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Thailand is a collage of animated scenes that contain humming modernistic cities crowded with motorbikes and tuk-tuks, Buddhist temples tended past orange-robed monks, colina tribes selling handicrafts, lush landscapes dotted with traditional farming villages, ancient ruins and stunning coastlines peppered with gorgeous beaches and bluish lagoons.

Those looking to spend a few weeks exploring tropical islands should head to the pic perfect Thai Islands. If the heady free energy of a capital metropolis is more your mode, Bangkok will more than provide an unforgettable feel. For getting to grips with nature and understanding more than near the various ethnicities within Thailand, the city of Chiang Mai serves as the perfect jumping off bespeak to the mountainous landscapes of the due north. Plan your trip to Southeast Asia about popular travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Thailand.

17. Ko Phangan

As Thailand’southward fifth-largest island, Ko Pha Ngan is a mix of rolling hills, lush jungles, and white-sand beaches. Compared to the neighboring island of Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan is relatively less adult, although it still offers plenty of activities for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Diving is a popular activity in Ko Pha Ngan. The island is located near some of the all-time dive sites in the
Gulf of Thailand, including the iconic Sail Rock site. Beachgoers are also spoiled for choice, equally Ko Pha Ngan is home to over xxx unlike tropical beaches.

Ko Pha Ngan is famed for hosting the legendary
Full Moon Party. Every month on the nighttime of the full moon, Haad Rin Beach transforms into a lively open up-air nightclub with live music, potent cocktails, and even fire rope skipping. The event attracts anywhere from five,000 to 30,000 people each month.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Ko Phangan

See also: Best Beaches in Ko Phangan

16. Khao Yai National Park
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Located in the Sankamphaeng Mountain Range, Khao Yai National Park is the third largest park in Thailand. Despite the loftier elevation, the park’s landscape is a diverse mix of evergreen rainforests and bouncing grasslands.

Khao Yai National Park also has several waterfalls hidden inside the tree-lined forests. At 260-anxiety tall, powerful
Haew Narok
is the largest waterfall in the park and a must visit. Although not as loftier, the picturesque Haew Suwat Waterfall is also worth visiting; it was the setting for the waterfall jump scene in the motion picture, The Beach.

The affluence of wild animals is one of the primary reasons for visiting Khao Yai National Park. Sus scrofa-tailed macaques, sambar deer, freshwater crocodiles, and Asian blackness bears are just a few creatures that can be spotted wandering through the park. It’s also one of the few places in Thailand where you lot tin can regularly see bigger mammals like elephants and tigers in the wild.

15. Sukhothai
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A pocket-sized urban center in northern Thailand, Sukhothai is a popular tourist destination due to the nearby ruins of an ancient city by the same proper noun. Historic Sukhothai was the start capital of Thailand, and then Siam, during the 13th century. Many temples, palaces, and monuments from this era tin can be plant in the
Sukhothai Historical Park.

The park is divided into multiple zones, with each featuring several excavated temples, chedis, Buddha figures and other monuments with impressive stucco reliefs.
Wat Mahathat
is considered to exist the most impressive temple with its standing Buddha relics and lotus-shaped stupa. In the middle of the park is Wat Si Chum pavilion, which houses a massive fifty-foot tall sitting Buddha.

The Sukhothai Historical Park is as well dotted with sparkling lakes, sunken moats, and manicured gardens. The on-site Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is a corking place to learn more than about the park’s history, as it contains different artifacts and objects found in the area. In improver to the historic urban center, the Sri Satchanalai National Park and Ramkhamhaeng National Park are nearby and well worth a visit for their natural scenery and outdoor recreation.

14. Ko Samui

Although Ko Samui is Thailand’southward third largest isle, information technology was largely unknown to travelers until the two intrepid backpackers boarded a kokosnoot boat and landed there in the 1970s. Discussion before long spread well-nigh the islands magnificent beaches, and today Ko Samui is ane of the most pop travel destinations in all of Asia. Ko Samui offers a more user-friendly travel feel than other islands in Thailand too (besides Phuket) as it boasts an international airport.

