Don't Miss Out on These 17 Must-Visit Destinations in Thailand

2023-07-01 00:10:37 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Are you searching for the most incredible destinations to visit in Thailand? Thailand, also known as the land of smiles, has been a popular choice among travelers for numerous years.

However, due to its vast size and abundant offerings, selecting where to go within Thailand can be quite a challenge, especially if you have limited time.

But fear not, because I am here to assist you. My name is Ollie Lindsey, a dedicated traveler who has extensively explored Thailand. In this article, I will present to you 17 Thailand destinations that I believe are absolutely unmissable.

Oh, and before we proceed further, make sure to save these essential tips for solo travel in Thailand and our comprehensive guide on whether you should acquire travel insurance for your trip to Thailand.

Alright, enough with the interruptions! Let's delve into our list of 17 top-notch destinations:

17 Exquisite Places to Explore in Thailand

The Captivating Chiang Mai Lantern FestivalπŸ“ Google Maps location | Chiang Mai Website | πŸ‘‰ Browse through a wide selection of Chiang Mai Hotels on Booking

In my humble opinion, Chiang Mai surpasses all other places as the ultimate destination in Thailand!

Its charming blend of culture and vibrant city atmosphere, combined with its superb culinary scene, establishes it as one of the most remarkable locations to visit in Thailand!Β 

Leisurely strolling around the historic district of Old Chiang Mai is one of the main attractions here, but the city has so much more to offer, with an abundance of captivating sights and attractions both within and in the vicinity of the city.Β 

Venture into the second largest city of the country and marvel at the impressive modern Buddhist temples, indulge in the wonders of the lively night markets, all surrounded by picturesque countryside perfect for exhilarating day treks!

Moreover, Chiang Mai serves as an ideal starting point for exploring the numerous highlights that Northern Thailand has to offer.

A breathtaking aerial view of a tranquil beach in Ko ChangπŸ“ Google Maps location | Koh Chang Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore a wide variety of hotels in Koh Chang on Booking

Ko Chang, often overlooked among the Thai islands, presents an intimate island experience with ample room to roam. Situated in the eastern reaches of Thailand, near the Cambodian border, Ko Chang's distance from the more renowned islands has kept it under the radar compared to its popular counterparts.

However, those who embark on the 4-5 hour journey from Bangkok will be handsomely rewarded with verdant tropical forests juxtaposed with picture-perfect white sand beaches. It's as though one has stepped into the bygone era of Thailand's islands!

Bangkok Thailand by night

πŸ“ Blueprint of the Terrain on Google Maps | Official Bangkok Website | πŸ‘‰ Cast your Gaze Towards Bangkok Hotels on Booking

The vibrant capital city exudes an irresistible old-world charm, effortlessly blending traditional architecture with modern convenience. Indulge in the delectable street food and explore the ubiquitous 7-11s lining every corner. No visit to Bangkok would be complete without setting foot in the renowned Wat Pho and scaling the Golden Mount.

For those seeking pulsating nightlife, look no further than the illustrious Khao San Road, where bars, restaurants, and clubs pulsate with energy well into the early hours of the morning. Getting around Bangkok is a breeze, thanks to its reasonably priced transportation options, ranging from the efficient MRT and BTS train lines to taxis (remember to insist on the meter!) and tuk-tuks, not to mention motorbike taxis (prepare to haggle fiercely!).

Bangkok stands as a popular choice for travelers venturing into Thailand, yet it possesses a somewhat polarizing allure, with visitors finding themselves either enamored or repelled. Nonetheless, it remains an essential destination and serves as an excellent springboard for exploring the myriad of other enchanting locations within Thailand.

πŸ“ Blueprint of the Terrain on Google Maps | Official Ayutthaya Website | πŸ‘‰ Set your Sights on Ayutthaya Hotels on Booking

A historical city adorned with ancient temples nestled in every crevice! Ayutthaya boasts some of Thailand's most captivating attractions, with the famed Wat Mahathat featuring a Buddha visage sculpted into a tree claiming the spotlight.

Charming guesthouses and restaurants catering to every palate dot its quaint streets. Though not as frequented by tourists, Ayutthaya unquestionably ranks among my cherished destinations to explore in Thailand.

Please take note that the distances between the attractions are vast and should not be underestimated! One option to assist with transportation is to hire a tuk tuk for the entire day.

Sukothai historic park, a top place to visit in Thailand

However, if you prefer more flexibility at a lower cost, I personally suggest hiring a bicycle or scooter. Both can be obtained from guesthouses, or you can find a row of shops directly across from the railway station.

You can reach these destinations conveniently by bus, minivan, or train from most major locations. If you are coming from Bangkok, taking the train is the most economical option (14 Thai Baht per person) with regular services available throughout the day.

Alternatively, you can take minivans from Bangkok that operate from 6am to 6pm, shuttling back and forth (60 Thai Baht per person). Buses can also be booked in advance, and prices may vary depending on the company and level of service.

