Thailand is a fashionable country and it must be for a reason! If you are preparing your next trip, we want to give you some recommendations to prepare your itinerary to Thailand and enjoy your trip to the fullest. A trip to Thailand will take you to discover a country full of ancient and ancient culture. Its temples and pagodas, such as those in the Sukhothai Historical Park and the Ayutthaya Historical Park, were declared a World Heritage Site. It is also a country with large cities such as Bangkok or Chiang Mai, where it is essential to walk through its frenetic streets to discover its past and present. Are you missing more reasons to travel to Thailand?
We help you prepare your route through Thailand with a summary of the essential cities that should not be missing from your list and the recommended areas according to the type of traveler you are (if you like adventure, if you prefer culture, if you are looking for a relax…). Finally, we make a brushstroke through the countries close to Thailand that we recommend that you consider including in your route through Thailand. Let’s go there! Thailand’s border limitations are with Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Burma (Myanmar). The country is washed by the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. A route to Thailand is to discover its spectacular landscapes and, if you are looking for relaxation, rest on its beaches, such as Phuket, the Phi Phi Islands or Krabi.
Essential places for your route through Thailand
Regardless of the type of traveler you are and regardless of the time you are going to spend in Thailand, there are some places that you cannot miss on your route through Thailand:
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and has a population of 6 million people. In recent years it has undergone a rapid development that is reflected in the number of skyscrapers that are in it. The city of Bangkok is also known for maintaining and preserving its more than 300 ancient temples. The peace that you will find in these corners contrasts with a chaotic city, with a frenetic pace.
The Great Palace, emblem of the city
Among its hundreds of temples, the Grand Palace stands out, surrounded by walls and built in a mixture of Thai, Renaissance and Victorian styles. It is located in the heart of the city, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This complex is made up of several buildings and during the 18th century it was the residence of the King of Thailand. Within its facilities you will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) or the Renaissance temple Chakri Mahaprasad Hall. Apart from the buildings, you can also stroll through its gardens, such as the Exterior Courtyard or the Central Courtyard. The total area of the Grand Palace is more than 200,000 square meters.
Other places and activities to highlight in Bangkok:
- Wat Pho: This temple is very close to the Grand Palace, and stands out for a reclining Buddha sculpture 46 meters long and 15 meters high.
- Ferry route on the Chao Phraya River: crossing the river will allow you to get closer to the Temple of Dawn, the former royal palace.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: You will find a multitude of fruit and craft vendors mounted on a boat selling their products, which is an image worthy of being photographed.
- Dine on top of a hotel: If you want to enjoy the most beautiful views of the city at night, some hotel restaurants are located on top of buildings, offering a panoramic view of the city.
Chiang Mai is known as “The Rose of the North”, and is located in the north of the country. Its origins date back to the 13th century during the reign of Lanna. The city is surrounded by a moat and is walled.
A destination that stands out for its cultural legacy and its undeniable attractions for the traveler. In 2012 it was named one of the “25 Best Destinations in the World” according to TripAdvisor. Some of its most outstanding temples are:
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep , one of the holiest temples in northern Thailand
- Wat Phra Singh Complex
- Buddhist temple Wat Chedi Luang
Its streets are quieter than those of the capital , Bangkok, but they fill with atmosphere on Saturday nights during the Saturday Walking Street, a street market where you can enjoy the best Thai cuisine in the area and buy local artisan products until at midnight. This market is located on Thanon Ratchadomnoen Street.
Doi Suthep, a pilgrimage center
16 kilometers from Chiang Mai is Doi Suthep, a mountain where Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, an important pilgrimage center, is located . There you can also see the image of Thorani, the goddess from whose head water flows.
Elephant Nature Park, to discover elephants in the middle of nature
In the Elephant Nature Park you will learn about the daily life of elephants , one of the most emblematic and sacred animals in the country. There the elephants are treated with the utmost respect by their caretakers to guarantee them a decent life. Visiting the Elephant Nature Park you will be able to interact with this beautiful animal, feeding it and bathing it in a natural environment.
Places in Thailand that you can not miss according to the type of traveler you are
For lovers of nature, culture or fun, Thailand is a country where all travelers will find places that suit what they are looking for. Below we help you outline your route in Thailand according to the type of traveler you are.
Beaches of Thailand, for travelers seeking relaxation
Thailand is a country that also stands out for its paradisiacal beaches . From quiet and deserted beaches away from mass tourism to lively beaches, where nightlife and activities are guaranteed. So why not take a tour of the islands of Thailand? Thai beaches are divided into two main zones: the Gulf of Thailand , in the eastern part of the country, and the Andaman Sea , on the west coast.
