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Bangkok - Best City to Visit in Thailand

Discover Thailand’s Top Cities: From Bangkok to Phuket and Beyond (2024)

For tourism, Thailand is arguably the most popular country in Asia. A trip to Thailand exposes travellers to lush landscapes, tropical beaches, vibrant street markets, mouthwatering food, and a rich tapestry of experiences. For budget travellers on a luxurious holiday, Thailand offers great options and values altogether. While cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya are the tourism hotspots, a trip to Thailand isn’t limited to them.

Thailand has much more than the obvious places or those under-the-radar destinations. From Ko Samui to Krabi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, and more, tourism opportunities here are endless. Join us in this article as we introduce you to the most vibrant and visit-worthy cities in Thailand. If your idea of holidaying is different from the typical Thailand holidays, the options below will help you decide.

Best Cities to Visit in Thailand

1. Bangkok

Bangkok is officially the most populous city and the capital of Thailand. In fact in terms of International tourism, Bangkok is the highest visited city in Thailand. This bustling metropolis is known for its cultural attractions, vibrant street life, diverse culinary scenes and shopping districts. Bangkok is also popular for its exotic nightlife and thus is casually named the ‘Sin Capital of the World’.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Bangkok

Check out the Grand Palace, Bangkok National Museum, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, and Jim Thompson House.

Explore iconic temples, including Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Saket.

Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market or MBK Center

Visit Red-Light Areas like Patpong Red Light District, Nana Red Light District, Soi Cowboy, etc (CAUTION 18+ ONLY)

2. Phuket

Located in the southern part of the country, Phuket is one of the most visited places in Thailand. The city is popular for its beaches, rich cultural heritage, thriving nightlife, and lush forests. Phuket is a popular friendly travel destination in Thailand with all kinds of fun. From a leisurely holiday to the one with endless fun and recreation, Phuket has it all.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Phuket

Visit beaches like Patong, Beach Paradise Beach, Kata Noi Beach, and Rawai Beach (Seafood).

Enjoy island hopping at Phi Phi Islands and James Bond Island

Entertain yourself at the Simon Cabaret show, Phuket Fantasea show, etc.

Explore Old Phuket Town and visit Karon Viewpoint.

Enjoy the nightlife at Soi Bangla Road, White Room nightclub, and Phuket Fantasea.

3. Pattaya

Also known as the Hawaii of the East, Pattaya is a seaside resort city in eastern Thailand. From beautiful beaches to a range of cultural attractions, Pattaya has it all. In fact, it is quite a popular weekend getaway destination for Bangkok locals. However, the biggest attraction here is the Nightlife. The Pattaya Nightlife is full of never-forgotten experiences. The pulsating Nightlife in this city attracts a lot of International tourists, especially youngsters.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Pattaya

Visit Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach, and Coral Island (Koh Larn) for water-based fun and recreation.

Explore Walking Street for nightlife.

Check out tourist attractions like the Sanctuary of Truth, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Pattaya Elephant Village, and Silverlake Vineyard.

Enjoy a world-class cabaret show at Tiffany’s Show Pattaya.

4. Krabi

A resort town near the Andaman coast, Krabi is famous for its breathtaking scenery. Also known as the Land of Smiles, Krabi is the upcoming hotspot in Thailand for both local and international tourists. The town is full of meandering caves, lush tropical greenery, a stunning coastline, and rugged limestone cliffs. Krabi is, in fact, home to some of the best beaches in the world. Krabi is also the town for all kinds of adventure and recreational opportunities.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Krabi

Check out Railay Beach, Phra Nang Cave Beach, or go Island hopping at Hong Islands and Phi Phi Islands.

Shop and dine at the Ao Nang, a popular beach town.

Visit the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, Ao Luk Mangrove Forest, or Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua).

5. Ayutthaya

Named after the birthplace “Ayodhya” of Lord Ram, Ayutthaya is a historic city in Thailand. Nearly an hour from Bangkok, anyone who visited Ayutthaya during the 18th century claimed it as the most beautiful place in the world. The city, even today manages to maintain its royal beauty through the incredible remains and ruins. A visit here offers a glimpse into the glorious past and a plethora of experiences. Ayutthaya is also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Ayutthaya

Explore numerous temples and ancient structures at Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Admire stupas and Buddha statues at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Phanan Choeng, and Wat Lokayasutharam.

Shop and eat locally at Ayutthaya Floating Market.

Marvel at the Thai architectural and royal beauty of Bang Pa-In Royal Palace.

Visit Elephantstay, and Ayutthaya Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal and learn about these gentle giants.

Enjoy a scenic boat ride at Boat Tour on the Chao Phraya River.

6. Chiang Mai

Located in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is surrounded by several mountain ranges. Recognized as a popular tourist destination in Thailand, Chiang Mai is full of picturesque mountain views, temples, a vibrant culture, and endless dining and shopping options. For enjoying local village life in Thailand, Chiang Mai is quite an exciting place to be. Chiang Mai offers exciting opportunities like trekking and rafting as well.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Chiang Mai

Visit Doi Suthep at the mountain top and enjoy stunning views of the city from this iconic temple.

Enjoy local food, street performances, and crafts at Sunday Walking Street.

With kids, check out attractions like Chiang Mai Zoo and, Aquarium and Elephant Nature Park.

