Millions of tourists visit Thailand year after year, and the country surely has an attraction for everyone. From sleepy northern cities to a thriving capital and pristine islands galore, the country is eager to please all visitors. See what the hype is about with these must-visit attractions in Thailand.
You can experience the best of Thailand through the eyes of a Local Insider by joining Culture Trip’s exclusive 10-day Northern Thailand adventure, or our specially curated 10-day Southern Thailand tour.
Located adjacent the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is both the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. It was built next to the river strategically in order to help defend the palace from possible invasions. Construction of the palace began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, and was not finished until the late 1800s. No member of the royal family has lived here since 1925 – today it mainly acts as one of the biggest tourist hot spots in the city. This is also where visitors will find the stunning temple of Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace is one of the most frequented attractions in the world, and it is estimated that some eight million tourists visit each year.
Full Moon Party
Backpackers and partiers flock to the Full Moon Party in Thailand each month to see for themselves what all the hype is about. The festivity goes down on the island of Koh Phangan on Haad Rin Beach. The infamous party is known for the large crowds of neon painted and bikini-ridden tourists who frequent them, with vibrant buckets of booze in tow to get the party started. Fire shows and live DJs are guaranteed to make an appearance, with parties raging until early morning.
Floating Markets Near the Capital
Before the capital was furnished with roadways, the many weaving waterways acted as the main form of transportation. Many of these waterways have since been filled in to make way for the capital’s urban decor, but venture outside the city center and visitors will find many of these floating markets still exist. Floating markets provide visitors to Thailand with a unique shopping experience. Colorful boats are filled with even more vibrant goods, equipped with everything from souvenirs to tasty traditional Thai food.
Though the city of Kanchanaburi is known for its many museums and historic relics found throughout, one of the most noteworthy finds in this western town are the Erawan Falls. Found in Erawan National Park, which spans over 1.5km, the seven-tiered fall is one of the main reasons why visitors frequent this park. Both tourists and locals take to the cool, emerald pools found at each level, finding refuge from Thailand’s heat.
Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River, otherwise known as the River of Kings, is one of the most important waterways in Thailand. Some of the top attractions in the capital are found along its banks, and it is one of the major transportation hubs in the city. Whether visitors take to the river to enjoy a dinner cruise or hop on the Chao Phraya River Express Boat to explore Bangkok, there are many ways to explore this particular waterway.
Khao San Road
No backpacking trip is complete without a night out on the infamous Khao San Road. It is about 410 meters in length and takes only about five minutes – depending on the crowd – to walk it in its entirety. The street is lined with bars, clubs, cheap street eats and loads of affordable accommodation, which is why budget-friendly backpackers tend to flock to this particular stretch of road. Whether visitors are hankering for a scorpion or want to experience a unique night out, this is the place to visit.
Red Light Districts
Whether visitors make their way to Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza or Patpong, they must feast their eyes upon at least one red light district before departing the Land of Smiles. These streets are some of the most vibrant, seedy, yet interesting stretches of roads and areas in all of Thailand. Be warned, however, that prostitution has been illegal in Thailand since 1960.
Sunday Walking Street Market
Though there are many markets and night bazaars located in the city of Chiang Mai, none are as noteworthy as the Sunday Walking Street Market. It is centrally located, and the one-kilometer road where it is found is closed to traffic, so visitors can meander and browse the plethora of goods in peace. The market is filled with handmade handicrafts this region is well-known for. Be sure to barter with vendors to get the best prices.
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