Thailand

→ Southeast Asian country 
→ Known for fussy temples
→ Known for beautiful tropical beaches

Thailand is packed with cultural, historic and natural attractions. The main reason you should visit Thailand is to see its beautiful beaches and natural scenery along with the vibrant culture and cuisines.

For Beach Vacation

Best Season: December - March

Top destinations in Thailand

This is the list of top destinations in Thailand where you can have a lot of experience in one trip. This saves your time not only while surfing the internet for the top destinations to travel but also while traveling or exploring that particular location. And of course, this can save your money too.

Bangkok

Bangkok

City of Art and Culture

  • Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand with ancient attractions
  • Kanchanaburi is at a distance of about 2 hrs.
  • Ayutthaya is at a distance of about 2 hrs.
  • Wat Arun
  • Wat Pho
  • Grand Palace
  • Wat Phra Kaew temple
  • Chatuchak Market
  • Khao San Road
  • Floating Market
  • China Town
  • Chao Phraya River
  • Soi Cowboy
  • Jim Thompson House
  • Visit temples
  • Visit SEA LIFE Bangkok
  • Visit Bangkok National Museum
  • Chao Phraya River cruising
  • Stroll around Lumpini Park
  • Go shopping at Chatuchak Market
  • Shop, eat and enjoy the nightlife at Khao San Road

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Myriads of temple ruins (more than 400) and historical sites
  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram (***)
  • Wat Phu Khao Thong (***)
  • Wat Ratchaburana (***)
  • Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (***)
  • Wat Phra Mahathat (***)
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet (***)
  • Wat Phanan Choeng
  • Wat Na Phra Men 
  • Wat Thammikarat
  • Wat Suwan Dararam
  • Wat Lokaya Sutha
  • Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
  • Bang Pa-In Palace
  • Visit Ayutthaya Historical Park
  • Exploring temple ruins
  • Visit Bang Pa-In Palace
  • Visit Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
  • Visit Million Toy Museum
  • Boat trip around Ayutthaya 
  • Explore the local market
  • Discover Ayutthaya’s floating market
  • Visit Elephant Stay

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

  • A historic and cultural city surrounded by the mountains
  • Full of historical temples
  • Proximity to Bangkok
  • Doi Suthep (***)
  • Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang Temples (***)
  • Wiang Kum Kam
  • Elephant Nature Park
  • Doi Inthanon National Park (***)
  • Chiang Mai Gate Market
  • Chiang Dao Cave and Padung Village
  • Diverse Cultures
  • Walk around the historic city
  • Visit Buddhist temples
  • Know the culture of long neck ethnic (Karen) hill tribes in Padung Village
  • Shopping in the cheap night market
  • Try some street food at Chiang Mai Gate Market
  • Go for a night safari
  • Visit Elephant Nature Park
  • Enjoy outdoor adventures
  • Take Thai cooking classes

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

  • Khao Sok National Park is home to rare species of birds and animals (like gibbons).
  • Khao Sok National Park consists of lush jungle, limestone karst formations, and a man-made lake.
  • It is at the distance of about 3 hrs drive from Phuket
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • The Rainforest
  • Lime Stone Cliffs
  • Cheow Larn Lake
  • Wildlife
  • Hiking/Trekking in Jungle
  • Forest camping
  • Elephant back safari
  • Bamboo rafting/kayaking/canoeing/boating in the Sok river
  • Spot an Asian Elephant
  • Boat tour to Cheow Larn Lake

Phuket

Phuket

  • The largest island in Thailand with turquoise water and white sand beaches
  • Phuket is a travel base for exploring Phang Nga Bay and the Phi Phi Islands.
  • Low travel cost
  • Phang Nga Bay (North East of Phuket)
  • Phi Phi Island
  • Similan Islands (North West of Phuket)
  • Patong Beach/Kata Beach/Karon Beach
  • Big Buddha
  • Wat Chalong (temple)
  • Old Phuket Town
  • Elephant Sanctuaries
  • Relax on some pristine beaches
  • Boat tour of islands
  • Visit temples of Phuket
  • Enjoy Bangla Road’s nightlife
  • Do shopping at night markets
  • Observe Phuket Fantasea Show
  • Observe Simon Cabaret Show in Patong
  • Reach to one of the Phuket’s viewpoints
  • Sample some Thai food at Phuket’s night market.

