Best Cities of Thailand to Visit
Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
If you wonder why, let us remind you that the country is home to tropical beaches, ancient ruins, royal palaces, national parks, ornate temples featuring Buddha figures and picturesque towns nestled in the mountains.
If you’re interested in exploring a modern city, visit the capital, Bangkok best known for the legendary Emerald Buddha Temple, and also the temples of Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
It’s also a place with islands you can enjoy and explore such as Phuket and Koh Samui famous for their beaches and water sports.
You can learn more about each in our list of best places to visit on your stay in Thailand. If in doubt, these places will make you book a ticket today.
Situated in the mountainous northern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai is one of the most beautiful cities in the state. Once the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai was founded in 1296.
It remained as the capital of the independent kingdom until 1558. If you decide to put it on your travel list, you can still observe moats and walls from that time in the Old City area.
Chiang Mai is a religious and cultural center, and it’s also home to numerous Buddhist temples such as Wat Phra Singh from the 14th century.
Or Wat Chedi Luang from the 15th century. Exiting the Old City, you can see some of the galleries, cafes, shops, and excellent restaurants on Nimmanhaemin Road.
If you enter some of the restaurants, order khao soi. It’s a signature local meal featuring egg noodles in curry. If you visit the Night Bazaar, you can buy yourself handicrafts.
If you want to enjoy nature and explore temples, go trekking in the nearby mountains. You’ll see temples, check out some of the isolated hill-tribe villages, visit the rehabilitation camps or train to ride an elephant.
If you like what you hear about this place, know that the best time to visit it is between December and January while it’s still warm. However, be prepared for cold nights. If you visit in February, you can catch the Flower Festival.
And if you visit in November, attend the “festival of lights” and enjoy the famous event where they put tiny candles to float in the nearby rivers.
Phi Phi Islands – Island group in Thailand
If you wish to leave Thailand with an unforgettable experience, visit the Phi Phi islands. They’re a large island group you can find between the west strait of Malacca coast and the Phuket island.
Phi Phi islands represent a part of the Krabi region. If you want to know which one’s the largest one, it’s Ko Phi Phi Don. It’s also the most populated and the most visited one by tourists.
However, if you have time to visit all of the islands, there’s Bamboo island, Bida Nai, Bida Nok. But keep in mind that most of them represent big limestone cliffs and rocks extending over the sea.
We suggest you visit the sandy beaches of the second largest one in the group. And that’s Ko Phi Phi Leh Island. All of the islands can be reached by long-tail boats or speedboats coming from Krabi town.
Interesting info about Phi Phi Don, the largest one in the group of islands is that Muslims mostly populate it.
These islands became popular when one of them was used as a filming location for the movie “The Beach” in 2000.
If you visit Koh Phi Phi Don, you can observe underwater flora and fauna. You can also visit Maya Bay. It’s one of the most popular dive sites in the area along with Anemone Reef, Sharp Point, and the King Cruiser Wreck.
Another interesting place you should check out is the Viking Cave located in the northeastern part of Koh Phi Phi Leh. Interested in visiting? If yes, know that the best time to do it is between November and April.
Bangkok – Capital of Thai
No list of places to visit in a state is complete without mentioning the capital. And the capital of Thailand is the famous Bangkok.
Best known for the vibrant atmosphere and ornate shrines, Bangkok is definitely worth your visit. You’ll admire Chao Phraya river filled with boats, the Grand Palace along with the Wat Phra Kaew Temple and the Wat Pho Temple featuring an enormous Buddha statue.
They’re located in the Rattanakosin royal district. On your visit, enter the Jim Thompson House Museum and the Vimanmek Palace. And if you’re more into shopping, the Ratchaprasong district is the place to go.
Bangkok is best known for the traditional street snacks, exclusive restaurants, great nightlife and the popular nightclubs located in the Patpong district.
If you plan to visit, remember that the best time to do it is between November and February like most visitors. However, if you want to catch some of the major festivals, visit in April and November.
Second biggest island in the state, the beautiful Ko Samui can be found off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in the Gulf of Thailand. Known for the palm beaches, posh spas, mountainous rainforest, many resorts, and coconut groves, the island will make you fall in love at first glance.
One of the landmarks you should see on your stay here would be the Big Buddha golden statue that’s 12 meters tall. It can be found at Wat Phra Yai Temple situated on a small island that can be accessed by a causeway.
If you want to relax on some of the famous beaches, visit Lamai and Chaweng. They’re both located on the east coast surrounded by pubs, nightclubs, bars, and party centers.
If you’re interested in diving and snorkeling, visit the Ang Thong Marine National Park. And if you want to buy souvenirs, clothing, and tasty street food, visit Bophut, a village on the north side of the island.
The best time to come is between December and April.
