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Rivers of Thailand | © Ninara/Flickr
Rivers of Thailand | © Ninara/Flickr

The Most Beautiful Riverside Towns in Thailand

Picture of Iona Proebst
Updated: 4 December 2017

Thailand is most famous for its picture-perfect white sand beaches but did you know it also is home to many charming riverside towns? Check out our list of beautiful riverside towns to while away a few days of relaxing and exploring.

Chiang Saen

Chiang Saen is located south of the Golden Triangle on the mighty Mekong River. Chiang Saen happens to be Thailand’s oldest town and is steeped in history. The town offers visitors an authentic glimpse into small-town Thailand and also has influences from neighbouring Laos.


Ah Pai, oh wonderful Pai. Pai wears many hats as it manages to satisfy soul searches, naturists, party revellers, cultural enthusiasts and more. Pai town is nestled on the banks of the Pai river which makes for idyllic relaxation. The Pai river is also popular for rafting, kayaking and fishing. Pai is a hot destination on the northern Thailand traveller circuit and is well worth exploring for a few days.

Chiang Khan

Located in the heart of northeastern Thailand is the town of Chiang Khan. Chiang Khan is located on the Mekong river and looks over to Laos. The town is a popular holiday destination for Thais and is both traditional and modern with old wooden houses, a famous pedestrian walking street, bars, shops, yoga studios and hipster boutiques.

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is famous for sights like the White Temple and the Black House, and for its rich agricultural industries. The picturesque Mae Kok river flows through Chiang Rai adding to its serene and beautiful atmosphere. Popular restaurants and accommodation options are strategically located on the river banks offering tranquil and splendid views to their guests.

White Temple, San Sai, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand


Kanchanaburi, also known as Thailand’s Wild West, is an increasingly popular destination, particularly with backpackers. Only a few hours from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi offers a relaxed riverside pace. It is located where the Khwae  Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge into the Mae Klong River. The town is most famous for its dark history of the Death Railway and film which tells the horrific story, The Bridge Over the River Kwai.


Nan is a charming riverside town which offers a host of exciting things to see and do. Nan, not surprisingly, is situated next to the Nan river. The town’s highlights are the sacred Blessing Buddha at Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Wat Phumin and the beautiful Doi Phu Kha National Park.

Wat Phra That Khao Noi, 89 มหาพรหม Pha Sing, Amphoe Mueang Nan, Chang Wat Nan 55000, Thailand


Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya, is located on an island at the confluence of the Chao Phraya River, the Lopburi River and the Pa Sak River. Just a short distance from Bangkok, Ayuttaya is frequented by historical and cultural enthusiasts alike to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site.