Thailand has long been known as the gateway to southeast Asia, with its paradise islands, friendly people, and exquisite cuisine luring tourists in by the millions each year. If you’re planning your first trip to Thailand soon, consider this guide your bible to the best of what Thailand has to offer. From top-notch resorts to budget-friendly hostels and everything in between, this guide will help you make the most of your vacation with recommendations on where to stay and what to do during your stay in each location.
1) Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a breathtaking island that’s been luring travelers to its shores for decades. One of Thailand’s most popular beach destinations, Samui is known as one of Southeast Asia’s premier honeymoon spots. But there’s more to it than just romantic getaways and deep-sea diving: Koh Samui has some amazing luxury spas where you can pamper yourself during your stay.
2) Phi Phi Island
Located just off of Phuket, Phi Phi Island has it all. From great food to stunning scenery and sandy beaches, there is something for every kind of traveller. Don’t forget to take advantage of your time on Phi Phi as you can visit some of its surrounding islands like Koh Jum and Koh Lanta. There are also many options for diving and snorkeling so if you’re a fan of water sports, don’t miss out on a trip to these islands!
3) Krabi Town
Located near Phuket, Krabi Town is worth a visit if you’re looking for some fantastic food. Krabi Town has plenty of great dining options, and you can find absolutely delicious Thai and Western cuisine. There are also quite a few markets here where you can pick up some cheap souvenirs for your friends and family back home. The beaches here are also stunning, so be sure to go scuba diving or snorkeling on any one of them during your time here.
4) Phuket town
A must-see for tourists, as Phuket town is a tourist hub with plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options. It’s also home to one of Asia’s most dazzling attractions—the annual Songkran water festival.
5) Bangkok city
No vacation to Thailand is complete without a trip to its capital city, Bangkok. A real head-turner and totally charming, Bangkok has an array of sights and experiences on offer—and your trip doesn’t have to be expensive either. Start with a visit to Wat Arun temple (also known as The Temple of Dawn), which sits on an island at one end of Bangkok’s most famous landmark, Chao Phraya River.
6) Kanchanaburi Province
Located directly west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi Province is home to many incredible attractions. The province’s natural beauty is on full display at Erawan National Park, where you can view endangered wild animals from around Asia, including tigers and rhinoceroses. Those looking for a bit more adventure can take a tour of Hellfire Pass or visit a local elephant camp for some hands-on experience with these gentle giants.
7) Chiang Mai Province
Being located north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai Province is a great place for travelers to get off the beaten path. Visit sites such as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Suan Dok for beautiful architecture. Of course, you can also visit other nearby attractions like Doi Inthanon National Park or go jungle trekking with elephants.
8) Koh Chang Island
Koh Chang Island is located in Trat Province, with a total area of 121 km2. Koh Chang is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations and it has earned its place among some of Asia’s finest beach resorts. The island’s magnificent serene beaches, stunning tropical beauty and unique tropical rainforest are all part of what makes Koh Chang such an amazing holiday destination.
9) Koh Lanta Island
Koh Lanta Island is a secluded gem off of southern Thailand’s coast, located southwest of Phuket. The waters off Koh Lanta are some of Thailand’s most pristine, and you can enjoy all sorts of water activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving and windsurfing.
10) Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat, or Khorat as it is locally known, is considered a gateway to southern destinations. Despite its proximity to Phuket and Krabi (two of Thailand’s most popular vacation spots), Nakhon Si Thammarat retains a quiet charm distinct from its more famous neighbors.