What are the top ten things to do in Thailand?
Thailand is considered among the best destinations to visit in Southeast Asia and it is not hard to figure out why. From tropical beaches to fascinating ruins and tranquil temples, not to mention its stunning beach resorts, colorful floating and night markets, globally renowned street food and shopping, there are a plethora of options for you to explore on your Thailand tour.
For starters, there’s Bangkok with its exciting sights and sounds, the beautiful beaches of Krabi, Phuket, Khao Lak and Koh Samui (to name a few), the stunning temples of Chiang Mai – the cultural capital of northern Thailand – the ruins of Ayutthaya, the rainforests of Khao Sok, the remote appeal of the Phi Phi islands, the golfing charms of Hua Hin…the list is endless!
If you are wondering what are the best things to do in Thailand or when is the best time to visit Thailand then this is the guide for you. Here is a list of the top ten things to do in Thailand, curated by our Enchanting Travels specialists, which should definitely be part of your Thailand travel guide.
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1Discover the Sights and Sounds of Bangkok
There’s a reason why most guests make a beeline for Bangkok. Magnificent temples and palaces, lively markets, magical dance performances, exclusive gourmet restaurants and authentic street food – welcome to Bangkok, the city of angels. The metropolis of Bangkok combines tradition and modernity in an impressive way and is one of the most visited destinations in Thailand and southeast Asia.
The top attractions of Bangkok include a cruise through the Thonburi klongs (canals) on a long tail boat, monasteries like Wat Arun and Wat Pho Chetuphon, Lumphini Park, the majestic Grand Palace and the Marble Temple.
And when in Bangkok, you cannot miss going on a Tuk Tuk ride, and savoring Thai food – the cuisine has something for everyone, whether you are a crab-eating seafood lover or a dessert aficionado. The city has a magical nightlife to explore including its night markets. To visit Bangkok is to see the past and present collide in a chaotic yet stunning fashion; no trip to Thailand can be complete without truly immersing yourself in Bangkok’s vibrant delights!
From Bangkok, you can also drive to the Khao Yai National Park – enjoy a day trip to this National Park, one of the more popular wildlife areas in Thailand. You can also visit the magnificent Erawan Falls, driving out from Bangkok. There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok – let us help you craft that perfect Thai itinerary that will allow you to truly savor the charms of Bangkok.
2Explore the Ruins of Sukhothai
The ruins of Sukhothai are impressive evidence of the golden era of Thai civilization. In the 13th and 14th century, Sukhothai was the capital of the Siam Kingdom and, due to its numerous temples and ruins, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Discover the temple zone with its prominent yet unique Sukhothai lotus-bud chedi (stupa or Buddhist shrine). Admire remnants of early 13th century Khmer and Lopburi architecture, floral stucco reliefs and Lopburi-style ‘apsaras’ (celestial nymphs). Don’t miss the massive ‘immovable Buddha’ in these must-visit ruins of Thailand.
There are several other ruins across Thailand that should be part of your itinerary. They include the ruins of Ayutthaya, located in the Chao Phraya River valley, which merit a visit on your Thailand vacation. Ayutthaya is characterized by the remains of tall prangs (reliquary towers), massive Buddhist monasteries and scenic wats that are a testimony to its archaeological splendor. You can also visit the town of Chiang Rai, which boasts of ancient ruins of early settlements. There are also several Buddhist temples in Chiang Rai – if you want a truly authentic and immersive experience in Thai culture, then a visit to Chiang Rai is a must.
3Unwind in the Stunning Railay Beach
The tropical paradise of Railay Beach in Krabi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Surrounded by lush jungles and limestone cliffs, enjoy a relaxing swim in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. On account of the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access, Railay is only reachable by boat.
There’s a host of adventure activities, from sea kayaking to white-water rafting and quad biking that you can enjoy on Railay in Krabi. Or you can simply relax amid the sun, sand and waves in what is easily one of the best things to do in Thailand! Krabi boasts of some of the most stunning Thai beaches – apart from Railay, you can also visit Phra Nang Beach, in Krabi, popular with swimmers and rock climbers alike. Savor delicious Thai food in Krabi, as well as enjoy a luxurious resort stay – Krabi has some of the most famous resorts in Thailand. You could also hone your cooking skills in Krabi by attending a cooking class to learn about Thai food.
4Go off the Beaten Track at Koh Yao Noi
The unspoiled island of Koh Yao Noi has not only powdery white sand beaches, but lush rice fields and lush green mangrove forests. Relax in the hammock and enjoy the peace on this small paradise, away from the tourist streams of Thailand. Spend your day discovering local life and customs on this sleepy island.
Enjoy the flavors of Southern Thai cuisine in an authentic home-cooked meal. Ride around the island in vibrant tuk-tuks, and enjoy Koh Yao Noi’s bucolic scenery and vibrant local market.
5Explore the Charms of Phuket
The island of Phuket is world-famous for its endless, white sand beaches and a gleeful nightlife. Relax in Phuket’s luxurious beach resorts and experience a colorful underwater world when diving. Azure blue oceans, verdant rainforests and golden beaches are characteristic of Phuket, which is the largest island in Thailand.