Railay

Railay

  • Railay is known for its rock climbing and beautiful beaches.
  • Railay Beach
  • Phra Nang Cave (Diamond Cave)
  • Sa Phra Nang (lagoon)
  • Relax on the beach
  • Boat tour of islands
  • Rock climbing
  • Sightseeing
  • Sea kayaking
  • Explore Phra Nang Cave (Diamond Cave) and Sa Phra Nang (lagoon)
  • Hike to the Railay’s viewpoints
  • View sunset

top activities to do in Thailand

A valid passport with validity not less than 6 months is required to enter Thailand. Depending upon the country, a tourist visa will be stamped with permission to stay for 30 or 60 days if you arrive on Thailand via an international airport.

You will be stamped tourist visa with 15-day stay permission (as a tourist) if you enter Thailand through the land.

(Tourist visa can be stamped on your passport upon arrival at Thailand’s airport, or it can be obtained in your home country from the Thai Embassy/Consulate. The tourist visa can also be extended if you wish to stay longer.)

Some nationals do not require a visa under the visa exemption rule while some nationals are required to apply for a visa in advance (before arrival). It’s better to check visa requirements with the embassy well before you travel.

Credit cards are widely accepted. Changing cash or a traveler’s check is not that hard though a traveler’s check is not used widely. 

ATMs are found in major cities.

Since the major attractions are well scattered across Thailand, you should choose the international flights based on where you want to go and what you want to see so that you don’t have to spend too much of your time traveling by bus/car/taxi/boat.

Domestic flights are convenient for traveling long distances. In the case of time availability, buses are a fair option for traveling not-too-long distances. Buses can get crowded and slow but cheap.
Inside the city, you can get around on foot or taxi or can hire a car. Taxis are an affordable option in Bangkok while tuk-tuks are a cheaper option in Chiang Mai as long as you are into haggling.

Railway services provide facilities to travel from one major town to the other (except Phuket).

Travel Tips:
Most of Thailand’s attractions are free to visit while others require fees.

Weather Tips:
Since the weather in Thailand can turn extreme during rainy seasons, it is a good practice to always check the latest weather updates before going to mountainous regions. You have to be prepared for natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and heavy storms. Do not ignore the suggestions given by local people and always follow the instructions given by local authorities. 

Health Tips:
It’s better to take precautions against tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis, and HIV while traveling to Thailand. Although immunizations are not required while traveling to Thailand, it is advisable to update your standard vaccinations of mumps, measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and tetanus. Also, take precautions against diseases that are spread by mosquito bites.

It’s better to make full travel insurance.

Others:
You should be aware of the petty crimes (from pickpockets, thieves, scammers, etc.) and violent crimes taking place inside and outside the cities. You should take care of your travel documents, luggage, and other belongings. Don’t walk alone at night and don’t walk through less traveled areas alone.

our recommendations

Based on the places and experiences that you will never get in other countries i.e they are uniquely different from other countries, we tried to narrow down the lists in terms of ‘must-see’ places.

