Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Thailand

One of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, Thailand’s reputation for hedonism attracts thousands of backpackers and its natural beauty also attracts an increasing amount of holiday-makers. Thailand is a mystical country that leaves a lifelong impression on anyone who visits.

It offers a rich history, smiling locals, some interesting quirks and of course an unforgettable experience! To help you see the best places in the country, here is my choice for the Top 10 best and most beautiful places to visit in Thailand…

1. Bangkok – the must-see destination and usually the first stop for every traveler

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Bangkok is a restless and chaotic metropolis and an essential part of a trip to Thailand. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, the culture-shock-inducing capital has some incredible places of interest that you would be foolish to miss.

Highlights include the impossibly bejeweled Grand Palace, Wat Arun (one of the oldest and best-known landmarks in Bangkok) and Wat Po which is home to a giant reclining Buddha.

Fun-seekers head for the notorious backpacker’s haven the Khao San road, the bazaars, and alleyways of Chinatown and the infamous Patpong Night Market (located in the city’s red-light district).

2. The Floating Market – for a taste of Old Thailand

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The Floating Market (made famous by the James Bond classic “The Man with the Golden Gun”) is located on the Damnoen Saduak Canal in the region of Bangkok.

Although now a major tourist attraction, the market is a photogenic place where visitors can get an idea of what trading was like in Thailand before the modernization of the city.

It’s also a lot of fun. Buying something here means hailing down a narrow long boat piled high with produce – quite an experience in itself! The region is also filled with lush vineyards, orchards and thriving local businesses which are great to view by canal boat on your journey there.

3. Chiang Mai – a gorgeous and much-loved city in Northern Thailand

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The spiritual city of Chiang Mai is much quieter than Bangkok but still an essential visit if you want to see one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.

Dotted with temples, craft shops, restaurants, and more than a handful of excellent Thai massage and cooking schools, the city has a somehow relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.

Many travelers often mention Chiang Mai as their favorite Thai city and once visited it’s easy to see why. It’s located high in the north mountainous region of Thailand which makes it a great base for mountain trekking (organized treks can be arranged very easily here with almost every other shop offering them).

Although the treks from Chiang Mai are interesting, they are often a well-worn path and many in-the-know backpackers now head for nearby Pai instead.

Pai is a chilled-out small town located near the Myanmar border which has become popular with travelers, artists, and musicians. Head there for less touristy treks and more ‘rustic’ visits to hill tribes.

4. San Kamphaeng Hot Springs – a secret hidden spot in Thailand

San Kamphaeng Hot Springs Thailand

San Kamphaeng is a district located 36km from the northern city Chiang Mai. The area is home to the popular and reasonably priced hot springs which are set in a tranquil, 40-acre landscaped park.

They are famous for their restorative properties and people come from miles to cure aches and pains and to take a break from the chaos of Bangkok.

The deep-source springs reach over 100 degrees centigrade and are naturally high in sulfur. Visit to bath in the mineral-rich waters, camp in the surrounding parkland or to boil some eggs in the hot steaming pools!

5. The East Coast Islands – a popular vacationers and backpackers paradise

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Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are islands located on the east side of Thailand which are popular with both vacationers and backpackers.

Both islands are easily among the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand and they’re known for their palm tree-lined white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and laid-back attitudes.

Koh Samui is more developed and geared towards holiday-makers and Koh Phangan with its cool cafes and world-famous full moon parties has more of a bohemian feel. Nearby, the rugged island of Koh Tao and the idyllic Koh Nang Yuan (pictured above) are only an inexpensive boat ride away.

These two islands are much less touristy due to their more isolated locations and are perfect for those looking for peace and world-class diving.

6. Mae Hong Son – for hill tribes and misty shrouded valleys

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Mae Hong Son is the capital of Thailand’s most northwestern province and its close proximity to the Burmese border gives it a very different feel to the rest of the country.

