7 popular places to visit in Thailand
Thailand is a perfect destination for a vacation, with elegant beaches, alluring nature, and loads of kid-friendly activities. There are various famous places to visit in Thailand.
Thailand has also all the right ingredients for the perfect family trip:
- magnificent beaches,
- nature and wildlife galore,
- exciting attractions,
- hospitable locals
- and easy transport.
Moreover, it is essential to remember that some places are more relevant for families than others.
Here are the top places to visit in Thailand for your next vacation.
1. CHIANG MAI
Built-in 1296, Chiang Mai became the capital of the Lanna Kingdom.
Abandoned for about 15 years following the successive invasions of the Burmese and Thai dynasties of the kingdom of Ayutthaya, the city then became capital again when it was recaptured from the Burmese, and became the official capital of northern Thailand. It is the second most important city in the country after Bangkok.
Things to see
I. Wat Phra Singh:
Wat Phra Singh is the most visited temple in the city. This temple owes its fame to the Phra Singh (Lion Buddha), whose statue of the Buddha is the most famous in the city.
II. The Sunday Walking Street Market:
This market offers different local products and specialties such as cotton scarves, leather sandals, and wood carvings.
III. The Wiang Kum Kam:
These are ruins that extend over more than 3 km 2, and which consist mainly of semi-buried brick foundations.
IV. Wat Ketkaram:
Located in the city, Wat Ketkaram is a temple built in the 15th century which is interesting because it contains various art objects.
V. Wat Sisuphan:
Wat Sisuphan, another temple, was founded in 1502 and has sumptuous wall paintings. The neighboring chapel is said to hold the only silver room in the country. You can also chat with the monks and participate in meditation classes.
VI. Doi Suthep National Park:
Located at an altitude of more than 1000 meters and dominating the city, Doi Suthep National Park is a magical place to discover during your stay. In the park, you will see the Doi Suthep (1,676 m) and the Doi Pui (1,685 m) which were used as a divine compass by the founders of the city to determine a favorable location.
Partly covered by mountains, the National Park, covering an area of 265 km2, includes wild areas and hill tribe villages. You will also find a temple there.
VII. The Hmong village:
The Hmong village is located a few kilometers from the city. There you can find a craft and souvenir market, as well as a museum providing information on hill tribes and opium production.
To get there, the easiest means of transport is by plane. Indeed, regular flights serve Chiang Mai International Airport, 3 km south of the old city.
If you want to travel by land, the train is a good solution. Chiang Mai Railway Station is 2.5 km east of the Old City.
Finally, the city is also accessible by bus. You will arrive at Chiang Mai’s long-distance bus station called Arcade Bus Terminal (Th Kaew Nawarat), which is 3 km from the old city.
2. NAKHON SAWAN
Nakhon Sawan is a city in the northern region of Thailand, located just west of the confluence of the Ping and Nan rivers, which form the Chao Phraya there.
In terms of visits and activities, Nakhon Sawan has undeniable assets.
Things to see
I. Sawan Park:
It was originally a vast swamp. It has since been redeveloped into a public park including a garden, a fountain, an outdoor stage and a waterfall, and a very beautiful rose garden.
II. The Bung Boraphet:
It is the largest lake in Thailand and is nicknamed “The North Sea” or “Great Lake”. Its immensity gives life to nearly 200 animal and plant species identified in this geographical area.
To get a glimpse of the area, you will need to go to the top of Nakhon Sawan Tower.
III. Nakhon Sawan Tower:
Situated at the peak of a hill, has many souvenir shops and a scenic view of the region.
IV. Wat Kiriwong:
Wat Kiriwong is a temple worth visiting in the city. It is a sacred pagoda, made of gold. On the fourth floor of the pagoda, you will have a magnificent scenic view of the province of Nakhon Sawhan, 10 kilometers around.
To access it by road, the route is simple. Nakhon Sawan is located on Route 1, which departs from Bangkok to Mae Sai.
By train, the journey is economical. Nakhon Sawan Station is located on the east side of the city.
Finally, if you want to fly, the city is served by Nakhon Sawan International Airport.
3. UTHAI THANI
Uthai Thani is a quiet and relaxing little provincial town, unlike the bustle of the big cities.
Fishermen live in colorful bamboo floating houses.
Things to see
I. The Wat Ubosatharam:
It is the most famous temple in the city. On the walls of the temple, you can admire frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Buddha.
II. The Wat Tha Sung:
The Wat Tha Sung is also seen as the temple has columns decorated with thousands of tiny mirrors.
III. Phra Prang Sam Yod:
If you go to Lopburi, there you will find a very beautiful Khmer-style temple, Phra Prang Sam Yod, inhabited by macaques.
To get to the city, you can either come by bus or by car. To come by bus from Nakhon Sawan, you have to go to the bus terminal and the trip takes 1 hour 30 minutes. The bus station is on the edge of town.