Must-visit destinations in Thailand:

If you are an outdoor activities lover:

  1. Pai
  2. Chiang Mai
  3. Ko Tao
  4. Khao Sok National Park
  5. Phuket
  6. Railay

If you are temples, ancient sites and history lover:

  1. Ayutthaya
  2. Kanchanaburi
  3. Bangkok
  4. Chiang Mai

If you are a culture lover:

     For Cultures and Traditions:

  1. Ayutthaya
  2. Chiang Mai

If you are a nature lover:

  1. Pai
  2. Khao Sok National Park
  3. Kanchanaburi
  4. Chiang Mai
  5. Railay

If you are a beach lover:

     For busy beach (Resort, People, Partying):

  1. Phuket
  2. Railay

     For quieter beach:

  1. Ko Chang
  2. Ko Lanta

From the above list, you can see that Chiang Mai overlaps in four categories, whereas Railay overlaps in three categories and Ayutthaya, Khao Sok National Park, Kanchanaburi, Pai, and Phuket overlap in two categories. You can make your trip worthy by planning an itinerary according to your priorities and make much out of it by having a lot of experiences in your single trip without having your time and money wasted in traveling and just covering distances in-between.

Our Pick:  Since Thailand is mostly about cultural, historic, natural attractions and great beaches our first pick would be Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Khao Sok National Park and Phuket. 

Follow these itineraries ideas (below): If you want to make most out of your trip; if you want to have a lot of experiences  in one trip missing almost nothing in your whole trip; if you also don’t want to miss the must-see places and if you also don’t want to miss ‘nowhere else’ destinations on the planet, then follow these tips.

If this is your first time visit to Thailand and 


If you have 7-8 days, then we recommend you to choose the following itinerary:

Choose your itinerary according to your interests

If you are culture and nature lover, then head towards Northern Thailand with hilly regions:

Bangkok (Day 1-2)→Kanchanaburi (Day 3)→Ayutthaya (Day 4)→Chiang Mai (Day 5)→Chiang Rai (Day 6)→Chiang Mai, Return home (Day 7)

or,

If you are beach and islands lover with lots of water activities, then head towards Southern Thailand 

Bangkok (Day 1-2)→Phuket and Koh Yao Yai (Day 3-4)→Koh Phi Phi (Day 5-6)→Phuket, Return home (Day 7/8)


If you have 14 days, then you can combine Northern and Southern Thailand itinerary (above).

Bangkok (Day 1-2)→Kanchanaburi (Day 3)→Ayutthaya (Day 4)→Chiang Mai (Day 5-6)→Chiang Rai (Day 7)→Pai (Day 8)→Flight to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi (Day 9-10)→Koh Yao Yai, Koh Yao Noi (Day 11)→Phang-Nga, Khao Sok National Park (Day 12-13)→Back to Phuket and return home (Day 14)

or,

Bangkok (Day 1-2)→Kanchanaburi (Day 3)→Ayutthaya (Day 4)→Chiang Mai (Day 5-6)→Chiang Rai (Day 7)→Surat Thani, Koh Phangan (Day 8-9)→Return to Surat Thani, Khao Sok National Park, Phang-Nga (Day 10-11)→Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Yai, Koh Yao Nai (Day 12-13)→Back to Phuket and return home (Day 14)

The difference between these two itineraries is Pai and Koh Phangan. If you want to add more of the hilly destination with a picturesque valley filled with a relaxed atmosphere, then include Pai in your list. And if you want to add more of the island destination with some party and crowd, then include Ko Phangan in your list…..The choice is yours. There are more flights from Pai to Phuket in comparision to Chinag Rai to Surat Thani (till this date)…Be aware!


(Note: Please note that the itineraries mentioned here are focused on the routes or directions to follow for saving time and money and still not missing the ‘must-see’ destinations. The days mentioned here in-between the places is a rough estimation just to give you general itinerary ideas. You can shorten or lengthen this time according to your interests, season, budget and time available. For example, sometimes you might want to experience the nature, activities and culture in a relaxed manner without any haste and without feeling crammed.)


We’ve covered our recommendations for ‘must-visit destinations’. The list of other wonderful places throughout Thailand can get long. The priorities for a destination to visit can be different from person to person as it depends upon personal preferences and interests. But these are the itineraries covering ‘must-do’ or ‘must-see’ places once in your life time.