From exploring canyons in Pai to partying it up in Bangkok, here’s our list of the absolute best places to visit in Thailand.
Thailand is one of the most popular countries in the world for tourists, and for a very good reason.
There’s just so much to see and do in Thailand that any type of traveler will easily feel at home there, whether they’re looking for parties, adventures, or just casual relaxation.
The Best Places to Visit in Thailand
The entire country is very welcoming and it’s heaven for all tourists as there are a lot of diverse places to visit in Thailand.
From the amazing Bangkok to tropical rainforests and ancient temples, Thailand is just an incredible destination to visit.
Khao Sok National Park
This national park is one of the most well-known natural attractions in Thailand.
Khao Sok is located on the mainland in southern Thailand, and it’s a large rainforest that was made into a national park in 1980.
The park itself is quite sizeable and is home to a wide variety of wildlife such as elephants, porcupines, bears, hornbills, and so much more.
On top of being one of the oldest rainforests in the world and a viable home to some of the world’s largest mammals, Khao Sok is most known for its unique and one-of-a-kind flowers like the Bua Phut.
The park is very well maintained.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities here, although there are only two maintained trails.
There are floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake, which are immensely popular, and the million-years-old limestone cavers are a sight to see as well.
Read our post all about our time at Khao Sok National Park.
Thailand is known for its incredible tropical paradise feel, and while there are a million spots like that in the country, few are as vibrant, charming, and relaxing as Koh Lipe.
Koh Lipe is the southernmost island in Thailand, and it’s sparsely populated in contrast to many of its counterparts.
Unlike many of the other islands in Thailand, Koh Lipe is not too developed.
You will find some of the most Zen and charming beaches in the country, as well as pure and almost untouched nature, which make it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.
The beaches with its crystal-clear turquoise waters and very fine white sand are stunning.
Scuba diving, watching sunsets, yoga, observing bioluminescent planktons, hiking, and so much more is possible on the island paradise that is Koh Lipe.
Anyone who is not sure where to go in Thailand but wants to see something totally unique and chilled vibe should definitely opt for a trip to check out the best things to do in Pai.
It’s a charming little town that’s very close to Chiang Mai – the second largest city in Thailand – and for such a small town, there is a mind-bogglingly large number of activities to explore.
The entire atmosphere of Pai is very calm and relaxing, and it’s considered something like a hippie commune in the middle of Thailand, where backpackers and visitors go to relax.
There is so much to explore and so much to see in Pai.
Some of the popular things to do in Pai are exploring the canyon, Pembok Waterfall, and driving around with a scooter amidst gorgeous nature while some of the friendliest folk you’ll ever meet are surrounding you.
The history of South East Asia is incredibly vibrant, turbulent, and diverse, and it’s filled with tales of old kingdoms in the form of old ruins left behind after their fall.
Ayutthaya, then the capital of one of those thriving kingdoms, Siam, was sacked and looted after a conflict with Burmese forces.
Ayutthaya used to be one of the most important trading posts in this part of the world, but it was also a centre for arts, culture, and religion, which is what most of the ruins are all about.
Here you’ll find plenty of old temples, whose silhouettes shape the sunset skies, and enormous stupas that evoke a lost feeling of grandeur.
The Historical Park of Ayutthaya is one of the most unique places to visit in Thailand because it looks and feels entirely magical.
As the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai is a cultural city that offers plenty of rest and relaxation for those who seek that.
It has hundreds of temples and unique streets and shops that make Chiang Mai one of the best places to visit in Thailand all on their own.
However, the real charm of Chiang Mai is the sheer amount of outdoors activities it has to offer, mainly because the surrounding nature is so pristine and varied that you’ll have a hard time trying to do anything else but have outdoor adventures.
Trekking is something everyone should do while visiting Chiang Mai, especially exploring the many trails in the Mae Tang and Chiang Dao districts.
You can also cycle, which is one of the most recommended things to do here, particularly if you like exploring the more rustic backdrop of the city.
There are plenty of other adventurous things to do here, like rafting, zip lining, and kayaking, all of which are very streamlined and incredibly easy to start doing.
Don’t miss our epic guide of the top things to do in Chiang Mai.
The town of Kanchanaburi has a long but dark history.
It used to be an important strategic location in World War II, mainly because of the Death Railway Bridge, which was one of the most important things built there in WWII.
Most of the things to see here are concerned with the war, and that’s why there are plenty of important and haunting museums.
However, this city is also considered to be a gateway of sorts into the nearby gorgeous and pristine national parks.
The Erawan National Park is one of them, which is one of most beautiful things to see in Thailand, as it has a multi-tiered waterfall that’s the perfect spot to visit for any nature lover.
History buffs will also enjoy this region because of the centuries-old ruins, like the Prasat Muang Singh, which used to be an old trading post and town in the 12th century.