Very quiet and isolated, this mountainous city is filled with Burmese-style temples and shrouded in an atmospheric mist. Visitors come here for the unique natural scenery, mountain trekking, craft markets and to see the local hill tribe communities – one of which is the famous Karen long-neck tribe.

The Thanon Thongchai range between Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand is popular for trekking and highlights include the beautiful six-tiered Pha Sua waterfall.

7. Ayutthaya – a fascinating and ancient spot

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Only an hour’s train journey from Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayutthaya should be on every visitor’s itinerary. Once a sacred, important Siamese kingdom it existed from 1351 right up until 1767 when it was raided and sacked by an invading army.

Today the ancient city lies in crumbling ruins but the remains of the extraordinary and once towering temples are classed as a UNESCO world heritage site and are hauntingly beautiful. To make the most of this site, allow a full day to explore and of course, don’t forget to pack your camera.

Railay and the Krabi Province – two beautiful must-sees in Thailand

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Railay and the surrounding coast of the Krabi province (located in the South of Thailand) is a tropical paradise characterised by towering limestone cliffs, turquoise water, and powder white sand.

From this area, it’s also easy to take a trip to nearby Phang Nga to see the famous ‘James Bond Rock’. Railay is a beautiful secluded beach – accessible only by boat – which attracts a mixture of in-the-know backpackers, well-heeled tourists, and enthusiastic rock climbers. Surrounded by dense vegetation and mountains, the area is also perfect for trekking.

There are many beautiful beaches in Thailand but Railay is unique because it’s completely cut off from the daily grind – here visitors kick back and mostly stay a lot longer than originally planned.

8. Koh Phi Phi – made famous by Leo Dicaprio’s movie

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The tiny but idyllic west coast island of Koh Phi Phi is seen by many as the ultimate island paradise. Even though the island has now fully recovered from the devastating 2009 tsunami, it has sadly suffered from rapid tourist growth (especially since the release of “The Beach” starring Leo Dicaprio).

In spite of this, Koh Phi Phi still manages to retain a relaxed vibe which seems to keep both the backpackers and the vacationers happy. Highlights include climbing a steep viewpoint to watch the sunset and hiring a long tail boat to snorkel in the beautiful surrounding waters.

9. Hin Daeng – an incredible diving spot in Thailand

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Adventurous travellers should head for Hin Daeng, located in the Andaman Sea. Literally meaning the Red Rock, this is one of the top diving spots in Thailand – if not the world.

Swim amongst underwater pinnacles, swaying carpets of anemone and red soft coral. It’s also teeming with marine life including huge shoals of fish, round batfish, manta ray, barracuda and if you’re lucky the odd whale shark or two.

10. The Grand Palace – a striking and beautiful attraction

The Grand Palace Bangkok

The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in all Southeast Asia. It is richly decorated with gold and mirrors, really making it stand out from many other buildings.

Many tourists would recommend visiting at dawn when there are fewer people so it can be appreciated much better without being too crowded.

11. Tham Khao Luang Caves – an interesting tourist attraction

These limestone caves offer some of the best rock formations you will ever see. The intricate details that these formations take to create really help make this place look like another world entirely.

Much like the Grand Palace but without as much tourism! You can get up close and personal with these caves you book a tour guide which I would suggest as it is easy to get lost!

12. Pui National Park

This park is home to 2 waterfalls that are just jaw-dropping. The first waterfall you see is Suthep which drops 199ft into the ground! Followed by Viharn Sien as well as a large Buddhist temple and numerous monkeys that like to steal your food!

One of the best ways to experience this place is to hike up there yourself as it takes roughly an hour and half depending on how fit you are climbing those stairs!

13. Thi Lo Su Waterfalls

This waterfall is found northeast of Mae Hong Son. It drops 1,000ft into an emerald green pool which you can take a dip in under the fall. The only downside here is that it is not made for swimming as it can be extremely dangerous! If you are staying nearby there are many places to view the falls but the best way would probably be to take a day trip or hire someone to show you around which shouldn’t cost too much money!

