Table of Contents

1. Visit the capital of Thailand – Bangkok

Let’s begin this Thailand travel guide in Bangkok, the country’s capital.

When you arrive in Bangkok, you will be overwhelmed by the noises, smells, traffic, and crowds. In other words, you will be immersed in the culture of this vibrant city!

If you visit the center or the north of Thailand, you will almost certainly arrive or depart from Bangkok. Take advantage of the opportunity to spend two or three days there to recover from jet lag and acclimate to Asia.

Even if opinions about Thailand’s largest city differ, it remains a must-see on any trip to the country.

There are all the best places to visit in Bangkok:

  • The Royal Palace (or Grand Palace) is a landmark and one of Bangkok’s most visited attractions. Inside, you can see the Emerald Buddha Temple, a museum, and several pavilions with beautiful scenery.
  • Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple located on the other side of the river from the Royal Palace. It features an 82-meter-high central Prang (tower) entirely covered in small pieces of colored porcelain and statues.
  • Wat Pho is Bangkok’s third most famous temple. The famous 45-meter-long reclining Buddha statue can be found there.
  • Khao San Road: Previously a backpacker area, Khao San Road is now popular with all types of tourists. There are shops, bars, restaurants, and guest houses where you can relax.
  • The Golden Mount: built on a hill, the temple provides a 360-degree view of the city.
  • Chinatown is a lively and crowded district with numerous street stands and shops. There, don’t miss Wat Traimit, a temple that houses the world’s largest golden statue (5.5 tons!).
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market: With 15,000 stands, this market is the largest in Thailand, if not all of Asia. And, as the name implies, it is only open on weekends. There is absolutely everything there, divided into several sections: clothes, souvenirs, shoes, food, jewelry…
  • The Siam district is home to numerous shopping malls, including the MBK Center and Siam Paragon. This is Bangkok’s most well-known shopping district.

Don’t forget to look up a bit while you’re in Bangkok so you don’t miss the electrical installations. From an artistic standpoint, this is a masterpiece!

Bangkok Grand Palace

2. Admire Kanchanaburi and the Bridge Over the River Kwai

Kanchanaburi is 130 kilometers northwest of Bangkok.

Even if you haven’t heard the name, you’ve probably heard of the Bridge Over the River Kwai, one of Thailand’s most important tourist and historical sites. It represents the city’s tragic past during World War II.

The Japanese army enslaved thousands of prisoners of war in Kanchanaburi to build more than 400 kilometers of the railway line between Thailand and Myanmar. More than   16 000 people died during the construction due to disease, brutality, and malnutrition.

It was the only steel bridge built in Thailand among the 688 bridges built by the Japanese army.

If you are interested in history, you should visit Kanchanaburi and its main attractions:

  • The railway museum, tells the story of “the death railway” and the prisoners’ harsh living conditions.
  • The Allied Military Cemetery contains the graves of nearly 7,000 soldiers.
  • Death War Museum, where you can see prisoners’ letters and personal belongings.
  • The view from the World War II Museum over the famous bridge
  • Of course, don’t forget to cross the bridge!

In addition to the Bridge Over the River Kwai, there is another (more cheerful) attraction in Kanchanaburi’s vicinity: Erawan National Park.

The park’s main attraction is the Erawan Waterfall, a seven-level waterfall. There, you can swim, walk along the river on a botanical trail, and see a few caves.

Voyage Tips – Advice

Take care of your belongings while swimming. There are many monkeys in the park, and they will not hesitate to open your bags and steal your sunglasses!

Erawan waterfall, around Kanchanaburi


Kavalan Distillery


3. Ayutthaya – Visiting the Ancient Capital of Thailand

The Historic City of Ayutthaya is located approximately 75 kilometers north of Bangkok.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best places to visit in Thailand! It was the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam and was an important economic and commercial center for a long time.

Ayutthaya is an ideal day trip destination from Bangkok, as it is easily accessible by bus (1h30), train (2 h), or car (45 min).

Ayutthaya Historical Park contains dozens of ruined temples spread across fifteen sites. Because it is so large, visiting the six main temples will take you about a full day.

To visit them, purchase the 220 Baht pass, which is the most convenient. If you don’t want to visit all of them, you can buy each ticket separately.

