The beauty and culture of Thailand is jaw-dropping, which is one of the reasons why it tops the list of my favorite countries. There are so many things to do, that I didn’t even get to see it all (perfect excuse to go back!). I did however, get to visit some of the most popular attractions during my trip. All of these are highly recommended and are located throughout the country. Instead of just visiting Bangkok, I suggest exploring these other cities listed below. You won’t regret it! However, Thailand’s capital is still a must-see so don’t forget to check out the things to do in Bangkok as well!
Ayutthaya Province (North of Bangkok)
Ayutthaya Kingdom – This kingdom was once the biggest and wealthiest trade cities in the East and existed from 1351 to 1767. It was destroyed and burned down by the Burmese in the 18th century. They also beheaded all of the statues in the city. One of the most popular things to see if the Wat Mahathat which is the head sculpture of Buddha in the trunk the of tree.
Bang Pa-In Royal Palace – It used to be a summer palace for kings but is now mainly for tourists. Filled with beautiful buildings and gardens, you won’t know where to look first. The signature landmark is the Thai-style pavilion which is in the middle of a pond and would be hard to miss.
Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand)
Visit the Long Neck Tribe – I am sure you heard of them as they are a tribe in Thailand that wears brass rings around their neck, It appears as if they have elongated it but in fact, the coils push the collar-bone down which makes it look that way. These women are fascinating and the village is worth a visit but this is completely opposite of the other places you might be visiting as there is no glamour in this village which is hand-made and has no electricity. Read more about my experience visiting the Long Neck Tribe.
Tiger Kingdom (also in Phuket) – How does playing with tigers sound? My visit here was definitely a once and a lifetime experience which you can read about by clicking the link above. Many animal attractions in Thailand are questionable but when I visited here, there seemed to be no cruel treatment unlike Tiger Temple (which I beg, PLEASE NEVER VISIT). I did some research and could not find any evidence of mistreatment. In this attraction, you get to take photos with all different sizes tigers that are NOT chained or drugged. After all, who wants to hold a limp tiger in their arms?
Go to an elephant park – Like I said above, many animal attractions are questionable. I went to an elephant park when I was on a tour a few years ago. I was told that they were treated well and all of the profits go to help save the elephants. Unfortunately, I do not remember where I went so I am just hoping I wasn’t lied to! I’d love to go back to a park and instead of riding, volunteer to help take care of the elephants. Make sure to do your research before you go, to make sure the place you choose is legit. I know you wouldn’t want to support animal cruelty!
Kanchanaburi Province (West Thailand)
Sai Yok Waterfall – The waterfall itself isn’t huge but my experience was worth the trip. I would suggest booking a boat tour that will take you along the Khwae Noi River. It is an incredibly scenic ride and once we got to a certain part, we jumped off and floated down the river to the waterfall! Read my full story leaping into the Khwae Noi River!
Sukhothai Province (Northern Thailand)
Sukhothai Historical Park – These towns started the beginning of Thai architecture and are made up of three different towns. The three towns, Sukhothai was the political center, Si Satchanalai was the spiritual area and Kamphaeng Phet was for military. They are considered three different historical parks and needs much time to go through. I would suggest renting a bike. I am not exaggerating when I say it is HUGE!