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When planning a trip to Thailand, the possibilities can seem endless. With its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unparalleled hospitality, it’s no surprise this country is a favorite destination for travelers across the globe. Here’s a carefully curated list to help you experience the best things to do in Thailand to make the most of your trip.
- Best Things to Do in Thailand
- 1. The Grand Palace
- 2. Khao Sok National Park
- 3. Samut Prakan Ancient City
- 4. Sanctuary of Truth Museum
- 5. Wat Maha That
- 6. Khao Yai National Park
- 7. Erawan National Park
- 8. Phimai Historical Park
- 9. Sukhothai Historical Park
- 10. Motorbike through Northern Thailand
- Where to Stay in Thailand
- How to Get Around in Thailand
- Travel Tips for Visiting Thailand
- Embrace Authentic Thai Cuisine
- Respect Local Customs and Dress Appropriately
- Support Responsible Tourism
- Be Aware of Scams and Stay Safe
- Learn Basic Thai Phrases
Best Things to Do in Thailand
1. The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace, centrally located in Bangkok, is a shining example of Thai history and architecture. Initially built in 1782, this sprawling complex comprised of numerous temples, pavilions, gardens, and courtyards has served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. Visitors can discover the Temple of the Emerald Buddha within the palace grounds, which houses a stunning statue made from a single piece of green jade.
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2. Khao Sok National Park
Visiting Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is a must for nature lovers. Spanning over 739 square kilometers, this rainforest reserve boasts diverse flora and fauna, limestone cliffs, and the stunning Cheow Lan Lake. Take guided hikes, embark on memorable wildlife safaris, or kayak along the stunning waterways for unforgettable experiences.
3. Samut Prakan Ancient City
Journey back in time by exploring the Samut Prakan Ancient City outside Bangkok. The park showcases replicated traditional Thai architecture and iconic, storied locales from different parts of the country, giving travelers an immersive and educational experience of Thailand’s diverse heritage.
4. Sanctuary of Truth Museum
Located in Pattaya, the Sanctuary of Truth Museum is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. This massive all-wood structure, embellished with intricate Nepali-style woodcarvings, serves as an architectural marvel and a spiritual haven. Guided tours offer a unique glimpse into these stunning walls’ cultural, religious, and philosophical beliefs.
5. Wat Maha That
Found in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, Wat Maha is a mesmerizing Buddhist temple complex dating back to the 14th century. The site, now in ruins, paints a vivid picture of the former grandeur, showcasing intricate designs and the famous head of a Buddha statue entwined within tree roots.
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6. Khao Yai National Park
Another incredible destination for nature lovers, the Khao Yai National Park is a lush, tropical paradise, home to an impressive array of wildlife, waterfalls, and hiking trails. As Thailand’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it continues enthralling visitors with its captivating beauty.
7. Erawan National Park
Offering a dreamy escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life, Erawan National Park in Kanchanaburi province boasts the stunning seven-tiered Erawan Falls. Visitors can follow well-marked trails, swim in clear blue pools, or relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.
8. Phimai Historical Park
The Phimai Historical Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province showcases exquisite Khmer architecture within its ancient temple ruins. This captivating archaeological site is aesthetically striking and offers an intriguing glimpse into Thailand’s past and the influence of the Khmer civilization.
9. Sukhothai Historical Park
Immerse yourself in history and culture at Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park houses the remains of the 13th-century Sukhothai Kingdom, allowing visitors to marvel at the beautiful remnants of Buddhist temples, palaces, and statues as they wander through the vast, serene park.
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10. Motorbike through Northern Thailand
If you’re a motorbike enthusiast, you’ll be spoilt for choice regarding scenic routes around the country. But for something truly special, look no further than the stunning trails near Chiang Mai. Many riders opt to rent bikes and embark on multi-day journeys to explore the area’s incredible loops, such as the Chiang Mai to Pai route.
Just be sure to check that the bike you rent is comfortable for the journey. And above all else, never drink and drive. Unfortunately, accidents are all too common, so it’s important to stay safe on the roads.
Where to Stay in Thailand
Thailand’s vast and diverse landscapes offer unique accommodations for every taste, from luxurious resorts to cozy guesthouses. In this Thailand travel guide, I have handpicked the ten best accommodations to fully immerse oneself in the local culture and beauty when you visit Thailand. Here’s a list:
- Sri Panwa Phuket
- Soneva Kiri Resort, Koh Kood
- Rosa Villa, Khao Yai
- Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas
- River Kwai Jungle Rafts, Kanchanaburi
- 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai
- Six Senses Yao Noi
- lebua at State Tower, Bangkok
- Ban Sainai Resort, Krabi
- Sira Grande Ville, Pattaya
How to Get Around in Thailand
Navigating Thailand can be an exciting adventure in itself. Public transportation options include trains, buses, taxis, and tuk-tuks to suit travelers’ preferences. But renting a car offers the flexibility and freedom to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations at one’s own pace.
A trusted car rental partner, like RentalCars.com, streamlines the process and puts the keys to the Kingdom in your hands, ready to unlock unforgettable experiences in Thailand.
Travel Tips for Visiting Thailand
As a seasoned traveler, I value the significance of insider knowledge and local tips when exploring new places. Visiting Thailand is crucial to appreciate its cultural richness, stunning scenery, and culinary marvels while prioritizing safety and convenience. A reliable travel insurance provider such as VisitorsCoverage.com eases your mind with comprehensive coverage, freeing you to embrace every thrilling adventure Thailand offers.
Embrace Authentic Thai Cuisine
Visiting Thailand presents a culinary adventure, as the flavors and aromas awaken the senses. Delight in street food—heed the Buddhists’ wisdom of indulging in moderation. Sample pad thai, fiery curries, and sticky mango rice from humble street-side vendors whose skills and passion rival even the finest establishment chefs.
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Respect Local Customs and Dress Appropriately
When visiting Thailand’s numerous temples, it’s vital to dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees. Remove shoes before entering religious sites and act with respect towards the locals and their beliefs. To fully engage with the spiritual heart of this fascinating country, respecting its customs and cultural etiquette will undoubtedly enrich one’s experiences.
Support Responsible Tourism
Thailand offers encounters with its captivating wildlife, ranging from majestic elephants to vibrant marine life. While it may be tempting to ride an elephant, the industry is plagued by unethical practices causing harm to these gentle giants. Opt for experiences supporting rescue and conservation organizations and choose snorkeling or diving to observe marine life in their natural habitats.
Be Aware of Scams and Stay Safe
Equipped with knowledge, travelers can navigate through potential scams in Thailand. Be cautious of overly friendly strangers, double-check taxi meters, and negotiate rates with tuk-tuk drivers to avoid surprises. Carry contact information for your embassy and maintain vigilance when traversing bustling streets.
Learn Basic Thai Phrases
Locals appreciate when visitors attempt to speak Thai, even just a few basic phrases. Greet with a warm “Sawasdee” (hello), express gratitude with “khob khun,” and communicate respect with a gentle “wai” gesture. Demonstrating an effort to respect the language and culture strengthens connections, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in the essence of Thailand.
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.