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Things to do in Thailand

Things to do in  Thailand

Welcome to Thailand

Long holding the title of Southeast Asia's most popular vacation spot, Thailand is paradise-by-numbers with its tropical islands, lush jungle, and sun-bleached sands. But it's not just the beaches that bring travelers back time and time again—Thailand's most enduring asset is its welcoming people. The capital of Bangkok, with its bustling streets, colorful night market, beautiful Buddhist temples, and the Grand Palace complex (home to the sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha), is the obvious starting point. Just outside of the city, the ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the Damnoen Saduak floating market offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional Thai life. In southern Thailand, beach lovers can set sail for Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, where the surrounding islands offer ample opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Over on the Andaman Sea Coast, the sandy beaches and golden temples of Phuket are the precursor to the dramatic landscapes of Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, and the Phi Phi islands, where The Beach was filmed. Far from the beaches of the south, the sweeping highlands of northern Thailand mark out the borders with Laos and Myanmar. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the main destinations, where adventurous travelers can try white-water rafting, observe elephants, or join a trekking tour to explore the remote hill tribe villages.

Top 15 attractions in Thailand

#1
Grand Palace

Grand Palace

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Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace is one of the most popular attractions in the Thai capital. Built in 1782, this sprawling 54-acre (21.8-hectare) complex served as the royal court and administrative seat of Thailand for 150 years. Today, while it continues to host royal Thai functions, the palace also impresses swathes of visitors with its intricate golden-spired architecture and cultural history.More
#2
Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

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With its heady smorgasbord of street food, gold merchants, wooden shophouses, and ancient Chinese temples, there’s never a dull moment in Bangkok’s Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat. Exploring the bustlingsois (side streets) of the city’s oldest district is a must on any trip to the Thai capital.More
#3
James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

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A starring role in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun” put the towering limestone islands of Ko Khao Phing Kan and the 66-foot-tall (20-meter) islet Ko Tapu firmly on Thailand’s tourist trail. While boats are forbidden from getting too close to the islands, opportunities for sightseeing abound in the surrounding area.More
#4
Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

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From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colorful marine life.More
#5
Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

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Easily one of Bangkok’s most visually striking landmarks, the Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun) towers over the Chao Phraya River. Its colorfully decorated spires are the star features—the temple’s central prang stands 260 feet (79 meters) tall and is intricately decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain.More
#6
Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

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The stunning Maya Bay (Maya Beach) became a major tourist attraction after the 2000 film,The Beach, was filmed here. It’s situated within Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, off the coasts of both Krabi and Phuket on the mainland, and is distinguished by its beautiful white-sand beach sheltered by limestone cliffs on three sides.There are in fact several beaches here, but most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main beach, where most boats drop passengers just offshore, is a 200-meter long strip of silky white sand. It’s surrounded by clear waters filled with colorful coral and an abundance of exotic fish, making it an absolute haven for snorkelers. Walking inland is also a treat, with a path that winds through lush greenery and reveals some simply spectacular scenery.It’s true that Maya Bay’s popularity has taken a certain degree of the shine from this once little-heard of slice of paradise. It’s become so well-known that its shores are filled with hoards of boats dropping visitors off and picking them up throughout the day, particularly in peak season. Visitors should arrive early in the morning to avoid the larger part of the crowds.Please note: Maya Bay (Maya Beach) is closed indefinitely due to overtourism.More
#7
Ang Thong National Marine Park

Ang Thong National Marine Park

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The 42 karst islets of Ang Thong National Marine Park (Mu Koh Ang Thong) in southern Thailand comprise a picturesque seascape spanning more than 95 square miles (246 square kilometers). These limestone pinnacles harbor secluded powdery beaches, sheer cliffs, and caves, and are home to myriad birds, monkeys, dolphins, and other wildlife.More
#8
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

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One of the oldest, largest, and most revered temple complexes in Bangkok, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is a must-see for all visitors to the Thai capital. The central attraction of the temple complex is its namesake statue—the gold leaf covered reclining Buddha—but don't let it distract you from the site's other treasures, including its 95 pagodas, carved narrative panels, and opulent main altar.More
#9
Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Inthanon National Park

