10 Top-Attractive Destinations in Thailand

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Thailand is a country ripe with opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.Thailand will not disappoint you and you will have memorable experiences when traveling here.

1 Railay Beach

Krabi province is home to some of Thailand’s most famous beach destinations, and Railay is the cream of the crop. Widely considered one of the best beaches in the country, Railay delivers on promises of white sand beaches, clear blue water, and a feeling that you’ve found a slice of paradise. You have to take a boat to reach the island getaway, with services available from Krabi town and Ao Nang.

2 Koh Phi Phi

The Phi Phi Islands, also in Krabi, are one of Thailand’s most popular resort areas for a reason. Only Phi Phi Don is inhabited, with day trips available to the surrounding islands. One of the fun spots on Koh Phi Phi is Monkey Beach, where you’ll come face-to-face, literally, with the namesake creatures. You can hire a guide to take you out on a small wooden boat or rent your own kayak.

Long Beach is another nice spot on the island; it’s not a secluded place, but is great for watching the sunset. If you’re lucky and the tide is out, it’s a beautiful walk back toward the main part of the island Though you would hardly know to see it now, Phi Phi Don was one of the areas hit hard by the 2004 tsunami. Guesthouses, restaurants, and markets have been rebuilt and crowds still come in droves to the resort island. There is a small, somber memorial park to honor those who died in the tragedy, yet the resort areas appear otherwise revived.

Koh Phi Phi (via Kuoni)

3 The Grand Palace, Bangkok

There’s plenty to see and do in the capital, but it’s perhaps best to start with the Grand Palace. This is the number one sightseeing attraction in the city, and it’s staggering in historical significance and craftsmanship. The grounds are a maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important beingWat Phra Kaeo, Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A relic within this temple is said to be a piece of bone or hair from the enlightened Buddha himself. Allow several hours to do the Grand Palace justice, but if you’re up for more walking afterward, you can easily take in some of the city’s other major landmarks. The famousWat PoandWat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn (a great place to watch the sunset), are also nearby. And as Bangkok is a main hub for international travel, it’s a great starting point for excursions throughout the country.

4 Sunday Walking Street, Chiang Mai

Every Thailand visitor looks forward to cheap and delicious food, and it can be found in abundance at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking Street. Vendors sell all kinds of treats: pad Thai, chicken satay, samosas, crab cakes, fried bananas, sweet rotees, and fresh fruit shakes – often for less than $2 a piece. When you’ve satisfied your culinary cravings, you can peruse hundreds of stalls selling an array of unique goods such as all-natural soaps, hand-dyed textiles bearing the unique patterns of local hill tribes, incense and essential oils, musical instruments, paintings, wall hangings, and more.

The market gets crowded every week without fail, no matter what time of year you’re visiting, so brace yourself and try to enjoy being part of the throng. This is a must-do in Chiang Mai, and is an essential part of the Thailand experience. If you’re not around for the Sunday market, or just want to get a taste of other market experiences in Chiang Mai, check out the Saturday Night Walking Street or the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road, a daily event. For something less touristy, check out the daytime Warorot Market, near Mae Ping River.

Chiang Mai Sunday Market (via Flickr)

5 Pai

Thailand’s reputation as a country of beautiful landscapes and friendly people is thanks largely to the world-renowned southern beaches. Most people don’t realize that the vast north is also home to breathtaking landscapes, though these are of a different nature entirely. Northern Thailand, particularly the western region near the Burmese border, is marked by mountainous jungle terrain that is both rugged and beautiful. Pai, in Mae Hong Son province, is a perfect place from which to enjoy the country’s natural beauty as well as the famed Thai hospitality and cooking. This small town has developed a reputation as a mecca for hippies and backpackers, though you will see locals and families here as well. There is a small nightly walking street market, a variety of local and Western foods, and easy access to nearby temples, waterfalls, and the impressive Pai canyon. There is an air of cheerfulness and relaxation as you walk through the tiny town center, and it is this vibe that continues to draw crowds season after season.

6 Khao Yai National Park

Elephants are revered in Thailand, and statues and paintings of them can be seen everywhere you go. There are many tour groups and elephant camps throughout the country allowing you to spend a day or more with the creatures, trekking through the jungle, bathing them, and even getting to help out with their morning feedings. But perhaps more exciting is the chance to see them in their natural environment, and Khao Yai National Park provides a great opportunity to do just that. You’ll see elephants roaming near waterfalls, exotic birds of prey, monkeys, and plenty of other tropical creatures that call the park home. If a one-day stay isn’t enough to take it all in, it’s possible to camp out at the park and get up early enough to watch the sunrise over the lush landscape.

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