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Things to do in Thailand

Things to do in  Thailand

Welcome to Thailand

Long holding the title of Southeast Asia's most popular vacation spot, Thailand is paradise-by-numbers with its tropical islands, lush jungle, and sun-bleached sands. But it's not just the beaches that bring travelers back time and time again—Thailand's most enduring asset is its welcoming people. The capital of Bangkok, with its bustling streets, colorful night market, beautiful Buddhist temples, and the Grand Palace complex (home to the sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha), is the obvious starting point. Just outside of the city, the ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the Damnoen Saduak floating market offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional Thai life. In southern Thailand, beach lovers can set sail for Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, where the surrounding islands offer ample opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Over on the Andaman Sea Coast, the sandy beaches and golden temples of Phuket are the precursor to the dramatic landscapes of Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, and the Phi Phi islands, where The Beach was filmed. Far from the beaches of the south, the sweeping highlands of northern Thailand mark out the borders with Laos and Myanmar. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the main destinations, where adventurous travelers can try white-water rafting, observe elephants, or join a trekking tour to explore the remote hill tribe villages.

Top 10 attractions in Thailand

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace is one of the most popular attractions in the Thai capital. Built in 1782, this sprawling 54-acre (21.8-hectare) complex served as the royal court and administrative seat of Thailand for 150 years. Today, while it continues to host royal Thai functions, the palace also impresses swathes of visitors with its intricate golden-spired architecture and cultural history.More
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

With brilliant white spires, eaves, and bridges that all glitter in the sunshine and reflect in surrounding pools, the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is Chiang Rai’s signature sight. The building’s surroundings and interior are filled with art inspired by everything fromThe Matrix, to Hello Kitty andKung Fu Panda.More
Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan)

Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan)

With its golden sands and clear water, Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan) is the poster child of southern Thailand. Hike the rocky, forested landscape; swim and snorkel in crystalline water; or just relax in relative quiet. Nang Yuan sees only a fraction of the crowds that flock to its neighbors.More
Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

In stark contrast to its famed northerly neighbor, tiny and sleepy Koh Tan tempts visitors with empty beaches and vehicle-less roads just three miles and a 15-minute boat ride south of Koh Samui’s southern tip. Koh Tan (also spelled Koh Taen, Ko Taen, and Ko Tan) is sometimes also called Coral Island for its diversity of colorful hard and soft corals, and it often serves as a popular day-long escape for snorkel or kayak excursions through its clear inshore waters. Though the island doesn’t have quite the aquatic diversity of other more remote locations, it still affords excellent snorkeling, relatively empty beaches and navigable mangrove swamps all very close to a major tourist hub. Longboats make the crossing daily and usually stop at several unique coral spots around the island.On land, Koh Tan spans only three square miles, and its population barely tops 30 people; their rustic lifestyle with limited electricity affords a glimpse of what much of Thai Island-living was like decades ago. Koh Tan also has a thriving population of monitor lizards, a boardwalk through a mangrove forest, a quaint local temple, a handful of local restaurants and a cluster of bungalow-style accommodations.More
Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colorful marine life.More
Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

Every great city has a river, and Bangkok’s is the Chao Phraya (Mae Nam Chao Phraya). Alive with traditional long-tail boats, passenger ferries, and cargo boats, the Chao Phraya River is the lifeblood of the city. It winds past both ancient temples and modern high-rises, offering a unique, local perspective on the Thai capital.More
Burma Railway (Death Railway)

Burma Railway (Death Railway)

Built by forced laborers under the control of the Japanese Army at the height of World War II, Thailand’s Burma Railway (Death Railway) is a 258 mile (415 kilometer) long railway line designed to connect Thailand and Myanmar. Although its existence serves as a grim landmark of recent history, the Burma Railway remains one of the country’s key historical attractions.More
James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

A starring role in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” put the towering limestone islands of Ko Khao Phing Kan and the 66-foot-tall (20-meter) islet Ko Tapu firmly on Thailand’s tourist trail. While boats are forbidden from getting too close to the islands, opportunities for sightseeing abound in the surrounding area.More
Coral Island (Koh Larn)

Coral Island (Koh Larn)

With crystal clear water, plentiful coral reefs, and beautiful stretches of fine white sand, Thailand’s Coral Island (Koh Larn) is a veritable paradise. Take a day trip to this popular spot—about 4.5 miles (7 km) off the coast of Pattaya—to enjoy beaches and a variety of water sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling.More
Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong)

Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong)

The Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong or Mu Koh Hong) are a group of rocky blips in the Andaman Sea, located just off the coast of Krabi in southern Thailand. A popular day trip destination from Ao Nang or Krabi, the islands are fringed with rain forests, hidden lagoons, and white-sand beaches.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Krabi

