Do you want to visit Thailand? It’s an excellent idea! Either if you’re traveling solo, with your soulmate, with friends or with your family, there’s something to suit all tastes! It’s understandable! There are so many different things to do in Thailand: relax on the beach, admire old temples, get lost in the mountains, visit national parks, party all night long, explore the jungle… What to do in Thailand? What are the best places to visit in Thailand? Read this article listing the best places to go in Thailand, then I’ll share Thailand travel tips!
Things to do in Thailand
Located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai is quieter than Bangkok. It’s also the world capital of digital nomads. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains, where you’ll find numerous historic temples such as Wat Doi Suthep or Wat Phra Singh. Don’t miss them! There’s also one of the oldest and one of the most popular night bazaars of Thailand.
There’s also a zoo you have to visit of you’re traveling with your family, markets selling handicrafts, numerous massage parlors and spas… I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Chiang Mai. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Bangkok is the capital of Bangkok. All the travelers go there at some point. Bangkok offers an interesting mix of old and new with skyscrapers, palaces, old temples, markets, street food and nightclubs! Head to the royal palace or temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Pho or Wat Saket. They’re famous Thailand tourist spots.
Don’t miss the Chatuchak Market on the weekend, watch a Muay Thai fight and head to Khao San Road to party! I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Bangkok. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Located about 80km (50 miles) north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767 (its name was kingdom of Siam then). It’s one of the most popular Thailand tourist places. Those who like history have to go there. It’s a city full of monasteries, temples, statues and archaeological ruins. You have to see Wat Phra Mahathat and its statue of a Buddha’s head entwined in tree roots! You also have to see Bang Pa In Palace, Wat Phra Si Sanphet and the floating market! Click here to find your accommodation.
Sukhothai is a small town in northern Thailand known for its park, Sukhothai National Park. It’s also a former capital of the kingdom of Siam. Over there you’ll find ruins dating back to the 13th century! Temples, palaces, monuments… The most famous is Wat Mahathat with its nine stupas and its Buddha relics. Click here to find your accommodation.
Chiang Rai is not far from the border with Myanmar and Laos. Smaller than Chiang Mai, it’s mostly known for its wonderful white temple, one of the most popular Thailand tourist attractions! There’s also a blue temple, and a black temple! But there’s more than that. Go to the Singha park. There’s also the Hall of Opium museum and the popular night bazaar! It’s also possible to go trekking or hiking in the area, admire waterfalls, etc. I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Chiang Rai. Click here to find your accommodation.
Kanchanaburi is a city known for its history linked with World War II. 16,000 prisoners of war from the UK, the Netherlands and the US died there during the contruction of a railway over Kwai river. They were under the supervision of the Japanese. It’s called the “Death Railway” now. Two museums there explain in detail what happened at the time (there are paintings, documents, weapons…). There’s also the wonder Erawan waterfall, in the Erawan National Park. Click here to find your accommodation.
Phuket is the largest island of Thailand, and it’s the one of the most popular Thailand vacation spots! I get it, the white sand beaches are stunning, turquoise-water too, and the food and hotels are cheap! Patong is the most popular beach but you can also visit Phuket Town and see its Sino-Portuguese buildings. There are other nice beaches: Kata Noi Beach, Nai Harn Beach, Surin Beach. Click here to find your accommodation.
Koh Phangan is one of the most famous places in Thailand. It’s famed for hosting the legendary Full Moon Party when the moon is full. Every month, 5 to 30,000 clubbers party outside in Haad Rin Beach. There’s more than that in Koh Phangan. Diving is very common there, there are breathtaking beaches, a nice night market, Thai cooking classes, yoga, meditation… To get around freely, it’s recommended to rent a scooter. Click here to find your accommodation.
More developed than Koh Phangan, there are numerous luxury resorts in Koh Samui. There’s more than that, and this island suits all tastes: families, couples, backpackers… You can explore tropical forests, relax on the beach and enjoy incredible sunsets. There are also numerous spas and temples such as Wat Phra Yai. Koh Samui is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. Click here to find your accommodation.
Khao Sok National Park
This is one of the best places to go in Thailand! Surrounded by mountains and lush forests, this national park dates back 160 million years, making it older than the Amazon rainforest. There are more than 200 kind of flora and more than 5% of the world’s animal species such as tigers, elephants, birds, bears, monkeys… There are also waterfalls, hidden caves… It’s possible to go rafting, kayaking, etc. Click here to find your accommodation.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi became popular after the release of the Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach”. There are actually two islands. Phi Phi Don is larger. This is where poeple party, go snorkeling or diving. You can get to the top of the island and reach Phi Phi Viewpoint, with a stunning 360-degrees view! Phi Phi Leh is quieter. You can relax on white-sand beaches. This is where the movie was shot, more precisely in Maya Bay). Click here to find your accommodation.