Compared to its neighboring island Phangan, which is famous for its rollicking “Full Moon Parties” on the beach, Ko Samui is more than adult, though it however has a number of serenity and secluded beaches. Fifty-fifty well-adult beaches like the four-mile-long
Hat Chaweng
have spots where visitors tin can relax away from the crowds. At the southern end of the beach around a small headland is Piffling Chaweng, or
Chaweng Noi. Offshore are two small-scale islets, i of which tin be reached past wading.

Visitors who prefer a more social travel experience won’t exist disappointed either.
Na Thon, Ko Samui’s transportation hub, if full of lively restaurants and bars. The island is known for its coconut carvings and manus-printed batik clothing. Samui besides has several of import Buddhist temples worth visiting. Wat Khunaram features mummified remains of revered monks. Constructed in 1972, the Wat Phra Yai temple features a 3 meter (9 human foot) high seated Buddha effigy known as the “Large Buddha.”

The eye of Ko Samui is a mountainous wood region with several stunning waterfalls, including a xx meter (65 foot) waterfall that tumbles into a pool perfect for swimming. A well-adult road circles the isle, making it easy to explore everything this popular travel destination has to offer.

Adaptation: Where to Stay in Ko Samui

xiii. Chiang Rai

The northernmost city in Thailand, Chiang Rai is the place to go to explore the
Gilt Triangle, which contains the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. A decorated town offering something for anybody, Chiang Rai is often used every bit a base of operations for exploring the surrounding region. The town itself is quiet during the solar day, when most of its bundle tourists are out on day trips, but at dark the neon lights flash on and souvenir stalls and restaurants bound into activeness.

The urban center is also home to a few museums that exhibit local heritage, culture and fine art. With its lovely light-green spaces, trees and flower, Saun Mai Ngam Park is a nice place to relax or attend a flower festival at year’s end. Markets and a night bazaar offer food, handicrafts, souvenirs and free cultural performances. Chiang Rai Beach is popular for picnics and riverboat cruises.

Outside of Chiang Rai, the
Gate of Siam
is a special place on the Laos border where visitors can enjoy lovely views. Namtok Khun Kon Woods Park offers nature walks and breathtaking waterfalls. Lion Loma Cave is an interesting cave surrounded by picturesque scenery, hiking trails and picnic areas. Various tour companies operating from Chiang Rai guide tourists to nearby hill tribes to experience their culture and traditions.

Adaptation: Where to Stay in Chiang Rai

Come across also: Summit Chiang Rai Attractions

12. Pai

In one case but a serenity village in northern Thailand, Pai is now a booming town that is office of the
Mae Hong Son Loop
stretching between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Noted for its picturesque valley and relaxed atmosphere, Pai is a favored destination among backpackers and tourists wishing to explore the region.

Due to Pai’s increasing influx of tourists, the urban center has increased in tourism facilities with numerous guesthouses, restaurants, souvenir shops and bars. Pai’south Midweek Market place is a popular attraction, which draws crowds from other villages effectually the Pail Valley.

With Pai’s location in the foothills of the mountains, many tourists utilise the urban center equally a base for exploring natural attractions, trekking tours and visits to the
hill tribes
of Lisu, Karen, Lahu and Hmong. Also just outside the city are spas, elephant camps, hot springs and beautiful waterfalls. Additionally, the Pai River offers tubing and whitewater adventures. Other surface area must-meet sites include the
Pai Canyon, the WWII Memorial Bridge and a Chinese hamlet where tourists can purchase teas and view a Ferris wheel powered by humans.

11. Phanom Rung

Sitting on an extinct volcano in northeastern Thailand, Phanom Rung is a Hindu shrine complex regarded for its outstanding architecture. Located nigh the hamlet of Nang Rong, this temple sanctuary was built by the
Khmer culture
between the 10th and 13th centuries every bit a dedication to the Hindu god, Shiva. Synthetic of sandstone and laterite, Phanom Rung was built to represent
Mount Kailash, the sacred abode of Shiva.

