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Best places to visit in Thailand

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Bhasin8Suresh, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Bhasin8Suresh

    Bhasin8Suresh New Member

    I want to take my family on holiday to Thailand and have been looking at the places that we can visit. There is quite a lot of choice and a lot of different locations where people go for holidays, but it is difficult to tell which places are good and worth visiting.

    I would like to find out what are some of the best places to visit in Thailand, where it would be good to spend between 4 - 7 days for a holiday. We are also able to go to more than place if they are close by to each other.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Thailand shares borders with Myanmar (West), Laos (North) and Cambodia (East). To its southern region are the countries of Malaysia and Singapore too. The northern region of the country has varying landscapes of mountains, forests and other natural attractions. The central region, including Bangkok, is the most developed and has an assortment of temples, shopping complexes and varying historical sites. Lastly, the southern region, is where the pristine beaches of Thailand can be found. Because of these different features, Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the Southeast Asian region. But which are the best destinations in Thailand, especially for those who are only visiting for a short time? Read on to find out which are these cannot be missed destinations in the Land of Smiles.

    Best Places to Visit in Thailand

    For the vibrant city life...

    1. Bangkok - The bustling capital of the country is Bangkok, humid, polluted and crowded yet interesting, fascinating and full of life. It's a must to include the city in your itinerary to get that glimpse of the modern day Thailand. Relish in the street food stalls, the chaotic roads and even the hawkers all around because truly, these experiences give you the most authentic experience of Bangkok. Sightseeing around the city includes both its religious sites and historical sites. The Wat Pho, with its 46-metre high Reclining Buddha statue, is one of the prime attractions of the city. The temple is also dotted with numerous smaller statues of Buddha. And where else can you get a massage within a temple itself? The Wat Traimit is equally interesting, whereby the Golden Buddha statue here was covered in plaster for many years and was only accidentally discovered that it was made from pure gold. The Wat Suthat is another must-visit temple due to its intricately carved interiors. The Wat Arun stands tall beside the Chao Phraya River and even during day light, it gleams as the seashells and porcelains in its outer facade reflect the light of the sun. The Grand Palace, with its Western style of architecture is also visited by many tourists. Once the home of the royal family of Thailand, it is now an events centre for important ceremonies like coronation events. A little unusual is the Siriraj Medical Museum, where you can find rare medical cases of Siamese twins, hydrocephaly and much more. And while a full city, parks like the Lumpini Park and King Rama IX Park provide some much needed greenery for both tourists and locals.
    • Must visit attractions - Wat Pho, Wat Traimit, Wat Suthat, Wat Arun, Grand Palace, Siriraj Medical Museum, Lumpini Park and King Rama IX Park.
    2. Chiang Mai - The largest city in the northern region of Thailand is Chiang Mai, it is close to the borders of Myanmar and Laos. Despite being a city, it is relatively less chaotic and crowded than central Bangkok. While most tourists flock to the central and southern part of Thailand, oftentimes, the northern part of the country is less explored. You know what that means, right? More pristine natural jungles and an authentic cultural immersion awaits you in Chiang Mai. Still, you're not totally cut off from the luxuries of life like hotels, resorts and restaurants. The city is also home to many temples like the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, where a relic of the Buddha is housed. There's also the Wat Chiang Man, complete with a library and a lotus pond. The Wat Phra Singh is one of the most beautiful temple complexes in the city, which also has its own library. Museums like the Chiang Mai National Museum and Tribal Museum showcase the rich heritage of the region too, especially its former rulers and the tribes that still exist in the area. The city is also abound with plenty of natural attractions like the Huay Tung Tao Lake where you can indulge in swimming and the Mae Sa Waterfalls, a series of ten small waterfalls that you need to trek to reach. Wildlife you say? There are plenty here as well with the likes of Doi Inthanon National Park and Doi Pha Daeng National Park. And did you know? Shopping here in Chiang Mai would cost you comparatively lesser than shopping in Bangkok. So go on, indulge in shopping without feeling guilty at all!
    • Must visit attractions - Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai National Museum, Tribal Museum, Huay Tung Tao Lake, Mae Sa Waterfalls, Doi Inthanon National Park and Doi Pha Daeng National Park.
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    Huay Tung Tao Lake (Image Courtesy of Trip Advisor)

    Of sands and beaches...

