13 Places to Visit in Thailand: Beyond Bangkok and Pattaya

Whenever someone tells you that he/she is going on a trip to Thailand the first place that comes into your mind is Bangkok. The national capital of Thailand is one of those cities because of which most of the male travellers visit this famous travel destination. There are a number of reasons behind the enormous popularity of the Thai capital. Bangkok is the biggest and most urbanized metropolis in Thailand with its century’s old historical architecture and traditional routes still intact. Almost every Thai travel package consists of Bangkok because it has got everything from sky touching skyscrapers to eye catching floating markets to impressive grand palaces to lit up nightlife and carved to perfection temple complexes, all this attracts millions of vacationers from all across the globe.

The next city that you will see in most of Thailand tour package email or brochure is Pattaya. Renowned primarily for its stunning beaches, red light areas, walking street, Nong Nooch tropical garden, Pattaya underwater world, elephant village, night markets and must visit Ko Lan coral island day tour. Most of the people only take a trip to these two cities and return to their home country with a few Thai souvenirs for their near and dear ones. Nonetheless, the beauty of Thailand is not just limited to Bangkok and Pattaya there is a lot more to it from untouched remote islands to serene crystal clear beaches to lush green high altitude mountains, this gorgeous south Asian country has everything. I have been to Thailand numerous times and have a made list of must visit places to visit in Thailand that most of the tourists have never heard of, do take a look and share your feedback in the comment section.


First one on the list is the historic town of Kanchanaburi, which is located 123 kilometres west of Bangkok city centre. This quaint little town mainly follows Buddhism and is popular amid travellers because of the death railway, which was built on the River Kwai during the Second World War. If you are a history buff then do visit Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Chong Kai War Cemetery and World War II Museums. The first thing that comes on the list of things to do in Kanchanaburi is visiting Buddhist temples like Wat Tham Khao Noi, Wat Ban Tham, Wat Tham Khao Pun, Wat Thewa Sangkharam, Wat Tham Pu Wa, Wat Tham Suea and Wat Tham Mangkornthong. You can also stopover attractions such as River Kwai Train Bridge, Hellfire Pass, Sai Yok National Park, and Erawan Falls.

Pro Tip: Do take a train ride on the death railway bridge, which is now replaced by modern tracks and is completely safe.


The second city on our list is also situated pretty close to Bangkok and can be reached by train in 90 minutes or so. Ayutthaya is exactly 80 kilometres from Bangkok to the north and was also the capital city of the Kingdom of Siam. There are numerous places to visit in Ayutthaya like Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is an archaeological site on an island amid 3 rivers that consists of palaces, Buddhist temples, museums, monasteries and statues. When in Ayutthaya visit Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Wat Na Phra Men, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Foreign Quarters and Bang Pa-in Palace.

Pro Tip: A day is enough to explore Ayutthaya, so take a morning train from Bangkok and return by evening.


You might be thinking are there only temples and historic sites in Thailand, well that is not true Thailand is home to an array of tranquil beaches and white sand islands. Krabi is one of those beach destinations that have gained immense popularity in the last decade or so mainly because of the blue water beaches and electrifying nightlife. I will suggest you to stay in Krabi for at least 4 days because there are loads of marvellous islands and beaches, which are worth a visit. Taking a day tour for several attractions can help you save a good amount of money like The 4 Islands Day Tour, which includes Koh Poda, Koh Gai (Chicken Island), Koh Tub and Koh Mor and second one is the Emerald Pool & Krabi Night Market Day Tour. Moreover, taking a government run ferry from tourist information centre to Railay Beach, Tonsai Beach, and Phra Nag Beach is also recommended.

Pro Tip: Staying in a Party Hostel on Ao Nang is a must to enjoy Krabi day tours in the best possible manner.