The complex faces east, and four times a year the dominicus shines through all 15 sanctuary doorways. During these events the park extends its hours, and locals celebrate the Phanom Rung Festival effectually the April alignment, with ancient Brahmin ceremonies and modern sound-and-calorie-free shows.

10. Phuket

Known for its gorgeous beaches, excellent diving and an abundance of luxurious spas, Phuket is Thailand’due south leading tourist destination. Located in Southern Thailand, Phuket is the land’s largest isle, connected to the mainland by two bridges.

Of Phuket’south many attractions, the beaches are the principal draw with their white sands, blue lagoons and water sports. With resorts, hotels, shops, restaurants and vibrant nightlife,
Patong Beach
is the most popular embankment.
Phang Nga Bay
is a memorable place to visit with it’south beautiful caves, aquatic grottoes and limestone islands.

Phuket is also a place for ultimate relaxation and pampering with its numerous options that range from massage tents on the beach to globe form spas in breathtaking settings. Fun and run a risk is to be found everywhere from aquariums and seashell museums to national parks featuring whitewater rafting, body of water kayaking, scuba diving, jungle trekking and more.

See also: Best Places to Visit in Phuket

nine. Khao Sok National Park
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Khao Sok National Park
© Jaruncha / Dreamstime

Surrounded by towering limestone mountains and lush tropical forests, Khao Sok National Park contains some of the most spectacular landscapes in Thailand. It dates dorsum 160 one thousand thousand years, making Khao Sok National Park considerably older than the Amazon rainforest.

At the heart of the park is
Cheow Lan, a sparkling turquoise lake dotted with floating raft houses and colorful long-tail boats. Most notably, the national park is also home to the largest virgin rainforest in Southern Thailand. Visitors exploring the forest will come up across cascading waterfalls, subconscious caves, and groves of wild fruit trees. Other activities available include ziplining and kayaking and tubing on the
Sok River.

Likewise the picturesque scenery, many people visit Khao Sok for diverse wild animals. It’s believed that over v percent of the species on the planet live within the park. It’south mutual to see small creatures like Malaysian tapirs, wild boars, and grunter-tailed macaques, although sightings of larger animals like
Asian elephants
and tigers are rarer.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Khao Sok National Park

eight. Ayuthaya
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Founded in 1350, the city of Ayuthaya (also spelled Ayutthaya) is located in the
Chao Phraya River
valley in Central Thailand. It sits on an isle surrounded past three rivers connecting information technology to the Gulf of Siam. King U Thong proclaimed it the majuscule of his kingdom. Once declared the most magnificent city on earth, the ruins of Ayuthaya are at present a major attraction for those visiting Thailand.

As the upper-case letter of the
Thai Kingdom, Ayuthaya was an impressive site, with three palaces and more than 400 temples. From the 14th to the 18th centuries, the city flourished. By the yr 1700, the population reached almost 1,000,000. Ayuthaya became a center for trade as well as a connecting point betwixt the West and the East.

In 1767, the Burmese attacked and conquered Ayuthaya. The majority of the once magnificent reliquary towers, monasteries, temples and palaces were destroyed during this invasion. Notwithstanding, some structures still stand up and tourists are welcome to visit these.

Many of the ancient remains in Ayuthaya lie in the western section of the island, while others are more widespread. Ane of the about popular sites is
Wat Phra Mahathat. Here i will find a sandstone Buddha caput entwined with the roots of a Bodhi tree. One of the virtually of import images of the seated Buddha can be found at Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit, and is a highlight for the Buddhists equally well equally others visiting the site. Thailand’s largest gold Buddha, known as Phra Buddha Triratana Nayok, is found at Wat Phanan Choeng. It is a well-nigh xx feet (half-dozen meter) tall seated Buddha and is one of the nearly venerated in Thailand.

The modern city is just 80 km (l miles) north of Bangkok, and is easily reached by railroad train, bus and van. Although many visitors choose a twenty-four hours trip from Bangkok, one may desire to lengthen that time to two or 3 days in order to take time to enjoy the bully number of ruins besides as the local charm and splendid food constitute in Ayuthaya.

