Thailand has become one of the biggest travel destinations for people all around the world. It is a dream destination for any traveller because the country has something for everyone. The locals are friendly and you will get to taste some delectable food.
There are many amazing beaches which are very clean and the water is a magical mix of green and blue. There are ancient temples and monasteries for religious people.Mountains, coral islands and lots of green are present too. There are also many shopping destinations and a buzzing nightlife. Everybody would find something to do that they like, irrespective of age or personality.
Thailand is a country where one can do a solo trip or go with family, friends, soul mate or parents and have a lot of fun. The country boasts of many popular destinations. If you are planning to make your first trip to the country, these are the top 5 must-visit places of Thailand:
First Stop Bangkok
The city of Bangkok is the heart of Thailand. It is hugely populated as it is the capital city of Thailand and the biggest city also! Bangkok sees an amalgamation of different cultures and that gets reflected in its food and people too. When in Bangkok, do visit the Grand Palace – the residence of the current monarch and the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew which lies in the heart of the city.
Out of all the floating markets of Thailand, you must visit the Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi, Don’t miss out on exploring the streets of Thailand. You can walk through Sukhumvit Soi 38 or Soi Rambuttri if you want to try some Thai street food or continental dishes. Don’t worry about your tummy, all the stalls are very hygienic.
Thong Lor is the place to go for high-end shopping and fine-dining experience. Maha Rat road houses all the temples and museums. If walking is not your thing, take a tuk tuk to explore the city. With all its attractions, days just fly away when in Bangkok!
Exploring the Island of Phuket
Phuket is the most popular and the largest island of Thailand. The island runs 50kms long and the breadth is 20KM! After Bangkok, it will be relaxing to visit the island filled with hotels and resorts. If you just want to chill, Nai Thon will be best but if you like to live it up then visit Patong or Surin.
Tough Patong is the most happening town, there are many smaller towns offering equal opportunities of shopping, food and entertainment. There are a lot of water and beach activities to do on Phuket like jet-skiing, paragliding, scuba diving and even fishing! You can explore Phuket and the islets off it by availing a land or sea tour.
The Island of Koh Samui
Though Koh Samui is the second largest island of Thailand, it is almost half the size of Phuket. Still it is one of the most popular destinations of Thailand because of the pristine beaches, attractive nightlife and high-end resorts. It is equally popular with people who are budget-travellers and people who like to stay luxuriously on a holiday.
The gorgeous beaches are lined with palm trees offering a spectacular view. Open air pubs, restaurants and clubs make the 5km long Chaweng Beach the main tourist spot of Samui. Lamai and Bophut are smaller beaches having villages offering the same things on a toned-down scale.
One can also learn about the culture of the place by visiting the Big Buddha at Ko Phan monastery. In Koh Samui too, one can indulge in windsurfing, scuba diving or ride on banana boats and speed boats or go golfing.
Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai
When you have visited all the beaches to your heart’s content, Chiang Mai is the place to head to. Why? Because it is the capital of the northern region which is filled with hills and mountains. You will see a contrasting side of what you have been exploring till now in Thailand.
You will have lots of opportunities here to walk through jungles and see old temples and hill tribes. Riding elephants is a popular activity here, but you can also visit the elephant sanctuaries to admire these majestic animals. The sanctuaries protect the elephants and no riding is allowed. Chiang Mai has an eclectic mix of natural beauty and historic architecture. When in Chiang Mai, visit ‘The Old City’ for a historic experience.
The area surrounding The Pae Gate is popular amongst tourists because of the lively night-life and presence of hotels. A good place to stay is the Night Bazaar shopping area. For a more quaint stay, you can opt for a hotel along the Mae Ping river. There are many hotels and restaurants offering a river-side view.
Apart from dining and nightlife options, one can enjoy river cruises, temple and city tours, trekking, mountain biking, white water rafting and zip lining! You can get to know Thai culture better in Chiang Mai in a much relaxed setting.
The Resort Town of Pattaya
After Bangkok, Pattaya is one of the main cities of Thailand. It is a vibrant coastal city very near to Bangkok and is famous for its two large beaches. Pattaya City is known as the night-life capital of Thailand! The robust and electrifying nightlife is the major draw for tourists here.
The Central area of this big party zone is called the Walking Street. Neon lights, Go-Go Bars and Beer Bars make it an unforgettable place for the party-peeps. The adventure lovers can opt for Bungee jumping and go-karting at the Pattaya Kart Speedway, or touch, play with and feed tigers at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo and the Tiger Park Pattaya!
There goes our top picks for Thailand. Honestly, Thailand has a lot more to offer like Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Ayutthaya etc. but these 5 are the places we would love to visit or revisit. You must know that the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February. It is the peak season, but there is no dearth in tourists till May. So plan that trip now. Bon Voyage!
By Kranthi Kumar
Kranthi is a freelance writer who write about travel destination in Thailand and throughout the world. When Kranthi isn’t writing and travelling he works for an online gifts platform.