    3. Phuket - Phuket is mainly the gateway for other pristine island beaches of Thailand. It is located on the southern coast so you have the Andaman Sea on the one side and the Gulf of Thailand on the other side. The Phuket International Airport has flights from cities of other countries like Beijing, Busan, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Thus, if you're coming from another country, you can easily reach the island city by flight. Phuket is probably one of the busiest islands in Thailand. You have an assortment of hotels, restaurants and commercial centres in the city. The Patong Beach is notorious for its crowds and also for its not so beautiful water. But the variety of water sports that you can do here are quite many. But there are also more serene beaches in Phuket like Bang Tao Beach, Kata Beach and Layan Beach. You can also take a stroll around Old Phuket, a region where numerous Chinese merchants once resided and made their home. Here you can spot Sino-Portuguese homes that take you back to the bygone era. Phuket is also home to many temples that you can also explore. One of which is the Wat Phra Thong where the half-buried Buddha statue can be found. The Wat Chalong is famous for its Buddha statues that are gilded with pure gold. In Nakkerd Hills, the Big Buddha statue can also be found and it's actually viewable from any of the southern part of the city.
    • Must visit attractions - Patong Beach, Bang Tao Beach, Kata Beach, Layan Beach, Old Phuket, Wat Phra Thong, Wat Chalong and Big Buddha.
    4. Rayong - If you're visiting Bangkok and you cannot include Phuket into your itinerary, you can just go to Rayong. This beach destination is under three hours away by road from Bangkok. While the beaches here aren't comparable to the southern coast beaches, they are relatively secluded and perfect for a short getaway. The Mae Ramphueng Beach has creamy shores along with bluish waters. It has an assortment of restaurants and resorts around too so you can spend a night or two here. Another must visit here is the Suan Son Beach, lined with golden sands and also numerous beach shacks but it's about 23 kilometres away from the city centre of Rayong. A more secluded beach is the Phala Beach, which has white sands and turquoise waters although it's smaller than the previous beaches. An excursion from Rayong can lead you to the pristine island of Ko Samet. It is just about 45 minutes of ferry ride away from Rayong. The beaches here are of white sands and clear waters, perfect for snorkelling, diving and swimming.
    • Must visit attractions - Mae Ramphueng Beach, Suan Son Beach, Phala Beach and Ko Samet.
    Islands to explore...

    5. Ko Phi Phi - The Ko Phi Phi or Phi Phi Islands can be accessed by a ferry ride from Phuket or Krabi. There are six islands in Ko Phi Phi but the largest one is Ko Phi Phi Don. It is also the only inhabited island, all the others can be visited by a ferry ride but there are no establishments around them. In Ko Phi Phi Don alone, there are six beaches worth visiting. Although they are heavily populated by tourists, they have remained beautiful and pristine. Ton Sai Bay, Monkey Beach and Yao Beach are just some of the beaches that you can explore here. Maya Bay is accessible by a boat ride, since it is on the Phi Phi Leh Island, it is famous as the hollywood film, The Beach, was shot here. It is mainly a rocky shore beach, which actually adds charm to the beach. Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island, the other islands in Ko Phi Phi, are good spots for snorkelling and diving too. You cane easily add these islands into your itinerary through a day trip and return to Ko Phi Phi Don before sunset sets in.
    • Must do - Snorkelling, Island Hopping and Diving.
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    Ton Sai Bay (Image Courtesy of Trip Advisor)

    6. Ko Similan - Ko Similan is touted as the best diving region in Thailand, possibly even in Asia. There are 11 islands in this archipelago, all of which have white sand beaches and rich marine life. Most travellers opt for a day trip to the islands, possible via Phuket or Ranong too. While you can stay in the Islands No. 4 and No. 8 of Ko Similan, keep in mind that everything provided to you would be basic. You would either be staying in a bungalow or a tent. Some opt to just visit the islands during a day trip which is also possible and just return to Phuket thereafter. The best islands for snorkelling here would be Ko Payang, Ko Similan and Ko Miang. But really, being untouched by commercialism, all islands here are worth visiting. For diving, the top-rated zones are Deep Six and Elephant Head Rock.
    • Must do - Snorkelling and Diving.
    For history lovers...

