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Where to go in Thailand and what to visit?

05/07/2019 729 Views
Where to go in Thailand and what to visit?
Oh Thailand, the country of the smile as it is often called! How to plan a trip to Asia without considering a holiday in Thailand? Whether you are preparing for a world tour or Southeast Asia, or just a trip to the country, it's a safe bet that you will ask yourself these questions: where to go in Thailand? What to visit in Thailand? What to do in Thailand Where to dive in the country? This cheap country remains the most visited and remains very easy to access in any point of view. If you are planning your trip, the travel budget article in Thailand will be very useful. The decline in prices of direct flights to Bangkok in recent years is bringing many people to consider the country as a next trip. You will find while searching on the net tons of travel stories that make you want to visit the country.
However, the answer to the question of where to go in Thailand is far from simple. Why are you going to tell me? For the simple reason that everyone goes for their own reasons, and the answers will be very different depending on what you want to do as an activity on the spot, see in the country, the way you travel or your budget . Some of you will try to come to party, discover Thai culture, bask on beautiful white sand beaches, discover ancient temples, while others will try for example Thai cooking classes. During my trip to Asia, I spent a total of 76 days in Thailand, which means that I know the country quite well. My itinerary, however, remains a bit messy knowing that I have returned and left the country three times.
Out of a trip around the world, should we recommend such places of interest in Thailand rather than another? Which paradise islands to choose? Phuket Island, rather than Ko Phangan or Ko Phi Phi? The temples of Sukhothai rather than those of Ayutthaya? Not easy to answer all that, without giving his personal opinion. A few years ago, I would have been more radical in writing this article and I would have told you that going to Phuket was very stupid ... I calmed down and relaxed over time, and then I also remembered that I, the first, went to the Balearic Islands when I was 18 years old to party with friends. The difference is not so great finally, right? Everyone does a little as he sees fit! I propose in this article a recap, of course not exhaustive, to give you an idea of ​​where to go in Thailand. Free to you then to adapt your route in the country according to your desires. Here are the classics of the country for a first stay, but also other corners, less tourist and more off the beaten track. I try at the end of the article to offer you ideas of itineraries in Thailand according to the time you have on the spot, according to your desires, based on the two and a half months spent in the country.

Where to go in Thailand? The classics of a first stay

As much to announce the color from the beginning, the country is VERY tourist, and many are the travelers who decide to leave in Thailand to bask on the paradisiac beaches of the South of the country. They are usually already less likely to want to visit the famous temples of the country, let alone to discover the North of the country. Finally, few travelers choose to think outside the box. When I talk about Thailand around me, I often say it's very touristy but there is clearly way with a little will to get out of these areas, for those who want it. However, the country remains much more visited than these neighbors (Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar), even if they present some very famous tourist places, like the temples of Angkor, the Bay of Ha Long or the temples of Bagan.
Organize your trip to Thailand: a good preparation is necessary to make a choice of places to visit

Bangkok: megalopolis and capital of Southeast Asia
It does not seem possible to come to Thailand without visiting Bangkok in my opinion. The capital of the country remains today the easiest and cheapest gateway to Southeast Asia.

This city is full of life and I really enjoyed it! Can not answer the question of where to go in Thailand, not to mention Bangkok. Unless you arrive by land border from a neighboring country, almost all travelers will pass through the capital during their trip to Thailand. I advise to plan a few days to discover the city, everything obviously depends on the time that you have on the spot. The city can seem almost oppressive when you do not know the big Asian cities. It's a nice mess of car, stopper, tuk-tuk, pedestrian, train and tourists waiting for you on every street corner. Wat Pho, a must visit during a stay in Bangkok. The majority of Western tourists stay around the very tourist area of ​​Kao San Road. It is the ideal base for anyone wishing to organize the rest of their trip, choose a day trip to a temple, etc. As soon as you leave some streets (which I advise), you will be more quiet. Even if the capital is very busy, take a few days to discover the classics of the capital: visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (temple of the reclining Buddha) or Wat Arun (Wat means temple in Thai for info). Going for a ride on the Chao Phraya River is also fun to do. It is also an opportunity to try tuk-tuk strolls to discover the neighborhoods of the city. Do not hesitate to lose yourself a little in the city, the meetings are quite pleasant. Finally, those who love shopping can find their happiness in one of the largest markets in Asia, Chatuchak.

The islands of Southern Thailand
If you are looking for a place to go to Southern Thailand during your trip, here are the most famous islands. Although very touristy (you will definitely not be alone), these southern islands are still by far the most visited places on a first trip to Thailand. I speak to you later in the article, less tourist islands that I had the opportunity to discover. If you make an effort, there are still many small remote islands, off the classic circuits, perfect for a stay not in the country. In any case, the South of the country will delight all lovers of turquoise waters, coral beds and white sand beach. Perfect for many for a 1st time in the country.