The following temples are included in the pass:

  • Wat Mahathat: one of the most well-known, you may have seen a photograph of Buddha’s head statue encased in the roots of a tree.
  • Wat Ratchaburana and its very well-preserved Trang (tower) 
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet is one of the most beautiful in Ayutthaya in my opinion.
  • At sunset, visit Wat Phra Ram, Wat Maheyong, and Wat ChaiWatthanaram.

You can visit Ayutthaya by renting a bicycle (50 baht per day), a motorcycle, or taking a tuk-tuk tour. If you arrive by car, simply park in one of the parking lots located at the entrance to each temple.

Walking between temples is quite far. So you should rent a bicycle for easy visiting.

Because several rivers cross in Ayutthaya, it is also possible to visit some of the temples by boat. The best time to do this is unquestionably at sunset!


4. Explore the unique Monkey town – Lopburi

If you’re looking for things to do in Thailand near Ayutthaya, head to Lopburi, which is about an hour away.

Lopburi, one of the country’s oldest cities, has a few ruined temples. They are, however, not the main attraction!

The majority of visitors come to see the numerous monkeys that have colonized the area. Hundreds of them can be found among the ruins.

Prang Sam Yot is the most well-known site, both for the monkeys and its architecture.

Voyage Tips – Advice

Keep your food in your bag and take care of your hat and sunglasses.

Remember that monkeys are wild animals! A bite or scratch can occur quickly. We can assure you that after viewing the explanatory panels with photos depicting the effects of an infected bite, you will be cautious.

Lopburi, the city of monkeys

5. Discover Thailand’s “Happy Kingdom” – Sukhothai

If you want to visit temples while in Thailand, you can go to Sukhothai.

Sukhothai Historical Park is in northern Thailand, 400 kilometers from Bangkok and 280 kilometers from Chiang Mai.

Sukhothai, like Ayutthaya, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Siam kingdom.

The site contains several ruined temples spread across three areas:

  • The central area (entrance fee of 100 Baht) is the most interesting because it contains the largest and best-preserved temples. Allow about 2 hours to visit the temples on foot. You can also rent a bike, but it’s not very practical for such short distances.
  • The North Zone (entrance fee of 100 Baht) consists primarily of two temples, the most famous of which is a 15-meter-high sitting Buddha. You’ll need a bike or a car to get there from the city center.
  • The West Zone (entrance fee of 100 Baht): Due to the distance between the ruins, it is best to visit by car. But, honestly, aside from Wat Saphan Hin and its Buddha statue atop the hill, there’s nothing to see. 

The three areas will take about 4 hours to visit by car and a full day to visit by bike. It’s an absolute must-see on any Thailand road trip!


6. Admire the “Northern Rose” – Chiang Mai

Do you want to explore the North of Thailand? Then you should make your way to Chiang Mai.

This city has an international airport, and you can fly directly there, usually after a stopover in Bangkok. Chiang Mai can also be reached by bus or train from Bangkok, as well as by car.

Here are the best things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Take a stroll through the old town, which is home to the majority of the temples. Among these are the well-known Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chiang Man.
  • Join a Thai cooking class: this is the best city for you to join a cooking class in your itinerary
  • Discover the local markets: there’s plenty to keep you busy between Warorot Market, the Night Bazaar, and the Saturday/Sunday Night Markets!
  • Register bamboo huts by the water at Huay Lake. It is a popular weekend destination for Thais.
  • Doi Suthep Temple is located in Doi Suthep National Park, about 10 minutes by car from the city.
  • Visit Bhubing Palace and stroll through the Royal Family’s winter palace’s flowered gardens.
  • Visiting an elephant sanctuary (but not riding them!).

Doi Suthep Temple, in Chiang Mai

7. Immerse yourself in the famous tourist city of the land of the Golden Temple – Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is yet another significant city in northern Thailand.

It’s 200 kilometers northeast of Chiang Mai and has an airport with daily flights to Bangkok or southern islands like Phuket or Krabi. It is also accessible by bus or car, but there is no railway station (the nearest one is in Chiang Mai).

Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand: What to See

  • The white temple, or Wat Rong Khun, is without a doubt one of the main reasons why visitors come to this city. The White Temple is well-known throughout the world, and its reputation is well-deserved. It’s truly amazing!
  • Wat Rong Suea Ten, or the Blue Temple: as you might expect, everything here is blue, from the massive statues at the entrance to the Buddha! It’s a beautiful place to visit, and admission is free.
  • The Night Bazaar: This night market is ideal for purchasing a variety of souvenirs. It’s less expensive but more beautiful than the one in Bangkok.
  • Visit Singha Park to capture the iconic image of the great golden lion at the park’s entrance. Continue down the road until you reach a scenic viewpoint overlooking a tea plantation. There is also an animal farm.
  • The Black House Museum, also known as the Baandam Museum, is an unusual place with small houses decorated with crocodile skins and other “dark” and unique objects.
  • The largest waterfall in the Chiang Rai area, Khun Korn Waterfall, is easily accessible and can be reached on foot in about 30 minutes from the car park.
  • The Huai Pla Kang / Wat Huai Pla Kang / Big Pagoda: a collection of three massive and completely different monuments located in the same location. It’s beautiful and impressive to see.
  • The Mae Fah Luang Garden is located on the summit of Doi Tung mountain. Stroll through the beautiful flower park and pay a visit to the Princess’s Mother’s residence, the Doi Tung Royal Villa.

The White Temple in Chiang Rai

8. Trek through the northern mountains.

You should go on a trek during your vacation in Northern Thailand. It’s the ideal location for such activities!

Many tour companies offer treks of varying lengths and difficulty levels to explore the mountains and meet the ethnic groups of the region.

You can visit Akha, Karen (a tribe known for its “women with long necks,” also known as “giraffe women”), or Kahu villages and possibly stay in a local house.

These treks are becoming more popular, with an emphasis on ethical and sustainable development (for the most part, at least). The funds raised are used to fund health centers or scholarships.

A woman from the Karen tribe

9. Discover Mae Hong Son – Thailand’s ‘hidden paradise’

Mae Hong Son is one of Thailand’s most remote provinces. It shares a border with Burma.

Pai, the most well-known city in this area, is located 145 kilometers northwest of Chiang Mai. It’s popular among Thais (who don’t mind traveling from Bangkok!) and tourists.

There aren’t any major tourist attractions. People come to Pai for the unique Hippie and bohemian atmosphere, as well as to relax and enjoy the surrounding area’s beautiful landscapes.

And if you want to go out at night to eat or drink, there are plenty of places to choose.

Finally, Pai is well-known for its drug trafficking.

Around Pai, there are several waterfalls, hot springs, a few temples, and Pai Canyon, a popular place to watch the sunset.

Mae Hong Son province

10. Experience with Thai cultural tourism in the Isaan region

Isan, a region northeast of Bangkok, is often overlooked by Thai tourists. It is, however, a great place to visit if you want to get off the beaten path or if you have previously visited Thailand’s more popular tourist areas.

There, you’ll find Khao Yai National Park, one of the world’s most beautiful national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This large 2,100 km2 area is ideal for hiking and is home to many animals, including tigers, leopards, and pythons. There are also gibbons and birds.

While you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit Nang Rong and its Khmer temples.

Although they are not as well-known as the Angkor temples in Cambodia, they are still worth a visit.

You must visit Phanom Rung Historical Park to admire them. It is built on the rim of a volcano and towers over the surrounding area, housing several temples.

Khmer Temple – Isan Province

11. Immerse yourself in the jewel of Thailand – Phuket

I can’t write a Thailand travel guide without mentioning Phuket.

It is the largest island in Thailand and unquestionably one of the most touristic. It is located in the southern part of the country, in the Andaman Sea.

All of the activities in Phuket are concentrated on the west side of the island, specifically near Patong.

Bangla Road is the place to go if you want to go to a bar or a nightclub. Patong also has a popular beach and many hotels for every budget, ranging from large resorts to small guesthouses.

This is the ideal location for those who enjoy entertainment and partying!

You’d rather unwind and enjoy the peace? There are quieter beaches on the island, such as Kata Beach and Nai Harn Beach. But don’t expect to have the beach to yourself!

You can also go rock climbing, kite-surfing, paragliding, inner tubing, four-wheelers, bungee jumping, zip-lining, high ropes courses, and scuba diving in Phuket.

An important tip: always be wary of the equipment’s quality and inquire about the agency’s dependability. Accidents occur every year because safety regulations are not always followed.

Phuket Town, a pleasant old town with pretty buildings in Chinese-Portuguese style architecture and the main street lined with cafés and trendy boutiques, is also worth a visit.

