Official Language: Siamese
Population: 71 million
Capital City: Bangkok
Currency: Thai baht
Power Outlet: Types A, B, & C
Eating (and Drinking) Our Way Around Bangkok
10 Best Things to Do Your First Time in Bangkok
Learning to Rock Climb in Krabi, Thailand
Island Hopping Off the Coast of Thailand
Favorite Photos, Favorite Moments from Krabi, Thailand
AYUTTHAYA AND SUKHOTHAI
Traveling to Asia
What Traveling Through Asia Has Taught Us
3 Month Southeast Asia Itinerary & Travel Planning Guide
Bangkok: Bangkok can be a hot, hectic, and overwhelming city. It can also be a delight to explore, with golden temples, floating markets, luxurious shopping malls, and some of the best street food in Asia.
Krabi: Krabi, Thailand…paradise. We spent nine amazing, action-packed days here, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, snorkeling, playing on the beach, and island hopping. Without a doubt this is our family’s new favorite beach spot in the world.
Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai, located in the northern part of Thailand, is a popular destination for jungle trekking, getting up close with elephants, and visiting hill tribes. Or, if you are looking for a laid-back trip, we had a lot of fun taking a Thai cooking class and shopping at an outdoor Thai market. Chiang Mai is one of our favorite Thailand destinations.
Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai is a small town located in the far northeast of Thailand, not far from Laos and Myanmar. The city is best known for its intricate “White Temple”, stunning “Blue Temple”, and other impressive Buddhist monuments.
Ayutthaya: Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 as the second capital of Siam, and was once the largest city in the world in 1700. Ayutthaya was attacked and burned to the ground by Burma in the late 1700s, ending the golden age of this city. Now all that stands are the ruins of many of the temples. We saw numerous headless Buddhas, crumbling brick walls, and a Buddha’s head encased by a tree trunk.
Sukhothai: Sukhothai was the first capital of the kingdom of Siam, dating back to the mid-thirteenth century, and it is one of Thailand’s most important historical sites. By bike or on foot you can tour The Old City of Sukhothai, and admire giant Buddhas and temple ruins.
Phuket: Experience the beach-paradise destination of your dreams in Phuket where the waters are a dazzling turquoise, there is no lack of adventure activities, and where people party all night long. Phuket is Thailand’s largest and most popular island. Traveling here is great for all types of tourists, especially for those planning a relaxed vacation.
Koh Samui: As Thailand’s second largest island, there is lots of space to spread out and enjoy a peaceful beach vacation in Koh Samui. Here you can explore Koh Samui’s jungles and golden beaches, discover golden Buddah statues, island hop to Koh Phangan and Kho Tao, and kayak along the Ang Thong archipelago. Koh Samui is a great stop for budget and luxury travelers alike.
Koh Chang: Koh Chang is Thailand’s third largest island, and it is cheaper and less popular than Phuket and Koh Samui. The island is great for outdoor adventurers as there are many spots for beautiful panoramic views, jungle-covered mountains to hike, and remote waterfalls to discover. Meanwhile, Koh Chang also offers resorts, high-end restaurants, and beautiful beaches to spend a relaxing evening on.
Similan Islands: The Similan Islands are an archipelago of 11 islands in the Andaman Sea. These islands are famous for their impressive array of marine wildlife including species of sharks, rays, turtles, and eels. As a result, the Similan islands are one of the best spots in Thailand for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Khao Sok National Park: Where limestone mountains rise above the clouds, turquoise water meets centuries-old evergreen forests, and where wildlife lies around every corner. Khao Sok is a breathtaking and relatively uncrowded National Park that is a top bucket-list destination for all outdoor adventurers.
Khao Yai National Park: Khao Yai is one of the best parks in Thailand to spot impressive wildlife. Over 70 mammal species call this park home including elephants, northern pig-tailed macaques, gibbons, Asian black bears and sun bears, gaurs, otters, and jackals. At Khao Yai you can take day and night-time safaris to see these animals. And, if you are feeling adventurous, there are also hiking trails through the jungle to huge waterfalls and to the top volcanic peaks.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park: Khao Sam Roi Yot is a paradise with a little bit of everything, from mountains and caves, to marshes and beaches. Here you can find outdoor adventures such as hiking, kayaking, and boat tours. The most popular activity here, however, is to hike to Phraya Nakhon Cave. This is a giant cavern with a jungle ecosystem growing within.
Hua Hin: Hua Hin is a beautiful beachside resort town near both Bangkok and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. With its great location, Hua Hin is an easy and relaxing place to enjoy Thailand’s turquoise waters and golden sun.
Kanchanaburi: Kanchanaburi is a destination filled with beautiful natural landscapes and lush tropical wilderness. Many national parks surround Kanchanaburi, and here you will find magnificent waterfalls, cave systems, and a variety of wildlife. Additionally, Kanchanaburi was a site of much tragedy during WWII, and many relics remain of this time, including the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Pattaya: As a relaxed and family-friendly beach resort location, Pattaya is a bustling city on the Gulf of Thailand. Here you can enjoy wide beaches, see many beautiful temples, experience the Pattaya floating market, and take part in the city’s nightlife.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
The best time to visit Thailand is November through early March, when temperatures are coolest. The days around Christmas and New Years are one of the busiest times to be in the city, as this is when many people flock to Thailand for their winter vacations. But, you can take part in New Years celebrations and launch lanterns into the sky if you come at this time. From May through October, expect hot, wet weather.
We visited Thailand at the end of December and beginning of January. Daily temperatures were in the low 90’s and the temples and Chinatown were very crowded.