On a gorgeous beach in thailand, a line of longtail boats is parked. Most visitors to the area arrive via bangkok, where they base themselves while traveling around southeast asia by backpack.
It should come as no surprise that thailand is my favorite nation in the world given its beautiful jungles, renowned beaches, world-class diving, wonderful food, and affordable costs.
I’ve been visiting the nation since 2005, where I also spent two years as a resident, and I keep feeling drawn back. Traveling there is simple, and due to the vibrant backpacker community, you can meet lots of new people.
Whatever your budget or hobbies, thailand has a lot to offer visitors. You can travel lavishly in opulent resorts on the beach or you can backpack on a tight budget. Or you might simply visit on a tight budget and see a lot for your money; the nation offers something for everyone.
Since the nation is a well-traveled stop on the trekking trail, everything is practical and simple. There are still a lot of off-the-beaten-path locations available, though, away from the crowds and the increased costs they bring.
The finest places to visit, what to avoid, how much things cost, and everything in between can all be found in this Amazing Thailand travel guide!
Other attractions and activities in thailand
- Go to wat pho and the grand palace
The present monarch of thailand is officially based in the royal palace, which king rama I constructed at the end of the 18th century (albeit he no longer resides there; it is currently only used for ceremonies).
It’s an impressive area with many temples, notably wat pra kaeo, which holds the emerald buddha from the 15th century.
A 46-meter (150-foot) reclining buddha statue and a wonderfully peaceful massage school are two of nearby wat pho’s most well-known attractions. Wat pho and the grand palace both have entrance fees of 200 and 500 thb, respectively.
- Trek through the khao sok national park
Khao sok national park, which is in the south of thailand, consistently ranks as one of the top national parks in the nation thanks to its amazing hiking and camping opportunities, limestone karsts, chilly rivers, and sparkling lake.
The park has plenty of walking pathways, semi-difficult hikes, loads of wildlife (including sun bears, elephants, gibbons, and more), and stunning sunsets. The cost of park entry is 200 thb. The cost of a half-day guided trek is 940 thb.
- Tour the historic capitals.
Sukhothai, lopburi, and ayutthaya, three of thailand’s historic capitals, are situated between chiang maI and bangkok. A distinctive method to go from bangkok to chiang maI is to stop by them on your journey north.
You’ll discover the history of ancient thailand and experience the best of rural living. My favorite is ayutthaya, which is accessible by train from bangkok in around 1.5 hours. It served as siam’s capital between 1350 and 1767. For only 900 thb, get your guide will take you there on a day trip.
- Take it easy on a tropical island
There are many stunning tropical islands in thailand. While others merely have a single bungalow, some are overdeveloped. Ko samet, ko taruato, ko lanta, ko chang, ko tao, ko jum, ko lipe, the similan islands, and ko samuI are a few of my favorites.
- Attend the full moon celebration.
The renowned full moon party is the best party there is. A sizable festival-style gathering with lots of drinking, dancing, and drugs is known as the full moon party. You can hear different music noisily screaming onto the beach every few feet because each establishment has its own sound system.
People selling booze, fire dancers performing, and little shops selling glow-in-the-dark face paint line the beach itself. Even though it is incredibly touristic, it is still a lot of fun. Just avoid participating in the fire jump rope; i’ve seen individuals get severe burns!
- Take a jungle hike
Northern thailand offers some fantastic multi-day jungle hiking options. The main starting places for longer treks are chiang maI and chiang rai. These kinds of excursions can be scheduled through the hostel or hotel where you are staying.
Online reservations made in advance will cost extra. But avoid the shorter hikes that include seeing “genuine” hill tribes; these encounters feel unethical and are predatory.
- Dive underwater in the similan islands.
Because of the pristine seas and magnificent marine life, scuba diving is very common in this area. The island of ko tao, which is geared toward divers, is the cheapest location to learn.
Although diving is permitted across the nation, the similan islands provide the best diving. The reef at elephant head rock is home to a lot of fish, snappers, rays, and turtles, so if you dive here, be sure to view it. For two dives, a day trip starts at 5,900 thb, which includes equipment and park fees.
- Develop your cooking skills
If you know what you’re doing, cooking thaI food may be fairly simple and delicious. While there are cooking schools all around the nation, chiang maI and bangkok have the top programs.
It’s a pleasant experience even if you don’t intend to cook at home because you’ll get to spend the day cooking and eating delicious meals. In bangkok, a half-day cooking instruction with a market tour runs about 1,300 thb.
- Discover isaan’s khmer temples
The ancient routes that connect angkor (the capital of the khmer empire) to the smaller towns in the isaan region are lined with numerous temples. At the end of the historic road, phimaI is the biggest of these. One of thailand’s largest hindu khmer temples, it was built in the 11th century.