Holidaying in Thailand is on many travelers’ bucket list, and I assume you’re reading this article because you finally decide to plan a trip to the Land of Smiles, to get it off your travel list. That’s awesome! I can assure you that Thailand is a perfect choice for you to go on holiday.
The Asian country has many things that attract over 30 million tourists each year. These include good weather, rich history, gorgeous beaches, ancient Buddhist temples, amazing food, Muay Thai, a lit nightlife, night markets, friendly people, Thai massages, and the fact that it is a cheap travel destination.
To help you better plan your trip to Thailand, in this article, I will show you some of the best places to visit in the country, and what to do there. You can add all of them to your travel itinerary depending on how long your trip to Thailand will be.
Here we go!
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and a very popular destination among tourists. In 2019, the city has so far received 22.78 million visitors, making it the most visited city in the world. Many tourists enter Thailand through Bangkok before venturing to other parts of the country. To be allowed into the country you might have to apply for a Thailand visa.
Bangkok will probably also be your first stop when you get to Thailand. You should spend time here because there are a lot of fun things to do and see. Some activities to do in Bangkok are:
- Visiting the Grand Palace, which is the most famous attraction in Bangkok. The palace once used to be Thailand’s royal family home. It is a beautiful place to explore.
- Shopping at the city’s floating markets. You don’t get to see floating markets in many cities around the world, so this is a must-do activity in Bangkok. You can buy your trip souvenirs at the floating markets or enjoy tasty Thai dishes.
- If you visit in April, celebrate Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year festival, by taking part in a water fight.
- Exploring Bangkok’s famous nightlife. One of the best places to party the night away is Khao San Road.
- Visiting Wat Arun, one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Thailand.
- Having the famous Thai Massage, one of these massages will leave you feeling so relaxed after a busy day sightseeing in Bangkok.
- Making a trip to the oldest zoo in Thailand, Dusit Zoo to see lions, tigers, monkeys, kangaroos, alligators, penguins, etc.
- Watching a kickboxing (Muay Thai) match.
Being the capital city, there are so many attractions in Bangkok I doubt you can see them all on one trip. I recommend you spend a few days here visiting the top attractions then move on to other cities in Thailand.
2. Chiang Mai
700 kilometers from Bangkok is a mountainous city called Chiang Mai. The city which is over 7 centuries old has close to 300 ancient temples you can explore. Its green and laid back atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax after a busy time seeing in Bangkok.
From Bangkok, you can get to Chiang Mai by bus, train or plane. To save on time, take the one hour flight from Thailand’s capital city to Chiang Mai International Airport.
If you ask the locals, there are two things you must do before leaving this city. One is going up Doi Suthep Mountain to get fantastic aerial views of Chiang Mai, and visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a 13th-century temple. The second thing is, you must sample the local cuisine, in particular, Khao Soi, a delicious noodle soup that originated in Chiang Mai but is now very popular across Thailand.
You must do these two things because the Thai people say “”If you haven’t tasted Khao Soi, and seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai.” Other activities you can do while in Chiang Mai include:
- Taking a Thai cooking class
- Visit the Elephant Nature Park, to pet, feed and bathe elephants.
- Going on a Chiang Mai night safari.
- Paying the Karen long neck tribe a visit.
- Touring The San Kamphaeng hot springs.
- Zip lining through the Chiang Mai Jungle.
This city located 80 kilometers from Bangkok was once the largest city in the world before it was attacked and destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. Today the ruins of the centuries-old city which include palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and ancient statues are archaeological gems that lots of tourists travel to see.
The main attraction in Ayutthaya is the Ayutthaya Historical Park. Located at the center of the city, the historical park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll love seeing the 67 stunning temples and imposing Buddha statues found there. Be sure to visit Wat Mahathat (Temple of the Great Relics) to take a photo of the sandstone Buddha head that has been enclosed by the roots of a tree.
Ayutthaya is not only about historical sites. You can visit the floating markets there to enjoy delicious Thai cuisine and shop. Once you’re done visiting the city you can take a boat tour back to Bangkok. The boat cruise will take you past attractions such as Wat Arun temple, which line up the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Phuket is another Thailand city that receives millions of visitors each year. Its white sandy beaches, sunny weather, spa treatments, and boat tours make this the perfect place to take a beach holiday in Thailand.
After a day of sunbathing and swimming at the beach, go out for a night of fun in Phuket’s vibrant party scene. Bangla Road is where the action happens. This road has many bars and clubs where you can grab a drink, listen to music, dance, and socialize with locals and other tourists.
Visiting the Tiger Kingdom animal sanctuary, the local zoo, and aquarium, Buddhist temples, local waterfalls are some of the other activities you can do in Phuket.
5. Hua Hin
This city was just a fishing village until Thailand King Rama VII started vacation there in the 1920s, after which it transformed into a top beach resort. Now it is a popular getaway for Bangkok residents who go there on weekends to visit its waterparks, relax on the beach, and play golf.
Located 200 kilometers from Bangkok, dining at the city’s many restaurants that serve cuisines from around the world is something you should do when you visit Hua Hin. Hiking Khao Takiab hill to get magical views of the sunset is another activity you’ll enjoy doing. I also recommend you tour the wineries, historic homes, mangrove forests, and sheep farms in the city.
Other cities you can visit in Thailand if you have the time are Khao Lak, Koh Samui, Krabi Town, Chanthaburi, Surat Thani, Pattaya, Kanchanaburi, and Chiang Rai.
Wherever you go in Bangkok, I hope you have a wonderful time!