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Top 8 Must-See Places in Thailand

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Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is a shimmering jewel of Southeast Asia celebrated for refreshing nature and relaxing coastline, ancient cities and cultural villages captured in these eight must-see places.

Traditional markets create essential flavors of customary cuisine, and tropical jungles protect delicate ecosystems. High-rises contrast with temples across city skylines, and pristine beaches give you the perfect escape.

Beyond the beauty of these Thailand treasures, we showcase the highlights that will absorb you during your trip, such as the bustling cityscape of Bangkok and the jungle-clad hills of Chiang Mai, as well as share the best times to visit each destination.

1. Bangkok

Bangkok skyline with the Chao Phraya river in Thailand

Bangkok skyline with the Chao Phraya river in Thailand

Bangkok is a colorful representation of greater Thailand with ancient wonders, magnificent temples, and an endless blend of the contemporary contrasting with the traditional. The city can feel overwhelming at times, but Thailand’s capital is a fantastic place to dive into the country's culture and landscape. The familiar seems exotic, the exotic seems familiar, and there is much joy to be found along the canals and riverways, markets and food carts, skyscrapers, and temples.

Highlights: Grand Palace |  Wat Traimit | Talat Mai | Wat Pho | Wat Arun | Wat SuthatRecommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: November | December | January | February | March

2. Phuket

Similan Islands National Park, Thailand

Similan Islands National Park, Thailand

Phuket is a slice of spice and paradise and the embodiment of Thailand’s island living. Beaches shine with white and golden sands giving way to dazzling jade waves. Coral reefs host fish that glow with rainbow colors, while temples, kitchens, and historical mansions reflect the island’s unique cultural heritage. Phuket is an island of famous flavors that ranges from a mixture of cuisines to the majestic coastline making every twist and turn a chance for you to have a new experience.

Highlights: Sirinat National Park | Karon Viewpoint | Similan Islands National Park | Phuket Big Buddha | Rawai Village

Recommended Length of Stay: 4-5 days

Best Time to Visit: November | December | January | February | March | April

3. Chiang Mai

You will find a different side of a Thailand metropolis in Chiang Mai. With a relaxed pace set against the charming architecture, it is the opposite of Bangkok's endless bustle and glitz.  Surrounded by lush countryside and untouched rainforests with serene waterfalls and peaceful cultural villages, the city offers you a place to recharge. Beyond the boundaries of modern culture, Chiang Mai allows you to experience the food, temples, and connection to local culture, including the chance to see inspiring wildlife.

Highlights: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep | Gate Market | Doi Pui | Doi Inthanon | Wat Chedi Luang | Wat Prasingh

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: November | December | January | February

4. Krabi

View of East Railay beach from Railay View Point in Krabi, Thailand

View of East Railay beach from Railay View Point in Krabi, Thailand

Krabi represents the dream of Thailand’s Andaman Sea with unforgettable karsts that create limestone fortresses hanging over idyllic white-sand beaches and palm-lined shores. Colorful coral reefs create underwater worlds hidden in the turquoise waters while blankets of verdant jungle overtake the landscape. Krabi will steep you in natural beauty and give you access to a mixture of thrilling adventures or rejuvenating relaxation as you discover how Krabi can be both the symbol of tropical Thailand and yet remain relatively untouched.

Highlights: Ao Maya | Hat Tham Phra Nang | Railay Beach | Mu Ko Lanta National Park | Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park | Wat Tham Seua

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: November | December | January | February | March | April

5. Koh Samui

Ang Thong National Marine Park near Koh Samui, Thailand

Ang Thong National Marine Park near Koh Samui, Thailand

You will find the joys of island life in Koh Samui as exclusivity meets accessibility. The beaches offer a fantastic getaway to fine sands and fishing villages, while restaurants capture the essence of both Thai and international cuisine made with local ingredients. From lounging in the sun to diving into the sea, Koh Samui can immerse you in the beauty of leisure, the serenity of nature, and the opportunity for endless activities.

Highlights: Ang Thong National Marine Park | Tarnim Magic Garden | Phra Yai Temple Complex | Wat Plai Laem | Koh Taen | Bophut Beach

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | August | September | October

6. Khao Yai National Park

Haew Suwat waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Haew Suwat waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Khao Yai National Park celebrates nature's splendor and the underappreciated beauty of Thailand’s wilderness and wildlife. As the oldest and most visited national park in the country, Khao Yai National Park brims with possible animal sightings from biggons to macaques, tigers to elephants. Rated one of the best national parks in Asia, you can explore the monsoon forest on a hike, cycle the winding lanes, discover the raging waterfalls, or scour the distinctive wildlife for animal sightings at night.

Highlights: Haew Suwat Waterfall | Haew Narok Waterfall | Khao Khiau Viewpoint | Nong Pak Chi Observation Tower | Khao Luk Chang Bat Cave

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: December | January | February | March

7. Khao Sok National Park

Boats moored at Ratchaprapha Dam in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Boats moored at Ratchaprapha Dam in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

The ancient lowland jungle reflects one of the world’s oldest rainforests and will immerse you in a wonderland of hidden waterfalls and caves. From breathtaking lakes to deep valleys, limestone mountains to winding rivers, Khao Sok National Park reflects  Thailand’s natural treasures often overlooked for the popular beaches. With over 300 bird species, a variety of bats, and possible sightings of swinging gibbons to majestic elephants, or even the elusive clouded leopard, by visiting Khao Sok National Park, you can truly experience the layered charms of Thailand’s nature.

Highlights: Cheow Lan Lake | Sok River | Hiking | Than Sawan Waterfall

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: December | January | February | March | April | May

8. Koh Phangan

Sai Nuuan beach in Koh Tao, Koh Phangan District, Thailand

Sai Nuuan beach in Koh Tao, Koh Phangan District, Thailand

Koh Phangan is a center for tranquility and relaxation outside of the full moon, with endless charm stemming from the clean white-sand beaches and serene towns. Rugged granite coastline gives way to a hilly tropical jungle, but the idyllic island fluctuates between scalloped sheltered coves and mouthwatering food stalls with shores easily accessible from Koh Samui. Scuba dive, snorkel, lounge on the beach, or trek into the jungle for pristine panoramas, you can embrace the idyllic mixture of land and sea no matter what you do on Koh Phangan.

Highlights: Chaloklum Food Market | Nam Tok Phaeng | Chedi Wat Nai | Hat Than Sadet | Hat Wai Nam

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: May | June | July | August | September | October

How many days is enough to see Thailand?

Maya Bay in Phi Phi, Thailand

Maya Bay in Phi Phi, Thailand

Two weeks is the ideal amount of time to experience Thailand. Twelve to fifteen days gives you time to enjoy the highlights at a comfortable pace. It is easy enough to visit Thailand’s main points of interest in ten days but you will feel rushed or most likely find a place you want to spend more time. Instead, two weeks gives you enough time to explore both highlights and destinations out of the ordinary, for an experience tailored to you.

More Travel Information & Tips

Monks at Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Monks at Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand captures ancient charm and modern luxuries, preserved tradition and natural beauty with each region highlighting a once-in-a-lifetime experience embodied in endless must-see destinations. Thailand nearly bursts with things to do that immerse you in ancient heritage and natural splendor. Thinking of planning a trip? Our Thailand Travel Guide has more helpful information and tips. You can also speak with a Thailand travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our Traveler Care team at 1-888-265-9707.

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