If you’re interested in vacationing in Southeast Asia, you can’t do better than Thailand. Millions of visitors flock to this far-flung location each year to immerse themselves in dazzling cuisine, stunning views, and a unique and welcoming culture. First-time visitors will be wowed by Thailand’s rich history and cosmopolitan amenities.
Thailand is widely considered to be a safe place to travel, with low crime rates and reliable public services in the areas frequented by tourists. Work with a travel advisor to determine which areas of the country are the best to visit. Thailand is a year-round vacation destination, great for groups, families, and solo adventures.
Discover Thailand’s one-of-a-kind national character by visiting its bustling urban centers and its majestic rural landscapes. Thailand’s legendary hospitality can be enjoyed on its coasts or in its mountain regions.
Best Places to Visit in Thailand
Thailand’s historic capital city is also its main cultural center. It’s important to be strategic about where to stay because Bangkok’s heavy daytime traffic makes it a city best explored on foot. Bangkok offers plenty of luxury and mid-range hotel options. Be sure to select a comfortable space to return to after an afternoon wandering in and out of the shops lining Bangkok’s streets. Developed commercial areas like Old City, Siam, and Chinatown are close to prime attractions, high-end dining, and public transportation.
Things to do in Bangkok include exploring its flourishing urban districts filled with boutique retail shops, shopping malls, and open-air markets such as Chatuchak Weekend Market. Chatuchak contains 8000 vendors and receives 200,000 visitors a day.
Bangkok is home to several renowned heritage and religious sites such as Reclining Buddha. This awe-inspiring, gold-leaf adorned monument stands (or lays, as it were) 151 feet long and 164 feet tall.
Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are a tropical paradise with soft sand beaches and glimmering blue waters. The region has been a popular attraction for adventurous backpackers for years and is now a trendy hub of beachside living.
The collection of six islands is accessible by ferry or by speedboat and can take over an hour to reach. It is worth the trip because as soon as you arrive on the islands, you will be greeted by magnificent, tree-topped limestone cliffs reaching high into the air. The Phi Phi Islands boast some of the best beaches in the world. Here, visitors can bask in the radiant Thai sun, go shark watching, or hike the rocky cliffs.
Phi Phi Islands, with all their natural beauty, are perhaps just as famous for what happens when the sun goes down. The nightlife here is nothing short of exhilarating with a number of dance clubs, themed bars, and lounge-style bistros.
Thailand Tourist Attractions
No trip to the capital city of Bangkok would be complete without a stop at the Grand Palace. Its intricate architecture and ornate design are a testament to the ingenuity of subjects of Thailand’s former monarchy.
Grand Palace is a sprawling palatial compound comprised of six buildings in the heart of Thailand’s capital city. Grand Palace was once the seat of the Thai government and where its state department and treasury were housed. While no longer an administrative center, Grand Palace remains the beating heart of Thai culture and a sacred Buddhist site.
Tiger Cave Temple
Also known as Temple in a Cave or Phraya Nakhon Cave, Tiger Cave Temple is a religious site and a revered Thai landmark. This holy place is open to everyone but of particular importance to Buddhists who use it as a place of meditation and introspection. Reaching this fantastical fusion of natural and man-made architecture isn’t for the faint of heart as it requires a climb of over 1,200 rocky stairs elevated above the rainforest floor below.
The views, as well as the moving spiritual experience this structure can inspire, are nonetheless worth the effort and are a great way to spend a day when visiting the temple’s home city of Karbi. Late afternoon and early evening are among the more popular times to visit, when temperatures have cooled and the sun begins to set. If you want solace when exploring this beautiful temple, you might try a morning tour, before the day’s crowds peak.
Things to Do in Thailand
If you’re a traveler seeking a big dose of immersion in a short amount of time, attend one of Thailand’s many public celebrations. Festivals dot the annual calendar but few are as beautiful or well-known as the Chiang Mai Yi Peng lantern festival. The lantern festival—full of parades, ceremonies, and fireworks displays—culminates in the release of illuminated paper lanterns lifted into the sky by the nighttime winds. The lantern ceremony is a happy but subdued and family-friendly affair that celebrates the founding of the city of Chiang Mai.
If you’re seeking a heart-pumping festival experience, try June’s Boon Bang Fai or “Rocket Festival” in Yasothon Province. In addition to imbibing and beauty pageants, local residents continuously launch rockets into the air over the course of an exhilarating weekend.
Beyond Thailand’s bustling city centers is a world of exotic wildlife. Try ecotours with itineraries built around discovering the rainforest’s rich biodiversity. Remote accommodations include treehouses, floating water lodges, and mountain retreats. Encounter elephants, otters, and several species of primates in their natural habitats, many of which are well-maintained conservation areas.