Phuket Island
I must confess I did not go voluntarily to the island that remains THE ultimate tourist destination of Thailand, the one where the nightlife is a delight for partiers in particular. This island has everything you need for a good stay if you are looking for heavenly beaches, white sand, various marine activities. Of course you can explore other islands nearby. The island is particularly famous for its bars, restaurants and for its festive atmosphere. Attention to the high season, it is the tourist area par excellence!

The island of Ko Samui
The second largest island in the country, this island in the Gulf of Thailand (east coast) is quieter than the island of Phuket and wilder (so to speak). The island remains a very privileged destination of many tourists, particularly known for its beautiful beaches, waterfalls and hiking trails. The island is very often recommended during a first trip for a first glimpse of the country.

The island of Ko Phangan
It is the neighboring island of Ko Samui. The latter is known around the world for its "full moon party". I did not go there during my stay in Thailand, not being a big fan of this type of gathering. By cons, if you want to party with friends in a paradise, this is the island for you. Big atmosphere guaranteed at the edge of the sandy beaches!

Ko Tao Island
This small island is known as a paradise for scuba diving. There are many travelers who come to spend their first level of diving and enjoy its underwater world. The island can be a very good alternative to Phuket Island or Ko Samui, if you like underwater and calm.

The temples of central Thailand
The temples of Sukhothai
Former capital, and first of Thailand in the 13th century, these temples are listed as UNESCO World Heritage. At about 450 km from Bangkok, this huge city is found mainly in an enclosure. The most famous temple remains Wat Si Chum with its famous seated Buddha, impressive in size. Further north is the magnificent park of Sri Satchanalai (I speak of it below). To visit these temples, I advise to rent a bike for the day. This is one of the tips for traveling cheap in Thailand. To get there, the ideal is to take the train from Bangkok and take the cheapest class, the opportunity to discover the local population.

The temples of Ayutthaya

If you are wondering where to go to Thailand, about 1 hour north of Bangkok, is the temples of Ayutthaya. Thailand's top tourist attraction, the site remains to be seen for temples and stone lovers. A day on the spot is necessary to go around quietly. The most famous photo is this Buddha's head taken in the roots of an impressive tree. For a first trip to Thailand, it's a place to see.

The classics of the North of the country
The northern part of the country remains much less visited overall than the south of Thailand. Yet it is a mountainous region, exotic, and presenting important historical sites. The opportunity also to cross beautiful landscapes, go hiking or go to meet ethnic minorities. The average budget to travel will be lower too ... From North to South, the prices are really different and it is possible in the northern part of the country, in rural areas, to find a guesthouse for 150 to 200 baht a night (ie for less than € 5 a night ...). What more can you ask for a cheap stay? To get there, consider the night train or one of the domestic flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. Between us, local transport is still more friendly, right?

Chiang Mai

The second largest city in the country, it is the perfect city to organize treks and tours in Northern Thailand. The city itself is of particular interest for its night market, known by all travelers. The city remains very touristy for my taste and I advise to rent a scooter to explore the area and get lost in the Thai countryside.

Chiang Rai

Built on the banks of the Kok River, the city of Chiang Rai is about 200 km north of Chiang Mai by which you can arrive by train. The city, quieter, is particularly famous for its night market, its Chinese fondue (which we loved), but especially by the famous white temple. I recommend everyone to rent a scooter to discover the surroundings on 1 or 2 days: the program includes the waterfall of Khun Korn, visit the black house and of course a view of the famous Golden Triangle.

Where to go in Thailand off the beaten path?

I reassure you, I will not invent the powder here, but I propose less touristic corners (it is relative) and a little more away. It's up to you to dig into these places to make your own travel itinerary. I had the opportunity during the two and a half months spent in the country to discover quieter areas. So, yes it will take more effort to get there than to take a day trip to Ayutthaya on Kao San Road, that's for sure. But in the end, it is definitely worth it in my opinion and I advise everyone to go out of the known trails. This is, in my opinion, the best way to discover the true Thai culture, life in agricultural areas, in small isolated villages, far from the usual tourist crowds. It's also where I had the best life experiences in the country.

Kanchanaburi / Sangklaburi

Western Thailand remains a relatively less visited region and few visitors venture into Kanchanaburi City. The latter is located at the foot of the famous Kwai River and its famous bridge built in 1942. This is an opportunity to take a local night train and visit nearby the famous Erawan Falls. For the most motivated, I advise you to continue the road towards the Burma border, to the city of Sangkhlaburi. You will enjoy the calm of this city away from tourists to see the longest wooden bridge in the country (very nice), temples and Mon village around. Again, I recommend renting a scooter to get to the Burmese border (pass of the three pagodas). A step that I really appreciated.