By car, you can go through Sangburi, then continue through Ban Wat Sing and go straight to the entrance of the city.
Bonus: Thailand travel guide
4. MAE HONG SON
Loei, a small town in northeastern Thailand, is located not far from the Mekong River and the border with Laos. This city is located in the province of the same name, a province sparsely inhabited and therefore preserved. Here you will find fantastic natural and cultural sites.
There is a very mild climate from which the province benefits make it possible to exploit many orchards, vineyards, and nurseries.
Things to see
I. National parks:
The province has no less than 4 national parks, where you will find rivers, waterfalls, mountains, lush forests, and exceptional flora and fauna. With family, groups, or individuals, the province offers a fantastic setting for hiking, trekking, canyoning, and many other sports activities. In national parks, bungalows or camping pitches are available to provide a relaxing space for visitors to the region.
II. The night market:
The street is blocked for the occasion and this market offers street restaurants and you will discover the local cuisine.
To access the city, you can take a bus or take a plane from Bangkok.
Pai is a small town in northern Thailand located in Mae Hong Son province, halfway between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
A misty town located on the Burmese border, about 600 meters above sea level, Pai is surrounded by mountains and offers a magnificent natural panorama. Many different tribes still lead a peaceful traditional life here.
The Pai River flows through the city and the forest before passing into Burma.
Things to see
1. Pai Canyon:
Pai Canyon is a must-see in the city. From this place, you will have a beautiful panorama.
2. Pai Hot Springs:
The city is famous for its hot springs. Pai Hot Springs is a must-see and worth experiencing. The ideal times to fully enjoy the springs are in the morning or late afternoon.
3. Wat Phra That Ma Yen:
Situated at the top of a hill, it is famous for its giant Buddha statue which overlooks the city.
You can access the city by taking:
The bus from Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son
By plane From Bangkok or Chiang Mai
6. CHIANG SAEN
Chiang Saen is located approximately 60 kilometers north of Chiang Rai. The city is surrounded by a wall, a symbol of the Thai kingdom of the 14th century, and borders the Mekong.
Today, in addition to the many ruins located in the heart of the city, the city is an interesting starting point for excursions in the golden triangle.
Things to see
I. The opium museum:
At the Opium Museum, you will mainly learn about its history. Today, 90% of opium production comes from either the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan) or the Golden Triangle.
During the visit to the museum, you will learn the manufacturing process of this drug, from the harvest of the poppy to its use (no tasting, just a presentation of the accessories used for smoking: opium pipes) and its trade (scales, weights, etc.).
The story of major traffickers is told there, in particular, that of Khun Sha, Burmese, described as “lord of opium”, arrested in 1996.
II. Golden Triangle:
Although the place does not offer must-see monuments, it is a mythical place where three countries meet, namely Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.
III. Wat Chedi Luang:
The ashes of this Buddhist temple feature an 18m tall octagonal chedi in the classic Lanna style. Archaeologists evaluate that it was built sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries.
IV. Wat Pra Dhat Pha-Ngao:
The temple is situated on a hill, through which we can have a scenic view of the Mekong and the border of Laos. The main attraction is further up the hill, as there you will find a large round temple rock topped with a small chedi. There is also an image of Buddha, which was discovered in 1976 when the building was renovated.
To get to Chiang Saen, you will have the opportunity to borrow:
- The bus
- The car
- The boat while sailing on the Mekong
Located in the Wang Valley, Lampang is the capital of the province of the same name, in the northern region of Thailand. It is located 540 km north of Ayutthaya. Thanks to its authenticity and the welcome of the local inhabitants, the city is a city to visit absolutely.
From the 13th century, Lampang was an important city in the kingdom of Lanna. However, after the war against the Burmese and Thais of the kingdom of Ayutthaya in the 17th-18th centuries, the city remained under Burmese control until the end of the 18th century. So, the historical monuments of Lampang have been influenced by Burmese architecture.
Lampang has two peculiarities: Horse-drawn carriages still crisscross the streets, they are used by locals and tourists, and houses are still made of wood. The city has served as the setting for many historical films.
Things to see
I. Wat Phra That Lampang Luan:
Wat Phra That Lampang Luan, located 20 km south of the city center, is the old temple of the city.
Its foundation dates from the 11th or 12th century and according to legend, Buddha came to this site by donating a hair, to which bone parts were later added. This event gave the temple its name.
II. Lampang station:
It is the most wonderful station in Thailand. It is a mixture of European and Lanna architecture whose exceptional conservation has been recognized by an association of architects under royal patronage.
To access Lampang, three modes of transport are possible. By plane, you can take a direct flight to go directly to the city’s airport.
If you wish to favor another mode of transport, the train is a less expensive alternative and will allow you to leave Bangkok to access, via a direct connection, to Lampang station.
Finally, buses leave from Bangkok bus station to take you to Lampang.
These are the best places to visit in Thailand. Leave a comment below to tell us about your favorite destination in Thailand.