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Rising 8,415 feet (2,565 meters) above sea level, Mt. Doi Inthanon, situated in the center of Doi Inthanon National Park, is Thailand’s tallest mountain. While many visitors strive to see the views from its summit, the surrounding forests, waterfalls, stupas—dome-shaped Buddhist shrines—and trails are just as impressive.More
#10
Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

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In stark contrast to its famed northerly neighbor, tiny and sleepy Koh Tan tempts visitors with empty beaches and vehicle-less roads just three miles and a 15-minute boat ride south of Koh Samui’s southern tip. Koh Tan (also spelled Koh Taen, Ko Taen, and Ko Tan) is sometimes also called Coral Island for its diversity of colorful hard and soft corals, and it often serves as a popular day-long escape for snorkel or kayak excursions through its clear inshore waters. Though the island doesn’t have quite the aquatic diversity of other more remote locations, it still affords excellent snorkeling, relatively empty beaches and navigable mangrove swamps all very close to a major tourist hub. Longboats make the crossing daily and usually stop at several unique coral spots around the island.On land, Koh Tan spans only three square miles, and its population barely tops 30 people; their rustic lifestyle with limited electricity affords a glimpse of what much of Thai Island-living was like decades ago. Koh Tan also has a thriving population of monitor lizards, a boardwalk through a mangrove forest, a quaint local temple, a handful of local restaurants and a cluster of bungalow-style accommodations.More
#11
Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

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In a city and country known for its colorful markets, none stands out so vividly as Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat). Stalls feature local and imported fresh-cut flowers piled high: delicate orchids, bunches of colorful carnations, fragrant roses, lilies, forget-me-nots, and more. Vendors also sell flower arrangements and hand-strung garlands.More
#12
Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

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Every great city has a river, and Bangkok’s is the Chao Phraya (Mae Nam Chao Phraya). Alive with traditional long-tail boats, passenger ferries, and cargo boats, the Chao Phraya River is the lifeblood of the city. It winds past both ancient temples and modern high-rises, offering a unique, local perspective on the Thai capital.More
#13
Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

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The ruined island city-state of Ayutthaya—the once great capital of the Kingdom of Siam—is now a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lying at the confluence of three rivers north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya Historical Park protects magnificent crumbling stone temple spires, sun-worn Buddha statues, and other remnants of the three palaces, 400 temples, houses, and markets that thrived in Ayutthaya’s heyday.More
#14
Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle

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The mountainous border regions of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand come together in the exotically named Golden Triangle—a haven of Buddhist architecture, lush forest, and colorful riverfront villages. Located in the Chiang Rai province at Thailand’s northernmost tip, the Golden Triangle is thick with wonders, both natural and man-made.More
#15
Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga)

Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga)

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With limestone rock formations jutting out of the emerald green sea, Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga) in Thailand is famous the world over for its natural beauty. Many visitors to Thailand will find themselves crossing the bay on the way to popular tourist spots, such as Phuket or Krabi, but this place deserves some dedicated exploration time of its own.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Phuket

How to Spend 3 Days in Phuket

How to Spend 3 Days in Chiang Rai

How to Spend 3 Days in Chiang Rai

Top activities in Thailand

Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
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Premium Phi Phi Islands, Maya Bay & Khai Islands by Speedboat With Lunch
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Full-Day Private Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace from Bangkok
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2-Hour Koh Samui ATV Quad Tour

2-Hour Koh Samui ATV Quad Tour

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John Gray's Hong by Starlight with Sea Cave Kayaking and Loy Krathong Floating
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Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour
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Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour

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Private Tour to Kanchanaburi Erawan Waterfall and Elephant Care
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Thailand