Day trips from Phuket can also be taken to neighboring islands such as James Bond Island and Koh Phi Phi (continue reading for more details).

If you want to learn more about the best things to do in Phuket, check out my article: Visit Phuket: the Ultimate Guide.


12. Krabi sea paradise in Thailand

Krabi is located on the other side of the Andaman Sea from Phuket.

The karst formations that border Krabi’s coast contribute significantly to the spectacular beauty of the landscape.

There are the things to do in Krabi, Thailand:

  • Climb the 1,237 steps to the top of Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Suea to enjoy the breathtaking view of the area.
  • Khao Kanab Nam: The town’s emblem is these karstic rocks shaped like crab claws.
  • In Krabi Town, there is a white temple called Wat Kaew.
  • A day trip to the islands – The most popular is the four-island tour, which includes Turtle Island, Chicken Island, Tup Island, and Mor Island.
  • The Night Market is a great place to learn about the local cuisine.
  • Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature Trail for 4 kilometers and then enjoy the view from the summit.
  • Emerald Pool: a natural emerald-green pool ideal for a swim!
  • Visit Khao Phanom Bencha National Park for a walk through the tropical forest.
  • A journey to Koh Phi Phi


13. Discover long beaches Ao Nang / Railay

Ao Nang is approximately 20 kilometers from Krabi. If you want to go to the beach during your stay in Krabi, this is the closest location.

Ao Nang has long beaches with beautiful sand and clear turquoise waters. The main street, which borders the beach, is lined with cafés, restaurants, and tour agencies. It’s also where you’ll find hotels of all price ranges.

Along with swimming, you will be able to participate in a variety of activities such as scuba diving, kayaking through the mangroves, snorkeling, kitesurfing, and biking.

Railay, a large peninsula accessible only by long-tail boats, is accessible from Ao Nang. Railay West Beach can be reached in less than 10 minutes.

This beach is breathtaking, surrounded by massive karstic cliffs! Shops, restaurants, and hotels can be found directly behind the beach.

You should also visit Phra Nang Beach while in Railay. Despite being very busy, it is often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

Last but not least, Railay is a fantastic rock climbing destination in Thailand. There are approximately 700 paths to choose from, with options for both beginners and experts.


14. Enjoy yourself on Koh Phi Phi island

The islands of Koh Phi Phi, located in the Andaman Sea between Phuket and Koh Lanta, are among Thailand’s most beautiful tourist destinations.

These islands are well-known as a result of the film “The Beach,” starring Leonardo Di Caprio. The well-known Maya Bay Beach on Koh Phi Phi Leh has quickly become a must-see on any tour of Southern Thailand.

Over eight years, nearly 5,000 visitors walked up and down the beach every day.

As you might expect, mass tourism had disastrous consequences for the local ecosystem and corals. The situation became so serious that Thai authorities were forced to intervene, and the beach has been closed to the public since 2018.

But don’t worry, you can still see the beach while on your day trip!

The second island, Koh Phi Phi Don, also has some stunning beaches. Waterskiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and snorkeling are all available here. Climbing rocks is also very popular.

With an increasing number of hotels and youth hostels on the island, you will have no trouble finding a place to stay.

You will also have no trouble finding places to party. Koh Phi Phi is a lively island with one of the best nightlife scenes in Thailand!

If you’re looking for peace, you’d be better off visiting another Thai island.

Koh Phi Phi

15. Go Sea Kayaking and Explore Caves in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is another lovely island to visit while in Thailand.

It is located about 70 kilometers south of Krabi in the Andaman Sea and is easily accessible by boat from Krabi or Phuket.

It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Thai island with dazzling sandy beaches that aren’t too crowded. The further you get away from the port, the quieter it becomes!

The best way to explore the beaches of Koh Lanta is to rent a scooter for the day. Here are my three favorite spots on the island:

  • Kantiang Beach: A lovely beach crowned by the Diamond Cliff bar/restaurant, which is one of the best places to watch the sunset.
  • Khlong Chak Beach: A more intimate and smaller sandy beach.
  • Bamboo Beach is a large, wild sandy beach that borders the jungle. When we were there in January, it was nearly empty (tourism is high-season in Thailand).

