Famous for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, and mouth-watering cuisines, Thailand is a bucket list destination. Find ornate temples on the mainland, palm-fringed beaches and scuba diving in the offshore islands, rainforest trekking and wildlife viewing in the nation’s many parks, and a complex diversity of gastronomic options.
An impressive site with three palaces and more than 400 temples, the ruins of Ayuthaya are lined with reclining, seated, and headless Buddha statues.
Surrounded by mountains, Chiang Mai in Thailand’s north, is a great starting point for those wanting to take advantage of the outdoor adventures of the surrounding lush landscape. This city has many different tourist options including the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple, the Elephant Nature Park, and street markets.
One of the busiest tourist spots in Bangkok, the Grand Palace was built in 1782 and houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Arrive early to avoid the crowds.
The islands off the coast of Thailand are globally renowned for their beaches and beautiful scenery. There are three sets of islands that range from secluded to heavily visited. The most famous and largest of these is Phuket, where you will find mangroves, fishing villages and a national park. The beaches in Phuket offer a diversity of water adventures including diving, snorkelling, yachting, parasailing and fishing.
Make sure to visit Chatuchak Market, the largest weekend market in Thailand in Bangkok. This market covers over 35 acres and has over 8,000 stalls. Remember to bring cash, because most vendors don’t take credit cards, and not to bargain too much as prices are quite reasonable.
It’s almost impossible to list the top spots in Thailand for food, because each city and each region have their own diversity of local flavours. In Chiang Mai, make sure to go to Khao Soi Lam Duan Fa Ham for curry noodle soup, Baan Rai Yam Yen for an introduction to the specializations of northern Thai cuisines, and Ong Tipparot for the midnight munchies. Be sure to check out Amphawa Floating Market in Bangok for 50 km of food stalls serving authentic Thai cuisines.
Although you can visit all year round, the best time to go to Thailand is during the cool and dry season between November and April.