Attracting nearly 30 million tourists every year, Thailand is a collection of vibrant scenes of busy modern cities crowded with motorbikes and tuk-tuks, Buddhist temples managed by orange-robed monks, hill tribes selling handicrafts, lavish landscapes with traditional villages, ancient ruins and stunning coastlines sprinkled with gorgeous beaches and blue lagoons. Add to that a very benign climate and tasty local food. This attractive mix explains why Thailand is Southeast Asia’s most popular travel destination. Here are places you need to visit to find the cultural, historic and natural attractions in Thailand.
10. Ao Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park
Covering over 154 square miles, Ao Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park covers a group of more than 40 islands and remarkable limestone cliffs that can only be reached by boat. Spend a relaxing day trip cruising through the theatrical limestone islands, and stopping at times to enjoy the quiet beaches.
Top things to do in Ao Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park
- Grab your swimsuits, rent a boat and visit the small islands around the national park.
- Get a bond pose picture at the James Bond Island .
- Have lunch at Koh Panyee. It is a small island consisting almost vertical, limestone cliffs. The best seafood is available here.
- Visit the stalactite and stalagmite caves of Koh Phanak and enjoy the small-tiered waterfall inside them.
- Koh Ma Chu is an island which looks very similar to a dog, with a head, body, and a hairy tail. :p
- The Koh Hong are undulated hills embracing the sea, making it look like a chamber with 2 doors housing gorgeous coral reefs. You have to pose in front of this to get the Instagram kinda picture.
- Pick up stones from all the islands you go to, just as a souvenir.
- Enjoy the swing (jhulla) at Kao Yao. You can feel the soft sand and the fast winds blowing on your face. It’s an energizing experience.
Kanchanaburi, AKA the place where “The Bridge over the River Kwai” was filmed, is a laid-back riverside retreat surrounded by green mountains and fertile sugarcane fields. During the World War II, Japanese army forced Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and conscripted Asian labourers to build a rail route, now known as ‘The Death Railway’, to Myanmar
Top things to do in Kanchanaburi
- Cross the famous bridge over the River Kwai.
- Visit the abandoned trains and the railway tracks aka “The Death Railway”. The tracks get their name because 90000 people were killed building this line, most of them including Prisoners of War and Asian Slaves.
- Stop at the Memorial Walking Trail and the small museum covering the history of the infamous Thai-Burma Railway. Here you will know all the intricate details of the war and The Death Railway
- Visit the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery where over 7000 soldiers were buried. This place is filled with tombstones and ashes. The experience is very disturbing and the still ambience makes you think of the wrongs that were done.
- Kanchanaburi is surrounded by a lot of sugarcane fields, you should look around some of the fields and enjoy the sweet sugarcane.
- Get a closeup photo with a tiger at the Tiger Temple, the biggest tourist attraction in the region.
- Do not miss the Erawan and Srinakarind National Parks to trek and see dazzling waterfalls and caves. The Erawan Falls are contenders for the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Also, check out the elephant camps in the area. You can take elephant rides and even bathe them.
- Visit the beautiful lawa cave. A cave with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites cast by nature.
8. Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is a traveler’s bliss, gifted with rich natural attractions and antiquities. The city remains a sleepy provincial town with a pleasant atmosphere. Compared to its sister town Chiang Mai, it has a more calm and down-to- earth feel but is never short on historic and cultural charms of its own. This place is all about relaxing and taking it in slowly, savoring each moment as it comes.
Top things to do in Chiang Rai
- Get your shorts on and trek around the principal Lum Nam Kok National Park. You will see remarkable views along the trek.
- Rent a motocycle and ride around the Chiang Rai loop and stop over at random places with good views or maybe good food.
- Make a visit to the famous ‘White Temple’, aka Wat Rong Khun. It recreates Thai art for the modern world. Superheroes, movie stars and cartoons are a part of the temple murals depicting traditional Buddhist motifs.
- Visit the Chiang Rai clock tower between 19:00 – 21:00 hours where the clock tower comes to life in a light and sound display. It’s one of those “I need to put this as my snapchat story” kinda thing.
- In case you want to know more about the Lanna history, cultural heritage and art, check out the magnificent collection at Oub Kham Museum.
- Another museum to check out is the Wat Phra Kaew.
For all the history lovers, Ayutthaya is going to make you go aww at every moment. Founded over 800 years ago, it was the capital city of the Siamese Kingdom. It is on an island surrounded by three rivers which connect it to the Gulf of Siam.
Top things to do in Ayutthaya
- The ruins of Ayuthaya are the best things to capture in your camera and take back home.
- Rent a river boat and a bicycle and explore the scattered temple ruins of Wt Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Ratchburana and The Wat Mahathat
- Wat Yai Chaimongkol is another magnificent ancient royal monastery with an enormous Chedi or Pagoda which was built as a dedication over the victory of King Naresuen, the Great against a Burmese leader in a combat.
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the largest temple of the city. This used to be the royal temple and was used as the royal temple cum palace by many kings. Right beside this is the Royal palace ruins . You catch up a lot about the wars and destruction that once took place in Thailand.
