“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”
– Lao Tzu
Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Far East – visitors are particularly drawn to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket. Filled with unique cultural, historical and natural attractions, Thailand is home to thousands of sacred Buddhist temples. See Phuket’s Big Buddha (pictured above) and Wat Chalong, and the spectacular 600-yr-old Buddhist Temple (Wat Phra That Doi Suthep) in Chiang Mai, the holiest shrine in northern Thailand.
Phuket, an island on the west coast of Thailand, is famous for it’s natural beauty and some of the country’s most spectacular beaches – Patong, Karon, Kata and Rawai. Take a fun Day Trip to Phang Nga Bay (pictured above) from Phuket or Krabi to see “James Bond Island” (known locally as Ko Tapu or Nail Island) – made famous by the 1974 Hollywood Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
Fun Thailand Attractions & City Sightseeing Tours
Explore Bangkok’s magnificent Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) – Thailand’s most sacred sight. Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha – Bangkok’s largest and oldest temple, Big Buddha & Wat Chalong – sacred Buddhist Temple in Phuket, Chiang Mai Buddhist Temples, The “Golden Triangle” (where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet). Take a Day Trip to Koh Phi Phi Islands and spectacular Maya Bay (site of the Hollywood movie,“The Beach”) for a fun day of swimming and snorkeling. Visit Phuket’s Elephant Sanctuary and get an up-close view of elephants as they roam around freely across 30 acres of lush tropical land. Shop and eat to your heart’s content at one of Thailand’s popular Floating Markets.
Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai Attractions & City Sightseeing Tours
Chiang Mai, one of the most scenic areas of Thailand, consistently rates as one of the Top 10 Cities in Asia. Home to over 300 Buddhist temples – 36 are located within the old city walls alone.
Thailand’s Holiest Shrine
Don’t miss a visit to the spectacular 600-yr-old Buddhist Temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – it’s one of the most famous in Chiang Mai and the holiest shrine in northern Thailand. Located high in the hills, near the summit of Doi Suthep (a 5,300-ft peak named after the hermit Sudeva), the temple can be reached by driving up the mountain’s winding road – it’s about a 30-minute drive from the city center. The final climb to the sacred site is via an enormous dragon-headed serpent staircase of 306 steps. If you don’t feel like climbing, you can take the tram up the side of the hill. Once at the top, the temple grounds offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city of and valley below.
Chiang Rai – Mae Kok River
From Chiang Mai, travel northeast to visit Chiang Rai. Cruise down the scenic 80-mile-long Mae Kok River that runs through the heart of Chiang Rai – it’s said to be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled rivers of the world. See the hill-tribes and jungle-tribes of Chiang Rai along the way.
The Golden Triangle
One of the most popular day trips from Chiang Rai (and Chiang Mai) is a visit to the famous “Golden Triangle” where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet on the Mekong River.
Floating Markets and Outdoor Markets
Explore some of Thailand’s amazing Floating Markets. One of the most renowned is Bangkok’s Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – visitors flock here from around the world. Local vendors in their Thai-style wooden boats, laden with colorful fruits, vegetables, flowers and more glide along the narrow canals, selling to tourists along the way – get your cameras and iPhones ready for great pictures and videos!
Bargain-shop to your heart’s content at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market – the fun “must-see” attraction is one of the world’s largest outdoor markets. Thousands of market stalls offer everything you can think of – Thai arts & crafts, jewelry, paintings, antiques, clothing (including fake designer clothes), silk fashions, animals, plants, flowers, furniture, household accessories, electronics, spices, exotic foods (including deep-fried insects, gifts, and souvenirs – you can literally shop til you drop!
Book Your Thailand Vacation
Get the best travel deals, airfares, car rentals, hotels or vacation apartments from our top Travel Partners.
The Best Time To Visit Thailand
A lot depends on what you want to do in Thailand – lazing on the beach, sightseeing, trekking, bargain-shopping – your budget, and which part of the country you want to visit.
January-March is peak tourist season and the best time to visit Thailand – enjoy sunny days and low humidity. January is the most popular month, so expect crowds (day and night) wherever you go.
March-June can be very hot. April is usually the hottest month of the year. It’s also the month of “Songkran” – Thai New Year Water Festival. The people of Thailand celebrate their New Year in a very unique (and refreshing) way – they douse themselves and visiting tourists with water. It’s a lot of fun, especially for kids, and a great way to cool off… just be prepared to get wet!
End of May-August is rainy season and can be humid, but it’s not as bad as in the Fall. Visitors may enjoy intermittent sun – and find good bargains during this time. Be sure to pack an umbrella.
September and October are the wettest months of the year and humidly can be very high. If you’re on a budget and don’t care about the weather, this is the time to visit Thailand and get the best deals.
November and December is the start of the high season. November-February brings more moderate-cooler temperatures (and maybe a little rain), but overall this is a good time to visit.
Loy Krathong Festival (“Festival of Lights”)
This popular and romantic festival is held every year on the night of the first full moon of the 12th lunar month (usually November; dates vary each year so be sure to check calendars in advance). Thousands of people around the country gather together as floats topped with flickering candles, flowers and incense are launched at night onto ponds, rivers and waterways throughout Thailand (symbolizing good luck) — it’s a magical sight.