Ko Pha Ngan Island
Best known for the monthly Full Moon Fiesta, Ko Pha Ngan represents an island in the southeast part of Thailand.
If you wonder what the Full Moon party is, allow us to tell you that it’s an all night long party associated with the lunar calendar.
Most events like this one occur on Sunrise Beach. However, if you don’t like the fuss, you can visit the north coast of the island and enjoy the sandy beaches like Hat Thian and Hat Khuat, while on the east coast, you can visit Ao Thong Nai Pan.
It’s a sheltered palm-fringed beach filled with kickboxing camps, luxurious spas, yoga, and meditation retreats. You can also visit the Buddhist monastery of Wat Khao Tham. Or check out the beautiful waterfalls and dense jungle located around the high center.
You can also visit Than Sadet-Ko Pha Ngan and Ang Thong National Marine Park if you’re into snorkeling or scuba diving. If you’re here for a day and you don’t have much time, you can visit the dramatic Phaeng waterfall.
It’s a popular site with a hiking path. Or enjoy the sandy Thong Nai Pan Yai beach and have dinner at some of the local bars and restaurants.
If you’re searching for a popular shopping destination and a commercial hub in Thailand, explore no further than Hat Yai.
It’s a city located south of the Malaysian border with beautiful landscapes to admire and essential landmarks to visit. If you come in Hat Yai, don’t miss visiting the Wat Hat Yai Nai temple. It’s known for the Buddha statue that’s even 35 meters tall.
And if you want to taste some traditional food, stop by the Khlong Hae Floating Market where they sell local dishes and handicrafts. If you’re going to enjoy nature, set foot in Hat Yai Park.
It’s a hilly green place outside the center is also known for a standing Buddha figure and a cable car. If you don’t have much time and you’re on a one day visit, we recommend you check out the Magic Eye 3D museum.
Or enter the Hat Yai Park to enjoy the views and explore the place on a gondola or pedal boating.
Erawan National Park
As you can notice so far, Thailand is gifted with natural beauty, and nature sights tourists can enjoy such as the Erawan National Park. If you’re into swimming, hiking, camping and observing nature, this is the place for you.
Erawan has the best hiking trails and many scenic waterfalls that will make you want to stay here forever. People visit this place throughout the year because of the significant rainfall and tropical climate.
However, we recommend you visit it between December and February because those are the driest months. And if you prefer to travel in spring, come between April and May. If you decide to visit in April, know that you will catch the New Year festival of Songkran.
It receives many visitors who come to see the Erawan Falls and Sai Yok Noi Waterfall. There’s also the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum to visit on your stay.
If you want to visit an island with a laid-back atmosphere and palm-fringed beaches, go to Koh Tao. It’s a tourist draw with many restaurants, an adjacent park, and night spots to visit on your stay.
One of the most popular places on the island is Sai Ri beach with a relaxed vibe and many nearby restaurants. But if you’re more into observing nature and enjoying the panoramic bay and mountain views, visit John Suwan, an uphill trail.
If you like scuba diving and snorkeling, visit Nang Yuan, a tiny island close to Koh Tao. It’s best to visit between July and August. If you want to catch the Koh Tao Fest, visit in June.
The capital of Phuket Province, Phuket city, represents a tourist draw that’s definitely worth the visit. Located on the Phuket island, the place has a lot to offer to travelers.
While visiting the Old Town, you can enjoy the beauty of the Sino-Portuguese buildings and colorful shophouses from the 19th century lined on Thalang road.
You can also check out the Baan Chinpracha mansion built in 1903. Or the Thai Hia Museum to learn more about the history and culture of the city.
Or the Wat Put Jaw, a 200 years old Chinese Buddhist temple. It’s dedicated to the goddess of mercy Kuan Yin.
Phuket is also home to the Phuket Trickeye Museum. It’s an art gallery you can visit on your stay that features 3D effect.
If you plan to attend, know that the best time to do it is between December and March when it’s cold but sunny. If you want to catch the Vegetarian festival, visit between September and October.
And if you’re going to be a part of the international yachting gathering in the Andaman Sea, visit in December.
Khao Sok National Park
If you plan to visit Thailand, don’t forget to mark Khao Sok National Park as a place to visit on your stay. It’s a large national park with the rarest flora and fauna, waterfalls, limestone cliffs and ancient rainforest to explore.
On your stay here, you can visit the Cheow Lan Lake in the Surat Thani Province. It’s an artificial lake and also a source of energy because of the Rajjaprabha Dam constructed by the authorities.
If you’re into hiking and forests, visit Khlong Phanom. It’s another park near Khao Sok park, located in the Surat Thani Province together with Si Phang Nga National Park. The best time to visit is between December and April.
If you decide to explore the caves and waterfalls between May and November, be careful. Doing it during the rainy season is dangerous.