It’s almost impossible to squeeze the best of Thailand into a list so we also need to give a special mention to the gorgeous beaches of Ko Kood, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Khao Yai National Park, the remote city of Chiang Rai, the luxurious island resort of Phuket, the cultural city of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Kanchanaburi (where the Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed) and the blissful Koh Lanta.

Animal lovers should also include a visit to the beautiful Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary located in North Thailand. Started by Katherine Connor, a former UK traveler (and now National Geographic’s traveler of the year) they provide sanctuary to formally abused elephants and welcome both guests and volunteers. 

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19 thoughts on “Top 18 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Las Vegas 2023”

  1. Your photos are insane!!! Thanks for the article. Phi Phi is definitely the ultimate island paradise. We had a lot of fun in our 3 months in Thailand in 2013.
    Your post is dope!

  2. What a great list. I’ve been to Thailand twice, but I’d love to get a little more off the beaten track. Hin Daeng sounds amazing and I wish I’d visited Ayutthaya.

  3. Great list and beautiful images! Thailand is definitely one of my favourite countries, I’ve been there a couple of times already and still want more:) I must admit though that I was quite disappointed with Koh Phi Phi – beautiful as it is, it’s been spoiled by tourism. If you want to see a true tropical paradise you should go to Koh Kradan, it’s my favourite island and it’s just stunning!

  4. Pai was our favorite in the whole country! I loved your list but Pai should take the place of Koh Phi Phi in my opinion. No matter how beautiful it is tourist dumping ground comes to mind whenever I go there!

  5. Bangkok, absolutely!! My favorite city ever!! And I have never heard of Hin Daeng, so I’m gonna look into that. I also think Sukhothai is well worth a visit! 🙂

  6. Located on the banks of the Mae Ping River in Thailand, the Anantara Chiang mai resort & spa is one of the most natural and refreshing resorts in the country. Definitely recommended to anyone visiting the area.

  7. WoW! What a wonderful photos. I really wanna go to Koh Phi Phi. Thank you for the list must add this in my bucketlist. =D

  8. I want to visit Thailand along with my wife and son. Let me know if any good tour operator to help us from starting to end

  9. If you’re going to go to Chiang Mai, definitely head to Pai as well. It’s only a short bus trip away and has a lot of beautiful waterfalls and a real hippy vibe to it.

  10. Nice Article. Last month i was in Bangkok with my family. Bangkok is really very nice city to visit. I saw there Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit), Chao Phraya River, The Golden Mount (Wat Saket), Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat), Lumpini Park and almost all places of this city. I will go there again this year. It was my best enjoyable and memorable trip.

  11. I am visiting thailand in Feb 2013. It would be a Honeymoon travel and we will be staying for 5-6 days. Can someone suggest me which places I should visit. I would prefer some calm and beautiful beaches(like pic 5) rather than city life.

  12. Im going to bangkok and am definitely interested in all listed.but time is of the essence,which are the closet areas to the capital which owners most impressive

  13. pattaya also a good place to visit from notorious night entertainment to beautiful garden by day time..koh samui island beach koh hong and phi phi island is one of the best recommended to visit diving and snorkeling are once in a life time experience….

  14. Great list! Chiang Mai sounds like one of the perfect places to go since it’s a calm place and there is a lot for visitors to see. I will definitely consider these places when planning a trip to Thailand.

  15. thanks for the selected places to visit in Thailand, i am currently in the process of collecting information for my upcoming trip to Thailand. The article helped me to sellect the some places of interest in Thailand for my trip. Cheers.

  16. Try Kanchanaburi as an alternative, you could spend between 2 – 3 days there. See the Death Railway, bridge over the river kwai, war museum and the war cemetery, it’s a very touching place. The war cemetery is kept in absolutely immaculate condition, it really does bring a tear to your eyes.

    • Hi Tiffany, it’s Koh Nang Yuan which is a very small East Coast island 15 minutes from Koh Tao. To get there you can hire a long boat taxi from Koh Tao which will cost around 100 baht one way.

