Planning a visit to this beautiful country full of beaches, culture, and amazing food? Read on to learn the 10 best things to do in Thailand on your vacation.
Thailand is a great destination for those with a touch of wanderlust. It’s also recognized as one of cheapest places to visit in 2018.
It’s one of those, ‘so much to do, so little time’ destinations. There are over 40,000 temples to explore. Bustling markets thrive in every village and city. There are 2, 000 miles of gorgeous coastline and 8,000 islands to see in Thailand.
Do you need help deciding where to start? Here’s our list of the best things to do in Thailand to help you plan your trip.
1. Gawk at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
The golden-hued walls and gaudy roofs of the Grand Palace in Bangkok is a magnificent shimmering sight at the close of day.
This magnificent building was once the literal seat of royalty until the turn of the century. Today it is used as a venue for important events and ceremonies and is a major tourist attraction.
You will find the Wat Phra Kaew Temple within the Grand Palace compound. This the home of the famous Emerald Buddha who changes his attire to suit the seasons.
Likewise, visitors should dress appropriately for a tour of these auspicious premises. If you arrive in unsuitable attire, you’ll have to hire something more fitting before you’re allowed to enter.
2. Explore The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is known as the “land of a million rice fields.” Cultural icons, fields of colorful flowers, gushing waterfalls and fat, wide rivers are commonplace here.
Set aside a few days to lap up the scenic tranquility and visit the following major sights found here:
- The White Temple at Chiang Rai
- Namtok Khun Kon Forest Park and Doi Luang National Park
- Sop Ruak for views of Laos and Burma from Thai soil
- The ruined city of city of Souvanna Khomkham
- The Hall of Opium (it’s a Museum)
Guided Tours are a good way to explore the best things to do in Thailand on a limited time budget. They’re also a great way to meet people during your travels.
3. Chiang Mai Offers More Than Temples
Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most visited destinations, offering some of the best things to do in Thailand. Make sure you tick the following items off your list when you visit here:
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and the Old City Temples
- The ancient underground city of Wiang Kum Kam
- Night safaris in nearby wildlife parks
- The Elephant Sanctuary
- The handicraft village at Bo Sang Village
With so many things to do and see in Chiang Mai, plan to spend a few days here.
There are loads of accommodation options in Chiang Mai. You can choose from the ultra-luxury offerings of Howie’s Homestay to more affordable Airbnb deals.
4. Mingle with the Hill Tribe Villagers
Chiang Mai also provides opportunities to experience rural Thai living when you visit the hill tribes in the area. These fascinating folk still practice their ancient customs and lifestyle.
The long-neck tribe is particularly fascinating with their unusual ideas of necklace fashion.
The Hmong Tribal Village is a must-visit destination, secreted at the top of Thailand’s highest peak, Doi Pui.
It is fascinating to see how these people continue to practice their traditional lifestyles and make a living from doing it thanks to curious tourists.
5. Island Hop Until You Drop
Snorkeling, photography, and lazing on white sand beaches are just some of the reasons to hire a kayak and explore a few of Thailand’s islands.
Head out to sea among the magnificent limestone rocks jutting out of Phang Nga Bay. Paddle in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, or pack a picnic and spend some time on the almost deserted shores of beautiful Koh Yao Yai.
6. Kanchanaburi Province
Home to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi Province is a temptation to every adventurous traveler.
Seek out plunging waterfalls, delve into historically significant caves, explore lush national parks or take a bamboo raft down the river.
7. Don’t Miss These Heritage Sites
Thailand has no less than 5 UNESCO world heritage sites within its borders.
Be sure to include these in your itinerary wherever you are in the country.
- The Historic City of Ayutthaya in Bangkok
- Sukhothai historic city in northern Thailand
- Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kanchanaburi Province
- Ban Chiang archaeological site in Nong Han District
- Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex on the border Cambodian border
There are another six historic and natural sights which are pending review with UNESCO. Thailand offers a rich tapestry of historically and culturally priceless destinations.
8. Bargain at the Floating Markets
No list of the best things to do in Thailand is complete without mentioning the floating markets. They are a bustle of activity, color, and sound. Bright textiles flap in the breeze, spicy aromas fill the air and vendors yell jovially at each other across the waters.
You can either hire a boatman to guide you on your shopping trip or join the crowds on the piers to jostle for the best goods. It’s an experience, to say the least, and an unforgettable part of any trip to Thailand.
9. Sample Local Cuisine and Drinks
Many a local delicacy will tempt you during your watery shopping trips. Try as many as you can.
Some of the yummiest include hot, sour Tom Yam soup, green papaya Soma Tam salad and every kind of curry. Don’t miss the fried noodles and authentic Pad Thai.
Wash it all down with a refreshing array of fruit juices or sip away on a local beer – Singa, Chang, and Leo are the top sellers.
10. The Best Things to Do In Thailand if You Love Nature
Waterfalls and National Parks abound in Thailand. You can also chill out in city parks like Bangkok’s Oasis with its lakes and manicured lawns. Just outside this city, Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park provides a tropical jungle experience.
Chiang Mai’s Nong Buak Had City Park is a tranquil green space for picnics with quaint bridges and a small lake.
In these verdant places, you will come across many of Thailand’s indigenous birds and small mammals and reptiles while you take a break from your travels.
And There’s More
Thailand is an excellent destination to start out your world travels, and one of the best places to earn money while you travel. You can spread your wings from here and explore many nearby Asian countries.
If you’re ready to get packing and explore the world, keep reading our travel blog for more inspiration.