Phi Phi Islands

If time is not a concern and you can stay in Thailand for as many days as you want or you are looking for a secluded island with a startling nightlife and natural beauty then you should certainly head to The Phi Phi Islands. Phi Phi Island it is just a ferry ride away from both Phuket and Krabi plus there are a lot of options with regards to accommodation and clubbing. On the other hand, this beautiful island is a bit more expensive then the mainland, so if you are on a tight budget then avoid travelling to this stunning island.

Pro Tip: Take a long tail boat to the nearby islands to get a glimpse of authentic coral beauty of Thailand.


Whenever you read a travel blog, you will find a word offbeat travel destination, well a lot of people look for places which are not that touristy to explore nature in its actual form. However, most of us want all the basic amenities and getting them at reasonable prices on these offbeat travel destinations is not that easy. So, visiting a place with a mix of both these things is a way to enjoy your excursion to the fullest. Phuket is one of those beach towns that everyone thinks is crowded all year long and has got nothing new on offer, but that is not true. Phuket is heaven for beach lovers and people who wish to explore untouched Virgin Islands at day time and comeback to their hotel with all the facilities at night to have a relaxing and comfortable trip. Apart from wonderful beaches like Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Hat Kata Beach, Rawai Beach and Nai Ham Beach, this old town has a lot more to it. The list of best places to visit in Phuket includes the famous Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, Phuket FantaSea, Bangla Road Night Market, Sirinat National Park, Promthep Cape, Karon View Point, Flying Hanuman, Baan Saan Market, Tiger Kingdom Phuket, Elephant Sanctuary and Rang Hill.

Pro Tip: Go for a pub crawl on the illustrious Bangla Road Waking Street in Phuket and have a great time.

Chiang Mai

If you are wildlife and mountain lover than Chiang Mai is the place you need to head to because Chiang Mai is situated on the northern most tip of the nation. The place was known to only a few travellers nearly a decade ago, but in the last decade or so this offbeat travel destination has gained immense popularity. There are a number of amazing international backpacking hostels, boutique hotels and luxury resorts within the city. When you are in Chiang Mai do spend a day with elephants in Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary, visit Doi Suthep, Don Inthanon and Sunday Night Market. The list of things to do in Chiang Mai also includes a scooter ride to Mae Hong Son Loop and a day tour to Chiang Rai and Pai.

Pro Tip: Do sip in locally brewed coffee in any of the famous Coffee Shops of Chiang Mai Old Town.

Chiang Rai

After Chiang Mai the next place that tops the list of places to visit in Thailand for nature lovers is Chiang Rai. Well, there are a lot of reasons behind the enormous popularity of this beautiful town like Wat Rong Khun also known as the White temple, which is one of the best places to visit in Chiang Rai. This quaint little mountainous city is a part of the Golden Triangle border section of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Things to do in Chiang Rai are visiting Wat Phra Kaeo that hosted the illustrious Emerald Buddha, which is now housed in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Pu Kaeng Waterfall within the Doi Luang National Park and the highest hot water spring in Thailand, Sampuron Tavieesin Hotspring. One can reach Chiang Rai by all modes of transportations like flights, trains, buses and Thai minivans. Chiang Rai is also home to an international airport, which helps vacationers land to this sumptuous city from almost any part of the world.

Pro Tip: If you are short on time take a day tour to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai to cover major tourist attractions in a day.

Pai – An Unexplored Heaven

If you are someone who loves living village life, staying away from the hustle bustle of the city and travelling on a shoestring budget then Pai is place you certainly need to stopover. The list of things to do Pai, in the countryside of Thailand includes Pai Hot Springs, Wat Phra That Mae Yen, Pai Canyon, WWII Memorial Bridge, and Chinese village, The Land Split Pai, Huai Nam Dang National Park, Mo Paeng Waterfall, Trekking, Zip Lining and Rafting.

Pro Tip: Visit the nearby waterfalls and hill tribe villages to get a glimpse of the natural beauty and lifestyle of locals.

Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui

If you been to Thailand in the past then you must have been thinking about exploring new places where there are not many tourists all year long. Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui are two such gorgeous islands that holidaymakers can travel to especially if you are beach lover and a coral adventure enthusiast. Ko Pha Ngan is an offbeat island located in southeast Thailand popular primarily for its once a month Full Moon Party. This lively night-long carnival usually takes place on the Sunrise Beach, whose seaside bungalows draw backpackers and party lovers from all across the world. You can also visit the white-sand beaches like Hat Khuat and Hat Thian situated on the northern side of the island. On the other hand, if you are planning to take more of relaxing getaway then book a resort on Ko Samui and have a great time with your near and dear ones.

Pro Tip: Stay on these islands for at least 3 to 4 days to cover all the travel attractions nearby.

Samut Prakan

Samut Prakan Province is an integral part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region located just an hour’s drive away from the tourist hub of Bangkok. What is more, even the biggest airport of Thailand, Suvarnabhumi Airport is situated in the Bang Phli region of Samut Prakan Province. With a coastline of nearly 50 kilometres, the list of places to visit in Samut Prakan includes Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo, Wat Song Tham, Lak Mueang Shrine, Phra Pradaeng, Muang Boran Ancient City, and the renowned three-headed elephant statue.

Pro Tip: Rent a Bike or a scooter and explore the entire city on your own within a day.

Ko Samet

Similar to Samut Prakan from Bangkok, there are a lot of places to visit from Pattaya as well and one of the most stunning travel destinations is Ko Samet, which be reached by both public and private transportation in an hour’s time. The island is a never-ending span of turquoise blue sea water, curved bays with bright white sand, several water activities and a thumping nightlife. Koh Samet has considerably lesser rainfall as compared to other cities in Thailand and you will find an extensive series of beach facing bungalows to cliff-top holiday resorts that cater very well to evenly assorted types of holidaymakers.

Pro Tip: Try not to visit the island on weekends, as all the hotels and hostels are usually full with travellers.


Are you a Pluviophile? (An individual who loves rains or somebody that finds joyfulness and peace of mind in the rainy days) If yes then Ranong is a travel destination that you must visit. Ranong is located at a distance off 568 kilometres from Bangkok and can be reached by air, train, minibus and bus. Ngao National Park, Bald Hills, Pornrung Hot Springs, Ranong Canyon, Punyaban Waterfall, Ranong Hot Springs, Tha Mueng Food Court and Koh Phayam are some of the best places to visit in Ranong.

Pro Tip: Visit Rural areas of Ranong or take a long tail boat to Myanmar border, which takes only 20 minutes.

Hua Hin

If you are looking for an alternative for Pattaya with similar travel time from Bangkok then head to Hua Hin, which is just 199 kilometres away from Bangkok. The list of things to do in Hua Hin includes partying on Hua hin Beach, The Venezia Hua Hin, Phraya Nakhon Cave, Wat Huay Mongkol, Hua Hin Vineyards, and Maruekathaiyawan Palace, Plearnwan, Cicada Market, Pa La-U waterfall and Hua Hin City View Point.

Pro Tip: Take a Bus from Bangkok to Hua Hin, as it is the fastest and cheapest way to reach Hua Hin.

There are loads of other places to visit and things to do in Thailand, but all of them are impossible to cover in a single trip especially if you are taking Visa on Arrival, which lets you stay in Thailand for maximum of 15 days. Furthermore, if you think we have missed something or want to know more about these places then refer Wiki Travel, ThailandRedcat and Lonely Planet for in depth information about particular Thai travel destinations. There are also an endless number of tourist information centres set upped by Thailand Tourism all through Thailand to help tourist from all across the globe. Moreover, if you are new to travel and are looking for travel tips and suggestions on places to visit across the world then do take a look at our travel blogs that will certainly motivate you to pack your bags and catch that flight that you always wanted to, Sayonara!

“Travel is Still the Most Intense Mode of Learning”

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