      • Thanks Graham! Is there a certain hotel you have to stay at to go there?
        Is this still here in 2012?
        Heading there for my honeymoon in 4 weeks and still planning on where to go.

      • bro,

        can u advise me places in thailand to hang out….i m 30 years old guy and going there alone…i m fond of night life, beaches, shopping etc……

  17. I’m planning to go to Thailand with my Family on a holiday. Your article really helps a lot. The Kids are so excited. Thank You.

  18. I’ve visited Bangkok last September and really I didn’t enjoy it ‘coz I never see the places I love to see esp. the floating market. I hope next month I can visit the top spots there. Now, I need to make a list for our trip..

    • Hi Kewell we don’t have a specific northern Thailand list i’m afraid. Although if you are visiting the North then of course visit Chiang Mai and also add in Pai, the Hot Springs, Mae Hong Son and Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries. Trekking is very popular in the North too and this can be arranged easily from the main cities and towns.

  19. Me and my friend would like to visit Thailand soon…. planning a kind of reunion in Thailand!!!! we are thinking of availing packages as my experience with has always been great.

    • it is better to go without packeage.always good to search places.u can stay thr in village.thailand is so much cheap u hv to serach,so it is more nice places thr other tahn pattaya or phuket

  20. Really enjoyed reading this article, and the images are great. Also helpful for the suggestions of places to visit; I think I’m going to need to extend my trip! 🙂

  21. Well…i quite liked this article. First of all this is a very beautiful place to see, i can definitely say you would enjoy to the fullest. Well,It requires a lot of planning to keep your tour memorable. In addition to this hotel bookings, sight seeings, other related factors also need importance. for this matter you need to contact a reliable travel portal. Here, the best option for you is to consult some travel agents or you can log on to sites like, they will provide you with all the details regarding the flight timings, fares and schedule. I found that now a days they are providing heavy discount and other exciting offers on international tickets.

  22. Thanks for the blog.

    since i was planning my first visit to BKK. so i wasnt really sure where all to visit. and since its will be a short trip, this really halped me to finalize on the places i can visit. Thanks for sharing once again.

  23. Me and my friend would like to visit Thailand soon…. we use to work in England together, and we are thinking of doing some kind of an one year reunion in Thailand!!!!

  24. Hi

    Nice Pictures Collection. Thanks for sharing this nice information. Thailand is a cool place in every season. The island has pleasantly natural beauty and ideal climate. I like this place and definitely we will be visit there again soon.


  25. Hiya,
    Going to Thailand with my sister in September, and i was just wondering do you have to have a qualification to do the kayaking?

  26. Enjoyed reading your list, i’d definitely recommend Ko Maak or Ko Kood as Islands to visit that are yet to be engulfed by tourism.

  27. Thanks for this list. I’m hoping to make it to Thailand soon after I leave New Zealand – will be filing this one away for later.

  28. Thailand has huge variety picturesque sites. Ko Samui is one of my favorite places in Thailand. It is a cool place in every season. The island has pleasantly natural beauty and ideal climate. We really love this place and definitely we will be visit there again soon.

    Best Regards,

  29. Beautiful list and pictures!

    As for #6, YES – do go to Mae Hong Son, its a great place, but visiting the Karen Longneck Tribe was one of the biggest ripoffs I have found in Thailand. You pay a large entrance fee to basically walk through their village which is one big market full of hassle. The tribe doesn’t even get the entrance fee, they are being exploited.

    • Hey Greg thanks for the comment. I felt exactly the same when I went there ten years ago, I thought it had the feel of a human zoo and I was embarrassed to be there. I did love Mae Hong Son though I thought it was a really interesting place.

      • I felt the same way when I went to Koh Phi Phi. So many tourists, all bundled up and shipped over there for an hour to look around and take pictures, buy lots of touristy crap, then be shipped back to the larger islands.

        I can see why so many people choose the road less travelled.

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