star-5
An amazing journey!
ROXANADENISE_M, Aug. 2022
Private Tour to Kanchanaburi Erawan Waterfall and Elephant Care
We visited beautiful places, the waterfalls, the railroad and the elephant care center!
star-5
Great variety and worth the money
Joerg_G, Jul. 2022
3 Experiences: Doi Inthanon Tour, Elephant Sanctuary, Trekking Trail
A lovely hike with waterfalls, rice fields, and coffee fields.
star-5
An amazing experience!
Suzan_C, Jul. 2022
Private Tour to Kanchanaburi Erawan Waterfall and Elephant Care
An amazing day with lots to see and do.
star-5
Great Day
Thomas_L, Jun. 2022
Full-Day Private Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace from Bangkok
The Bang Pa-In palace is an interesting place and the Ayuttahaya ruins are well worth a visit to see some of Thailands history.
star-5
Fantastic day tour, saw lots of interesting things plus some walks. Great tour guide!
Dee_J, Jun. 2022
Inthanon Day Trip from Chiang Mai with Lunch - Small Group
Fantastic day trip with great tour guide “M” good English and very knowledgeable (thanks mate!
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Morning Markets and Cooking Class
Chloe_P, Jun. 2022
Riverside Thai Cooking Class in Khao Lak with Market Tour
The spring rolls we made were some of the tastiest we’ve had during our stay in Thailand!
star-5
Koh adang is the most...
MarcusColvin, Apr. 2022
Koh Lipe to Phuket by Satun Pakbara Speed Boat
the boat trip from Koh lipe to Phuket amazing got to see most islands on the east
star-5
Great experience
Chris_H, Apr. 2022
Bridge on the River Kwai and Thailand-Burma Railway Tour
Our guide was so polite and his English was excellent.
star-5
Amazing!
Hannah_P, Apr. 2022
Phi Phi Islands Adventure Day Trip with Seaview Lunch by V. Marine Tour
It combined everything you want to see into one seamless trip.
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Maeklong market and Erawan waterfalls with Tiger!
KeiAnge_S, Sep. 2022
Damnoen Floating Market & Optional Erawan Water Waterfall & Kanchanaburi Tour
Really felt immersed in every day living and it's it's really cool to see how they pull up and put back their canopies when the train comes.
star-5
Superb! Worth the long car journey.
Jeff_G, Sep. 2022
Khao Sok National Park Jungle Safari Full Day Tour from Phuket
It is a long car journey to Khao Sok, but it is well worth the time and effort to see such a beautiful part of Thailand.
star-5
Great cultural and historic tour
Derek_A, Sep. 2022
Bangkok to Angkor Wat Tour 3 Days 2 Nights from Bangkok
Yuth had good English and told me of his experience as a tour guide and explained what we would be doing on the tour.
star-5
Wow, amazing hiking tour with stunning views
Tim_H, Sep. 2022
3-Day Chiang Dao Mountain Trek
We highly recommend this tour if you want to see some authentic rural area of Thailand far away from the touristic spots.
star-4
Wonderful waterfalls and beautiful pagodas
Tim_H, Sep. 2022
Best seller! Doi Inthanon National park tour with Fantastic 2hr Trekking
We liked the waterfalls and the little hike through the forest and the rice fields.
star-5
Once in a lifetime experience!
sungjae_p, Sep. 2022
Bangkok Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk
I was a bit worried when I signed up for this tour because my friends with whom I had been traveling didn't speak any English.
star-5
Amazing tour and guide
Glenn_G, Aug. 2022
Private Excursion to Maeklong​ Railway and​ Floating Markets
Nick was an awesome guide and spoke fluent English.
star-5
Oso txango polita eta...
Martxito_S, Aug. 2022
Best Seller! Doi Inthanon National Park, Waterfall & Royal Project - Chiang Mai
We had the opportunity to see the highest mountain in Thailand and the way of life of the local people.
star-5
Best tuktuk tour
Lizangelica_V, Aug. 2022
Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
She s great with kids.
star-5
Wonderful day in a beautiful part of Thailand!
taylorheggie, Jul. 2022
Best Seller! Doi Inthanon National Park, Waterfall & Royal Project - Chiang Mai
The day trip included so much more than I was expecting - we visited waterfalls, a local rice farming village, the temple, the peak of the mountain, and an ancient part of the forest.
star-5
Fabulous trip, very different to all modern temples.
Annick_S, Jul. 2022
Ayutthaya Historical Park Small Group Tour
Our guide Joy was a pleasure to listen to, fabulous English, Knowledgeable and funny.
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All about Thailand

When to visit

There’s no bad time to visit Thailand, but rain and heat can affect your vacation plans. Early winter is the country-wide sweet spot: it’s dry and hot enough—but not too hot—for city sightseeing or the beach. To experience local culture at its most memorable, consider April for the Thai New Year celebrations of Songkran, or November for Chiang Mai’s Lantern Festival (Loi Krathong).

Currency
Thai Baht (THB)
Time Zone
ICT (UTC +7)
Country Code
+66
Language(s)
Thai
Frequently Asked Questions