Thailand has been at the top of backpackers wish lists for some time and it’s easy to see why. The low cost of living, excellent food and culture packed tourist attractions, combined with year round tropical temperatures, white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise water make for the perfect holiday destination.
There’s certainly plenty to see and do in the country (but it’s best to visit between November and February to avoid the humid rainy season) and you’re sure to want to extend your stay once you’ve experienced all that the country has to offer.
So if you plan to add Thailand to your itinerary, here are my top 5 must see tourist attractions:
Thailand has a rich cultural and religious background with an abundance of spectacular temples which can widely be found around the country. Chiang Mai is the city of temples, having over 300 in and around the city. Within the old city centre you can find some of the most beautiful temples filled with wondrous treasures and statues made from all manner of precious materials.
Don’t be fooled though, Chiang Mai is also a city which embraces modern culture, giving visitors the chance to stay at boutique hotels, embrace the fine dining culture, or spend their holiday money on designer clothes.
In ancient times, a walled city complete with moat (only a few preserved sections now remain) and still packed with fascinating sites to see.
Don’t miss: Wat Phra Sing, one of the most famous temples in the area, known for its beautifully decorated interior (and Buddha statue) and the Chiang Mai Arts & Cultural Centre.
No trip to Thailand could be complete without a visit to Bangkok, the capital of the country; where better to experience the best of what Thailand has to offer?
The beautiful temples with their stunning architecture, delicious food to be sampled in the city’s China Town, and the floating markets for which Thailand is so famous for, all make for compelling reasons to visit this vibrant and bustling capital city.
Don’t miss: Bang Khu Wiang floating market, Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and Yaowarat (the city’s China Town).
Siam Water Park
If you get tired of looking at temples and spending the days on beautiful white sandy beaches, why not head to Siam Water Park for a fun day out.
Located near to Bangkok, the park has a man-made beach (with wave machine), many fun slides, whirlpools and waterfalls and makes for a fun chill out day if you’ve been to one too many full moon beach parties.
Ko Pha Ngan
Speaking of full moon parties, this is the island famous for them (usually held on the Haad Rin beach). A party is still held every full moon so it’s well worth a visit if you enjoy dancing the night away.
Once you’ve recovered from your all-nighter, this is an excellent place to go for a scuba dive (it’s worth checking your travel insurance policy to make sure you are covered for this activity).
Don’t miss: the Ang Thong Archipelago, consisting of over 40 beautiful and secluded islands for you to explore. Once you get tired of spending your time on the beach, why not visit the blue lagoon which was featured in the film “The Beach”.
This is Thailand’s 3rd largest island which typifies everything that makes the country such a popular destination with backpackers and tourists alike. With miles of white sandy beaches lined with pal trees, crystal clear turquoise water and coral reefs, it’ll keep your camera happy and it’s an excellent place to go snorkelling or scuba diving whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver.
The island has its own microclimate, meaning it stays quite dry during the rainy season on the mainland (but it’s quite wet between October and December).
Don’t miss: Chaweng Beach (if you want nightlife, pizza bars and pubs), Namtok Hin Lat/Namtok Na Mueang (2 beautiful waterfalls), Wat Khunaram Ko Samui (the islands most famous temple complete with mummified monk) and the Secret Buddha Garden (enjoying some of the highest views over the island).