush jungles, swim in crystal-clear waterfalls, and explore hidden caves. This is a day trip from Bangkok with numerous tours or spend then night on the many hotels available. For all the choices check out Rome2Rio.com or G Adventures who offers several Thailand tours from ages 12 to 90 years old. Put on your favorite hiking shoes and start your adventure walk into history.
Sukhothai, located in central Thailand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important historical and cultural destinations in the country. The city was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom, which ruled over much of Thailand from the 13th to the 15th century, and is home to some of the most impressive ancient temples and ruins in the country.
One of the main attractions in Sukhothai is the Sukhothai Historical Park, which is home to over 190 ruins and temples. Don’t miss the chance to visit Wat Mahathat, which is home to the iconic Buddha statue with its hands held up in the Bhumisparsha Mudra, or to explore the impressive ruins of Wat Si Chum.
In addition to its temples and ruins, Sukhothai is also known for its traditional handicrafts, including ceramics and textiles. You can visit local workshops to see artisans at work and buy unique souvenirs to take home.
Pai, located in the mountainous province of Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand, is a charming town that offers visitors a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere surrounded by stunning natural beauty. The town is known for its picturesque scenery, lush green hills, and tranquil rivers, making it a popular destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
One of the main attractions in Pai is the Pai Canyon, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Don’t miss the chance to take a hike through the canyon and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Pai is also known for its hot springs, which are a popular attraction for visitors looking to relax and unwind. You can visit the Tha Pai Hot Springs to soak in the warm mineral water and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
In addition to its natural attractions, Pai is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with a range of galleries, music venues, and street markets.
Koh Tao, also known as Turtle Island, is a small island located in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life, making it a popular destination for scuba divi
\ng and snorkeling enthusiasts. If that is within your wheelhouse, you might check out Roctopus Dive Shop or Koh Tao Divers if you don’t have your gear already.
One of the main attractions in Koh Tao is its diving sites, which are considered some of the best in the world. The island is home to a range of dive centers and schools, where visitors can take courses or join guided dives to explore the colorful coral reefs and spot a wide variety of marine creatures.
Koh Tao is also known for its stunning beaches, including the popular Sairee Beach, where visitors can relax on the white sand and enjoy the turquoise waters. The island also offers a range of other activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking.
Chiang Rai, located in northern Thailand, is a beautiful city that offers visitors a blend of stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and modern amenities. The city is known for its beautiful temples, vibrant markets, and scenic landscapes, making it a popular destination for travelers from around the world.
One of the main attractions in Chiang Rai is the stunning Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, which features intricate carvings and stunning architecture. Don’t miss the chance to explore the temple and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Chiang Rai is also home to a range of vibrant markets, including the famous Night Bazaar, where visitors can shop for handmade crafts and sample delicious local food. The city is also surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Mae Kok River and the Doi Tung mountain range.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, located in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, is a stunning natural area that offers visitors a range of outdoor activities and beautiful scenery. The park is known for its limestone hills, wetlands, and beaches, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the main attractions in the park is Phraya Nakhon, a stunning natural wonder that features a majestic pavilion illuminated by natural light. The cave is a must-visit for those looking to explore the park’s unique landscape and take in some breathtaking views.
The park is also home to a range of hiking trails, including the popular Khao Daeng Viewpoint Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also explore the park’s wetlands, which are home to a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife.
Pattaya, located on the eastern coast of Thailand, is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. The city is known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and a range of outdoor activities.
One of the main attractions in Pattaya is its beautiful beaches, including the popular Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach. Visitors can soak up the sun, swim in the clear waters, or enjoy a range of water sports, including jet skiing and parasailing. There are many outdoor adventures from extreme to easy going tours at Thailandlocaltour.com.
Pattaya is also home to a range of cultural and historical attractions, including the Sanctuary of Truth, a stunning wooden temple that showcases traditional Thai craftsmanship. Visitors can also explore the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, a beautiful park that features a range of exotic plants and animals. Many crafts can be seen at the floating market and the Pranpalin Craft store.
Travelling to Thailand will be a lifetime favorite if you are anything like the adventure traveller that chooses to go to a little different place than Wakiki for some rest and relaxation. There is even Hospital Tourism where people can go for surgery in very good hospitals for a fraction of the costs in the US. It offers beautiful beaches, world class fishing, jungle trekking and modern cities with outstanding cuisine. Its worth checking out if you can do everything on a budget half of our typical vacations in the USA.