You should take the 4-island tour from Koh Lanta: in one day, you will visit Koh Chueak, Koh Waen, Koh Muk, and Koh Ngai islands. You will board the boat in the morning and stop several times on the four islands for snorkeling and beach exploration before returning to Koh Lanta around 16h.

A day trip to Koh Rok island is also possible from Koh Lanta. The tours include several snorkeling stops around the island as well as time to relax on the beach.

Koh Lanta

16. Relaxing In The Most Beautiful Thailand Beach – Koh Yao Noi

Let us now discuss my favorite island, Ko Yao Noi. During my trip, I was extremely fortunate to come across this little paradise!

It’s less well-known than the other islands I mentioned. I had never heard of it before planning my trip to Thailand and only discovered it by chance.

Ko Yao Noi (not to be confused with its neighbor, Ko Yao Yai!) is only 30 minutes by speed boat from Phuket.

It’s the ideal island for relaxing in a bungalow by the sea during your vacation. The beaches are fantastic!

You can easily tour the island on a scooter, stopping at beaches like Long Beach and Build Beach, for example.

However, you should prioritize boat day excursions to explore the other islands. There are several options available, each with a different selection of islands to visit.

Monkey Island, Ko Pak Bia, Koloa Landing, and Ko Hong are among my favorites. The scenery was breathtaking; it was without a doubt one of the highlights of my trip.

Another Ko Yao Noi excursion takes you to four islands plus James Bond Island. Even though James Bond Island is extremely touristy, the scenery is stunning.

Koh Yao Noi

17. Take In The Interesting Sights At Hin Ta And Hin Yai In Koh Samui

Koh Samui is located in Thailand’s Gulf.

It is the second-largest island after Phuket.

Koh Samui attracts affluent visitors who come to enjoy the beaches, 5-star hotels, and luxury spas. The goal is to unwind and tan!

And at the end of the day, the island comes alive: Koh Samui is the ideal place to party all night!

During the day, don’t miss the Big Buddha Temple or the Na Muang waterfall, two major tourist attractions that can be visited on a day trip.

Koh Samui

18. Snorkeling around Koh Phangan

Koh Pha Ngan is adjacent to Koh Samui.

This island hosts the well-known Full Moon Party. Every month, on the night of the full moon, a massive party draws thousands of people to Haad Rin beach. There will be music, dancing, games, and, of course, free-flowing alcohol!

And if you want to enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches, you should avoid the full moon party dates.

Voyage Tips – Advice

If you intend to visit Koh Phangan for the Full Moon, you should make your reservations months in advance.

Full moon party on the island of Ko Pha Ngan

19. Participate In Similan Islands Snorkeling Tour 

The Similan Islands are located in the Andaman Sea northwest of Phuket.

The Similan Islands Marine National Park encompasses this archipelago of nine islands.

The Similan Islands are among the top ten most beautiful dive sites in the world, making it the ideal place to go diving in Thailand. The water is particularly clear and teeming with fish and corals.

The most convenient way to visit the islands and explore the seabed is to take a day trip from Phuket or Khao Lak. The tour includes transfers to and from the port, breakfast, a boat trip, lunch, and snorkeling in three or four different locations.

Of course, you can do “real” scuba diving with air tanks as well. It is available at dozens of diving centers.

The Similan Islands

20. Visit The National Parks Of Thailand

Thailand has several national parks, both on land and at sea. They all provide breathtaking scenery and an excellent opportunity to learn about the country’s flora and fauna.

A list of the most beautiful parks to visit in Thailand:

  • The aforementioned Similan Islands National Marine Park.
  • Khao Yai National Park, located east of Bangkok, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Chiang Mai Province’s Doi Inthanon National Park. The highest mountain in Thailand, known as “The Roof of Thailand,” can be found there.
  • The Erawan National Park and its numerous waterfalls
  • Mu In Surat Thani Province, visit Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park, which is close to Koh Samui Khao Sok National Park and contains one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests.
  • Doi Suthep National Park is located near Chiang Mai.

Voyage Tips – Advice

It is important to note that collecting flowers, pebbles, shells, or coral, as well as feeding fish, is strictly prohibited in all Thai National Parks.

The use of drones is also prohibited.

They are not joking about this, so you should strictly adhere to these guidelines to avoid being fined or imprisoned.

Doi Suthep National Park, Thailand

21. Enjoy The Crazy Nightlife In Pattaya

Pattaya is Thailand’s main seaside resort, located less than 200 kilometers from Bangkok.

