If you wish to let your hair down and have a good time then there is no better place to be than Thailand. One of the most popular tourist locations in South East Asia, Thailand is beautiful as a picture postcard. The natural beauty of Thailand is unmarred by growing civilization. Clear turquoise water, cool white sand, pristine beaches, greenery and rainforest, natural parks, and undisrupted heritage. There is so much to see in Thailand that one trip never seems enough to know this country. Here is a list of places that one must visit to feel the true essence of Thailand.

1. Bangkok

No better place to start your Thailand tour than the Capital City. Usually, people who travel to Thailand keep Bangkok as their base spending only a day or two in the city. Bangkok is worth more than the quick stays that travelers give it. You will find Bangkok to be one of the most chilled, laid-back, and exciting cities to be. The city has a golden hue exhibited by its ancient buildings and Buddhist temples. Some of the places you must visit in Bangkok includes-

  • The Grand Palace
  • The Wat Pro and Wat Arun
  • Chao Phraya River

Khao San Road in Bangkok is a must-visit if you wish to have a good time. The place is packed with endless bars, shops, street foods, international restaurants, local vendors, and more. Foodies would love to try a feast in the Chinatown. Here you will find vendors selling foods you will hardly find anywhere else. Bangkok has no dearth of malls and markets where shopaholics can shop till they drop. Terminal 21, situated in Bangkok, is one of the most famous malls in Thailand. If you are a lover of off-beat things then you must see the Muay Thai Fight in Rajadamnern Stadium. The list of things to do and see in Bangkok is endless. A couple of days spent exploring is sure to make you fall in love with this city.

2. Hua Hin

Low-key easy on your pocket and easily accessible from Bangkok. Hua Hin is popular for its peaceful beaches where tourists can be lazy. Monkey Mountain is where you can feed bananas to resident monkeys. It is one of the top favorites among kids. Adults would love to explore Cicada Market and buy things that are quintessential creative. This seaside resort is popular for kitesurfing and other water-sports. Hua Hin also has high-end hotels popular among tourists and offers extremely relishing seafood.

3. Ayutthaya

One of the best places to visit if you are a history buff. The city has the feel of an open-air museum. Every corner and every structure of the city dates centuries back. It was the capital of a prosperous international trading port, Siam, from 1350 to 1767. You can brush up your history about the country and also marvel at the art and architecture. The city is a UNESCO protected world heritage site. The ruins of the old city are now the Ayutthaya Historical Park which is an island between three rivers containing palaces, Buddhist Temples, and monasteries.

4. Chiang Mai

The former capital of Lanna Kingdom is truly surreal. Nowhere else will you the old and the new existing in perfect harmony like in here. Popularly known as the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai is quite a large place with diverse neighborhoods. The heart of the city is the Old City. Outside the ancient walls of the Old City is the vibrant and bustling Night Bazaar. If you wish to spend some time alone observing the beauty of the city then you can visit the peaceful Riverside. One of the most trendy locations in the city is the Nimman Road that stays buzzing with people walking in and out of its fashionable restaurants, cafés, bars, shops, and hotels. Most of the pictures of Chiang Mai on the internet contain or are taken from Doi Suthep. The regal mountain provides a commanding view of the entire city and is a must-visit even if you are visiting Chiang Mai for a day.

5. Chiang Rai

The city has a relaxed and down-to-earth feel about it. It is a great place offering a medley of authentic Thai art, music, temples, and cuisine. Chiang Rai might not offer much diversity, like its sister town Chiang Mai, when it comes to nightlife and entertainment. But, the city is loaded with historical, cultural, and contemporary attractions. If you love things that are unique and off-beat then you are sure to love this place. Golden Clock Tower is a major tourist attraction in the area with a light and sound show that most tourists are attracted to. Wat Thong Khun, Blue Temple, Baan Dam Museum are some of the most famous attractions in the city.

6. Krabi

Krabi needs no introduction. Anyone who knows even a little about Thailand surely knows about this province. This is the best place to treat yourself to some island fun. People who love watersports will fall in love with this place. Activities like kayaking, snorkeling, rock climbing, long nature walk in the jungle will keep you happily occupied. The beaches here are not only breathtaking but also secluded and quiet. Some of the most popular tourist beaches here include Phi Phi Islands and Railay beach. The four island tour of Chicken Island, Tub Island, Poda Island and Phra Nang beach is highly recommended if you wish to explore the area.

7. Phuket

Referred to as the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket is one of the most popular cities in the whole of Thailand. The city has the most exciting nightlife. Impressive coastlines with long stretches of sandy beaches combined with dramatic rock foundations make the place extremely beautiful. Holiday Inn Phuket is one of the best places to stay on the island. It is within walking distance to some of the most popular attractions in the city. A visit to Phuket must include a visit to the Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, Khao Sok National Park. Phuket is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful islands including Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island.

8. Mae Hong Son

Home to the famous backpacker town Pai, Mae Hong Son is an ideal visit for those who wish to experience the local Thai lifestyle. In Pai you can spend your afternoon along the river, chilling and relaxing and trying some delicious local food. Mae Hong Son is a treat for the eyes. Waterfalls, forested caves, hot springs, endless rolling mountains, and ethnic hill tribe. The place is heaven for those who love the raw beauty of nature.

9. Sukhothai Old City

Another place for history lovers. The ruins of the first capital of Siam is now a UNESCO World Heritage City. ‘Sukhothai’ means ‘Dawn of Happiness’. True to its name the city is the birthplace of Thai art, architecture, and language. The place has an abundance of historical sites and temples ruins. The most popular and historically significant temple ruins are inside the Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park.

10. Pattaya

A tourist paradise situated close to Bangkok. The place is truly exotic. It is best known for its never-seen-before nightlife and parties. However, Pattaya also a lot of things to offer for couples, families, and kids. Major attractions in the city include the Nong Nooch Gardens, Walking Street, Pattaya’s Crown Jewel. The Ladyboy Cabaret show of Tiffany and Alcazar is extremely popular among tourists. There are also several watersports and activities that tourists can indulge in. People love to take a day trip to the nearby Coral Islands when in Pattaya.

11. Phang Nga Bay

Limestone karsts standing proudly out of the emerald-green water is one of the most famous features of Phang Nga Bay. Two of the most famous tourist attractions here include James Bond Island and Koh Panyee. The best way to explore the place would be to take a trip cruising through the dramatic limestone islands, observing the natural beauty, stopping occasionally to enjoy the quiet beaches. Every year the islands witness an outburst of tourists and thrill-seekers that come to partake in activities like diving and other watersports.

12. Ratchaburi

A scenic provisional town with an abundance of natural and cultural attractions. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market along the Mae Klong River starts buzzing with wooden rowboats, vendors, and buyers. It is one of the most popular floating markets in Thailand. The Ratchaburi province is home to caves, mountain ranges, waterfalls, and natural hot springs. If you are a nature lover then this province is a must in your places to visit list.