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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

Grand Palace

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

Phi Phi Islands (Koh Phi Phi)

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

Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

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

Doi Inthanon National Park

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

Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

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

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

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

Maya Bay (Maya Beach)

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

James Bond Island (Ko Khao Phing Kan)

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

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

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

Ang Thong National Marine Park

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

Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

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

Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong)

The Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong or Mu Koh Hong) are a group of rocky blips in the Andaman Sea, located just off the coast of Krabi in southern Thailand. A popular day trip destination from Ao Nang or Krabi, the islands are fringed with rain forests, hidden lagoons, and white-sand beaches.More

Coral Island (Koh Larn)

With crystal clear water, plentiful coral reefs, and beautiful stretches of fine white sand, Thailand’s Coral Island (Koh Larn) is a veritable paradise. Take a day trip to this popular spot—about 4.5 miles (7 km) off the coast of Pattaya—to enjoy beaches and a variety of water sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling.More


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

Koh Tan (Koh Taen)

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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Thailand

Half-Day Railway Market and Floating Market Tour in Thailand
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Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
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Phi Phi Island by Premium Speedboat including Buffet Lunch & National Park Fees
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Full-Day Private Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace from Bangkok
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John Gray's Hong by Starlight with Sea Cave Kayaking and Loy Krathong Floating
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Private Tour to Kanchanaburi Erawan Waterfall and Elephant Care
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Exclusive Small Group - Phi Phi Islands Sunrise OR Day trip
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Exclusive Small Group - Phi Phi Islands Sunrise OR Day trip

US$106.83  US$5.34 savings
Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour
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Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour

per group
2-Hour Koh Samui ATV Quad Tour

2-Hour Koh Samui ATV Quad Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Thailand

So much better than trying to get a taxi in a foreign country.
DebbieT, Feb 2023
Private Bangkok Airport Transfer
It was so nice to see our name for a transfer as we arrived in Thailand for the first time.
TicTac was an excellent...
Megan_B, Jan 2023
Ayutthaya Historical Park Small Group Tour
He was so friendly and his English was very very good.
Bucket List Tour!
Gemma_H, Jan 2023
Angthong Marine Park Semi-Private Sunset Tour
The tour was very organised, boat was great, people fantastic, food incredible, activities unbelievable!!
Great Temple Tour Outside of Bangkok
Benjamin_O, Jan 2023
Full-Day Private Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace from Bangkok
Even saw the Summer Palace.
An AWESOME Experience!!!
Jeffrey_E, Dec 2022
A Morning with the Elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
What an opportunity to see how these wonderful creatures are being cared for after years of being abused by others!
The best experience in Chiang Mai
May_L, Dec 2022
Whitewater Rafting Adventure
From beginning to end, our white water rafting experience was amazingly fun, exhilarating, and probably one of the best activities we did during our 2 week trip in Thailand.
A must do activity in Phuket
Praveena_S, Dec 2022
James Bond Island w/Canoeing and Lunch by Speedboat
Had a day full Of 5 activities that were well planned given the crowded time of the year in Phuket, Thailand.
Amazing trip!
Rachel_R, Dec 2022
Best seller! Doi Inthanon National park tour with Fantastic 2hr Trekking
A great way to see the beautiful views of the mountains at the highest point of Thailand, the jungle trek was great and the waterfall was beautiful.
Really the Best Way to See and Interact With Elephants
Andrew_C, Dec 2022
A Morning with the Elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
We're so glad we opted for a more humane way to see and interact with the elephants.
The visit to waterfalls...
Piotr_S, Nov 2022
Erawan National Park and Bridge over River Kwai Small Group Tour - Full Day
The visit to waterfalls is a real highlight of my visit to Thailand, the view and experience is worth the long drive and hiking effort.
Tic Tac is the best guide
Rosh_P, Nov 2022
Ayutthaya Historical Park Small Group Tour
Amazing day out to see temples.
Nice experience
Raquel_S, Nov 2022
All day Krabi Jungle Tour (Hot Spring Water, Emerald Pool, Tiger Cave Temple)
Really enjoyable, the guide, Nat, was wonderful and she explained a lot about all the places we visited in a very good English.
Fantastic way to see...
Catherine_R, Oct 2022
Half-day Ping River and rice paddies E-bike adventure (flat land, GUIDED)
Fantastic way to see local villages and explore the thailand country side.
Matthew_M, Oct 2022
Bangkok Jungle Bike Tour - Including Transfer & Lunch
Excellent communication in English during booking arrangements.
Great trip, Very worthwhile.
Rick_M, Feb 2023
Chiang Dao Cave Trekking Small Group Tour – Full Day
Not only were the caves interesting and the Sticky Falls were a lot of fun, our guide, Tim, really made this a special day.
Awesome tour, Team JJ is the best!!
Silke_B, Feb 2023
Regular/Premium/PRIVATE Phi Phi, MayaBay, MonkeyBeach fullday By Speedboat
However, there are additional activities which can be done on the way (longtail boat ride for 300 Baht per Person, Jetski for 1,500 Baht) so we recommend bringing money with you.
Off the Beaten Path Thailand - Bat Paradise
Julianne_K, Feb 2023
Chachoengsao One Day Trip from Bangkok : Historic Market and Buddhist Temples
My friend and I booked this after seeing fruit bats flying along the Chao Phraya - we wanted to see more bats!
Great tour for the adventurist.
DJ_G, Jan 2023
3 Experiences: Doi Inthanon Tour, Elephant Sanctuary, Trekking Trail
Waterfall was beautiful but the trail can be strenuous and wasn’t for most of the group but a wonderful for someone who likes adventure and hiking.
A must do excursion
LoriAnn_A, Jan 2023
Floating & Railway Market, Coconut & Salt farm from BKK [Pickup +Multi-language]
A fabulous day and the perfect way to see a part of Thailand, away from the big city of Bangkok.
Excellent tour!
Tim_V, Jan 2023
Phangan excursion
Went to see elephants, the best beaches in Ko phangan, The tallest tree in Thailand and then drove us back to catch the 4:00 ferry to bangrak Ko Samui while others were swimming at the last beach.
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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).

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