See also: Ayutthaya Attractions

seven. Ko Chang

Thailand’due south second largest island, Ko Chang is located off of the country’south southeastern declension near the Cambodian border. The isle has everything that travelers want from a tropical vacation, from long stretches of sandy beaches to unspoiled rainforests. There are plenty of activities to pursue on the island as well, including scuba diving, kayaking and jungle trekking.

When it comes to lazing on the embankment in luxury,
White Sand Beach
is ane of the most popular places to visit on the island. Located on the island’south northwestern corner, it’s the longest embankment on Ko Chang. The fundamental section of the soft sandy beach is lined with resorts and hotels. Hat Tha Nam on Ko Chang’s southwest declension attracts travelers looking for fun on a budget. From rustic bungalows to tree houses, visitors tin can find accommodations here on the inexpensive and spend the money that they’ve saved on the bars and restaurants popping up along the shoreline.

Among the many beaches on Ko Chang,
Hat Khlong Phao
is 1 of the well-nigh striking. Extreme low and high tides brand this picturesque beach a beachcomber’due south dream. Located at the north cease of the beach is Laem Chaiyachet, a rock formation that’south been fitted out with a pier. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sun setting into the Gulf of Thailand.

Around 70 percent of Ko Chang is covered by mountainous forests, and taking hikes to view the island’s waterfalls offers visitors a refreshing intermission from sunbathing in the sand. A short hike from the embankment of Khlong Phrao leads visitors to
Namtok Khlong Phlu, the island’s largest waterfall. The falls drib in 3 cascading tiers. Those who climb to the top tier can reward themselves with a dip in a big puddle.

six. Kanchanaburi

Located in western Thailand and admired for its beautiful scenery and accessibility to national parks and waterfalls, Kanchanaburi is all-time known for its fe span that is linked with the historic
Death Railway
to Burma in which thousands of Asian laborers and POWS died during its construction under Japanese occupation during WWII.

While Kanchanaburi is a thriving city, the master attractions are associated with WWII, importantly the fe railroad span that was portrayed in the University Honor winning 1957 film, “Bridge over the River Kwai.”

Several museums and war cemeteries all present data about the city and its bridge during the 1940s Japan occupation. The city is likewise abode to many spas and temples of which the Tiger Temple is the most popular.

Outside of Kanchanaburi are various national parks, including
and Srinakarind National Parks, all offering beautiful scenery, waterfalls, caves and visits to tribal villages.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kanchanaburi

See also: Top Kanchanaburi Attractions

5. Railay

© Gumbao / Dreamstime

Railay (or Rai Leh) is a small peninsula in southward Thailand that is but accessible by boat due to the high
limestone cliffs
cut off mainland access. These cliffs attract
rock climbers
from all over the world, merely the area is too a popular attraction in Thailand due to its cute beaches and quiet relaxing atmosphere.

Nearly every patch of buildable state fronting in the eastern and western office of the peninsula has been taken over by bungalow resorts, and development is creeping up into the woods behind. But at least there are no high-rise buildings, and much of the structure is hidden amidst copse or fix amongst prettily landscaped gardens.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Railay

four. Koh Tao

Located off the southeastern shore of Thailand, the tiny 21 foursquare km (13 foursquare mile) island of Tao remained largely uninhabited until the tardily 1900s and has only recently been developed equally a travel destination. With its white sandy beaches, lush green forests and majestic granite rock formations, information technology’s no wonder that its bare-assiduities bungalows are making room for luxury resorts every bit more visitors become aware of the island’s natural attractions.

Koh Tao is best known as premier scuba diving and snorkeling location. With many shallow bays, like shooting fish in a barrel currents and gorgeous coral reefs, many visitors come to Koh Tao to learn how to scuba dive or to upgrade their
scuba diving certification. There are multiple diving schools in Mae Hat, the isle’s main boondocks, equally well as in many other places around the island. Koh Tao’s coral reefs are abode to a wide variety of marine life, including butterfly fish, batfish,
whale sharks
and bull sharks.