Formerly a trading post, there are a host of things to do in Phuket – from dining and shopping experiences to trekking in the mountainous terrain, diving in the Andaman Sea or simply relaxing in some of the best resorts in Thailand. Phuket is also a paradise for seafood enthusiasts. From streetside shops to high-end restaurants, eating out in Phuket is truly a gastronomic journey.
There are several islands off Phuket that have featured in Hollywood movies. From Phuket, you can also head to Phi Phi Island – Maya Bay with its white sand and azure waters in Phi was the location that appeared in the movie, The Beach. With turquoise waters and stunning vistas, Phi is now world-famous for its stunning beaches!
From Phuket, you can also go on a day trip to Phang Nga Bay in southern Thailand, which is also known as the James Bond Island after it featured in a Bond movie. While planning your vacation, you may wonder: Which of these islands to visit? Phi Phi or Phang Nga? Let our destination experts guide you.
6Go Diving at Koh Tao
Dive into the turquoise shimmering waters off the island of Koh Tao and experience a diverse underwater world as you spot rays, sharks and sea turtles gorge swimming between bright corals. Hailed as a scuba diving paradise, divers can frolic with underwater marine delights like rays and sharks, admire amazing neon coral beneath or take diving courses at the only multi-award winning PADI dive center in Koh.
The beaches around the island include Haad Thien (Rocky Bay), Tanote Bay and Sairee Beach – exploring them is a must-do activity!
7Explore Khao Sok National Park
A safari in the Khao Sok National Park takes you to fertile valleys, imposing limestone cliffs, mysterious caves, hidden lakes and rushing waterfalls. If you want a break from the beaches of Thailand, then head to this National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in the world. If you are lucky, you could spot a whole host of animals from bears to marbled cats.
The park is also home to one of the world’s largest (and smelliest) flowers, the Rafflesia kerrii, which, in Thailand, grows only in Khao Sok.
8Discover the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak
Enjoy a market experience with a difference, when you explore the floating market of Damnoen Saduak on a boat trip. On the narrow waterways, you will pass traditional bamboo boats from where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold.
For a more authentic experience, hop aboard your own rowing boat and float gracefully through the buzzing maze of canals and buy fresh produce, as savor the different aspects of Thai culture.
9Go Cruising on the Mekong From Huang Xai
Huang Xai is located on the banks of the Mekong, which forms the natural border between Thailand and Laos. From here you can embark on a Mekong Cruise to Luang Prabang. En route, visit colorful markets and Tam Ting, the ‘Cave of One Thousand Buddhas’. Watch the locals carry out their everyday chores while you sail by.
This river cruise in Thailand is a must-do activity and the perfect way to view the verdant green fields dotted with hill tribe villages and intertwined by canals and rivulets.
10Relax on the Beaches of Koh Samui
Head to the island of Koh Samui to find some of the best beaches of Thailand, crystal clear waters, coconut palms, dazzling coral reefs and luscious azure lagoons for you to uncover as well as popular restaurants. The island is also home to some of the best resorts in Thailand, complete with private beaches and a host of activities such as diving, sailing and fishing.
Expert tip: Chiang Mai is rightly considered the cultural capital of northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the largest cosmopolitan city north of Bangkok and greets you with a mix of its lively nightlife, ancient Buddhist temples, all enveloped in stunning countryside.
Chiang Mai is also popular for its unique array of artisan craft makers – don’t forget to buy some of the stunning silver jewelry that Chiang Mai is famous for when you are in Chiang Mai. Meditation is a common practice in Chiang Mai as is Chiang Mai’s laidback vibe. The landscape of Chiang Mai studded with hundreds of temples, makes for a truly stunning sight.
Discover all the best things to do in Thailand by booking your vacation with our experts at Enchanting Travels. With so many places to see in Thailand, let our destination expertise guide you in the right direction. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free tour itinerary.
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Chiang Mai is the cultural capital of northern Thailand and is enveloped by a ring of mountains.
Koh Samui, located off Thailand’s eastern coast, is an island oasis of natural beauty with its white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees.
Chiang Rai is a quaint 13th century town, surrounded by two mountain peaks, Doi Mae Salong and Doi Tung.
Enchanting Travels made planning this vacation a breeze. I didn’t stress at all during the trip, especially since there was also someone there to help with international transfers. All of our guides spoke English well and were quite accommodating.
Enchanting Travels employs people who really know how to listen to their clients and provide an exciting itinerary that is also safe and flexible. Everyone we worked with, from Brenda and Lavina to our guides Mr. Pongthep and Sangay, and our chauffeur Kengua, were professionals who seemed to really enjoy showing us their beautiful and exciting countries.
Go to Bhutan now! We don’t believe it is really going to stay this way for long. And it really is unique right now. Building laws require that dwellings be built in the traditional fashion and this makes for the most beautiful and original vistas. No one goes to Bhutan for the cuisine.
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