Nature enthusiasts can explore landmarks like Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls, Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai Grand Canyon, Huay Tung Tao Lake, Mon Tha Than Waterfall, and Night Safari Chiang Mai.

7. Ko Samui

An archipelago of over 80 islands, Ko Samui, is Thailand’s’ third-largest island. Located on the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samui is full of stunning beaches, posh spas, luxurious beaches, and mountainous rainforest. The laid-back lifestyle of this place invites visitors of all age groups. The archipelago is also home to some amazing Buddha temples, lovely villages and markets, and a range of recreational activities.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Ko Samui

Relax and rejuvenate in the clean and vibrant atmosphere of Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach.

Marvel at the iconic 12-metre-tall golden Budda statue at Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai).

Explore the shops, restaurants, and architecture of Fisherman’s Village.

Get close to nature at Namuang Safari Park, Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, and Ko Samui Viewpoint (Lat Ko Viewpoint),

8. Hua Hin

A beautiful beachside town, Hua Hin is a popular weekend getaway from Bangkok, Thailand. Hua Hin is a hub of entertainment and recreation, all thanks to its beautiful beaches, royal connections, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. Hua Hin boasts a laid-back vibe and is popular amongst both locals and tourists seeking a beachside retreat. The city is also popular for its lively markets, good golf courses, and water parks. The Iconic Hua Hin Beach is also a popular sunrise location in Thailand.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Hua Hin

Enjoy a wine and vineyard tour at Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.

Explore entertainment, souvenirs, and local street food at Hua Hin Night Market.

Marvel the teakwood architecture at Mrigadayavan Palace.

Go adventurous at Vana Nava Water Jungle and Black Mountain Water Park.

Check out the traditional Hua Hin Floating Market.

9. Sukhothai

Sukhothai is a historic town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand. Located in the northern part of the country, it was earlier a kingdom in the 13th century, and its name literally translates to Dawn of Happiness. For anyone interested in learning about the roots of Thai culture and history, Sukhothai is undoubtedly a must-visit city. Often considered the cradle of Thai civilization, this city preserves multiple historical sites.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Sukhothai

Discover historic structures, Buddha statues, and temple ruins at Sukhothai Historical Park. Also, plan a day trip to Si Satchanalai Historical Park.

Visit the iconic tourist attraction, Wat Mahathat, known for its central lotus-bud Stupa and rows of seated Buddha statues.

Learn about the history of the city at Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.

Enjoy the Loy Krathong Festival during the month of November.

Enjoy the Sukhothai Cycling Tour at historic sites.

10. Kanchanaburi

Located in Western Thailand, Kanchanaburi is a picturesque province. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists and has quite a lot of places to explore. Kanchanaburi is renowned for its natural beauty, historical significance, and the iconic River Kwai. However, what brings the city into a bigger picture is the Death Railway, built during WWII. Although Kanchanaburi is quite underrated, but a must-visit in Thailand, especially if you are looking for options.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Kanchanaburi

Visit the part of the Death Railway built during World War II.

Explore Erawan National Park and Prasat Mueang Singh Historical Park.

Check out the JEATH War Museum, Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

11. Hat Yai

The fifth-largest Thai city, Hat Yai, is located close to the Malaysian border in the southern part of the country. Hat Yai is literally a shopping haven attracting both locals and tourists with Kim Yong Market, Asean Night Bazaar, and more. The city is also popular for its diverse cuisine and cultural attractions and as a major transportation hub. Besides that, it is also a recognized religious site with the colourful Four-Faced Buddha and the reclining Buddha.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Hat Yai

Check out the reclining Buddha statue at Wat Hat Yai Nai.

Escape to the Ton Nga Chang Waterfall.

Check out diverse flora and fauna at Namtok Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Visit Hat Yai Ice Dome for a memorable ice sculpture exhibition.

Shop at Khlong Hae Floating Market.

Feed elephants and giraffes at Songkhla Zoo.

12. Udon Thani

Located in northeastern Thailand, Udon Thani is a vibrant city that offers a blend of modern amenities and cultural attractions. Sitting near the border with Laos, the city boasts a dynamic atmosphere and has grown significantly in recent years. A visit to Udon Thani is a must if you want to experience the warmth of northeastern Thai hospitality. It is also a great place to visit to experience the natural beauty and traditional Isaan culture.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Udon Thani

Visit Wat Phothisomphon, a beautiful and serene temple and the Udon Thani City Pillar Shrine.

Spend some time at Ban Chiang Archaeological Site and Museum and Udon Thani Museum.

Shop at Central Plaza Udon Thani.

Explore Nong Prajak Park and Phu Phra Bat Historical Park.

13. Nakhon Pathom

A city in central Thailand, Nakhon Pathom is home to the largest Stupa in the world, the Phra Pathom Chedi. Nakhon Pathom is close to Bangkok and thus acts as a popular weekend holiday destination. The holds historical significance; while it’s not as bustling as other Thai cities, but offers a mix of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. It is also home to Silpakorn University, the biggest art university in Thailand.

Places to Visit and Things to Do in Nakhon Pathom

Check out Phra Pathom Chedi, a pilgrimage site known for housing the tallest Stupa in the world.

Visit Sanam Chan Palace, a historic palace turned museum.

Discover the historic Thai Air Force exhibits at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum.

Admire the architecture at Wat Chulamanee and Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Ratcha Woramaha Wihan.

Do not miss the Don Wai Floating Market and the Rose Garden.

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