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Serene shrines, spectacular skyscrapers and the best street food on the planet are all waiting for you in Bangkok. Living the Thai life automatically equals living the high life in this Southeast Asian land of plenty. Wherever you head, rest assured, temples and Buddha statues come as standard. Neon-frantic and temple-tranquil, the Thai capital is simply unmissable, with stacks of things to see and do however you fancy spending your time. Delivering reams of cultural and historic sights, BKK also flaunts a modern side with muscular skyscrapers and myriad outbreaks of modern architecture, fabulous art galleries, and fascinating museums.
When you want to spend, the city is ready to sell: in frenetic markets among them the floating variety for which the Thai capital is such a hit as well as mega malls, and the dining scene is a spin, from gourmet restaurants to street food. After dark things are as buzzing, with pulsating nightclubs, live music, cocktail bars, incredible rooftop bars and adrenaline-laced Muay Thai fights.
If you want to stretch a leg, try hiking in lush jungles and rafting along boiling-white rivers. First-timers often head to the thronging sands of Patongon the west coast, known for its no-holds-barred nightlife and watersports. Beyond, though, there are beaches to suit everyone. Catch a boat to the scenic Freedom Beach, switch off on Karon Beach, drink in the views from Kathu Beach, and prepare for plenty more.
Promthep Cape is the place to head for liquid-lovely sunsets. After dark, the entertainment cranks into life: there a world-class shows and exhilarating Muay Thai fights ; food is, without exception, delicious, from the smart restaurants of Phuket Town to the simple, sizzling seafood turned out at street and night markets. Hiking, Thailand top sites karting, ethical elephant encounters, fishing, snorkelling, and jet skiing are just a few activities to try, and Wat Chalong, along with the Big Buddha, are two of the most popular cultural sites.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkorn is particularly photogenic, with tall stupas that you are permitted to climb, surrounded by rows of Buddha statues swathed in saffron tones. The old Dutch and Portuguese areas are well worth a visit and the floating market is a great place to pick up souvenirs. That said, tuk-tuks amass on every corner. Understandably so, as Mae Hong Son shares a border with Myanmar. The provincial town sees few international visitors, but that makes it all the more reason to go: for the photogenic nature and architecture, as you travel around the area. One of the main draws is the former hippie-populated town of Paia good place to base yourself if you love nature and a laid-back life.
For fun and partying, Haad Rin is the place to be. The night market is a great place to fill up on tasty Thai food for cheap and there are many cooking schools where you can learn how to replicate your favourite dishes. The layers of beauty are stupefying: crumbling walls, extensive foundations, impressive chedis and pagodas, Buddha images in all sizes and poses, soaring columns, and the remains of halls and other buildings. There are lotus-filled ponds gleaming in the sunshine and boards provide plenty of information about the grand past all around you. Thailand top sites popular island in the Thai Gulf, Koh Samui appeals to Thailand top sites from families and honeymooners to backpackers and solo adventurers.
Beautiful beaches include Chaweng, Lamai and Mae Namand you can visit the old fishing village at Bophut. There are several places to shop, as well as plentiful places to eat, drink, and sleep. Koh Samui boasts many high-class spas and excellent golf courses too.
The main attractions in this large province in Northeast Thailand are argued over, but nobody disputes the wow factor of Unesco-listed Khao Yai National Park. Elsewhere in the province, Wang Nam Khiao is celebrated for its spectacular scenery and great air quality. Filled with, and surrounded by, colourful and imaginative artwork, the structure is built like an elephant and sits on its own small artificial island.
Ready to sightsee? The huge Sanctuary of Truth, carved entirely from wood, is sensational. And did someone mention wine? Sample local delights at the pretty Silverlake Vineyard. Off the coast of Phang Nga Province, out in the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands rank among the best places in Thailand for scuba diving and snorkeling. The deep is teeming with intriguing marine life and underwater features. Fishing is also madly popular on the islands, themselves much loved for their dense forests, curious rock formations and picturesque white, sandy beaches. Note that the Similans are generally closed to visitors between mid-May and mid-October.
Indeed, you can visit the Golden Trianglethe point where the three countries meet. The province offers excellent hiking and trekking plus what some would say more authentic encounters with local hill tribe ethnic groups. Waterfalls and hot springs are other natural features to enjoy. Brave the stretching suspension bridge at Mae Fah Luang Garden before enjoying the lush gardens.
What do you want from your island idyll? Yes to all these? Make for Koh Changoff the coast of Trat. Boat trips to neighboring Koh Kut and Koh Mak always go down well and a traditional Thai massage is perhaps the best way to loosen up after an energetic day.
Koh Chang being an island, seafood is fresh and delicious, among the wide selection of other dishes for diverse palates. And everyone beds down happily here, since accommodation runs from high-class luxury resorts through to beach bungalows and backpacker dorms.
There are a whole range of jungle lodges to overnight in, as well as local guides offering wildlife-watching, canoe trip and long or short hikes into the wilderness. More info. Open In Google Maps. Thailand top sites Website. Give us feedback. Home to thick forest and open savannah, Khao Yai is pristine enough to nurture breeding populations of bears, tigers and wild elephants.
But poaching is a problem, and so the park needs visitors. Fortunately, Khao Yai is reachable from Bangkok in just a few hours and most of the visitors are day-trippers, who delight in taking short walks to the numerous waterfalls. Atmosphere: Family Friendly. Natural Feature. In the ancient interior Thailand top sites Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, and at the end of a colonnade of pillars elaborately decorated with gold filigree, sits the Phra Buddha Chinnara, vast and shimmering, crowned with a lotus-shaped halo and radiating nirvanic calm.
Phitsanulok, Thailand. Crack open a chilled bottle of Singha beer and do nothing until the scattered seafood restaurants beckon for sizzling prawn lunches that can last hours. Phe, Rayong, Thailand. Yes, there are still unspoilt beaches and islands in Thailand.
Especially in the southern province of Trang. Here the ramshackle wooden capital stands next to a long stretch of forest-backed bays and creamy white strands, protected by Hat Chao Mai National Park. Offshore islands include Koh Muk, Koh Libon, Koh Phetra and Koh Kradan, ringed with reefs, trimmed with white-pepper-sand and — for now at least — devoid of the big resorts that clutter the coast of neighbouring Krabi province. Trang, Trang, Thailand. Exact date unknown. Bangkok, Thailand. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Phuket, Thailand. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Koh Lanta is a more laid-back affair, with long, sandy beaches, chilled-out beach bars, mangroves and a Moken sea gypsy community. Animal lover? Thailand, Thailand. Mae Hong Son,Thailand. Surat Thani,Thailand. Bridge, Natural Feature. Book Now. You can take a ride on the infamous Death Railway in remembrance of those who lost their lives during its construction.
There are several museums dedicated to local history, along with somber cemeteries. And for your next course? Our advice is to head north, off the beaten track,to pretty and peaceful Sangkhlaburi.Thailand top sites
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17 Best Places to Visit in Thailand