Pattaya has a wide range of attractions including everything from ancient Thai traditions to modern adventures. You will find the craziest party people or be humbled by the religious treasures. you can explore art, science, nature, culture and rainforest canopies
Top Things to do in Pattaya
- Go club hopping at The Walking Street.
- Watch the Tiffany’s Cabaret Show that takes place in a grand theatre with a huge faux-marble lobby and manages to be as spectacular as the dazzling costumes of the performers.
- Make sure you visit the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden which is filled with remarkable flowers, displays and landscaped gardens. Get the perfect pictures clicked here with the greenery on all sides.
- Visit Pattayas “Four Regions Floating Market” where you will find shops and stalls selling souvenirs, fruits, food, art, handicrafts, postcards and clothing on boats.
- Have a fun filled day at Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, they had the best 3D rides you could enjoy and the Cartoon Network characters have a march every evening. Click selfies with all your favourite characters. I clicked mine with Power Puff girls.
- Watch the sunset at Khao Pattaya View Point on Pratumnak Hill to get that classic shot of Pattaya’s sweeping, crescent bay.
- Visit the Wat Phra Khao Yai aka “Big Buddha Hill” to see the intricate design of the statue and the complex temple.
- Art in Paradise is a fun and fresh shot in an art gallery bridging the gap between art and spectator with three-dimensional paintings. Find the perfect angle and make people believe in all those illusions.
- The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the most iconic structure in Pattaya. The complex carving entirely on teak wood is just awe-inspiring.
- Spend a whole day at Ripley’s Believe It or Not and get amazed by the museum, Tussauds Wax Museum, The Infinity Maze, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and Ripley’s 4D Moving Theatre.
5. Chiang Mai
Being Thailand’s northern capital, this is a place to relax after the chaos of Bangkok and fill yourself with fresh energy with fabulous food and leisurely wandering. Chiang Mai is filled with serene forest, bubbling hot springs, pristine rainforest reserves, churning waterfalls, and peaceful country villages. For all the adventure lovers there are a lot of adventure camps, elephant sanctuaries and souvenir markets. If you don’t want to do a lot of activities you can always just stroll around the backstreets, and discover a city.
Top things to do in Chiang Mai
- Take a cooking class and learn the mouth-watering Thai food.
- I think the Elephant park was the most adorable site to see. The elephants play football, dance, paint and do things you never imagined. Do not miss taking the picture with elephant where they pick you with their trunk.
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a temple on the mountainside overlooking the beautiful Chiang Mai Being the most sacred temples and is a must visit. Once you visit the temple you could go to the thundering waterfalls at Doi Suthep.
- Click a picture with the Karen Long Neck Lady
- For all the animal lovers Chiang Mai zoo and night safari is a must visit. Do not miss taking a picture with the tigers and their cubs. You can even feed them milk in little bottles. The laser light shows and the exotic dancing fountain make you go WOWWW..
- Grab those shoes and go trekking at Pai. After the long tiring trek, do not miss the hot spring which helps you relax all your muscles.
- Launch floating lanterns in the sky if you go during the Loi Krathong.
4. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is famous for two things: scuba diving and parties. Thailand’s second largest island is roughly disklike in shape being about 23 km at its radius which makes it about half the size of Phuket. Warm blue seas, lively nightlife , white sand beaches, and a great choice of top class resorts which make Samui one of Thailand’s most popular destinations.
Top things to do in Ko Samui
- We bet you can’t miss the Big Buddha when you enter Ko Samui. It is a 12 meters tall Buddha statue the first thing you will spot when you land at the airport. Just close to the Big Buddha is the Wat Plai Laem, again another temple but this one is very special because of its striking white 18-arm image of Guanyin (the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion).
- Enjoy the powder soft sand and clear waters at the Chaweng beach cafes with some cold beer .
- Hin Ta and Hin Yai, also known as Grandpa (Ta) and Grandma (Yai), are interesting rock formations at Koh Samui’s south coast, which look exactly like male and female genitalia. YES you read that right! Get some really funny pictures here.
- Have some good Thai food, get a sun tan, swim ,read a book and get a massage all at one place, the Chaweng beach.
- You should visit the Samui snake farm to see the scariest reptiles of Thailand. Get a picture clicked with the snakes around you. Also, visit The Samui Aquarium & Tiger Show. It’s filled with marine life, colourful birds and exotic wildlife. The best part of this place are the TIGERS. You will want to just take one along with you after this for sure.
- An entire day could be spent at Na Muang Waterfalls hiking, exploring, picnicking and swimming.
- Everyone visiting Ko Samui should rent a boat and go diving at the Ang Thong National Marine Park. It is made up of 42 islands at the gulf of Thailand . You can enjoy snorkeling, diving, speedboat charters, windsurfing, banana boats and jetski rentals here.
- Get some good (solo/couple) pictures clicked at the beach and I can be sure they will make it to your walls at home.
Krabi is the perfect holiday destination for a relaxing trip in southern Thailand. The province, located between Phang Nga and Trang, shows stunning scenery both at the inland and at sea. With over 150 islands around the 150km-long coast line (many of them featuring fantastic white-sand beaches and turquoise waters) Krabi has jungle-covered interiors, waterfalls, caves, towering limestone cliffs and exotic wildlife.