Tourists come to the city primarily to have fun and enjoy the crazy nightlife in gogos-bars or other cabarets featuring shemales. It has a sour reputation, and prostitution is especially prevalent.

There are the 5 best places to visit in Pattaya, Thailand:

  • Pattaya Walking Street is a pedestrian street with hip shops and restaurants.
  • The seashore
  • The Sanctuary of Truth is constructed of wood and adorned with numerous statues
  • The Market for Floating Assets
  • The Nong Noon Garden is a lovely botanical garden

Pattaya also has a plethora of shopping centers and golf courses.


22. Seeing elephants in Thailand

During your visit to Thailand, you may have the opportunity to see elephants.

I emphasize the word “see” because I do not recommend riding elephants on a safari. You are probably aware of how these elephants are treated, so I strongly discourage you from taking part.

Please keep in mind that an elephant would never agree to carry you on its back naturally; only mistreated elephants will do so. Don’t believe what their owners tell you.

Several sanctuaries throughout the country help abused, beaten, or abandoned elephants. You could spend a half-day or day assisting the staff with feeding or washing them.

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is well-known for its ethics. Everything is done to keep the elephants in an environment as close to nature as possible.

Seeing Elephants in Thailand

23. Thailand Diving

You will be delighted if you travel to Thailand to dive and snorkel. The destination has some of the world’s most beautiful diving spots.

You can observe the seabed from any of the islands, including Phuket, Ko Samui, and Koh Lanta, using masks and snorkels or, for the more daring, scuba diving.

Thailand’s most well-known diving spots include:

  • Koh Tao is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Koh Samui. This island is well-known for being a great place to learn to scuba dive.
  • Similan Islands, west of Phuket, and Khao Lak Ang Thong National Park, also west of Phuket, on the way to Koh Samui.
  • The Surin Islands are located near the Similan Islands

Diving in Koh Tao

24. Enjoy a Thai massage

Nothing beats a good massage to get you back on track for the next day after a long day of sightseeing!

There are many massage parlors in Thailand, and most hotels provide this service as well.

You will have the option of receiving foot, leg, or back massages. The good news is that Thai massages are very affordable: one-hour sessions start at 250 Baht (approximately 7-8 euros).

Of course, there are more opulent versions: 5-star spas are ideal for getting a massage in a picturesque setting, such as the middle of lush gardens or by the sea.

Thai massage

25. Discover Thai cuisine

During your trip to Thailand, you will also have the opportunity to sample the local cuisine.

We’ve all seen pictures of scorpion skewers, grilled crickets, and even lively big worms on tourist markets. Fortunately, this type of food is usually a tourist attraction and isn’t particularly representative of Thai cuisine.

I’ll tell you right away that Thailand is one of the best travel destinations for foodies!

During my month there, I tried every type of street food and restaurant. Even though most dishes are quite simple, consisting of meat + rice or noodles, they are always topped with a variety of vegetables and spices and are very tasty!

So here’s a quick rundown of the dishes available in the country:

  • Fried rice, rice sautéed with vegetables and meat (choice of chicken, pork, beef, or sometimes shrimps)
  • Pad Thai: fried noodles topped with shrimp, eggs, peanuts, and soy sprouts.
  • Pat See You: large soy-sautéed noodles
  • Pat Krapao (chicken and basil)
  • Le Lap Mou: a papaya salad with fish, lemon, and chili sauce served with rice Som Tam. It tastes great, but you must enjoy spicy foods!
  • Tom Kha Kai is a coconut-milk-based chicken soup.
  • Red curry with chicken or pork, known as Kaeng Phed.
  • Khao Niao Ma Mouang, or sticky rice with coconut milk and mango, is a popular Thai dessert.

Discover the excellent Thai cuisine

Bonus: Thailand’s festivals and celebrations

You now know everything there is to know about the best places to visit in Thailand.

However, numerous festivals and events take place throughout the year!

