Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations, and for good cause. This amazing country has so much to offer. From street food to fine dining, they’ve got some of the best gastronomic treats in the world. Their varied geography ranges from amazing snorkeling and diving spots to wonderous mountain views. And their expert preservation of their history makes it so that no matter how many architectural marvels you see, each is breathtaking in its own way. Here, we’ve put together a list of places to go and things to do in Thailand, which will be eye-opening for both first-time and experienced visitors.
Known as the temple of the reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is one of those tourist stops you have to make if you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time. It is located in one of the largest temple complexes in the city, and features a 46-meter long Buddha covered in opulent gold leaf. It’s one of the most photographed sites, but trust us, pictures don’t do it justice. Go see it for yourself.Continue reading below ↓
Widely regarded as the best restaurant in Bangkok, Gaa recently received a Michelin star for their locally-sourced fare with influences from France, Denmark, India, and Thailand. If you’re a foodie, Gaa’s fine dining experience meeds to be on your travel itinerary.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you need your shopping fix, be sure to stop through Chatuchak on a Saturday or Sunday. Here, you’ll find endless kiosks of everything from clothing to food to furniture. If you’re ready to haggle, you could even come away with some cool stuff for a bargain!Continue reading below ↓
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
One of the best museums in the country, the BACC is expansive and filled to the brim with local and international contemporary art. You can spend a whole afternoon here, or just walk through when getting off the National Stadium train stop. The museum is attached to the train station, and is free to enter.Continue reading below ↓
Chao Phraya River Cruise
Bangkok’s lifeblood is the Chao Phraya River. So, to understand the local culture and history, it’s important to get a glimpse of what this waterway means to them. And one of the best ways to do it is on a river cruise. The best cruises start from Ayutthaya, a few hours north of Bangkok. You make your way through the rural bends of the the river, until it widens closer to the city. You can take a tiny boat, or if you splurge on a yacht ride, you will likely have access to an open bar and some snacks, so you can learn and luxuriate all at once.Continue reading below ↓
This sleek bar is set atop one of the highest buildings in the country, giving you a 360-degree view of Bangkok, like no other. The drinks are great, the music is loud and danceable, and the crowd is eager to party. If you plan on going here, dress to the nines and be ready to spend a little cash.Continue reading below ↓
Khao San Road
Whether you’re into the backpacker vibe, looking for traveler-friendly cafes with strong WiFi, on the hunt for affordable accommodations, or looking for a place to get a tattoo, Khao San Road has what you’re looking for. It’s packed with young, adventurous travelers, but if you look closely, there are some gems tucked in the neighboring alleys—like a lively Muay Thai ring, a quiet monastery, a pop-up food park filled with locals, and more.Continue reading below ↓
Travel by Train
Since Thailand is, unlike the Philippines, one mostly-continuous piece of land, traveling by train is not only possible, but also a great way to see the various landscapes of the country. Unlike anything we have in the Philippines, they have sleeper trains, where you can comfortably stretch out for a full night’s rest when taking a long-haul ride.Continue reading below ↓
Koh Nang Yuan
Off the coast of the diving and snorkeling island of Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan is an idyllic island that features a beautiful sandbar and a charming landscape reminiscent of the Flintstones. Usually, if you book a diving or snorkeling tour, your guide will wrap up the day with a few hours on this island to hike, swim, and sunbathe.Continue reading below ↓
Full Moon Party
Need to let loose? There’s no wilder party for backpackers traveling through Thailand than the Full Moon Party that happens every full moon (duh) on Koh Phangan Island. Thousands of mostly-tourists wearing glow-in-the-dark paint come to enjoy a night of dancing and drinking until sunrise. If you’re looking for a hot travel fling, this is the place to find it.Continue reading below ↓
If you’re traveling to the island of Koh Samui, one of the biggest attractions is the Big Buddha. While it is an impressive temple, the area surrounding it is great for shopping and eating also. And it’s very close to the pier, where you’ll likely need to kill some time waiting for a boat to take you back to the mainland.Continue reading below ↓
Sanctuary of Truth
This all-wooden temple is unlike any of the other temples you’ll see in Thailand. That it is set in a tree-filled area overlooking the sea makes it even more breathtaking. It’s a few hours away from Bangkok, so if you’re planning to visit, make a two- or three-day trip out of it, and spend some time enjoying the region’s beaches.Continue reading below ↓
Ayutthaya Historical Park
Just a couple hours away from Bangkok, it’s fairly easy to get to this stunning ancient ruin. If you book a tour, you’ll likely get to visit the otherworldly temples in the former capital of Siam, some present-day monasteries, the famous bodhi tree where a Buddha head has become mysteriously entwined with a trees roots, among other cultural wonders.Continue reading below ↓
Wat Rong Khun
This all-white temple is one of the most stunning architectural pieces in the country. Open all year round, it costs visitors only 50 Bhat (or P80) to enter. Once here, you will both marvel at the ornate details of the temples, as well as bask in the serenity of the muted palette. For the best photo opportunities, go on a sunny day and wear bright colors!Continue reading below ↓
Woo CafeThis cafe and art gallery is one of the hippest spots in the mountain town of Chiang Mai. Not only can you get some of the finest coffee and food in the area, but you can also check out a legitimately good collection of contemporary art, and browse through home decorations and sundry items in their chic lifestyle shop.Continue reading below ↓
Tha Pai Hot Springs
A more off-the-beaten-path destination, Tha Pai Hot Springs is four hours north of Chiang Mai and takes some work to get to—but it’s worth it. Once here, you will enjoy a relaxing day in steamy waters surrounded by lush greenery. Fun tip: you can even bring eggs to boil as a snack!Continue reading below ↓
This enchanting waterfall has seven tiers, which offer visitors a chance to take a refreshing swim. Nearby, there are multiple cave systems to explore. Set in one of Thailand’s 12 national parks, it’s a wonderful place to get in touch with nature.
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
This national park is a protected area for flora and fauna, so if you’re looking for a refreshing hike, plan a day or two of exploring this area. You’ll see dense forests, various animals, and some of the starriest skies you can imagine. If you go in the winter, you’ll be sharing the park with the King of Thailand, who resides in a palace there during the season.Continue reading below ↓
Southern Thailand is known for its gorgeous beaches. But tourist hotspots like Phi Phi Island and Krabi are experiencing over-tourism, which is sadly destroying their reefs. So, if you’d like to visit pristine beaches with stunning limestone formations jutting out of the sea, check out Trang Islands. The views are just as impressive as the more popular spots, but there are far fewer people around.Continue reading below ↓
Follow Pauline on Instagram.