Thailand is not one of the world's most popular destination's to visit for nothing. From the North to the South of the country, there are countless things to do, see and experience. If it's the city lifestyle of Bangkok, the island beaches, or trekking through the mountains that hold your appeal, Thailand offers a little piece of paradise for everyone.
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Top 10 Things to do in Thailand
1. Shopping and food in Bangkok
Bangkok, also known as the Big Mango, is the mega capital city and commercial center of Thailand. If it's shopping, nightlife, or Thai food you are searching for, Bangkok will supply you with limitless opportunities.
Khao San road in Bangkok is the backpacking headquarters of Southeast Asia, everyone passes through at some point in their route.
2. Historical journey to Ayuthaya
Just a couple hours away from the modern skyscrapers of Bangkok is the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya. Many people make the historical journey into a day-trip.
What was once the thriving center of the Siamese kingdom is now a place to catch a glimpse of the ancient temples and structures left behind. The significance of the ruins are now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Island hop and sun tan on the Southern islands
The Southern islands and beaches of Thailand are known as some of the most beautiful in the world. The jagged limestone cliffs, tropical greenery and turquoise ocean waters are often enough to make one fall in love with southern Thailand and turn into a beach bum.
From Koh Phi Phi to Railay Bay (Krabi), it's not hard to fall into a state of relaxation and enjoy the island lifestyle. There's also opportunities to take day hikes, rock climb the ocean cliffs, snorkel, kayak, or just hang out and meet others.
4. Go wild at the full moon party
The island of Koh Phangan hosts the world renowned monthly full moon party. The giant island style party obviously takes place during the full moon, and begins just as soon as dusk sets in.
During the party, the entire beach at Koh Phangan is filled to capacity with people looking to party the night away. Bars and clubs are set with an array of different DJ's spinning all kinds of music.
5. Learn how to dive on Koh Tao
The island of Koh Tao is known as one of the best places to dive and learn how to dive in Thailand. There are plenty of companies that offer some of the most affordable SCUBA training of anywhere in the world. One of the main perks about Koh Tao are the short distances from land to the dive sites.
As a base of dive instruction, Koh Tao attracts quite a share of travelers and island long term dwellers. There is a vibrant nightlife and many restaurants that caters to foreigners.
6. Relax in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is a small enjoyable town in the North of Thailand that is layered with culture and filled with an incredible assortment of temples and outdoor oriented activities. One of the most famous temples is the the White Temple, an ornate structure that is purely white with silver trim.
Walking through flower gardens, taking small treks, swimming in waterfalls, and bathing in hot springs are a few more of Chiang Rai's top draws.
7. Outdoor fun in Chiang Mai
On the main backpackers route is the Northern capital city of Chiang Mai, a perfect mixture of city to countryside. In contrast to Bangkok, Chiang Mai is calm, blessed with fresh air, and is normally not nearly as humid or muggy.
Chiang Mai especially attracts visitors for its fun outdoor activities like riding elephants, watching a snake show, taking a trek and staying at local homes, visiting a hilltribe, or swinging through the top of the trees on a zip-line. When the days die down, Chiang Mai is home to a sprawling night bazaar where shopping and food is limitless.
8. Visit a Floating Market
Bangkok was formerly known as the Venice of the East. Canals that fed from the Chao Phraya river made up an extensive network of waterways that weaved their way through town. Some of the canals have since been filled in, but others remain in tact and in use.
A floating market is a market where vendors sell things right off their boats, from the side of the canal. These days the floating markets around Bangkok have turned into a fun activity where many boats dock together and serve an array of amazing Thai food! There are a number of big floating markets a few hours from Bangkok, like Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa, but I personally prefer the low-key Khlong Lat Mayom floating market.
9. Pet a tiger in Kanchanaburi
The Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi (also known as Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery), is a temple that feels more like a wildlife sanctuary. The first tiger arrived at the temple in 1999 after being attacked by poachers and needing a refuge from harm. The residing monks now take care of many tigers in an effort to conserve tigers in the area.
Though it costs 600 THB for entrance, spending time up close and personal with tigers is a priceless experience.
It's also possible to pet tigers at the Tiger Kingdom (more like a zoo) in Chiang Mai, but the more authentic experience is in Kanchanaburi.
10. Experience Songkran festival
Ask any Thai what their favorite time of the year is and they will almost always tell you the Songkran festival, or Thai new years. The festival is celebrated every year from April 13 – 15, though many choose to extend the holiday for a few days on either end. Songkran is known as the water festival, the entire country of Thailand turns into a free for all water fight!
Flight of the gibbon offers you a chance to fly through the tops of the trees on a thrilling zipline adventure!