Khao Yai National Park
This is one of the places to go in Thailand! Khao Yai National Park is the oldest and the most visited national park in Thailand. There are many hiking trails where you’ll admire wonderful waterfalls such as Haew Narok. It’s home to rainforests, mountains, and grasslands. The park is known because there are numerous elephants. But also jackals, bears, monkeys, deers, crocodiles…
Koh Tao means “turtle island”. It’s one of the most beautiful places to see in Thailand. It’s the place to be to go scuba diving or snorkeling. Getting your scuba diving certification is very cheap there! The water is very clear and it provides easy access to colorful coral reefs. In Koh Tao, you can also go hiking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, fishing… Click here to find your accommodation.
Pai is a small town in northern island. It’s very popular among backpackers, so you’ll find numerous guesthouses, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops there. Go to the night market, the Yun Lai viewpoint and the memorial bridge. I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Pai. Click here to find your accommodation.
These were the best places to visit in Thailand! You can also check out this backpacking Southeast Asia travel guide! Now here are a few Thailand travel tips!
Thailand travel budget
- Accommodation is not expensive in Thailand. You’ll notice northern Thailand is far cheaper than the islands in the south. There are numerous hostels, one night in a hostel dorm costs between 100 and 300 THB ($3-9) depending on where you are. There are many guesthouses too, with rooms at 300 THB ($9) per night in cities and 600 THB ($18) per night in the islands. One night in a mid-range hotel costs around 700 THB ($21). If you’re into luxury hotels, prices start at 1500 THB ($45) per night. Click here to find your accommodation.
- Food is not expensive either. The street food is delicious and costs between 20 and 50 TGB ($0.50-1.50). A meal at the restaurants costs between 100 and 150 THB ($3-4.50). Avoid western dishes (burgers, pizzas). They cost around 200-350 THB ($6-10.50), and it pales in comparison to its original. A dish in a high-end restaurant costs around 500 THB ($15).
- Regarding transportation, a city bus 8 THB ($0.25) per trip. A subway ticket in Bangkok costs between 15 and 60 THB ($0.50-2), depending on how many stations you pass through. A tuktuk ride costs between 100 and 250 THB ($3-7.50). Always negotiate and agree on the price before getting in! Prices start at 35 THB ($1) for taxis. To get around in the country, there are buses. Prices vary depending on the distance of the trip. A bus ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai costs around 600 THB ($18), but a bus ride from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi costs only 100 THB ($3). A night train ride costs about 600 THB ($18). A boat ride to get to an island (from Phuket for instance) costs between 250 and 500 THB ($7.50-15).
- Regarding activities, this is probably where you’ll spend the most money. A day tour costs between 500 and 1,000 THB ($15-30). A trek in the jungle costs between 1,000 and 2,000 THB ($30-60). A PADI dive certification course costs around 10,000 THB ($300), but it includes accommodation. Most museums cost between 50 and 100 THB ($1.50-3) to get into. For day tours and activities, never book online. Always book on the spot, it’s cheaper. And don’t forget, if you’re a group, you have to haggle!
Basically, if you’re traveling on a budget, you can get by with $30 per day. Otherwise you’ll spend about $60+ per day.
How to get around in Thailand
In cities there are buses, taxis and even motorbike taxis! In Bangkok, there’s also the subway. To get around in the country, you can either take the bus, the train, boats but also domestic flights.
Best time to visit Thailand
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and March. The weather is nice, it’s hot (around 30°C/86°F and it’s not raining. Don’t go to Thailand during the rain season, from July to October. It’s literally pouring every day! From April to June, it’s scorching outside, avoid that period too!
Visa policy of Thailand
If you’re an European citizen or coming from a Western country, you don’t need a visa to get to Thailand. You can stay up to 30 days. You can find all the details here.
Safety in Thailand
Thailand is a safe country. This explains why numerous solo travelers, men and women, start their trip in Thailand! There are no attacks targeting tourists. However there are little scams: unmetered taxis, pickpockets and thefts, the bike/scooter you supposedly damaged so you have to pay, etc.
Most travelers who get into trouble tend to be involved with drinking or drugs or sex tourism. Before traveling, don’t forget to get travel insurance. It will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Click here to get one.
Packing list for Thailand
I’m not gonna list all the things to pack for Thailand. I don’t know how long you’re gonna stay there, where you’re going in Thailand, what you’re going to do and when you’ll visit. Take all the necessary clothes, toiletries, and also:
- hand sanitizer
- combination locks
- a money belt
- a security cable lock
- a travel plug adapter
- a stainless steel water bottle
- a lifestraw (a water bottle with a purifier)
- a menstrual cup (for the ladies)
Here’s a full list of travel accessories, which can be useful!
What to eat in Thailand
You get it, you have to eat street food! You cannot miss the pad thai! Thick noodles topped with shrimp or chicken, bean sprouts, egg, and tofu, stir-fried together. Sooo good! Pad krapow moo is made from minced pork or chicken cooked with basil, garlic, and chilies served with white rice and a fried egg. Som tum is shredded papaya mixed with green beans, garlic and chilies in a vinaigrette sauce topped with peanuts. It’s usually eaten with grilled dishes.
You can now visit Thailand and enjoy your time there thanks to this Thailand travel guide!
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page!
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- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.