Si Sitchanalai park

About 45 km north of the city of Sukhotai, the latter includes a group of temples of the same age. I personally greatly preferred this park, less visited, more preserved, more authentic. A little Indiana Jones side clearly here. You can access the park by scooter from Sukhotai, it's a very good option. Take the time of day to walk in these temples invaded by an important tropical vegetation.

Mae Salong

I spoke to you earlier about Chiang Rai. If you arrive so far, I advise you to rent a motorcycle for a few days and to discover the natural beauties of the Thai countryside towards the village of Mae Salong. Here, it is cooler (1200m) and you will appreciate to discover this small village and its surroundings (without tourists or almost). A must for those who wish to be away from the crowds of the South.


This region of eastern Thailand remains unknown to most visitors. Yet this huge territory is full of countryside, temples and national parks. To name but a few, explore the temples of Ban Prasat, Prasat Mueang Tam and Khao Yai National Park. I personally had the opportunity to visit part of the region, especially along the Mekong River. What a good time spent in Chiang Khan, Sangkom and many other small towns! For those looking for authenticity, I highly recommend it.

The forgotten islands of Thailand

Wondering which islands to choose in Thailand for your stay? For lovers of white sand beaches, coconut palms, a few dream days, far from the crowds of Ko Samui, Phuket or Ko Phangan, there are still some relatively preserved corners in the country. I can not reveal everything, but if you are looking for peace and quiet, turn to the side of the Andaman Sea (west coast) between the cities of Mergui (Burma) and Kampong Lama (Thailand). In the middle, I fell in love with a small island named Ko Phayam! The latter, bathed in an ideal tropical climate, has superb beaches. What a pleasure to discover these places in the low season (except tourist season)

Route ideas for your trip to Thailand

Looking for what to do in Thailand in 15 days? What to do and how to visit Thailand? Things not to miss in Thailand? The corners to see absolutely in Thailand? Many questions that arise when trying to plan a route. It will not be easy to propose itineraries all done, too many parameters to be taken into account in reality. Here are some ideas that I hope will help you:

Note that for a trip to Thailand less than 15 days, I will almost always recommend flying to those who can between the different corners of the country. The distances are great and you will lose too much time in the bus and train of the country for my taste.
  • For a week in Thailand, I advise to plan 2 days in Bangkok and then down in the South (for lovers of white sand) to an island like Ko Samui or Ko Tao. You can fly Bangkok Bangkok or Bangkok Krabi (with Thai airways) to save time. If you do not like the beach, take the first bus to Ayutthaya and go to visit the temples instead. For fans of the party, spending the week on Phuket, Pattaya, or Ko Phangan can be a good idea,
  • For a stay of 10 or 12 days in Thailand, you will have the opportunity to spend 2 days on Bangkok, then to take a flight towards Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai to go to see a little North of Thailand. Then take another flight to the South of the country to spend a few days in the islands (Ko Samui, Ko Chang or other)
  • Beyond 15 days in Thailand, for a trip of 3 weeks for example, you have in my opinion the possibility of traveling more calmly and you try local means of transport. A classic: Bangkok, Sukhotai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai (by bus or train), then a return on the South, towards the islands for a little relaxation or diving (Ko Tao, Ko Chang, etc.),
  • For a month of traveling in Thailand, in addition to the routes mentioned above, you can consider getting lost in the mountains north of Chiang Rai (on a motorbike), or go to the west of the country ( Kanchanaburi), or even spend 1 week in Isan along the Mekong, on the border of Laos.
If you still have more time and want to make the most of the country, you can decide to get lost in Isan for a week or two to get a good overview of the Thai campaign. I will also recommend a loop of several days, see a week at the border of China motorcycle from Mae Salong. Here, I hope this article has allowed you to answer the question of where to go in Thailand and you now have a better idea of ​​your itinerary. To prepare your trip, other points will be expected for example the best time to visit or when to go to Thailand to avoid the rainy season - the monsoon, obtaining your tourist visa (on arrival), choose its diving spots for the most beautiful seabed. In any case, Thailand remains among those Asian countries that we like more or less, depending on our experience and experience on the spot. There is certainly mass tourism in the country, but it is possible to avoid it. Personally, I really liked the Thais, their rice fields, their floating market everywhere, their food and their Buddhist culture! It is the ideal destination for backpackers and others to get away from it all and not to blow up your holiday budget

Ko Phi Phi Island

Known worldwide through the filming of the beach, the island is particularly famous as a party venue. The island is actually composed of Ko Phi Phi Don (the most tourist where most tourists are) and Ko Phi Phi Ley, where the film was shot. Enjoy the place in your trip to make a long tail outing in their breathtaking turquoise.
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