You’ve dreamt the dream, you’ve booked the flight, you’ve envisioned the next few days to come. Then, you realize: you actually have no specific Thailand vacation spots to go except for the mesmerizing views on your head that were fuelled by great stories you heard, travel postcards you received – and flight ticket promotions you willfully embraced.
Thailand has its way of enchanting you like that. While you may be in an unnecessary panic right now, we can guarantee you that no perfect preparation can prepare you for what’s to come. All Thailand vacation spots are a level above your expectations; waters are a shade bluer, cliffs a meter taller, temples a tad bit shinier.
While some might just try to talk you out of your planned tropical getaway – saying remarks how Thailand is overrated, is too crowded, or is unlike its glory days – we stand with the country in saying that Thailand is and always will be your dream paradise, a land that continues to give and give, and a destination that will never leave the top tier. Our list of the best vacation spots in Thailand you shouldn’t miss is one scroll away.
Top 10 BEST Thailand Vacation Spots
A true embodiment of a typical Thai paradise, Railay Beach, is what you see in Thailand travel magazines – and more. Consistently regarded as one of the best vacation spots in Thailand, this tropical destination boasts of emerald waters, white sandy beaches, and mountainous surroundings.
Tucked in the southern end of beautiful Thailand, Railay Beach joins the rest of the Krabi province in bringing in visitors expectant of verdant vacation spots and thrill-inducing activities. Enthusiasts of the sport rock climbing handpick Railay from a throng of world-class locations, enticed by its towering limestone cliffs that look over an equally commanding view of the Andaman Sea.
The Railay peninsula is segmented into four: Railay Beach West and East, Phra Nang Beach, and Tonsai Beach. These spots are walking distance from each other, making it entirely possible to conveniently beach hop on foot. Out of the four, Phra Nang is widely preferred by Thai visitors because it is where you can experience the contagious tropical vibe of Railay without the buzzing crowd.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Railay Beach
Live out your marine dreams in the most idyllic location. Travel to Chumphon and take a boat going to Koh Tao, a well-celebrated diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand.
Despite the island being just 21 square kilometers small, it is the prime choice, especially for visitors who wish to take a break from the nearby bustling scenes of Koh Phangan.
Koh Tao remains to be one of the top vacation spots in Thailand for those in pursuit of the utmost relaxation in a serene tropical environment. Its stress-relieving characteristic makes for a great yoga location, calling in practitioners to bask in the inviting warmth that comes both from nature and the locals.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, trail running in Koh Tao is a great activity to partake in. Explore the different nature trails that run across the towns of Sairee, Mae Haad and Chalok Baan Kao. Various viewpoints during your hike will show you just how beautiful Koh Tao is from different angles.
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Commonly called the Maldives of Thailand, Koh Lipe is a destination worth being regarded as a pristine beauty of its own definition. It belongs to the province of Satun, a stone’s throw away from the country’s shared border with Malaysia. With its white-sand beaches, stunning sunsets, and friendly villagers, it is no wonder that Koh Lipe ranks top in all of the Thailand vacation spots.
Three main beaches make up Koh Lipe: Pattaya, Sunset and Sunrise. Pattaya, being the longest of the three, is home to many tourism services infrastructure. Sunset Beach is your go-to spot for a tranquil day on the shore, mingling with locals and having a few drinks. Sunrise is also called Haad Chao Ley because this is where the Chao Ley village is situated.
A day trip from Koh Lipe to the Tarutao Marine Park is a must. This national park is an outstanding place to go diving, snorkeling, wildlife spotting, and overnight camping. Prepare to share this green space with resident animals such as civets, hornbills, and boars.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Koh Lipe
The beach town of Pa Tong is every outgoing individual’s paradise. What was once an unassuming fishing village is now a radiating den for tourists and locals alike to party, mingle and go carefree.
Despite the crowd that can either attract or draws you away from scenic Pa Tong, it remains to be one of the best vacation spots in Thailand. Patong Beach, for example, is where all visitors gather come sunset, but venture further south and you shall find small pockets of paradise secluded enough for a moment of solitude.
At the beach, several water activities await the adventurous. Go parasailing or jet skiing and make the Andaman Sea your playground. Afterward, rest your bones and treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage by the beach.
When the night falls, those who party hard head straight to the Bangla Walking Street. Feast on live music, bar food, and street shows the area is most famous for. Restaurants and hangout spots share the 400-meter road with strip clubs.
There is no other Thailand vacation place that strikes you quite like Phuket. Being the country’s largest island in mass, this province is truly enchanting in the diverse ways it presents itself to tourists. Its dreamy beaches like the Kata Noi, Nai Harn, and Surin are instinctual people pleasers.
Come to Phuket’s Old Town, away from the province’s stunning beaches, seaside restaurants, and water activities. Here, you get to taste another serving of the island presented in the most traditional manner.
Stumble across small coffee shops tuck somewhere between local homes and significant shrines. Discover striking street arts that speak about Phuket’s rich history, culture, and traditions.