πŸ“ Visit Google Maps, the Sukhothai Website, and browse Sukothai hotels on Booking to explore more details about this fascinating destination.

This underrated gem of a Thailand location, although less visited than its well-known counterpart Ayutthaya, should not be overlooked as a must-see attraction in Thailand. When visiting, you'll find yourself surrounded by a rich history that predates the temples in Ayutthaya. Exploring the town is highly recommended, and renting a form of transportation such as a bicycle from your accommodation is a convenient option.

White Temple in Chiang Rai Thailand

A typical Thai town has evolved around these historical sites, featuring modern temples, 7-11 convenience stores, and a wide range of accommodation and dining choices.

πŸ“ Discover Chiang Rai on Google Maps, explore the Chiang Rai Website, and browse Chiang Rai hotels on Booking to plan your visit to this fantastic destination not far from Chiang Mai.

Situated near Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is another renowned destination in Thailand. Visit this vibrant city for its modern temples, picturesque countryside, breathtaking waterfalls, and the famous Wat Rong Khun with its gleaming all-white exterior. You can arrange trips to Wat Rong Khun through tour agencies or at your hotel or guesthouse.

Make sure to add Chiang Rai to your list of must-visit places in Thailand!

πŸ“ Explore Pai through Google Maps, visit the Pai Website, and browse Pai hotels on Booking to plan your stay in this enchanting destination.

Pai Canyon

Located not too far from Chiang Mai, Pai is yet another well-known destination in Thailand. This charming town is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and offers a tranquil atmosphere. In addition, don't miss the opportunity to visit the picturesque Pai Canyon and immerse yourself in the local culture. To make the most of your visit, you can browse and book hotels in Pai through Booking.

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The ultimate haven for backpackers!

Experience the charm of bamboo huts, hippie cafes, and restaurants that offer an array of exciting activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and rafting along the river that flows through the heart of this destination.Β 

Venture further out of town and discover captivating caves waiting to be explored, where you can marvel at Buddha statues and much more!

To fully embrace the surroundings and explore the picturesque rice paddies along tranquil country roads, as well as visit the stunning outer lying Wats, we highly recommend renting a push bike or scooter. There are numerous rental agencies available for your convenience.

πŸ“ Discover Mae Hong Son on Google Maps | Official Mae Hong Son Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore a Variety of Mae Hong Son Hotels on Booking

If you're embarking on a northern loop, don't miss the opportunity to discover another underrated gem of Thailand: Mae Hong Son, a lush mountain province that encompasses much more than just Pai!

Located near the Chinese border, this delightful Thai town welcomes visitors with open arms and offers an abundance of Wats and trekking options to indulge in. Transportation services, day hikes, and longer treks can be arranged through local agencies.

Immerse yourself in the modern Wats, embrace the charming village atmosphere, and even indulge in the soothing hot springs! When it comes to travel destinations in Thailand, Mae Hong Son is undoubtedly worth the visit!

(photo: [email protected] / Depositphotos)πŸ“ Discover Chiang Dao on Google Maps | Official Chiang Dao Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore a Variety of Chiang Dao Hotels on Booking

Escape to the peaceful countryside, immerse yourself in the well-preserved Wats, and bask in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.

This hidden gem doesn't receive a large number of foreign visitors, making it one of Thailand's more unique and off-the-beaten-path travel destinations.

There's an abundance of activities to keep you enthralled, including thrilling rafting adventures, invigorating treks, visits to hill tribe villages, and the opportunity to explore a one-of-a-kind cave temple.

Don't hesitate to consult your hotel or guesthouse for transportation options to reach the top attractions in the area.

πŸ“ Discover Ko Tao on Google Maps | Official Koh Tao Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore a Variety of Koh Tao Hotels on Booking

Ko Tao embodies the essence of a highly sought-after Thai island that, during its peak season, may exhibit a dense population of visitors.

Temple in Santikhiri

However, it is essential to recognize that certain destinations earn their popularity for valid reasons, and Ko Tao exemplifies this notion perfectly. The allure emerges from its captivating coastlines and picturesque turquoise waters, making it undeniably worthwhile to embrace the crowd and explore this piece of paradise.

Additionally, Ko Tao holds significant appeal for individuals seeking PADI certification for diving. Hence, it becomes imperative to include this destination in your travel itinerary in Thailand if it aligns with your aspirations.

πŸ“ Discover Ko Tao on Google Maps | Mae Salong Website | πŸ‘‰ Find Exquisite Accommodation in Mae Salong on Booking

Mae Salong, another hidden gem in Thailand, captures the essence of a captivating destination that beautifully blends Thai and Chinese influences.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of this region while journeying through the remarkable tea plantations that embellish the hillsides. The cool breeze and lush green scenery add an enchanting touch to this exceptional site, making it an absolute must-visit on your list of Thai travel destinations!

