Must Visit Places in Thailand | The most beautiful places to visit in Thailand

Must visit places in thailand

Must Visit Places in Thailand

There are many must visit places in Thailand.

Thailand is called the land of smiles: for visitors, the effect is just that, infectious well-being stemming from several factors. Generous nature has managed to preserve the charm of the mystical Eden, where you can find virgin tropical forests and coral reefs that are still full of life. A record number of national parks: Thailand, among others, is known as one of the most spectacular places in the world for diving.

Thailand’s most beautiful islands have a legendary charm, providing the backdrop for unforgettable experiences: from jungle excursions to long tail boat trips, Thai fishing boats, amidst pristine landscapes.

Thai culture, must visit places in Thailand
Thai culture. Photo credit: Sasint via Pixabay

Thailand’s beaches are icons of relaxation, decorated with palm trees and immaculate white sand: an irresistible temptation for those who dream of escaping the city. Bangkok’s golden temples, bountiful Thai cuisine and a sense of hospitality do the rest.
Ready to go? Here are the best things to see in Thailand to experience its history and natural beauty.

Koh Samui
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phangan
Khao Sok . National Park
Sra Morakot
Chiang Mai
Udon Thani
Red lotus, Nong Han Kum Pavapi
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
Erawan falls
Chiang Rai
Khao Lak
Bua Tong Waterfall


Located on the banks of the Chao Praya River, Bangkok is one of the most visited tourist destinations on the planet. The “city of angels” has a double face: the modern metropolis, populated by skyscrapers and shopping malls, and the old part, populated by Buddhist temples and typical wooden houses overlooking the canals. Millions of visitors flock each year to the Royal Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Wat Phra Kaew complex that houses a statue of the monarch’s symbol. Among its most famous monuments is also Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn which, at night, lights up with a thousand lights.

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Don’t miss an excursion along the country canals, called klongs, which are bursting with life: deeply folkloric floating markets, such as Damnoen Saduak, where you can immerse yourself in tradition on a signature boat. Bangkok is full of markets and stalls where you can buy everything: the most popular meeting place for shopping is the huge Chatuchak market, also known as the weekend market. Known for its wild nightlife, the city has thousands of restaurants where you can taste spicy Thai specialties and all kinds of delicacies, oriental or not. Bangkok is a city of contrasts, chaotic and spiritual: lost in its maze of alleys, come face to face with Thai monks dressed in distinctive saffron-colored robes.


The island of Phuket is the largest in Thailand and is a true paradise on earth. The “pearl of the Andaman Islands” offers dozens of beaches covered with white sand and quiet bays where you can get drunk in the sun or go snorkeling. Some of the most popular include Karon Beach and Kata Beach, the latter known for its waves and as a great surfing spot.

Crossed by a mountain range and covered with forests, the island has several microclimates, each with its own characteristic fauna and flora. Phuket is, in turn, surrounded by beautiful islands, those of Pee Pee Leh, with its magnificent cliffs overlooking the sea, and Pee Pee Don. Phuket hosts some of the most spectacular events of the Songkran Festival, the traditional Thai New Year’s Eve, also known as the Water Festival: a great collective ritual symbolizing rebirth and renewal.


Patong Beach is one of the busiest beaches in Phuket: a kilometer long crescent of sand, equipped with all kinds of services. Starting with water sports: here you can practice all kinds of activities, from water skiing to diving, knowing that Patong is the largest diving site in Phuket.

Surrounded by a multitude of clubs, restaurants and shops, Patong also stands out for the richness of its gastronomic offer and its nightlife. To escape the crowds, you can escape to Freedom Beach, hop on a tuk-tuk or, for the brave, on foot: the wonder of the tropical landscape comes at the cost of all the effort.

Koh Samui

The island of Koh Samui is the third largest island in Thailand and is famous for its coconut trees: in addition to enriching the view, they represent the maximum height in which construction is allowed. An incentive to preserve the primitive beauty of the island, initially “colonized” by the hippies, struck by its wild aspect. The mountain range running through it is covered in thick jungle, which you can enter with the help of local guides.

Chaweng Noi Beach, Koh Samui (48107299538)
Chaweng Noi Beach, Koh Samui. Fabio Achilli from Milano, Italy, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Elephant back safaris are also very popular, an eco-friendly alternative to the classic jeep that takes in some of the best views like Na Muang Falls. Chaweng Beach, with its iconic beauty and wealth of amenities, including luxurious resorts with spas, tops the list of most fascinating beaches. Lamai beach is also fantastic, less crowded and also equipped with bungalows, restaurants and massage centers.