READ MORE: Here’s our latest Thailand article, all about the best things to do in Kanchanaburi!
Chiang Rai is the sister town of Chiang Mai, and even though it’s not considered as popular, it’s still a fantastic destination on its own that deserves a lot more love.
It’s found in the northern parts of the country, close to the borders of Laos and Myanmar.
It’s a destination filled with temples, historic buildings, but also spots ideal for trekking and exploring.
You’ll find historic buildings like the White, Black, and Blue temples, each with its own vibrant and unique aesthetics.
One thing that every visitor should do is visit the northernmost point of the country, as it’s only a short drive from the city.
It is a signpost marked location that’s found on the border with Myanmar that connects the two countries via a bridge.
Among many other things, the nearby Tree Top Adventure Park is considered one of the best adventure activities in Thailand, where you can find rope bridges and zip lines surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
Khao Yai National Park
This is the first national park in Thailand and is also one of the largest ones.
It’s one of the most biodiverse parts of Thailand where you’ll find wildlife like monkeys, elephants, deer, macaques, and hundreds of other unique species.
Khao Yai is incredibly beautiful too – it’s filled with waterfalls, natural caves, deep rainforests, and gorgeous scenery, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular Thailand attractions.
Camping is one of the most popular things to do here, which is why there are plenty of campsites dotted around the park.
Due to the sheer number of parks, they’re often visited by critters, for which there are strict rules how visitors should handle them.
Bangkok is the single-most visited place in Thailand, and it’s an enormous metropolis that offers just about anything for anyone.
It’s considered the pillar of tourism in Thailand, and even though it might often feel like a place filled with tourists, it’s actually perfect for a visit.
Bangkok is one of the most popular places to visit in Thailand because there’s an excellent mix of urban and outdoor things to do.
You’ll be able to explore the city proper, discover, and subsequently fall in love with Thai culture.
However, having an adventure is also highly recommended, especially if you like adventurous activities like leaping from a plane, wakeboarding at Taco Lake, cycling, trekking, zip lining, and so much more.
There is no shortage of things to do in Bangkok, and it’s truly one of the finest places to visit in Thailand.
Check out full guide to the best things to do in Bangkok.
Down in the far south of Thailand, not too far from the Malaysian border, are some of the most spectacular islands in the Andaman Sea.
From Lipe to Libong, Kradan to Ngai, there’s no shortage of awesome places to explore down here.
One of our favourites though is the picture-perfect island of Koh Mook.
This old-fashioned paradise is the perfect place to use as a base for exploring all the other islands, and there’s plenty to do there to keep you occupied for a few days.
It’s laidback, beautiful, has lots of good spots to stay and some great restaurants. Well worth a visit!
Mae Hong Son
As a decidedly provincial town with obvious Burmese influences, Mae Hong Son is ideal for those that don’t really know what to do in Thailand but prefer to have a relaxing and calm time.
This northern town is relatively small, and at times, it hardly looks like a normal Thai town.
Unlike the rest of Thailand, Mae Hong Son has a mostly different culture, where it has far less tourists as it focuses more on domestic tourism rather than international.
Most of the visitors are Thai, which is why there is almost no party culture in this town, but rather calm and quiet activities for those that want to get away from other places in Thailand full of tourists.
On the other hand, trekking in Mae Hong Son is definitely one of the best things to do in Thailand as the terrain and landscape are so perfect that you’ll never want to leave.
Want a real adventure? Check out the Mae Hong Son Loop – the best motorcycle adventure in the country.
The quaint town of Kamphaeng Phet is an underrated destination.
In many ways, it’s the opposite of the regular Thailand tourist spots because it rarely sees many tourists, at least not international ones.
However, this is a town with a wide palette of things to see and do, especially if you’re a fan of history and tradition.
One of the coolest locations is the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well an archeological dig site that’s dotted with numerous temples and old ruins.
In the historical park, you’re free to wander and explore as much as you like, although make sure not to climb anything that resembles a Buddha statue.
The nearby Phra Ruang Hot Springs are just a pleasure to visit as they’re literally filled with hot water with healing and therapeutic properties.
On top of that, you have a very welcoming local culture, which makes this town one of the best places to go in Thailand.
From kayaking to motorbike exploration, the beautiful island of Koh Lanta offers everything.
It’s a totally laidback and charming destination, one that offers a lot more activities than it may initially lead on.
It’s a perfect destination for travellers on all budgets and there’s just so much to see and do.
Because it’s not as visited as many other islands, it’s not as developed, but that gives it a much more relaxed and homely vibe.
The long and empty beaches are ideal for relaxation, and the roads are perfect for driving a motorcycle.
This is a destination that you’ll definitely want to stay for as long as possible.