Here is the list of the most famous festivals in the country:

  • Songkran: the Thai New Year (April) is celebrated with massive water battles in the cities.
  • Krathong Law: the world’s most famous lantern festival, with thousands of lanterns lighting up the sky and rivers. In November, it commemorates the end of the rainy season.
  • In February, Chiang Mai hosts the Flower Festival for three days.
  • The international kite festival (held throughout the country in March).
  • The vegetarian festival: To purify themselves, participants will refrain from eating meat for 9 days. The ceremonies are especially powerful when people in trance pierce their skin with various objects.
  • Chinese New Year is usually celebrated in early February. Thailand’s major cities are holding celebrations.
  • The Lopburi Monkey Festival is a massive banquet held to thank the monkeys for attracting so many tourists. It is held in November.

The Krathong Festival, in Thailand


26. Visit Various Islands In Thailand.

Thailand has more than 300 islands; consider visiting a few of them. Choose the first Thai island on your bucket list, and then decide how many islands you’ll visit after that. Here are the top islands in Thailand in case you need some guidance on where to travel.


If you ask me, island hopping in Thailand is one of the most amazing things to do. We adore simply hiring a longtail boat for the day and discovering a secluded island. The island of Koh Lipe is our favorite!


27. Get Yourself A Sak Yant Tattoo

Purchase a keepsake that will endure forever. Traditional Thai tattoos called “Sak Yant” are applied by monks using metal rods (not a tattoo gun). The tattoos are said to be endowed with magical abilities; typically, the monk determines what you need to be protected from and bases your tattoo on this.


Undoubtedly, this is among the most distinctive activities in Thailand.


If you’d rather, you can specify to the monk what you want protection for. With the help of this business, you can get a sterile and secure Sak Yant tattoo in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, and Sukhothai. We used this business to get our Sak Yant tattoos in Chiang Mai.


28. Tool A Tuk Tuk 

It’s a must and a blast to ride a tuk-tuk in Thailand. Depending on your negotiating skills, they are usually less expensive and more prevalent than taxis. Always agree on a price before participating.


This Bangkok by night tuk-tuk tour is highly recommended if this is your first visit to Bangkok. It visited numerous Bangkok landmarks and even sped through the line at the city’s top Pad Thai restaurant.


29. Observe a Thai Muay Fight 

Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai, is something you should check out. Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai, is a full-contact sport where competitors use their fists, elbows, knees, and shins. It is also referred to as “the art of eight limbs.”


The best fights take place in Bangkok, though nearly all major Thai cities have a ring. Lumpinee Stadium is the ideal location in Bangkok to watch a Muay Thai match. Even very inexpensive Muay Thai lessons are available.


30. Do a street food tour

A street food tour is an ideal way to experience Thai cuisine. You can affordably sample everything, and a local guide will describe what each item is and what’s in it. The best place to do this, in our opinion, is at a street food stand in Bangkok.


Try to take a street food tour during the first few days of your trip to Thailand if you plan to stay there for two weeks. This will help you become familiar with the local cuisine and culture early on in your trip and make it easier for you to find delicious food all along. Before venturing out, be sure to read our article on street food safety.

31. Visit a Floating Market In The Morning

Jump on a boat, and you’ll feel as though you’re sailing through the canals of Venice, only “different.” We suggest skipping lunch before coming because the market is packed with fresh fruit, cooked foods, and regional trinkets.


Bangkok has several floating markets, but the most well-known one, Damnoen Saduak, is situated 60 miles outside of the city. For more information on private tours that offer a comprehensive tour of Bangkok’s highlights, including the Damnoen Saduak floating market, click here. Khlong Lat Mayom is Bangkok’s top floating market.


A romantic location for honeymooners is Chiang Rai, Thailand, where the sun sets over the white temple.

32. Explore White Temple in Chang Rai

The stunning White Temple is situated in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. For obvious reasons, Wat Rong Khun is infamously known as the White Temple. A local artist bought the temple and restored it for 40 million baht (more than USD 1 million).

33. Visit The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is by far the top attraction in Bangkok. Give yourself at least two hours to wander the grounds because the architecture and detail are exquisite. Keep in mind that both men and women need to cover their shoulders and knees. For more details, be sure to read our article on the top temples in Bangkok.


34. Deguster Pad Thai

If you’ve ever eaten Thai food, chances are it was Pad Thai, but trying real, fresh Pad Thai will leave you speechless. On the streets of Bangkok, we’ve eaten some of the best Pad Thai we’ve ever had. Make sure to locate a vendor who is producing it right away. You can get a meal that is as genuine as it gets for less than $2.