The ancient capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya, saw 33 kings alternate in power for 400 years, until it was pillaged by the Burmese: the latter caused the destruction of houses and temples. Ayutthaya is, of course, a place rich in history: in its heyday, it housed hundreds of temples and three royal palaces, surrounded by mighty walls. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a huge historical park with hundreds of sites to visit.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram 2, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Chaiwatthanaram Temple is one of Ayutthaya’s best known temples. It was constructed in 1630 by the king Prasat Thong. The Ayutthaya Kingdom was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ban Mai, Maha Rat District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand - panoramio (11)
Ban Mai, Maha Rat District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand. Charin ninsu, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

To do this, you can equip yourself with a map and a bicycle, the ideal way to easily cover the distance between the most important attractions, immersed in a green park with majestic trees. One of the best preserved temples is Wat Ratchaburana, where you can admire one of the most beautiful slopes – the towers that contain the statues of the gods – in the park, also due to its frescoes. Wat Mahathat, the ritual center of Ayutthaya, is very impressive: you can admire the famous head of Buddha imprisoned in the roots of a tree. Don’t miss Wat Chai Watthanaram, one of Thailand’s most spectacular temples and a symbol of Ayutthaya’s ancient splendor. Weather permitting, the journey continues to Wat Phanam Choeng, with its huge Buddha statue, one of the oldest and most revered in Thailand.


Pattaya has the most famous beach in Thailand. The long sunny coast is surrounded by beautiful islands and offers many attractions including theme parks and the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. The wide coastline is a paradise for water sports, a great alternative to sunbathing for active vacationers: the best spots are Pattaya Bay – 3 kilometers long – and Jomtien.

Pattaya Beach, Trees, Thailand
Pattaya Beach. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Pattaya, Walking Street at night, Thailand
Walking Street at night in Pattaya. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Pattaya city. Aorauu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The nightlife is no less vibrant: this bustling seaside resort, once a fishing village, is now an entertainment capital with a myriad of restaurants, clubs and discos. Pattaya has one of the most famous greens in Thailand, a real magnet for golf lovers. Those looking for a quieter beach where they can swim in relaxation can choose Wong Phra Chan, located a little further north: a real gem.

Koh Phi Phi

If you have the opportunity to take a boat trip to the islands of Koh Phi Phi, the advice is to seize the opportunity: the archipelago is one of the most spectacular places in Thailand and hosts a still virgin nature. To convince you of this, it is enough to remember that the scenes of the famous film The Beach with Leonardo di Caprio took place here.

Koh PhiPhi Panorama
Koh PhiPhi. AgentMR, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons.

Koh Phi-Phi, Maya Bay, 2013 march - panoramio (2)
Koh Phi-Phi, Maya Bay. Roma Neus, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Located about an hour’s sail from Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands include Koh Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh, famous for its Maya Bay. A place to see at least once in your life: the white sand is unreal, the cliffs breathtaking and the coral reef full of life. Snorkeling in the Koh Phi Phi Islands Marine Park is an indescribable pleasure.


Mangrove forests, green massifs and limestone cliffs plunging into the sea: all this is Krabi, a natural paradise formed by white beaches and islands scattered in the blue. Krabi is one of the must visit places in Thailand. To admire its fabulous caves and the spectacle of the reef, you can take a boat trip or dive in one of the many diving centers. You can also rent a kayak and paddle slowly through the atolls, admiring the rock carvings, canyons, and lush lagoons that surround you.

Ao Nang beach panorama 1
Panorama of Ao Nang beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand. kallerna, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Railay, Krabi, Thailand
Railay, Krabi, Thailand. This beach is accessible only by boat due to high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access. Rai Leh. Limestone rocks face breathtaking views over the ocean. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Untouched nature reigns supreme in the parks of Krabi, where one can walk over waterfalls, lakes and rare animals. If you like climbing, you can reach Railay Beach, a peninsula accessible only by boat, a destination for climbers from all over the world: but also for those who like to relax, thanks to its fantastic beaches.

Koh Pha Ngan

The island of Koh Panghan is famous for its Full Moon Parties: a party with hippie charm, scheduled once a month when the full moon shines in the sky. One of the best places to discover it is Sunrise Beach, a dazzling white beach and an equally spectacular sea.

Koh Phangan Bucht Haad Tien
Koh Phangan. Micha Schmidt, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

Koh phangan Thailand DSC03442
View of Koh Phangan. JanRehschuh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Островок Koh Ma в прилив
Koh Ma islet at high tide. Mmarkin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Despite its paradisiacal appearance, this beach becomes wild during the Full Moon Parties: the fun lasts all night long. If you prefer a quiet swim, you can practice yoga or meditation, in the schools on the island. Koh Panghan offers a wide choice to enjoy its endless beauty: you can hike in the forest or relax on one of the many beaches. Among the most recommended is Bottle Beach, a dream for divers.

Khao Sok National Park

The itinerary in Thailand cannot miss an excursion to Khao Sok National Park, a treasure trove of biodiversity ranked among the oldest rainforests in the world. Its location is strategic: it is indeed a short distance from the most popular destinations in southern Thailand, namely Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak.