The food is also unbelievably good, as there are restaurants that serve traditional and unchanged recipes from centuries ago.
From hiking and exploring the stunning and unforgettable Koh Lanta National Park to scuba diving and kayaking through water caves, Koh Lanta is just an ideal traveler’s destination.
Due to it being in a unique position that’s flanked by limestone cliffs, Ao Nang is practically impossible to develop more than it already is.
However, being slightly underdeveloped is just one of the main draws of Ao Nang because that lends it a very specific atmosphere of adventure.
You’ll be able to explore some of the finest backdrops in Thailand such as jungles and beaches.
Rock climbing is one of the most popular things to do here because of the limestone cliffs, which are natural borders that separate Ao Nang from the rest of Thailand.
You can also go trekking, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, and basically anything that’s involves the outdoors, all the while enjoying one of the most hip and relaxing atmospheres in Thailand.
Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Ao Nang.
Even though Koh Kood is one of the largest islands in Thailand, it has the feel and atmosphere of a much smaller one.
That’s because the island is barely inhabited, and there aren’t even any towns, just fishing communities.
Its main draws are the beaches and pure relaxation.
The beaches on Koh Kood are often considered to be the best beaches in Thailand.
There are resorts on the island, but due to its size and number of stunning beaches, you’ll want to explore and get around, which isn’t an ideal situation.
The roads aren’t perfectly maintained, but they’re more than good enough for scooters.
However, the quality of the beaches is so good that it’s entirely worth visiting this island, even with the mild inconvenience of poor roads.
Koh Surin is an archipelago that consists of two main islands, Surin North and Surin South, but it’s actually part of a larger national park, called Mu Koh Surin National Park.
The islands of Thailand are often considered some of the best reasons for visiting the country, and if that’s the case, then Koh Surin is the best of the best in the country.
They’re arguably the most biodiverse part of Thailand, and even though they’re known most for their marine life, the land wildlife is just as diverse.
The beauty of Koh Surin is so stunning, it’s almost unbelievable.
From the pristine nature to incredible hidden beaches to perfect camping spots, Koh Surin is a remarkable sight.
It’s absolutely worth a visit, though it’s also worth mentioning that a large portion of the islands are off-limits to everyone.
As one of the oldest cities in Thailand, Lopburi offers a lot of different things for every type of visitor.
There are plenty of attractions in Lopburi, from historic landmarks to natural retreats.
Spots like Wat Phra Sri Ratana Mahatat and the old spiritual site, Phra Khan Shrine, are old ruins that perfectly encapsulate what Lopburi was all about.
However, the thing that Lopburi is most known for is the sizeable population of macaques that live freely in the city and are found everywhere.
Here you can easily find plenty of natural spots, too, like Ang Sub Lek, which is a reservoir outside of town that’s ideal for an afternoon of relaxation.
The little market town of Sukhothai might appear uninteresting and unremarkable at first but it’s actually on an important spot of old historical ruins.
This town used to be a kingdom in the 13th century, which is considered to be the golden age of Thailand, and the Sukhothai Kingdom was one of the most prosperous of the time.
Today, the town has a quaint and charming feel, but it’s entirely worth visiting to explore the ruins of the old quarters.
The Sukhothai Historical Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s one of the most impressive ones in Thailand.
This is one of the quietest and most relaxing islands in Thailand, even though it used to be one of the main party spots in the country a few decades ago.
However, developments of other islands led to Koh Phangan to be slightly sidetracked, leaving its developments to a slow pace.
That’s not a bad thing, however, because that means the island today is just the ideal place for those that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern Thailand.
The beaches are absolutely stunning and are arguably the main draw of the island.
You may also enroll in cooking classes, go boating, or just relax in a pub while you’re watching the sunset.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
As one of the most beautiful destinations in Thailand, Ang Thong National Marine Park is just a joy to explore.
It’s not only gorgeous and scenic but it’s also filled with mystery as it is believed to be the place where sea gypsies live.
This archipelago, specifically Emerald Lake, was also featured in the movie The Beach.
There are over 40 islands that are part of Ang Thong, each more beautiful than the last.
You can explore to your heart’s content the some of the most diverse marine life in Thailand here.
Phanom Rung Historical Park
Even though Buddhism is the most represented religion in Thailand, Phanom Rung is a Hindu temple that has persisted over the region that was first ruled by the Khmer.
While this temple isn’t quite on the same level as the magnificent Angkor Wat, it’s still a stunning and unique temple as it is the only Khmer temple that’s built on an extinct volcano.
The surroundings around the temple are breathtaking; however, the real star of the show is its sanctuaries.
From the top sanctuary, you have a great view over the rest of the region.
The Phanom Rung Festival is something that every visitor should strive to attend, as it happens only in April.
It is a gorgeous parade of traditional sounds and sights, as well as dances and even fireworks.