I prepared my Thailand attractions list that you can find different things in Thailand. So there are places where you can enjoying the sea-sand-sun, crazy parties and the spiritual atmosphere.
Before starting the list of Thailand attractions, you can also have a look to Thailand Travel Tips-Things You Should Know Before Travel to Thailand.
Thailand attractions list is of course starting from the capital, Bangkok, where you will set foot in Thailand. Your first reaction probably will be when you arrive to Bangkok is “what a mess”.Yes, the crowd, the noise, the traffic, the bar lights that catch your eye, fried insects… But calm down, this is not all Thailand.
My advice is to spend a maximum of 3 days like I did and escape from Bangkok immediately. My recommended Bangkok attractions for 3 days are;
Grand Palace and Wat Pho Temple
Grand Palace is really huge and impressive as main palace of Thai kingdom. However, the entrance is a bit expensive (fee in 2019 is 500 baht. You can check the current prices here) Exactly for this reason, I did not visit anyway 😊 Instead of that, we preferred to go to Wat Pho temple, which has less entrance fee. (100 baht) Wat Pho temple is one of the largest temples in Bangkok and you can see the 46-meter gold reclining Buddha statue in here.
There are a lot of markets in Bangkok and even across Thailand. The most famous one of these markets, where you can find everything from clothes to food, from souvenirs to jewelry, is the Chatuchak weekend market. There are more than 8000 market stalls and I strongly recommend this place to you. Especially if you are looking for authentic products, here is perfect. Don’t forget to bargain, of course.
Khao San Road
Here is crazy Bangkok nightlife! This street looks like a quiet place during the day,but in the evening totally different. Everywhere is bright, everywhere is loud music. It is impossible to resist this energy. In addition, even if you don’t dare to taste the classic fried scorpions on Khao San Road, there is no saying no to the very affordable foot massages.
Chiang Mai Attractions
Unlike everyone else, my route after Bangkok is to the north, not to the islands. Many people think Thailand is just about its islands and misses the magnificent nature and mystical vibe of the north. Chiang Mai is definitely a place to be on your list of Thailand attractions.
Chiang Mai is very different from Bangkok. It will make you feel in a small town with its lush narrow streets. You can also see a temple on almost every street in Chiang Mai. You can watch the rituals in temples and learn about Buddhist monks.
But the main reason I come to Chiang Mai, like most people, is the rescued elephant care centers. Rescued from bad conditions elephants live in here freely. You can take a half or full day tour and visit these places. Entrance fees are a bit expensive, we took the half-day tour for 1100 baht.
I would like to share with you what I wrote in my diary after the day I went to rescued elephant care centers. Let’s enjoy a little bit;
“They picked us up from the hostel we stayed early in the morning and we drove into the forest for 1 hour. When we reached the care area, we put on the clothes provided so that we would not get dirty. After the trainer gave a brief information, he handed us bags full of bananas and said that we could go to the elephants. The elephants had already come to the area where we are. I was very excited, but I was starting to get a little scared. Because these are really big animals… there is a lot of difference between seeing in the picture and actually seeing them 😊 Also, they had already smelled the bananas in the bags and were trying to get the bananas with their noses. With that panic, I tried to escape screaming in the first place. Think about it, something huge, 4 tons, is coming towards you. Of course, elephant just wants banana, but you can’t think at that time with panic. I can’t stop laughing even when I write these lines 😊 But let me mention it was not just me who was in this situation, almost everyone was screaming. 10 minutes later, we were already mingled with the elephants. “
I also recommend you to experience this magnificent event. In elephant care centers, you can spend a few hours with the elephants, prepare and feed them and wash them in the river. Of course, I saw elephants many times during my trip after Chiang Mai, but the firsts are unforgettable, aren’t they?
Bonus: Accommodation in a Buddhist Monastery
If you are wondering how is Buddhism and monks life, or if you want to relax for a few days, here’s a great recommendation for Thailand attractions; Wat Pa Tam Wua monastery.
The monastery is a natural wonder between the mountains, 5-6 hours from Chiang Mai. You can stay for free in the monastery and live like monks. You wake up at 5 in the morning, do various meditations throughout the day, and have 2 vegetarian meals. Don’t think it’s a nice free life, also you work 2 hours in a day at the monastery. I would also like to point out that the life here is very minimalist. In the dormitories that are separated as boys and girls, you sleep on the floor.
Everyone in the monastery wears white. If you don’t have a white outfit, you can get it from there. You can try various meditations by singing, sitting, lying down or walking accompanied by the monks. iI you want to completely return to yourself you can wear the “silence” tags. When you wear these tags, nobody disturbs you by talking.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
Here is Thailand’s most famous attraction! Do not say I traveled Thailand without attending these full moon parties which is once in a month in Koh Phangan.
I attended in June, which is not considered a season, but even that was crazy enough. I can’t imagine the busiest season in December anymore. Beach party starts around 9 in the evening and continues until the morning. Loud music, neon lights everywhere, fire dances, buckets of drinks… Everyone dances for hours. Even a sleeping area is considered for who cannot end the night😊 You can sleep by watching the full moon.
Thailand Islands: Koh Tao
I end my list of Thailand attractions with a magnificent island. There are many tropical islands in Thailand. All of them are more beautiful than the other, but we prefer Koh Tao, which is calmer. We need some calm after the crazy full moon party on Koh Phangan😊
If you are keen on diving or have never done it before but want to try it, Koh Tao is the perfect place. You can take a 3-day course and get your diving certificate. If you say diving is not for me, you can visit the small islands around with daily boat tours. Let me also point out that the sunsets on Koh Tao are very beautiful and romantic.
I did not add Phuket and Pattaya in my Thailand attraction list. As a woman, I did not want to go because it is very crowded and the nightlife is mostly evaluated on women. Phuket and Pattaya are the first places that come to mind when you say Thailand, but Thailand is much more than that.