Top things to do in Krabi
- Go crazy with the shopping at the Aao Nang. Do not forget to bargain with the vendors.
- Check out Tiger Cave, surrounded by lush rainforests, green valleys, and limestone caves. Click a selfie with the monkeys over here
- Go on a mini-trek, climbing the 1,237 steps and go check out the famous gilded Buddha statue.
- Enjoy alfresco dining at some of the excellent seafood restaurants in Ao Nang or Krabi town which is just delicious.
- For the night lovers, go club hopping at the bars at Aao Nang.
- Visit the old krabi city to check the night market where you get to shop AGAIN. Here you will find clothes, accessories and food at a very affordable rate. You will love the rustic charm and the laid back life of the locals here.
- Take a dip at the Klong Thom Hot Springs which has its special healing property because of the natural salts in the water.
- Take an Instagram-linked Boomerang video by the beach.
- The white water rafting at the Songprak river was a very fun experience.
- Rent a boat, get on your sweet swimming costume and go island hopping at Koh Hong, Koh Poda, Koh Tap, Koh Kai, Koh Mor Koh Rok, Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, Koh Lanta, Koh Yao Islands. For all those people who like a little bit of adventure cum activities, there is snorkeling, kayaking, ATV drives, scuba diving and rock climbing at the Railay Beach.
- You have to try this dessert which has mango and sweet sticky rice
Phuket is Thailand’s most famous beach town. Phuket was voted one of the world’s top 5 retirement destinations by Fortune Magazine. Phuket is best known for its active and over-the- top nightlife, which includes lots of bars, music shows and alcohol.
Top things to do in Phuket
- Visit the Phuket night market, also known as naka market for a fun shopping and dine experience.
- The Phuket FantaSea Show is going to be a very fun dine experience. It includes a buffet of both international food and Thai food along with a Las-Vegas style theater show that showcases the best of Thailand’s myths and mysteries along with a cast of hundreds, performing elephants, trapeze artists and other animals and an exotic storyline. Click a posed picture with the performers at the FantaSea Show.
- Khao Rang Viewpoint is the perfect point for the panorama picture of the whole city. You should dine at the restaurants here and enjoy the view while you see the sunset.
- The Big Buddha of Phuket is on the peak of a mountain near Phuket town. The statue is 45 m in height and covered in white Burmese marble.
- Do not miss the wild nightlife at Patong Beach.
- You must visit the old Phuket town to get the local feel. You will find various restaurants and small temples you could visit.
- Take a waterproof camera and capture the marine life while snorkeling.
- Sprawling Kinnaree Entertainment Complex in the town of Rawaii has Kinaree Elephant Trekking which every tourist must go to. Besides all this, there is also the Cobra Show, Monkey Show, the Phuket Shooting Range and Archery which you can take part in.
- Apart from all the above activities, there is paragliding, banana boats, jet skis and windsurfing available at the busier beaches such as Patong and Karon.
- Take a classic looking-at-the-beach-in-your-cute-shorts kinda picture
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital city and also the largest city in the country. It is filled with high rise buildings, ancient temples, nightclubs, busy markets and streets filled with vendors selling the traditional Thai food, clothes and souvenirs. The city is well known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts. Bangkok was named the most visited city in MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index, and was named “World’s Best City” for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Top things to do in Bangkok
- Visit the Grand Palace to see the home of Thai Kings and the Royal court. It’s called The Grand Palace but “grand” doesn’t even begin to describe just how stunning this historic complex of buildings really is.
- Wat Arun is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand.
- Shop at the dark alleys of Chinatown’s bazaars. You will get everything ranging from hair accessories, hardware and food, tea sets, to fabric, different vegetables imported from mainland China here.
- Shop again at the Chatuchak market. It is the one stop market where you will get everything from fabrics, furniture, foods, plants, books, antiques, clothes, ceramics, flowers, drinks, toys, household items, everything you can imagine to use in your everyday life!
- Shop again at the MBK mall and The Platinum Fashion mall.
- If you are still not bored or done with shoping visit the Patpong Night Market
- This ones an absolute “CANT MISS SPOT”. The Dome Sky Bar is best stops you will make in Bangkok. Located on the 63rd floor of Lebua, it is the most stunning rooftop sky bar. And yes it’s the sky bar we all saw in hangover 2. You can see the whole of Bangkok and the sunset view there is worth a million bucks
- For everyone who likes history, you should visit the Bangkok national museum to get to know about the complex history of Thailand.
- Lumpini Park is the Central Park of Bangkok! The open spaces and greenery without the traffic congestion, noise and fumes is what makes this place perfect to go to with your special someone.
- Damnoen Saduak is the best floating market in Bangkok and everyone must visit it once atleast. It’s a huge lively market selling food and fruits on boats. This is the perfect place to take a photo to show off back home.
- Visit the vivid and colorful Flower Market (Pak Klong Talat) where you will find all the kinds of flowers, vegetables and fruits. You name the flower and you will get it here.