Stunning shrines, endless rice fields, palm-fringed beaches and the best street food in the world are just a few of the staples that make Thailand such a sought-after destination. If you're currently planning a trip to the Land of Smiles and still find yourself unsure of where to go, here are just a few of the best destinations in Thailand that can't miss from your itinerary!
Thailand’s capital is a maze of lively complexities and contrasts. Buddhist temples sit by towering skyscrapers, affluent shopping malls and gregarious food markets thrive next to winding canals.
A good place to begin exploring bustling Bangkok is Wat Pho, home to a gigantic reclining Buddha statue. Then, head to Wat Arun, from where you can get phenomenal vistas of the city.
A boat ride through Chao Phraya river is a must as well! This public water taxi cruises along the river and provides close-up views of some of Bangkok’s most famous buildings.
The city’s floating markets also make for an interesting adventure. Hundreds of vendors selling treats and interesting items will paddle over canals past curious visitors.
At night, catch an evening drink at one of Bangkok’s numerous rooftop bars. Sky on 20 and Sirocco & Sky Bars are two of the most renowned ones
A mere one-and a half hour train ride from Bangkok sits Ayutthaya. Known for being the second capital of Siam in the past, it boasts magnificent ruins that you can explore by foot or on a bike.
After taking in the ruins, head to the town’s floating market, where you can savor local food and purchase traditional costumes and souvenirs.
From Ayutthaya, you can return to Bangkok or catch an overnight bus to Chiang Mai.
Located amid lush mountains, this small city sits on the banks of the Pin River. Chiang Mai, the former capital of the Lanna kingdom, has a cool laid-back atmosphere that enchants visitors.
Featuring over 300 temples scattered in and outside the city walls, there is plenty to see and do here. Wat Phra Singh, one of Chiang Mai’s most famous temples, boasts the image of Phra Singh. Wat Chiang Man is the oldest royal temple in the city and Wat Chedi Luang is home to the ruins of a gigantic chedi that was destroyed by an earthquake centuries ago.
After getting a good taste of the temples, guests can visit Elephant Nature Park to bathe and feed rescued elephants or take a Flight of the Gibbon, and literally soar through the jungle around Chiang Mai and see wild gibbons along the way.
Another unique activity in Chiang Mai is to rent a bike and ride through the mountain trails that lead to the lush nature surrounding the city.
Koh Phi Phi
The Ko Phi Phi archipelago is said to be one of the most beautiful island groups in the world. The waters that surround Ko Phi Phi are a haven for divers and snorkelers who are invariably enchanted with the brightest and most vivid coral reefs in the world and its stunning variety of marine life.
Sitting in a valley north of Chiang Mai, Pai is a small village that has become very popular with backpackers and nature-lovers.
The main attraction is Pai Canyon, an impressive landscape that was formed through time with erosion. Visitors can enjoy stunning vistas of the valley below.
Mo Paeng is a waterfall located a few miles out of the city. Sitting amid a lush valley, you can swim while enjoying beautiful nature. On the way to the waterfall, stop by Santichon, a village founded by Yunnanese tribes who immigrated from China.