WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN THAILAND?
Thailand is a perfect destination to start a trip to Southeast Asia. The infrastructure is quite good and the country is very backpacker-friendly, it’s very easy for a beginner traveller to explore.
Despite the large number of tourists, it’s a country you should absolutely at least once because the variety of things to do and see is quite incredible: temples, beaches, excellent food…
Here are 10 things not to be missed if you are planning a trip to Thailand:
1. Explore Bangkok
Despite the pollution, traffic and noise, Bangkok is worth staying for at least two or three days:
- The Chatuchak weekend market: about 8000 stands where you will find everything and anything
- The temple of Wat Pho, with its Buddha lying down
- Jim Thompson’s house
- The Grand Palais: a huge complex that houses Wat Phra Kaeo
- Go for a drink at Sirocco Sky Bar and admire the 360° view of Bangkok
- Go buy second-hand travel equipment and go for a walk in Khao San Road
2. The islands and beaches of southern Thailand
Ko Lanta, Ko Kood, Ko Chang... Ultra touristic but for a good reason… it’s just to unhook the jaw. Maya Bay is the beach that served as the setting for the film of the same name.
3. Visit Ayutthaya
Boating or cycling is the best way to explore the ruined temples of Thailand’s former capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Advice: if you want to take a picture of Wat Mahathat’s Buddha’s head, be sure to stay crouched down because you shouldn’t look at it from above. A guard will call you to order if you do not respect this. The former capital of Sukhothai is also worth a visit.
4. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the ideal base for trekking and discovering the landscapes of northern Thailand and the hill tribes. To see/do in Chiang Mai:
- Take Thai cooking lessons
- Take Thai boxing lessons
- The Night Market
- Visit the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
5. Thailand’s National Parks
The three national parks to see absolutely are Khao Yai, Khao Sok and Kaeng Krachan. Erawan National Park is worth a look if you go as far as Kanchanaburi.
Famous for its historic sites dating back to the Second World War (the famous Kwai River Bridge and the Death Railway), Kanchanaburi province was a strategic point for the Japanese army. You can also visit Erawan Park and its natural swimming pools.
7. Learn scuba diving
Thailand has beautiful dive spots and is the ideal place to get your PADI license. For experienced divers, Similan and Richelieu Rock Islands to the east coast are famous spots. You can even see whale sharks.
8. Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay
In my opinion, the most important place to see in Thailand. Located northeast of Phuket, you can admire a spectacular landscape of vertical limestone cliffs emerging from the sea. The trip is done by kayak to better explore the hidden caves.
9. The full moon party at Hat Rin (Ko Pha Ngan)
Even if you are not a partygoer, it is worth the trip for the atmosphere and to watch the juggling with fire shows. Who knows, maybe you’ll have a good time after a few buckets of vodka-redbull.
10. See the elephants
There are several places to see elephants in Thailand, especially towards Chiang Mai: the Thai Elephant Conservation Center is a refuge where you can approach them.