    7. Sukhothai - Sukhothai might not be a well-known region in Thailand, especially for the outsiders, but it once flourished as it was once the capital of the might dynasty of the Sukhothai, hence the name. Did you know that the Old Sukhothai was once the capital of the country? It is located about 12 kilometres away from the New Sukhothai. It is even a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, best known as the Sukhothai Historical Park. The park houses a number of temples, palaces, ponds and other structures, which are reminiscent of the bygone era. Luckily, these structures are well-maintained so you can still see the grandeur of the Sukhothai era. There's also the Si Satchanalai Historical Park, which has the same features as the former park yet remains relatively less visited. Both parks require some form of transportation like a bicycle to fully explore though. You can also visit the museums of Ramkhamhaeng and Sangkalok to view the artefacts excavated in the region. These artefacts can provide you with a glimpse of the history of the city without even braving the intense heat outdoors.
    • Must visit attractions - Sukhothai Historical Park, Si Satchanalai Historical Park, Ramkhamhaeng Museum and Sangkalok Museum.
    8. Phetchaburi - Located on the southwestern part of Bangkok is Phetchaburi. It is a sleepy town especially as compared to Bangkok and even Chiang Mai. It has a very rich history though, once being conquered by the Mons, Khmers, Sukhothais and Ayuthayas. Khao Wang is worth exploring here, with its assortment of royal era buildings like the royal palace, temples and even a museum. You can reach the park by foot or by the cable car since it is located on a hilly region. The Tham Khao Luang is another must-visit attraction, it's a series of small caves, with numerous Buddhist shines and natural stalagmite formations inside. The Wat Kamphaeng Laeng, although mostly in ruins, give you a glimpse of the architectural style of the Khmer dynasty. And lastly, there's the Baan Peun Palace, once the residence of the king of Thailand, it has elaborate interiors complete with ceramic tilings and copper accents.
    • Must visit attractions - Khao Wang, Tham Khao Luang, Wat Kamphaeng Laeng and Baan Peun Palace.
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    Khao Wang (Image Courtesy of Huahin Vacation Tours)

    Off the beaten tracks...

    9. Mae Hong Son - Because Mae Hong Son shares a border with Myanmar, the Burmese architecture and even culture is evident in the region. It is a little piece of Myanmar right in Thailand. It is a very picturesque region too, lined with forests and mountains, definitely a change of pace from the building and chaos of Bangkok. You can visit temples like Wat Chong Klang and Wat Chong Kham which have Burmese styles of architecture instead of the usual Thai styles of architecture in Bangkok. Natural attractions like the Tham Pla Fish Cave and Pha Sua Waterfalls also provide one with a much-needed nature getaway. And around Mae Hong Son, it's inevitable to enjoy the local culture. But did you know that it is also home to indigenous tribes of the country? There's the Padaung Tribe, their females are known as the Longnecked Women of the Thailand. These women wear coils around the neck, which increases in weight as they get older. Other tribes in the region are Hmongs, Lawas and Lisus but they are smaller in number than the former tribe.
    • Must visit attractions - Wat Chong Klang, Wat Chong Kham, Tham Pla Fish Cave and Pha Sua Waterfalls.
    10. Isaan - On the eastern side of Thailand is Isaan, yet another underrated destination in the region. It is idyllic, serene and peaceful, a perfect getaway for people who are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city life. If your idea of a destination is just mesmerising views all around, being one with nature and just enjoying the beauty all around you, Isaan is the place to be. As an added bonus, you can even extend your vacation to Laos, since it is close to Isaan. There are many places to explore around Isaan but you cannot do so in a few days. So you need to pick a few destinations, top-rated ones are the Khao Yai National Park, which has a largely forested area along with teeming wildlife of leopards, deers and even elephants. Nong Khai is also worth a visit, known for its grand festivals and even temples. Unfortunately though, Issan is a poor region so you cannot expect much when it comes to tourist infrastructures and your best options here would have to be guest houses or home stays.
    • Must visit attractions - Khao Yai National Park and Nong Khai.
    Enjoy your trip to Thailand.:)
     

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