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Everyone should visit Thailand at least once in their lifetime. And when they do, they need a bucket list! This awe-inspiring destination has something for everyone. From volunteering at elephant sanctuaries and visiting Buddhist temples to island hopping and sampling street food. There are so many awesome things to do in Thailand that we’ve decided to narrow it down to what we consider to be the ultimate experiences; worthy of being on your Thailand Bucket List anyway!

Here’s our pick of the top things to do in Thailand

Island Hopping

Thailand has roughly 5000 miles of coastline to explore (or sunbath on). There’s also over 300 gorgeous islands in Thailand, so take your pick and get hopping! Krabi, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi are great islands to start on. Take a long boat and enjoy exploring the remote islands and beautiful beaches at your own pace. Discover the Phang Nga Bay and the famous limestone rocks off the west coast of Thailand. Island hop on the Andaman Sea from Krabi to Phuket. While away the days on white sand beaches and while you’re there take advantage of the world-class snorkeling opportunities at Kho Phi Don and Kho Phi Phi.

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Read our Thailand travel tips

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating market is the largest and most famous floating market in Thailand. Roughly 100 km outside of Bangkok you’ll need to leave early for the best experience and photo opportunities. Watch the boats going up and down the canal and the locals selling their produce. This authentic market is vibrant, colorful and a top experience for anyone visiting Thailand.

Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a town in west Thailand and many of the best things to do in Kanchanaburi can be done for free or on self-guided trips. A top Thailand destination for travelers due to the Death Railway which was built during WWII. The railway line crosses over the River Khwae Yai via the Death Railway Bridge. The Thailand–Burma Railway Centre explores the wider history of the railway and the JEATH War Museum honors the prisoners of war who died while building the bridge.

Hill Tribe Tours

The north of Thailand is home to several tribes like the Akha Karen, Lisu, and Hmong. Spend a day or for the more adventurous travelers a whole night with a local family to experience their culture. Choose your tour guide carefully and be mindful of the do’s and don’ts before you head to meet a local tribal family.

hill tribe tours thailand

Thai Hill Tribes

Related: Are Hill Tribe Tours In Thailand Ethical?

Ancient Ruins and National Parks

There are so many biking and hiking trails and a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be explored while in Thailand. The best National park is Doi Inthanon National Park, followed by Sai Yok National Park, Khao Sok National Park, and Khao Yai National Park. The Khao Sai Dao Waterfall is best known as a wildlife sanctuary, but don’t neglect the actual falls themselves, which are a spectacular sight.

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Explore Bangkok

The heart of Thailand and one of the most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia. Most travelers spend a few days in Bangkok before heading north to Chiang Mai or south to the islands. Bangkok has temples, palaces, luxury shopping malls and arguably the world’s best street food. Or hang out on Koh San Road, the holy grail for burnt-out backpackers.

Bangkok Thailand Travel Tips

Bangkok, Thailand

Full Moon Party

The famous all-night beach party at Hat Rin beach on the island of Ko Pha-ngan still goes on today. It may not be particularly sophisticated, but it’s definitely worth experiencing anyway. Drink cocktails out of a large bucket and let your salty-sea hair down.

The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong rivers. You can visit the Golden Triangle on a Southeast Asia tour and admire the view from the river bank or a boat.

Koh Phi Phi

The Phi Phi islands are some of the loveliest in Thailand and even Southeast Asia. Part of Krabi Province, the Phi Phi Islands are located between the island of Phuket and the Straits of Malacca coast off Thailand. Koh Phi Phi has been a popular island destination in Thailand for years due to the non-stop nightlife, laid-back vibe (there are no cars or roads here) and the beautiful Maya Bay.

Visit the Grand Palace

Possibly Bangkok’s most famous landmark. Constructed in 1872, the Grand Palace is the home of Thai Kings, the administrative seat of government and the Royal Court for about 150 years. Make sure you visit the Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho for the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand.

More cool things to do in Thailand
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Travelers visit Thailand for the Buddhist temples, stunning beaches and delicious street food. Here's our pick of the top things to do in Thailand.
Travelers visit Thailand for the Buddhist temples, stunning beaches and delicious street food. Here's our pick of the top things to do in Thailand.

Lonely Planet Thailand: Check price on Amazon

Thailand Travel Guide Book

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Other than these top things to do in Thailand, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome experiences.

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