Thailand is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia, and for good reason. With natural wonders, tropical scenery, world-class hotels, delicious food, and affordable accommodation, you can find almost anything here. It’s a great choice for both budget-conscious and luxury travelers alike.
Thailand is a bustling hive of activity and commerce. However, before you can truly call yourself an expert on Thai culture, you must explore the mountains and experience the breathtaking views of the countryside. There are many attractions in Thailand that will provide you with unforgettable memories. For example, Phuket’s clear blue waters are soothing to the eyes and the perfect place to unwind with family or friends.
Read also: Tourist Attractions in India
Tourist Attractions in Thailand
When you’re planning a trip to Thailand, it can be hard to decide where to start. The most popular tourist attractions include the following:
1. Wat Arun
This beautiful Hindu temple is called the Aruna Temple. It’s dedicated to Aruna, the Hindu god of the dawn. It’s fitting because the temple is decorated with images of the sun rising. The centerpiece of Wat Arun’s exterior is a tall, colorful structure whose top rises more than 280 feet. It is decorated with seashells and porcelain. The spire is located on the west bank of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.
2. The Grand Palace
When you’re in Thailand, don’t forget to visit the capital city, Bangkok. Even though you’ll probably spend most of your time in beachside towns and feasting on delicious food, you have to venture into the city at least once. The capital is a sight to see, but the Grand Palace should be at the top of your list. It’s ranked as the number one tourist destination in the city. It’s historically significant, and the craftsmanship is breathtaking.
The complex has a lot of amazing things to see, including its resplendent temples and ancient relics. The most important building is Wat Phra Kaeo. It is said to contain a fragment of the Buddha’s hair or bone.
Allow several hours to see the Grand Palace, but if you’re up for more walking, you can easily visit other major landmarks nearby. The famous Temple of the Dawn (a great place to watch the sunset) and Wat Po are just a few minutes away.
3. Erawan Falls
In Western Thailand, a short trip from Kanchanaburi, the Erawan Falls are the major attraction of Erawan National Park. The waterfall is named after the three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology. The seven tiers of the waterfall are said to resemble an erawan. Monkeys and monitor lizards are common around the falls. The park is open for visitors all year long and gets really busy on weekends.
4. Wild Elephants at Khao Yai National Park
The elephant is the national animal of Thailand, and you can find its image everywhere, including royal palaces and temples. For an unforgettable experience, however, nothing beats seeing the elephant in the wild — and Khao Yai National Park is a great place to do it.
You can see many unique animals in the park, including elephants, exotic birds of prey, monkeys, and tropical creatures like crocodiles. There are many waterfalls in the park, with Haew Narok and Haew Suwat being the most famous.
A one-day stay at Yosemite is not enough to get the full experience of seeing its natural beauty. It’s possible to camp out at the park or sleep in a nearby hotel and get up early to see the sunrise.
5. Sukhothai Old City
Looking for history buffs and photography enthusiasts? Look no further than Sukhothai! This beautiful old city still stands proud despite enduring centuries of battle and exposure to the elements. UNESCO has deemed Sukhothai’s Old City to be a World Heritage Site. The Thai government has invested in its preservation and restoration because the city is one of the most significant historical sites in the entire country.
Sukhothai is home to Wat Mahathat, the most remarkable of the area’s many temples. Built some time in the 13th century, it was designed to house Buddhist relics and features massive standing Buddha images, stucco sculptures, stupas, and more.
6. Historic City of Ayutthaya
The ancient city of Ayutthaya is the best place to see the glory of Thailand’s past. The ruins are hauntingly beautiful, but also romantic. If you want to see the remains of an ancient civilization, then this is the place to go.
The old city of Ayutthaya is the most important metropolis in Thailand. The many wats, chedis, prangs, and thousands of Buddha statues are spread around the park. There’s nothing like the sight of the temple housing the 12-meter-long reclining Buddha. And nothing beats the tree roots that embrace a Buddha head.
If you’re traveling to Bangkok, consider a trip to nearby Ayutthaya. It’s only a short bus ride away and is a great place for a day trip. If you have more time, plan on spending a few days exploring the old city and the new city. Rent a bike and cycle through both districts to get a better feel for the culture!
7. Floating Markets near Bangkok
Some travelers visit Bangkok to see the floating markets that are more than a century old. These days, tourists can take a day trip to visit these traditional floating markets outside the city. Although floating markets are no longer essential to local farming economies, they remain popular tourist destinations and community gathering places. Foreign tourists love Damnoen Saduak while most Thais prefer the Amphawa Floating Market.
8. Mu Ko Ang Thong
Ang Thong is a popular national park in Thailand. It’s made up of 42 islands, which are close enough to visit multiple times. The park headquarters is on Ko Wua Talap. The Maldives is a tropical paradise where tourists can stay in lovely bungalows. These bungalows are surrounded by beautiful views of the surrounding islands and bizarre rock formations. On the island of Ko Samui, white sand beaches and shallow coral gardens are popular places for snorkeling.
9. Climbing at Tonsai Beach
Gorgeous limestone cliffs, welcoming coastlines, and clear turquoise waters welcome climbers to Thailand. But when it comes to climbing in Thailand, Tonsai Beach is the place to be. One of the great things about climbing here is that you can climb alone or find a climbing partner or club. If you need to brush up on your skills, there are plenty of options to do so.
The area around the bay is popular with climbers and boulderers. If you’re not experienced, you’ll find the easier routes crowded and might have to queue for them. If you’re an expert, you’ll get better spots and stunning views almost all to yourself.
10. Kanchanaburi Bridge
A bridge in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, was originally meant to be a part of the Thai-Burma Railway project. The railway was supposed to connect Thailand and Burma, but it was never completed because of the war. The Japanese army forced many prisoners of war (mostly British, Dutch, and Australian citizens) to work on the railway. More than 12,000 Allied prisoners died during the one year this bridge was constructed and reconstructed. It was bombed and damaged more than once, and is known as the “Death Railway.”
Until recently, the bridge at Kanchanaburi was closed. Now it is open again, and people can cross by taking a slow train. Only about 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) of the original 415-kilometer (about 258 miles) route are now in use. This is a grave historical reminder of the terrible events that occurred here during World War II.
A few miles from the bridge, a war cemetery is a final resting place for Allied military personnel who died in the Thailand railway. The Hellfire Pass Museum and JEATH War Museum both offer insights into the history of the railway and the war that took place here.
11. Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is a mix of rainforests and limestone mountain ranges, with a river you can explore on rafts. It’s home to ancient rainforests that are older than the Amazon, as well as karst formations, trails through the jungle, and a variety of wildlife. Malayan sun bears, tigers, and wild elephants roam the jungle of Taman Negara. They’re not rare sightings if you go deep into the jungle.
Some of the most luxurious campsites in the world are also some of the most eco-friendly. They come with en-suite bathrooms, deluxe bedding, their own kayak, and incredible meals that will make you think about moving to Thailand.
12. Similan Islands
The Similan Islands are a popular diving location in Thailand. The waters surrounding them have gorgeous coral reefs and formations that take on many unique shapes. The nine primary islands and two outer islands are situated off the coast of the Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand. Divers love to explore the world under the sea. One of their favorite spots is East of Eden. It is so popular that experienced divers returning to the site again and again.
13. Full Moon Party at Haad Rin
If you like to party, head over to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan. It’s a beach party that takes place every month. It used to be a small, informal party, but now it draws about 20,000-30,000 people every single month. If you can’t make it to Ko Pha Ngan during the full moon, don’t worry. There are other parties to be had. These include Half Moon, Black Moon, and Shiva Moon.