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Top 8 Things to Do in Thailand

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Pathway through gardens leading to Kor Khum Luang Temple at Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand abounds with endless opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime adventures and sublime relaxation with essential things to do during your trip.

World-class beaches draw you in with pristine white sands, crystalline water, colorful reefs, and majestic jungle terrains that hide elephants and tigers. Mountain villages retain antique traditions while glossy cities feature a mixture of golden temples and soaring skyscrapers. Thailand is unlike any other destination.

Find ways to indulge in the country’s celebrated cuisine, trace the cultural past, and enjoy the modern luxuries.

1. Experience Thailand’s True Flavor

Street food vendor in Bangkok, Thailand

Street food vendor in Bangkok, Thailand

The layered flavors and tastes of typical Thai cuisine focus on local ingredients and reveal an essential part of local culture. Foods, flavors, and culinary traditions change with the regions, shifting from northeastern to northwestern Thailand and again from central Thailand to southern. Multiple courses, ethnic village customs, contemporary aesthetics, or glamorous modern plates are tied together with ease under the diverse umbrella of Thai cuisine that you can enjoy. From food tours to cooking classes, restaurant recommendations to street food, savor the variety, and flavors abound.

Best Places to Visit for Food: Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Phuket | Hua Hin | Ko Bulon Lee

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

2. Embark on Thrilling Adventures

Two inflatable kayaks in Phang Nga Bay

Kayaks in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Thailand is a marvelous place for active tours. From hiking trails that lead to breathtaking karsts or rushing whitewater that winds through hidden valleys, the scenery will amaze you. Kayak on a pristine bay in the south or take to a gorgeous trail to reach a secluded view. The beauty of Thailand’s natural scenery steals the show while your excursion enhances your connection to untouched nature.

Best Places to Visit for Active Tours: Khao No | Doi Chang Cliffs | Hang Nak Mountain Nature Trail | Chiang Mai | Nan | Phang Nga Bay

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

3. Discover the Past and Present

Chaiwatthanaram Temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Chaiwatthanaram Temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand

The history of Thailand is rich and bountiful, parallelling the famous landscape for which the country is known. Ancient cities represent the more than 700 years of kingdoms, and village life preserves a wealth of art and performance. The faces of Thailand have changed through the centuries, but some customs remain part of its fabric. From north to south, you can embrace the vibrant heritage with protected ruins, mazes of conserved sculptures, and classic cities that immerse you in a present that celebrates its past.

Best Places to Visit for Cultural Heritage: Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex | Ayutthaya | Ban Chiang | Sukhothai |  Phimai Historical Park | Chiang Mai

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

4. Plunge into Alluring Waters

Batfish swimming along coral reef

Fish swimming along coral reef in Racha Noi, near Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is a crowned-jewel of scuba diving and snorkeling with crystal-clear and warm waters year-round. You can plunge into depths of pristine dive sites with excellent visibility of rainbow reefs and colorful coral or snorkel in search of majestic manta rays. From sea caves to limestone pinnacles, you will find an alluring perspective of the already captivating kingdom.

Best Places to Visit for Snorkeling/Scuba: Koh Tao |  Similan Islands | Phuket | Koh Lanta | Koh Phi Phi

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

5. Revel in Art and Storytelling

Colorful dragons statue with Pagoda at sunset

Dragons statue with Pagoda of Wat Huay Pla Kang in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Color has meaning in Thailand, and history imbues the present with layers of meaning. Artistry takes the form of sculptures and tattoos, architecture, and golden Buddhas, with each image reflecting a different aspect of the kingdom’s heritage. Cities embrace their pasts by displaying history in the streets, in museum galleries, and found in protected archeological complexes.

Best Places to Visit for Art and History: Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Pattaya | Ayutthaya | Si Satchanalai Historical Park | Chiang Rai | Kanchanaburi

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

6. Enjoy the Magnificence of Nature

Sea waters winding through miles of mangroves and limestone karsts in Phang Na Bay, Thailand

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint of Phang Na Bay, Thailand

Thailand’s national parks are hidden gems that often go underappreciated. The gorgeous landscapes are where you can experience the country’s untouched beauty and inherent splendor. From the active wildlife to curtains of waterfalls, colorful coral reefs, to protected beaches, there is beauty found around every corner. With over 100 national parks, including 22 marine parks, your exploration of Thailand’s natural beauty can keep you endlessly discovering new territory.

Best Places to Visit for National Parks: Khao Yai | Khao Sok | Namtok Phlio | Kui Buri | Ao Phang Nga | Mu Ko Ang Thong

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

7. Savor Incredible Shopping

Rows and rows of night market stalls

Night market in Bangkok, Thailand

Shopping in Thailand is an essential experience. Besides glitzy malls, shopping in Thailand takes many forms, from trendy boutiques to classic floating markets, upscale shops to massive weekend markets that can feel joyously overwhelming. Whether eager to find a specialized store or interested in wandering stalls of a night market, Thailand will immerse you in a diverse and fascinating world of shopping.

Best Places to Visit for Shopping: Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Hua Hin | Krabi | Pattaya

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

8. See Remarkable Wildlife

Monkey eating fruit on a tree branch in front of waterfall at Khlong Lan National Park, Thailand

Monkey in Khlong Lan National Park, Thailand

Wildlife viewing is more than just a unique activity in Thailand, with the animals an essential element of Thailand’s celebrated ecosystem. When you visit a protected landscape searching for wildlife, you can find more diversity than you may have expected, whether you dive into protected waters in search of whale sharks or scour the jungles hoping for glimpses of elephants, tigers, or clouded leopards. Each new possibility will bring more excitement than the last.

Best Places to Visit for Wildlife: Khlong Saeng | Erawan | Khao Sok | Ko Chang | Khao Sam Roi

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

More Travel Information & Tips

Novice monks walking through a temple in Thailand

Novice monks in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Thailand is a gem of a destination with an endless number of fascinating things to do. Indulge in a romantic tropical escape or a family-friendly hike in search of elephants--there is something for everyone. Our Thailand Travel Guide offers you helpful information and tips for your perfect trip. You can also speak to a Thailand travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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