On the Andaman coast are Phuket , known as “The Pearl of the South”, Krabi or the Phi Phi Islands , three of the best-known destinations in the country to enjoy a few days at the beach. They are destinations that cannot be missing from your travel itinerary if you opt for the beaches of the Andaman Sea. On the east coast, in the Gulf of Thailand , are the beaches of Koh Tao , with its coral reefs and a wide range of water sports, Koh Pha Ngan , famous for its Full Moon Party or Koh Munnork , an absolutely paradisiacal beach where there is only one accommodation with immediate access to the water.
To find which beaches in Thailand best suit what you’re looking for, don’t miss our definitive guide to the beaches in Thailand.
Chiang Rai and the River Kwai, for travelers who love nature
Chiang Rai, gateway to the Golden Triangle
Chiang Rai is located in the northernmost province of Thailand. It is the gateway to the Golden Triangle , where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. It was formerly an important center for opium trafficking.
In the surroundings of Chiang Rai there is one of the most famous temples in the country, the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) . This is actually a contemporary Buddhist and Hindu temple, built in 1997. It stands out for its white design and its glass, both outside and inside the Meeting Room. From Chiang Rai you can take a Thai boat tour through the Mekong River to the town of the Gayan or Karen tribe and thus learn about their day to day life. An ideal way to discover the most authentic Thailand.
Sailing down the River Kwai
Touring the River Kwai can be an experience for the most adventurous. In addition to sailing aboard a boat, you can let yourself be carried by the current down the river, equipped with a life jacket until you reach the resort. During the tour you will enjoy wonderful landscapes and the jungle that can be seen in its surroundings.
On this river there is the Bridge of the River Kwai, which became famous thanks to the novel published with the same name in 1952 and which was later adapted for the cinema.
Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, for travelers who love culture
Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, ancient capitals of Thailand
If you are passionate about culture, on your route through Thailand we recommend you visit the Sukhothai Historical Park , which is just 15 kilometers from the city of Sukhothai. There are the ruins of what was, more than 800 years ago, the capital of the country. Inside the archaeological complex, the remains of the royal palace and some notable temples such as Wat Tra Pang Thong, Wat Mahathat or Wat Si Siwai are preserved. To visit the park you can do it by bicycle or by tuk-tuk.
On the other hand, in your Thailand itinerary we advise you to include Ayutthaya, which was also one of the ancient capitals of Thailand, being contemporary to Sukhothai. Ayutthaya Historical Park , where the remains of the ancient city of Ayutthaya are located, was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Within the enclosure you can visit some temples such as Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, where from its top you can see a panoramic view of the ruins or Wat Maha That where there is one of the most curious figures of Buddha, intertwined between the branches.
Recommended places in Thailand and surroundings
If you are one of those who like to visit many places, or you are going to spend several days in Thailand, there are a couple of places or activities that we recommend on your route through Thailand:
Siem Reap (Cambodia)
A country bordering Thailand is Cambodia . If you would like to make a combined trip from Thailand to Cambodia , in this country you will find some temples that are worth visiting, such as Banteay Srei, Bayon and especially Angkor Wat , the largest religious temple in the world.
Luang Prabang (Laos)
Luang Prabang is one of the most important cities in Laos, a country bordering Thailand. This city, located 425 km from Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is considered the tourist and spiritual epicenter of the country. It has 50 temples , such as the Grand Royal Palace, the Wat Mai temple or the Wat Xieng Thong temple. Luang Prabang is a city surrounded by a mountainous environment and two rivers, the Mekong River and the Nam Khane River.
If you like adventure or a different experience, we recommend spending a night aboard the Thanatharee cruise . During the route you will get to know the Ayutthaya National Park as well as attend the preparation of the Khanom, some sweets that are an offering to the monks. During the journey there is also a stop at a local market.
Also known as the City of Monkeys . It is one of the oldest cities in the country, and there are monkeys living in complete freedom and in complete harmony with the local people. It is advisable to visit the Phra Prang Sam Yot, an ancient Hindu shrine, and the best known symbol of Lopburi. It has three adjoining towers signifying the Hindu trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. Now that you know the essential places in Thailand, how about taking a look at this 15-day route proposal in Thailand ? In it we explain what to see for 2 weeks in Thailand. Eager to make this route through Thailand a reality? Discover our itineraries to Thailand or, if you prefer, we can organize a tailor-made trip for you!