Evan Krause

Thailand – Discover The Best Places to Visit in the Land of Smiles

Sandra Gouveia

Be it travelling there for a getaway, wanderlust or for mere curiosity, this Southeast Asian country is sure to deliver some unforgettable experiences.

A beach bum’s paradise with its uncountable islands and palm-fringed beaches, an adventureland with its lush jungles and inviting waters, a foodie paradise with its myriad of flavours, and a spiritual haven with its thousands of temples and sacred rites, no wonder Thailand has been a top destination for some time now.

If you’ve already made the decision to cross it off your bucket list and are wondering where to head and what to explore, then this article might just come in handy as you’ll get to know Thailand’s best places to visit and iconic attractions – ready to start planning?

Key-Areas in Thailand

Braden Jarvis

Central Thailand & Bangkok

The scenic Chao Phraya River flows from north to south through glorious Ayutthaya and bustling Bangkok. Ayutthaya – once one of the major trading cities in the world and the heartland of the Kingdom of Siam – is a mandatory trip if only for a glimpse of the historical remains of its palaces, monasteries and temples.


Bangkok, the present-day capital city of Thailand is where the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and bustling Yaowarat Road are to be found, some of the busy metropolis major attractions.


3-hours away from the hustle and bustle of the capital is peaceful Lopburi, Thailand’s “Monkey City” and also a few hours drive from Bangkok is Khao Yai National Park, the oldest in Thailand and a good day’s hike through spectacular scenery guaranteed.

Denys Nevozhai

Southern Thailand & Island Hopping

The Southern Region of Thailand is widely known as a tropical getaway with endless uncountable islands, mangrove forests, limestone cliffs and a myriad of opportunities to relax on pillow-like sands and swim in the clearest of waters.


Phuket (a mountainous island with great accessibility to the Similan Islands, Rok Islands, Phang Nga Bay and Coral Island) and more relaxed Krabi (a province known for the idyllic Ao Nang, Railay, Phi Phi and Koh Lanta islands) are great bases for those wishing to go island hopping in the Andaman Sea. Every island offers its own distinctive adventures be it snorkelling in Ko Phi Phi, diving in the Surin & Similan Islands Marine National Parks or rock climbing in Railay.


On the East side Surat Thani, “The City of Good People”, is the starting point to explore the famous Gulf Coast Islands of Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan (a party island) and Ko Tao (a scuba diving paradise).

Haydn Golden

Northern Thailand & Chian Mai, Chian Rai

Away from the island’s getaways and enclaved between Myanmar on the west and Laos on the east, is the lush green northern part of Thailand. Chian Mai, the laidback capital of the north is a place to indulge in great affordable food, socialize with locals on weekend markets and discover an old city with many temples, cafes, restaurants as well as museums and galleries. The city is surrounded by unspoilt rainforests and friendly villages as well as authentic indigenous hill tribes that inhabit this part of the country.


North of Chian Mai and within the Sukhothai Historical Park are the 193 splendid World Heritage ruins of temples, royal palaces, walls, moats and the city gates from the Sukhothai Kingdom.


Southeast of the capital lays Chiang Rai, the gateway to the Golden Triangle (intersection between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar). This smaller city wins its own share of visitors over with the unique and surely unconventional works of Duchanee and Kositpipat: the Black House (or Baan Dam), the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and the central Golden Clock Tower.


Western Thailand

West of Bangkok the landscapes are greener with vast fields of rice plantations and famous floating markets – among them the popular Damnoen Saduak, as well as Amphawa and the more traditional Tha Kha.


The Three Pagodas Pass on the hilly border with Myanmar is the remarkable gateway between the two nations, once troubled by wars and battles, now a symbol of trade and good relationships.


Palm-fringed beaches in the former royal resort Hua Hin and Cha’am (a popular place among Thais looking for a beach escape) offer a more tranquil environment than some of the most sought-after ones in the South.

Ragnar Vorel

Eastern Thailand

On the Eastern Gulf Coast, a stone’s throw from Bangkok, you’ll find some beautiful white-sand beach resorts. Among them are the party and watersports hubs Koh Samet Island and Pattaya.


In the Inner East, lays a mountainous area with sleepy towns and the remains of a once affluent community in Sa Kaeo.


The southernmost part of Eastern Thailand is embellished with idyllic islands sprinkled across the Trat Province coast, namely Ko Chang – one of the biggest Thai islands and literally a slice of heaven with incredible wildlife, beautiful coral reefs and astonishing hiking trails through the dense Mu Ko Chang National Park jungle – and Ko Kut, a large family-friendly island close to Cambodia.

Northeastern Thailand & Isan

Isan is one of the most underrated parts of Thailand as many travellers flee to the country seeking only pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. However, those in need of adventure and a real feel of the countryside will be happy to discover this area’s little towns, rural life and traditional delicacies. Some of the most impressive places to visit around are Khao Yai National Park (the closest natural park to Bangkok), the Khmer Empire temple in Phimai Historical Park (Thai’s own Angkor Wat), the million lotus flowers in the Red Lotus Sea (or Talay Bua Daeng), the mysterious Phu Phra Bat – Historical Park, the amazing sculptures at Sala Keoku and Wat Pho Chai – the most sacred temple in Nong Khai. From Nong Khai – an energetic city on the banks of the Mekong River – you can reach Vientiane, in Laos, through the 20 km long Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge.

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