Khao Sok National Park is 519 miles (835 km) from Bangkok.

Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani, Thailand

One of the cheapest ways to get from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park is to take a train, tickets to which cost on average 35 USD and travel time is around 12 hours.

Bus from Bangkok: take the bus to Khao Sok National Park. Duration 15h 30m. Departs daily. Typical costs: 1 375 THB (39 $US).

By plane from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Surat Thani International Airport (URT) 1 hour 15 minutes. Then you need to drive or take a bus from Surat Thani Airport (URT) to Khao Sok National Park; approximately 1h 38m (105 km or 65 miles). For info, Surat Thani is also the closest airport to Khao Sok.

By Plane from Phuket airport to the national park:

When you travel from overseas, Phuket airport is the easiest option, because they have more frequent flights. There are even direct overseas flights from Europe and Australia into Phuket Airport and it makes it the perfect arrival point for your trip to Khao Sok. Then you can drive from Phuket airport to Khao Sok National Park and it takes around 2 hours 45 minutes (132 km or 82 miles).

Khao Sok National Park (1)
Khao Sok National Park. One of the must visit places in Thailand. Chaiyathat, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

1022 KhaoSokNationalPark 2
The lake of Ratchaprapha (Chiao Lan) Dam, Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani Province. BerryJ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The landscape is unparalleled: majestic limestone cliffs that look like sculptures, covered with lush forest that is reflected in the emerald water. In addition to venturing into the jungle, you can also take a fantastic kayaking trip or slide on a long-tail boat on Cheow Lan Lake: given the quality of the views, you will dream that this experience will never end.

Sra Morakot

Known as the “emerald pool”, Sra Morakot is one of the most popular places to swim, especially by families who like to spend relaxing moments there. Floating on its crystal clear waters, admiring the fantastic colors, is a very regenerating experience: ideal for those looking for a relaxing place to cool off. To reach this delight a 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Krabi, which contributes to its popularity.

Blue Pool, Sa Morakot, Krabi 01
Blue Pool, Sa Morakot, Khlong Thom Nuea, Khlong Thom District, Krabi. Maksym Kozlenko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

There are many attractions in the surrounding area, including the Tiger Cave Temple, famous for its long staircase leading to the top. To reach your destination, you will have to take thousands of steps, and maybe even bicker with a few monkeys: for those who fancy reaching the big golden Buddha, the reward is an incredible view.

Chiang Mai

Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai is considered the capital of northern Thailand. Its historic center preserves traces of the ancient kingdom, with an extensive set of temples extending inside and outside the walls. The richness of the complex is such that the choice of itinerary can be complicated: in case of doubt, the most famous monument, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. Located on the hill of the same name, not far from the center, the temple has a monument containing the relics of the Buddha – covered with gold leaf: a sumptuous vision linked to an interesting legend, the miraculous reproduction of the relic, led up to here by a white elephant.


Translated as “the dawn of happiness”, Sukhothai was the heart of the ancient Thai kingdom: its archaeological complex, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important in Thailand. Inside, you can admire the remains of temples, royal palaces and the remains of the walls that defended the kingdom of Ramkhamhaeng the Great.

Sukhothai, Buddha, Thailand
The Kingdom of Sukhothai, a powerful early kingdom in north central Thailand. Sukhothai, Thailand. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sukhothai, Wat Sa Si, Thailand.
Wat Sa Si Buddhist Temple. This temple is one of the most beautiful in Sukhothai. It has a Lanka styled stupa. Wat Sa Si was built towards the end of the 14th century. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sukhothai Historical Park Light Show
Light show in Sukhothai Historical Park. Ninaras, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sukhothai, Buddhist stupas on the lake, Thailand
Buddhist stupas on the lake. The Kingdom of Sukhothai, a powerful early kingdom in north central Thailand. Sukhothai, Thailand. © Vyacheslav Argenberg /, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

In Sukhothai the famous Festival of Lights (Loi Kratong Festival) takes place, a votive event in honor of the goddess of waters: decorated floats glide on the waterways and, after sunset, the sky fills of Khom Loi, the traditional illuminated lanterns.


Located in the northeast of Thailand, Udon Thani is a region full of surprises. Among the most important, there is a monastery nestled in the forest, called Wat Pa Phu Khon: it is surrounded by a thick belt of greenery beyond which extend the rice fields as far as the eye can see. In addition to its location, the temple stands out for its blue roof. But those who come here mostly do so to conquer the view, which is truly remarkable.

Red Lotus Sea, Nong Han Kum Pavapi

Not far from Udon Thani is a swamp known to harbor a unique phenomenon: the winter blooming of the red lotus. Millions of crimson flowers bloom on the water at different times of the day, creating a huge colorful sea. The Red Lotus Sea is a must-see attraction – you won’t forget the thrill of a boat ride. The view is enhanced by the flights of herons and other wild birds flying over the Red Lotus Sea. The aroma of fish, diffused by the restaurants of the region, invites you to make a pleasant stop before boarding.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew.