Should you find yourself in Phuket on a weekend, be sure to visit the night market. See a wide array of Thai dishes, street foods, native trinkets, and Thai fashion sold for a bargain. Come early – just before the weekend crowd creeps in – so that you can have a good look around.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Phuket
Koh Pha Ngan
Koh Pha Ngan is the type of travel destination which will make you ask, “Why is there so much hype for this place?” A huge thanks to the Full Moon Party, several visitors have come and gone – and came back. While the event focuses on socialization more than anything, one cannot deny the beauty of Koh Pha Ngan that deserves true recognition.
If you cannot help checking what is out, board a ferry that stops at Haad Rin. Participate in the full moon celebration that gathers tourists and locals alike for a night of dancing, body painting, and drinking bucket-sized cocktails. Imagine about 30,000 of you, partying until the sun rises the next day.
If this is not your cup of tea, dive through the depths of Koh Pha Ngan’s waters and be in the midst of a different kind of crowd. Schools of fish gather around you at Sail Rock, the island’s premier scuba diving site situated in the Gulf of Thailand.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Koh Pha Ngan
South of Thailand, there lies a province well-known for its splendid beaches, majestic caves and other natural sceneries. Krabi is home to several Thailand vacation spots we have come to love: Koh Phi Phi, Khlong Thom Waterfall, and Phra Nang Beach, to name a few.
The vast Andaman Coast feeds Krabi with abundant marine life and crystal clear waters that serve as a massive playground for excited visitors. Longtail boats transport you from one tropical island to another, and being an archipelago, Krabi simply has too many islands to be explored.
While the major tourist destinations in the islands wrestle for your attention, heed the call and stay awhile at Krabi Town. Enjoy its laid back atmosphere, take part in the provincial life, and interact with the small number of locals that regard the place as home.
While you are there, pay a visit to the Wat Tham Sua or the Tiger Cave Temple. The monks are truly blessed to live in such green surroundings. Conquer 1000 and more steps to see what people regard as the footprints of Buddha. A climb to the top warrants you with good views of the Krabi province stretching unto the Andaman Sea.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Krabi
Phi Phi Islands
The beauty of Phi Phi Islands is one that you see in glossy covers of tropical destinations that seem out of this world – or, more than once, have been questioned for being digitally altered to have gleaming emerald waters, fine white sand, and palm-fringed front. One visit to the place and you are sure to be a walking testament of how Phi Phi Islands are all that – and more.
Koh Phi Phi is among the top vacation spots in Thailand. It is your classic tropical getaway, breathtaking in person, in print, and even in the film. In fact, Leonardo di Caprio’s The Beach could not have chosen a better location other than the stunning Maya Bay.
Limestone cliffs that are over 100 meters high dominate your view as you lounge in powdery sand, with fruits in season on a plate and a boat on standby.
The Phi Phi Islands are part of the province of Krabi. They are a group of six islands, namely Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Le, Ko Bida Noi, Ko Bida Nai, Ko Mai Phai, and Ko Young. Out of the six, only the largest – Ko Phi Phi Don – has local settlers. The rest can be accessed through long-tail boats as part of your island hopping activity.
Koh Samui is the kind of Thailand vacation place that, after coming there and experiencing what its islands have to offer, the memories never leave your imagination. Next thing you know, you’re booking a return flight just to touch its blue waters, frolic in its sandy stretch, and cast all your inhibitions out in the ocean.
Being the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is jam-packed with activities that suit every taste. If you fancy long walks by the beach and dramatic sunsets off the coast, you have Chaweng, Chaweng Noi, and Maenam Beach, to name a few.
Backpackers and luxury travelers alike will find Koh Samui to be their tropical destination of choice. Aside from the convenience of the airport being right around the bend, there are several accommodations to choose from, depending on your preference.
Budget homes range from classic bungalows to mid-range resorts, while five-star players such as Santiburi Koh Samui and W Koh Samui attract the particular ones.
Don’t miss out on booking a tour to see the Ang Thong National Marine Park. It is one of the best locations in and near Koh Samui to go hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking.
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Koh Samui
Who would want to skip Chiang Mai during their trip to Thailand? Surely, no one. While some people will tell you to skip this overly-famous destination altogether and head straight to the less-crowded islands in the Gulf, we believe that what’s in Chiang Mai – no matter how extensively documented they have gotten – still has its way of giving you an experience that is entirely yours.
Everything you might need to know in Chiang Mai can conveniently be searched online, seen in others’ photographs, or described by your globe-trotting friend. However, these media can never make you feel the way this prestigious land can.
Feel mesmerized as you glance at the grandiosity of Doi Suthep, the Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, or the Wat Phan Tao. Enjoy a sense of serenity as you visit famous Thailand vacation spots such as the Mae Ping River or the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs. How about getting up close and personal with the Long Neck Karen Tribe a short trip outside of Chiang Mai?
FIND HOTEL DEALS: Best hotels in Chiang Mai