The thought of Thailand holidays brings up images of pristine beaches, beautiful temples, and delicious food. You’re truly spoilt for choice here. However, if you can’t decide where to go and what to see, hear from some travel bloggers below who know Thailand well. By the end of the article, I’m sure you would have made your choice.
Best Places to Visit in Thailand
Bangkok is a place which I have a love-hate relationship with. Nonetheless, I would say it’s a must-see place if you visit Thailand.
Most tourists, who are trying to take a break from city life only spend about 1 or 2 days in Bangkok before they fly to the islands in the south. If you intend to do the same, then follow my 2 days in Bangkok Itinerary. I assure you, you’ll cover all the important tourist attractions that Bangkok has to offer.
However, if you have the time, I suggest you spend more than 2 days in this city. Sure, it’s rampant with scams and has a lot of pollution but this city grows on you as the time passes.
Phuket is an island in the Andaman Sea with some great beaches along its coast. The most well-known among these is Pa Tong Beach. More than the beach itself, this area is known for its nightlife and it’s walking street. It’s a popular pick for anyone looking to party.
Frankly, I thought Pa Tong beach was too crowded and touristy. If you are looking for a quieter place to relax, you’ll prefer Karon, Kamala or Surin beach. You can also take a ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi islands.
Other than beaches, there are many other things to do in Phuket like seeing the giant white Buddha statue perched on a hill, visiting an elephant sanctuary, seeing a Muay Thai boxing match and others. Check out my linked article for some ideas.
Krabi is a quieter version of Phuket and my favorite place to visit in Thailand. What I loved about this place is the small town feel and as in any small town, people here are more friendly and relaxed.
Ayutthaya is about 2 hours from Bangkok by train, and many people visit the historical city on a day tour. But we think one day in Ayutthaya isn’t long enough as it’s one of the best places to visit in Thailand. After all, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is deserving of more than a few rushed hours.
History buffs will love visiting the temples at the Ayutthaya Historical Park. These crumbling religious sites are very different to the sparkling temples found elsewhere in the country. But Ayutthaya isn’t all about temple hopping, and visitors can enjoy river cruises (best at sunset) museums and bustling markets where you can experience a slice of real Thai life.
Thailand Holiday Idea by: Audrey Chalmers – Gumnuts Abroad
Located in the mountains about a 3-4 hour bus ride through windy roads, you’ll find Pai – a small hippie town with laidback vibes and tons of things to see and do. The best time to visit would be during the cooler months from November to February so you can explore without melting 🙂
Pai is one of the best places to visit in Thailand because the views are incredible, you’ll be completely surrounded by nature, there are waterfalls and canyons to explore and best of all – it’s very cheap.
Some of the best things to do in Pai are to explore:
The second most visited city in Thailand – Chiang Mai offers a mixture of a big city comforts and small-town coziness. Tucked between the mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is one of the preferable places for expats from all over the world and there is a good reason for that.
If you visit the city between November and mid-February ( the coolest dry season), you can enjoy all the range of activities Chiang Mai has to offer. And it has quite a lot to offer.
For the adventure junkies, there is one of the longest single ziplines in Asia – The Flight of the Gibbon. If you prefer to experience more Thai culture – celebrate the Loi Krathong festival aka Chiang Mai’s lantern festival, visit the fantastic Doi Suthep Temple or take part in one of the dozens of cooking classes and learn how to make traditional Northern Thailand food.
Last but not least, if you care about animals, Chiang Mai is the best place in Thailand to support rescued elephants and learn more about their sad history while taking a mud bath with them!
Find out the best way to include Chiang Mai in your Thailand itinerary.
History buffs need look no further than Kanchanaburi, an easy day trip from Bangkok.
Hop on a train from the capital and watch the countryside float by from an open window. Once in Kanchanaburi, stay on for an unforgettable journey across the steel Bridge over the River Khwae, immortalized in an epic 1957 film. Learn about the infamous Death Railway in the nearby JEATH War Museum and visit the Allied War Cemetery.
Slightly further afield is the unmissable Hellfire Pass – a memorial built to commemorate those that lost their lives building the Thailand-Burma railway. It’s a genuinely moving experience. The train journey here, as the carriages rattle over the Wampo Viaduct, is stunning.
There is plenty else to keep you occupied around Kanchanaburi. Erawan National Park is home to waterfalls, caves and elephants while Wats Tham Sua and Tham Khao Noi will scratch your temple itch.
Visit Kanchanaburi from November-February.
Thailand Holiday idea submitted by: Alexei from Travel Lexx
Koh Samui is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach vacation. The island has stunning white sandy beaches, a good selection of restaurants, a large choice of hotels and resorts to suit every budget and lots of fun things to do.
If you love the beach, you will be spoilt for choice in Koh Samui. There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from to hang out on for the day. But there is more to Koh Samui than just beaches. Kayaking and snorkeling in Ang Thong Marine Park is a popular day trip for island hopping and exploring lagoons. There are also two fun water parks to choose from, plus canopy adventures, go-karting, and crazy golf. Don’t miss a visit to the famous Big Buddha temple for a morning of culture.