Red lotus sea thailand
Red Lotus Sea, Nong Han Kum Pavapi. Photo credit: CryptoSkylark via Pixabay

In Thailand, there are lesser-known attractions, foreign to the classic routes, but not for lack of charm, indeed. Among them is the Buddhist monastery Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, built 800 meters above sea level on top of a mountain. The temple is spectacular: the large pagoda and the surrounding buildings are covered with millions of mosaic tesserae, in a blaze of colors and reflections that contrast with the green frame.

Erawan Falls

Thailand has hundreds of natural parks, but Erawan has a unique feature: the extraordinary beauty of its waterfalls. Erawan Falls plunge headlong into the tropical jungle, with 7 jumps connected by a trail, easily accessible, considering that in the last stretch it gets a bit steeper. The path leads to the last level, where you can see the heads of a mythological elephant. From one stage to the next, it is impossible to resist the call of swimming: the waterfalls form blue pools and natural slides, perfect for lounging or swimming. An absolutely magical water park, surrounded by majestic nature.

Chiang Rai

Gateway to the Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai is located in the far north of Thailand, on the border with Myanmar and Laos. The landscape is sculpted by mountains and valleys carved by the Kok River which crosses the city. Chiang Rai is the starting point for discovery tours of northern Thailand and elephant jungle tours. The city was the capital of the Lanna kingdom before Chiang Mai: it is here that the famous Emerald Buddha was found, now kept in Bangkok.

20171107 White Temple Chiang Rai 0197 DxO
White Temple in Chiang Rai. Jakub Hałun, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

A Kayan Family in Chiang Rai
A Kayan Family in Chiang Rai. “Kayan777”, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

To be exact, the statue was discovered in Wat Phra Kaew, where there is a jade copy: very beautiful the main hall in inlaid wood, finely decorated, as well as the surrounding gardens, maintained by the local community of monks. Among Chiang Rai’s most famous attractions is Wat Rong Khung, or White Temple, which stands out for its white plaster construction that contrasts with the flamboyant appearance of traditional temples. The walls are encrusted with glass creating a very suggestive play of reflections, making it one of the most recognizable architectures of all. If adventure calls, you can take a fantastic Mekong cruise and explore Thailand’s farthest frontier between hot springs, tea plantations and mysterious tribes.

Khao Lak

Located north of Krabi and Phuket, Khao Lak has tens of kilometers of beaches: a long set of wonders overlooking the Andaman Sea. Do not miss an excursion to the Similan Islands, accessible by boat from Khao Lak: the spectacle captivates everyone, especially divers who can observe the corals and colorful gorgonians up close. The archipelago, universally known for the charm of its coral reef, is reputed to be one of the most beautiful sites in the world for diving enthusiasts.

Abraham bogerd - khao lak holiday - pakarang cape
Khao lak holiday – Pakarang Cape. Abe Khao Lak, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Similans are made up of a dozen islands, including Ko Miang, which has plenty of snorkeling centers and interesting forest hiking trails. Khao Lak borders the Phang Nga region, famous for its bay of the same name, which is part of the national park and is characterized by giant limestone cliffs rising from the turquoise water.

Beaches in Khao Lak:

  • Khao Lak Beach, south of the headland marking the southern boundary of the region
  • Nang Thong Beach, in the village of Bang La On (frequently called—mistakenly—Khao Lak)
  • Bang Niang, in the village of the same name some 2–3 km (1.5 to 2 miles) north of Bang La On
  • Khuk Khak, in the village of the same name some 2–3 km (1.5 to 2 miles) north of Bang Niang
  • Cape Pakarang, north of Khuk Khak
  • Bang Sak, north of Cape Pakarang

Taken together, these beaches stretch for some 25 kilometres (16 miles) along the Andaman Sea. All beaches are public, as are all beaches in Thailand.

Bua Tong Waterfalls

If you haven’t yet exhausted your desire for freedom, you can treat yourself to an adventure at Bua Tong Falls. Known as “adhesive waterfalls”, they are very pleasant to “climb” as they offer a secure grip and can be explored easily, taking the necessary precautions.

น้ำตกบัวตอง Buatong Waterfall Thailand - panoramio (1)
Bua Thong Waterfalls (Sticky Waterfalls), Mae Ho Phra, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand. chootrong, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Located about an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai, Bua Tong Falls will entertain you like a child at the amusement park, except that the landscape is real and of great natural charm.

Sources: PinterPandai, Voyage Tips, U.S. News, Lonely Planet, The Culture Trip

Photo credit (main picture): Sasint via Pixabay

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