Where are the best places to visit in Thailand? This is a common question that most travelers will ask themselves when they take a Thailand vacation. I wondered the same thing when I took the first of several Thailand vacations back in 2005. With six geographical regions to explore and a seemingly endless list of beautiful destinations, finding the best attractions can seem a little daunting.
Now that my Thai wife and I have taken a number of Thailand vacations, we have compiled a list of the best places to visit and most interesting attractions to see across Thailand.
1. The Alcazar Cabaret Show Pattaya. This transvestite show delivers all of the glitz and glamor normally associated with a large scale Las Vegas stage production. However, while this cabaret extravaganza is performed in Pattaya Thailand ( a city better known for its adults only walking street and pristine beaches), it still delivers a high class performance which would rival similar transvestite shows anywhere in the world.
2. Asiatique the Riverfront. Bangkok is the most popular Thailand destination and Asiatique the Riverfront helps to explain why. This is Bangkok's trendiest new shopping precinct which has been built to attract the Thai middle classes. Located along the mighty Chao Phraya River this site is one of the best places to visit in Bangkok (see image above).
3. Amphawa Floating Market. Experience Thai culture and history at this two hundred year old floating market which is located just 50 kilometres from Bangkok. It may look old and run down but appearances can be deceptive. One of the best places to visit in Thailand.
4. The Big Buddha. This is a cultural landmark on Phuket and one of the best places to visit on this island. It was constructed entirely by cash donations from both Thai and foreign visitors and is a must see destination for people vacationing at Phuket.
5. Bridge on the River Kwai. One of the most historical WW2 sites in western Thailand which is located just 3 kilometres from Kanchanaburi. This is the site where British, Australian and Asian prisoners of war (under the control of the Japanese Empire) were forced to construct the infamous Death Railway which included a number of bridges.
6. Central Festival Shopping. Phuket's best shopping mall has only gotten better since it was recently expanded. This air-conditioned shoppers refuge has got it all and is a great place to visit to escape the heat.
7. Chatuchak Market Bangkok. This is the largest flee market in Thailand and one of the biggest in the world and definitely one of the best places to visit in Bangkok. If you love to shop then this is the place to come
8. Chaweng Walking Street. A fabulous night market on Koh Samui which has great shopping for bargain hunters and of course delicious street food. Indulge your senses!
9. Chiang Mai Night Safari. A family friendly safari adventure that is a must for those people visiting the northern Thailand province of Chiang Mai. See many predators of the animal kingdom up close while traveling in an open air tram.
10. Dino Park Mini Golf. Jurassic Park meets the Flintstones at Phuket's famous mini golf playground. This mini golf park will keep the kids entertained for hours as they play within an environment 65 million years in the making.
11. Doi Angkhang Nature Resort. This is a beautiful area developed for nature lovers of all ages. Located in northern Thailand near the province of Chiang Mai the spectacular gardens on display here are quite breathtaking.
12. The Grand Palace Bangkok. One of Thailand's most famous landmarks which was built as the home for successive Thai kings. This site is awe inspiring and demonstrates early Thai architecture on a grand scale . You will be impressed!
13. The Hin Lad Waterfall and Temple. Wat Namtok is a tranquil little oasis located on the popular island of Koh Samui and provides an alternate to the usual beach destinations and water sports. Come, relax and enjoy nature.
14. James Bond Island. James Bond Island also known as Nail Island is located northwest from Phuket in southern Thailand. It has become one of Thailand's most famous landmarks since the release of the thrilling James Bond 007 movie back in 1974, which was partially filmed here.
15. The Jim Thompson House Museum. A unique Bangkok museum which showcases a collection of antique Thai dwellings which were both purchased and compiled by an American citizen named Jim Thompson during the 1950s and 1960s.
Thompson disappeared under mysterious circumstances during the late 1960s but his rare collections remain as a lasting legacy.
Beach Phuket. This is one of Thailand's favorite holiday destination for
families. The beach which is located along the western side of Phuket
has beautiful soft white sand and is situated approximately 40
kilometres from Phuket International Airport.