πŸ“ Explore Prachuap Khiri Khan on Google Maps | Prachuap Khiri Khan Website | πŸ‘‰ Discover Exceptional Hotels in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Booking

Prachuap Khiri Khan presents a remarkable opportunity to indulge in the finest aspects of Thai culture, free from overwhelming crowds. It perfectly epitomizes the quintessential Thai experience, delivering incredible stretches of pristine beaches, enchanting ancient architecture, and the exhilarating climb up the "mountain" to reach Wat Thammikaram. This tranquil haven offers simple yet comfortable accommodations and delightful dining options. Embark on a self-guided exploration, immersing yourself in the local way of life, but remain cautious of the mischievous monkeys!

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan Thailand

(photo: mazzzur / Depositphotos)πŸ“ Uncover Koh Phangan on Google Maps | Koh Phangan Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore Captivating Hotels in Koh Phangan on Booking

Koh Phangan is a captivating destination that unveils the epitome of Thai allure, sans the overwhelming crowds. It effortlessly showcases the perfect blend of stunning beaches, charming ancient architecture, and a challenging ascent up the "mountain" to reach Wat Thammikaram. Besides, this serene location offers uncomplicated accommodations and delightful dining options. Let your curiosity guide you as you wander the land, immersing yourself in the local way of life. However, do exercise caution and remain vigilant about the mischievous monkeys!

Railay Beach, one of the best places to visit in Thailand

The island itself holds a special allure in the realm of Thai destinations!

Renowned for its monthly celebration known as the Full Moon Party, Ko Phangan stands as a prime contender on the list of must-visit places in Thailand.

Nonetheless, there are still pockets of serene tranquility on the island, such as the area known as Had Salad on the northernmost tip.

If you wish to explore the island at your own pace, it is imperative to rent a scooter. The roads are relatively peaceful, but one must possess the usual driving assertiveness!

πŸ“ Visit Google Maps for directions, explore Railey Website for more information, or take a look at πŸ‘‰ exciting Railey hotel options on Booking.

Ko Lanta Thailand

When considering places to travel in Thailand, do not overlook Railey!

This destination offers a multitude of beaches to explore, breathtaking viewpoints to ascend, and even rock climbing for the adventurous spirits!

With a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and bars to suit every budget, it is a challenge to find a better place to be!

Experience the essence of the beach and encounter the timeless hangouts cherished by seasoned travelers. And let's not forget the pristine sand and crystalline waters, for what more could one desire?

Be aware that on certain islands, you may need to embark the boat by wading in waist-deep water or even walk from the boat to the shore!

Although this occurrence is becoming less common due to the installation of floating docks.

Nevertheless, leaping from a boat and making your way to the shore through the water is a traditional ritual when exploring the Thai islands!

πŸ“ Discover Google Maps for directions, visit the Koh Lanta Website for more information, or take a look at πŸ‘‰ enticing Koh Lanta hotel options on Booking.

If you are seeking affordable and high-quality accommodations while yearning for tranquility on the Thai islands, look no further!

Among all the destinations in Thailand, Ko Lanta is an absolute treasure!

While the beaches may not surpass all others, if you desire a similar Thai beach ambience without the bustling Full Moon Parties, you cannot go wrong with a visit to this hidden gem.

Renowned island.

Exploring the island on a scooter, zooming along the coastline, feeling the gentle breeze, and making stops at various beaches is the optimal method of sightseeing and getting around!

Khao Sok, a top attraction in Thailand

πŸ“ View location on Google Maps | Visit the Kanchanaburi Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore Kanchanaburi Hotels on Booking

An enchanting Thai town with profound historical significance.

From Kanchanaburi, glimpses of the infamous Burma-Thai railway, also known as The Death Railway, can be witnessed. The serene and picturesque river Kwai is also a prominent feature.

Aside from war cemeteries and museums, which are among the popular attractions in Thailand, this place also showcases renowned cave temples.

πŸ“ View location on Google Maps | Visit the Khao Sok National Park Website | πŸ‘‰ Explore Khao Sok National Park Hotels on Booking

Lush greenery meets sandy coasts! This destination offers both opportunities for jungle trekking and beach relaxation!

There is a wide range of unique accommodations available, from bamboo huts to luxurious hotels, catering to all preferences.

Ensure to visit both areas during your stay. Take a stroll to witness the breathtaking waterfalls, embark on boat trips to the famous floating bungalows, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear blue waters!

Conclusion: Top Travel Destinations in Thailand

So there you have it – our selection of 17 remarkable places to travel to in Thailand in 2020.

Undoubtedly, Thailand boasts numerous other captivating tourist destinations and attractions, but we believe these are the cream of the crop.

Before you embark on your journey, be sure to explore these additional articles to assist you in planning your trip to Thailand.

And, of course, don't forget to leave us a comment below, sharing your thoughts on the best places to visit in Thailand.

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Now, let's talk about our wonderful guest author. Allow us to introduce Ollie Lindsey, who makes up one part of the dynamic duo behind the travel blog known as Ollie and Lynette On the World. This delightful couple embarked on a journey to document their thrilling escapades across the globe. Visit their blog at [link] to join them on their adventures.

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