Koh Samui is hot and humid all year round, with a rainy season lasting from September to early December.
If you are a diver, then the Similan Islands are an absolute don’t-miss place to go in Thailand. The islands, together with the nearby Surin Islands, are about 50 kilometers offshore, are uninhabited so they can only be visited by a live aboard dive boat.
The marine life is incredible with an incredible variety of brightly colored tropical fish, eels, sharks, rays, and coral. Visibility can be so great that it’s like looking through air. Night dives can be is a sea of luminescent phosphorescence. Snorkeling is also possible at some sites for non-divers. Boats also stop at the rocky islands themselves.
The sunsets here are some of the most spectacular you may ever see. The best months are October to May, with the best visibility in March.
Ko is the Thai word for an island and the southern part of the country is plentiful in them. Ko Pha-Ngan is famous for its monthly full moon parties, which admittedly are pretty fun. Leading up to the full moon party, the island had several smaller scale parties including a jungle experience party, located in a beautiful lush garden-clearing deep in the midst of the jungle.
Despite its reputation, Ko Pha-Ngan has more to offer than just parties. Rent a motorbike and explore the more secluded beaches of the East Coast, the national parks, and all the gorgeous waterfalls. Almost 90% of Ko Pha-Ngan is an unspoiled tropical paradise. Ko Pha-Ngan also offers diving, more low-key then nearby Ko Tao, but there’s no shortage of professional, well-priced dive operations. After a day of adventure, head to Amsterdam bar for perfect sunset views over the island.
Koh Lanta is a beautiful noodle-shaped laid-back island located off the western coast of Thailand. It lies slightly off the beaten path since it takes a ferry ride to get there (in the past you even had to take 2 ferries).
Apart from enjoying it’s plethora of beaches, from fully developed ones with all amenities to hidden pristine beaches, you can get to explore the National park in the very South, as well as the lovely towns and villages. Delicious street food can be found at several spots too.
Koh Mook is an incredible off the beaten path island in The Andaman Sea off the Trang coast. The island is mainly known for the Emerald Cave and boats from the neighboring islands bring tourists solely to visit the cave which is stunning. It takes 80 meters of swimming through the cave before you get to a mesmerizing opening with a beach surrounded by tall cliff walls on all sides.
However, Koh Mook itself has a lot more to offer. The island has long, white, empty beaches and gives you the opportunity to experience Thai island village life without the crowds and without the touristy things. To explore the island, you can rent a bicycle or a scooter. There are also hiking routes through the tight jungle that takes you to some real off the beaten path beaches. Thailand Holiday idea by: Linn Haglund, Brainy Backpackers travel blog
Khao Sok National Park is located in Southern Thailand and offers a refreshing change of pace and scenery from the rest of the country. The park is in the middle of a lush jungle, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. You can explore its beauty by going on one of the guided hikes or doing a shorter 3km tour by yourself.
Even the shorter hike is very exciting as you visit waterfalls, a natural pool, and encounter insects and plants you have never seen before. The diversity of size and colors of local butterflies is just breath-taking. Simply keep your eyes and ears open for a wonderful nature experience.
If you want to avoid tourist crowds while taking advantage of low-season prices, opt for visiting Khao Sok National Park at the end of the rainy season (May – November).
Thailand Holiday idea by: Darja from DeeGees Travel
When most people think of Thailand, names like Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui spring to mind. As Thailand has over 1,000 islands, it’s no surprise that most of the other islands are relatively unknown. One of those is tiny Koh Jum, located close to both Koh Phi Phi and Krabi.
Koh Jum is a great place if you are looking for somewhere to relax in Thailand. All you can find on Koh Jum is friendly people, delicious food, long sandy beaches and cozy bungalows for all budgets.
Koh Jum has several quiet, sandy beaches, the best of which are on the west coast. You can spend the whole day on the beach and stay for the amazing sunset. It’s best to stay in bungalows anywhere on the coast. Many people prefer Golden Pearl Beach, but our favourite was Loma beach. You can get around the island on foot, or hire a bicycle or moped if you want to cover longer distances.
In terms of weather, it’s best to go to Koh Jum in January or February, which are the driest months. After March, the temperature starts to rise, while the period between May and November is best avoided as it’s the rainy season.
Thailand Holiday idea by: Dave from Dave’s Travel Pages
15. Phu Chi Fa – Chiang Rai
One of the best places to visit in Thailand is hidden right up in the north east corner of the country, in the quiet province of Chiang Rai. The peak of Phu Chi Fa is perhaps the best sunrise location in the entire country, with a spectacular view looking out across Laos blanketed under a ‘sea of clouds.’
The trip out to Phu Chi Fa is more than a day trip though. Located about 90km from Chiang Rai town centre, you will need to make the trip up the mountains and spend one night in the small ethnic village just below the summit. Even then, you will still need to get up early, around 5am, to make the short but steep hike to the summit. The cool climate up in the mountains is also a refreshing change from the steamy days you will find in Chiang Mai or Bangkok, so enjoy it while you’re there!
Thailand Holiday idea by: Josh Shephard – The Lost Passport
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