17. The Khao Chamao National Park. This is one of the most scenic locations to visit within the province of Rayong, which is situated in eastern Thailand. Set within a cool lush jungle environment this is a great destination for nature lovers, hikers, birdwatchers or for families and couples wishing to escape the Thailand summer heat.
18. Koh Chang Island. Koh Chang or Elephant Island is one of Thailand's best holiday destinations and has been described by many visitors as 'paradise'. This is the closest experience that most of us will have to being on our very own tropical island.
19. The Red Sky Restaurant Bangkok. This would have to be one southeast Asia's premier dining locations being located on the 54th and 55th floors of the Centara Grand Hotel Centralworld. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the outdoor dining area provides diners with 360 degree panoramic views of this mega city at night. This venue is a favourite of mine.
20. Koh Samui. This is Thailand's second largest island and a dream come true. Kilometres of immaculate white sandy beaches and idyllic coves, crystalline turquoise waters, palms swaying in the warm breezes, rainforest and waterfalls, bizarre cliffs and unspoilt fishing villages make Koh Samui one of Asia's premier attractions and best places to visit.
21. Maiton Island. This is a tranquil little island located
approximately 9 kilometres off the southeast coast of Phuket in southern
Thailand. This has become a popular destination for honey-mooning couples due to the lack of foreign visitors. Definitely, one of the best places to stay if you are a newly wed or wish to re-kindle your existing relationship.
22. The Pattaya Crocodile Farm and Million Years Stone Park. This is an authentic fun park in Eastern Thailand which is located approximately 15 minutes from the Pattaya town centre. Pattaya is much better known for the adults only Walking Street while the Pattaya Beaches have become popular among tourists for decades now.
Pattaya Teddy Bear Museum. This is one
of the latest family friendly attractions to be built within this
southeastern province which is better known for the adult only attractions. With over a 1,000 bears on display the kids will love it.
Pattaya Walking Street. This is one of Thailand's major
tourist attractions and best places to visit for foreigners who are seeking to experience the
famous adult's only Pattaya nightlife.
Phi Island. Described as Thailand's 'jewel in the crown', this magnificent group
of six limestone islands (including Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley) are of
the most extraordinary beauty, making this area one of southeast Asia's
premier holiday destinations (also see image at top of page).
26. Phangan Island. While Koh Phangan Island is best known for its famous Full Moon Party, this Island which is located close to Koh Samui and Turtle Island offers the younger traveler one of the best places to visit in southern Thailand; but this is much more than just a party destination.
27. The Phuket Fantasea Show. This Thai extravaganza provides a cultural journey for the entire family which will take them back into Thailand's ancient past through the medium of dance and story telling and on a grand scale.
28. The Plearnwan Vintage Market. This market was constructed to look as though it was built in times past and allows visitors to feel as though they are stepping back in time. Located within the popular seaside province of Hua Hin, this is an attraction which is all about having fun and therefore one of the best places to visit in this part of Thailand.
Santorini Park. This is one of the newest amusement parks within the Cha-Am and Hua Hin districts having officially opened on May
5 2012. It is well worth a visit as no expense has been spared creating this Mediterranean themed fun park.
Waek. This is a unique beach destination located between the offshore islands
of Koh Kai, Koh Tup, and Koh Mor which are located in the Krabi
province of southern Thailand. Each day the sea appears to part miraculously, allowing visitors to literally island hop.
31. Emerald Cave Koh Muk. This is a spectacular natural attraction located on the tropical Koh Muk (also known as Pearl Island) in the Trang province of southern Thailand. Just getting to the Emerald Cave is an adventure in itself.
Bangkok. This is a large multi-level shopping mall located in the Pathumwan or Siam district, which is the hub of Thailand shopping. Most tourists
who visit Bangkok do so to experience the world famous shopping which
provides opportunities for savvy shoppers to gab some really good
33. Siam Paragon Bangkok. If your taste in shopping includes exotic brand named luxury goods, then I would highly recommend a visit to this mall. This is definitely not the place to shop if you want to buy cheap jeans and T-shirts. Siam Paragon is conveniently situated in the Pathumwan district next to MBK.