“Tao” is the Thai word for turtle, and some believe that the isle was named for its turtle-like shape. Koh Tao as well has several locations where
hawksbill and green turtles
come to breed every twelvemonth, although their habitat has been threatened from the isle’s increasing popularity equally a tourist destination. In recent years, Koh Tao’s diving schools take banded together to assist preserve the turtle breeding grounds.

Other popular activities on the island include rock climbing, sailing, mountain biking and game fishing. Mae Hat also has several schools that offer courses in Thai cooking and yoga.
Sairee Village
is the isle’s hot spot and has an assortment of restaurants, bars and clubs.

See likewise: All-time Beaches in Koh Tao

3. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
© Sutprattana / Dreamstime

Surrounded by the mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a flourishing city oft used as a base among tourists wishing to explore the lush landscapes, hill tribes and outdoor adventures of the region. Withal, Chiang Mai itself is a large and culturally important city where historical and mod Thai architecture and traditions coexist.

A walk around the historic center bestows views of old
city walls
and dozens of beautiful aboriginal temples. All the same, the almost famous of these temples,
Wat Phrathat
Doi Suthep, lies outside Chiang Mai on a mountainside overlooking the urban center. Modern-day Chiang Mai offers
handicraft markets, an abundance of massage and spa parlors, botanical gardens and an elephant nature park where visitors can breast-stroke and feed elephants.

Those seeking to feel the beauty, wildlife and adventure of the mountainous region will discover a big variety of organized tour companies operating out of Chiang Mai that feature trekking, mountain biking, ziplining,
river rafting
and visits to local hill tribes.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

See also: Top Chiang Mai Attractions

2. Bangkok
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Thailand’s capital metropolis and by far the largest city in the country, Bangkok, is a buzzing cosmopolis of high rise buildings, magnificent palaces, ancient temples, glittering nightclubs,
bustling markets
and streets lined with vendors hawking souvenirs and tantalizing foods. While the city is sometimes described as a concrete jungle jam-packed with noisy traffic and air pollution, Bangkok is non without its natural beauty that is seen in its remaining canals, green spaces and flowering tropical plants.

Located in Central Thailand, Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis offering something for everyone. The famous tourist street,
Khao San Road, is a proficient place to begin with its interesting sites and cheap shopping and nightlife. The city is well known for its myriad of temples such equally the sacred Wat Phra Kaew, which contains the
Emerald Buddha. Zoos, water parks and amusement parks all present family fun. Shopping in Bangkok is sensational with numerous shopping malls and markets, including the not-to-be-missed floating markets. Sporting venues host
Thai boxing

From scores of street vendors to market stalls and a variety of restaurants for every budget and sense of taste, Bangkok offers a fantastic dining experience. The city is also well known for its wild nightlife.

Due to the metropolis’s congested traffic, the all-time transport options effectually Bangkok are the Skytrain, the metro and tuk-tuks. A memorable fashion to experience Bangkok is by a boat ride on the canals.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bangkok

See too: Elevation Bangkok Attractions

1. Ko Phi Phi

Situated off the southeastern coast of Phuket in the Krabi Province is the idyllic Phi Phi Isle archipelago. The largest island is
Ko Phi Phi Don, a pop vacation destination famed for its sun-soaked beaches, beautiful limestone cliffs and laid-dorsum atmosphere.

Tonsai Bay and Long Beach concenter the most tourists, while secluded beaches like Phak Nam Bay offer a tranquil escape away from the crowds. Information technology’s likewise possible to hike up to Phi Phi Viewpoint, which boasts dramatic 360-degree views over the unabridged isle.

In the middle of the island is the bustling
village of Tonsai. Considered the center of Ko Phi Phi, this charming town is teeming with mouthwatering restaurants and lively beach bars.

One mile s of Phi Phi Don is
Koh Phi Phi Leh, a sparkling oasis of crystal articulate waters and limestone rocks. At the eye of the island is
Maya Bay, which served as the stunning backdrop for the movie, The Beach.

See also: Best Beaches in Ko Phi Phi

Map of Thailand