How to Spend 1 Day in Krabi

How to Spend 2 Days in Pattaya

How to Spend 2 Days in Pattaya

Top activities in Thailand

Phi Phi Overnight Tour

Phi Phi Overnight Tour

Phi Phi and Khai Islands Premium Service Trip by Seastar Andaman From Phuket

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Recent reviews from experiences in Thailand

Floating Market Tour - Two Thumbs Up
Kristi_L, Mar 2020
Khlong Lat Mayom & Taling Chan Local Floating Markets Tour (Multi Languages)
We were able to take a boat tour to see the surrounding area.
Great tour!
Deepthi_M, Mar 2020
Ayutthaya Historical Park Small Group Tour
Despite the heat, I had a great time on the tour, and got to see a lot of temples.
Convenient guided tour with extra information
Mario, Mar 2020
Travstore Original Phuket Discovery Tour - Shared Half Day City Tour
It was a great tour that covered all the sightseeing we wanted to see on the island.
Bridge on the River Kwai trip
James, Mar 2020
Bridge on the River Kwai and Thailand-Burma Railway Tour
A long trip from Bangkok but worth it to see the bridge and to pay homage to our soldiers Our guide “Tiny” was really knowledgable about Thailand and the local customs I thought the museum was pretty basic regarding information but still enjoyed the trip
Great experience
Nancy_F, Feb 2020
Bangkok's Local Flavors: Thai Street Food Tour
Our guide Steve spoke very good English.
Excellent choice.
Ross M, Oct 2019
Private Tour: Half-day Grand Palace and Wat Arun by Boat
Well spoken English, genuine and thoughtful ambassador of Buddhism and Thailand.
Private tour of Ayutthaya
GkGt6, Oct 2019
Private Tour: Full-Day Ayutthaya Tour from Bangkok
I enjoyed the tour and got to see many historic locations in Thailand.
More than expected!
Curious548668, May 2019
Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
Great, friendly english speaking guide with in depth knowledge of Thailand history.
Fast friendly service
Voyager66627383748, Apr 2019
Guided Arrival Fast-Track Service: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Awesome service very friendly straight through Immagration without any fuss happy to see the warm friendly smiles of thailand
A perfect way to visit Ayutthaya
800arethac, Dec 2018
Exploring Historic Ayutthaya by Bike
A stressfree and fun way to see a historical part of Thailand.
The BEST ever!!!
cpstaz495, Nov 2018
Benny's Home Cooking Chiang Mai
Her English is great.
Our tour guide spook great English and...
Linwood P, Aug 2018
Royal Grand Palace and Bangkok Temples: Half Day Tour
Our tour guide spook great English and was very knowledgeable at all sites.
If you truly want to see and...
Ronald W, Dec 2017
In and around Bangkok Private Tour Guide with Custom Experience
If you truly want to see and experience Thailand not wait in big vans and buses and be herded like cattle from site to site then this explorique private tour is the only way to go.
Had a great day from the start to...
brett.thiele, Apr 2018
Private Tour: Thai–Burma Death Railway Bridge on the River Kwai from Bangkok
Tum', our host, and driver were fantastic from explaining the day, arranging our activities to stopping and buying ice cream on the way back to Bangkok!
Great day out - it was about 12...
Camilla v, Oct 2017
Chiang Rai Small-Group Day Trip from Chiang Mai City with Golden Triangle
Great experience to see the Golden Triangle and northern Thailand.
Great tour, great tour guide. It...
Alaina C, Sep 2017
Chiang Rai Small-Group Day Trip from Chiang Mai City with Golden Triangle
It really allowed me to see a lot of Thailand and learn some culture.
I booked this tour online prior to...
Megan B, Oct 2017
Private Bangkok City Tour Full Day With The Grand Palace
We got to see a ton of temples, ride a long boat, etc.
Wanted to see as much of Bangkok as...
borisov, Jan 2018
Half-Day Bangkok City Highlights Small-Group Tour with Lunch
Wanted to see as much of Bangkok as we could given our short stay.
An absolutely fantastic one day...
tricia.burritt, Mar 2018
Private Tour: A Glimpse of Myanmar and the Golden Triangle Trip from Chiang Rai
The guide was well informed, spoke very good English and took time to introduce this new country to us as first time visitors.
An amazing tour! Lots of history and...
Manley C, Oct 2017
Private Tour: Thai–Burma Death Railway Bridge on the River Kwai from Bangkok
You get to see Thailand from all angles...

All about Thailand

When to visit

There’s no bad time to visit Thailand, but rain and heat can affect your vacation plans. Early winter is the country-wide sweet spot: it’s dry and hot enough—but not too hot—for city sightseeing or the beach. To experience local culture at its most memorable, consider April for the Thai New Year celebrations of Songkran, or November for Chiang Mai’s Lantern Festival (Loi Krathong).

Frequently Asked Questions
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