Thailand is the Land of Smiles, home to beautiful beaches, spicy food, awe-inspiring temples and some of the friendliest people in the world. It’s no joke that walking down the street in Thailand, you’ll be greeted by locals with a huge smile on their face, enjoying life and welcoming foreigners into their country. Check out these 5 unforgettable places to make sure that your Thailand holiday’s everything you dreamed it could be.
Take a trip north to this gem in Northern Thailand, famous for its jungles and mountains. Chiang Mai has grown a ton over the past years, so you’ll experience a real foreign community here- but the city still retains its small feel. You can walk nearly anywhere in the city, or pay less than a dollar for a song taew (red taxi.) Enjoy the many gorgeous temples, vegetarian cafes and famous Sunday Night Market. Take a day trip out to the jungle to ride elephants, go ziplining and trekking through the lush forests.
Those interested in ancient history will have a ball in Ayutthaya. Just north of Bangkok, it’s one of Thailand’s ancient capitals and has consists of ancient ruins dating back to 1351. The temples, monasteries, fortresses and Buddha statues all stand as relics to the ancient times in Thailand. Make sure to check out the Ayutthaya Historical Study Center to learn more about what you see there.
A wild contrast from the rest of Thailand, Bangkok is a world all its own, and a must-see in Thailand. The massive cosmopolitan city has enough culture, buzzing nightlife and sights to keep you entertained for days, weeks or months. Definitely stop at the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw, and browse through the Floating Market for souvenirs. For food, you’ll find everything from tasty street stalls to world-class rooftop restaurants and bars. After dinner and drinks, head out on the town for a night of music and dancing until dawn.
Ko Phi Phi
Hands down one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Ko Phi Phi is the place to go if you want to feel like you’ve escaped from it all. It’s actually a group of 6 small islands, but Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest and only populated one. Enjoy white sandy beaches, impossibly turquoise waters and amazing coral and marine life perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are parties if you want them, and plenty of cultural attractions and festivals celebrating the Buddhist traditions throughout the year.
If you love anything to do with the water, make your way to Koh Tao, or “Turtle Island.” This island has some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in all of Thailand. It’s also great for people who love other outdoor sports like hiking and rock climbing. There are plenty of resorts on the island from which to enjoy your stay and meet other travelers.