35. Visit Kanchanaburi and the Kwai Bridge

The Bridge Over the River Kwai is Kanchanaburi’s main attraction. Spend some time exploring Erwan National Park and taking the hike to Erwan Falls.

36. Admire Sunset In A Sky Bar In Bangkok 

Sunsets on the beach are spectacular, but Bangkok Sky Bar offers an even better view. Bangkok is home to a ton of sky bars, but Red Sky Bangkok is our favorite. They don’t have a strict dress code, and they offer two for one drinks during happy hour, which is from 5-7 pm.


The average drink at Lebu State Tower Sky Bar (the one from Hangover 2) costs USD 20, and our friends just spent $300 there for 4 people without wearing jeans or flip-flops.



Discover the recipes for all your favorite Thai dishes. Most Thai cooking classes begin at the market so that you can quickly learn what ingredients are used in the dishes and, ideally, identify them when you visit your neighborhood supermarket.


We chose the recipes for our cooking class in Chiang Mai, and as a result, we now appreciate curries much more. Making curry paste requires a lot of effort and time.


38. Watch a Chang Mai Ladyboy Show

Walking through Thailand, you’ll notice how many ladyboys there are. The Chiang Mai ladyboy show, which takes place every night in the city’s night market, is one of the best places to see the best of the best. This is a show put on by entertainers rather than a ping-pong bar.


We have now attended the Chiang Mai Ladyboyshow three times, and we continue to do so each time we visit the city. For 200 Baht, you get a drink and a roughly 90-minute show with some incredible ladyboys, who are so good-looking and have amazing bodies that they put many women to shame.


39. Visit “The Beach” In Your Itinerary

Watching “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio, in which Maya Bay plays the role of “Beach,” has always been on our bucket list. This was the top item on our itinerary for our honeymoon in Thailand.


Update: Due to the increase in visitors over the past ten years, “The Beach” is currently closed for environmental reconstruction. When it will reopen has not been announced by the Thai government.


You shouldn’t let this deter you from visiting Koh Phi Phi and the nearby islands, though. This tiny group of islands features numerous magnificent beaches and shallow lagoons encircled by stunning limestone cliffs. Local boat captains have changed the destinations of their day trips to take tourists to other breathtaking locations rather than Maya Bay.


40. Join A Party On Khaosan Road

Khao San Road is always a blast, whether you’re a party-goer or enjoy people-watching. Khaosan Road was referred to as “the center of the backpacking universe” in the widely read book “The Beach.” This is the hub for all backpackers in Southeast Asia, so this description is accurate.


It’s a great location for meeting other travelers, getting a cheap massage, eating street food, getting a little tipsy, and shopping for inexpensive T-shirts and elephant pants. Every time we visit Bangkok, we spend the evening on Khaosan Road drinking Chang beer, getting a foot massage on the sidewalk for $7 an hour, and taking in all the chaos.


42. Go To Elephant National Park 

Do your research before visiting any elephant “sanctuaries” or riding elephants in Thailand. If you watch this video about elephant tourism, you won’t want to go there.


The only legitimate location that rescues and rehabilitates elephants is Elephant Nature Park, which is located outside of Chiang Mai. Even the night can be spent in the park. For a taste of what to expect, take a look at these amusing videos from Elephant Nature Park.


43. Try Durian Fruit 

The durian fruit has earned the moniker “world’s stinkiest fruit” for good reason. No Durian Fruit Allowed signs with a spiky root and an X are common inside hotels, buildings, and taxis.


A durian fruit will make the entire area smell bad if it is cracked open in a small space. You can try it either fresh or dried, or even in durian ice cream, but to us, it always tastes like stale onions hidden inside soiled socks. Have something handy to wash it down with.


44. Stay In A Overwater Bungalow 

You can stay in an overwater bungalow without flying to Tahiti or the Maldives. Overwater bungalows are available in several locations throughout Thailand, but the River Kwai’s floating homes are at the top of our list of must-see attractions.


45. Explore Thai’s Night Market

There are night markets in almost every city in Thailand. It’s a great location for shopping, dining, entertainment, and many other activities. Chiang Mai has some of the best night markets; there is one there every night, as well as on Saturday and Sunday, just outside the old city.


We advise arriving at the Saturday & Sunday night markets no later than 6 o’clock. If you go later in the evening, the streets are crowded and extremely busy. Cash should be brought.


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