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What are the top things to do in Thailand? Explore East Asia

by Pilar Dujan | October 3, 2023
Things to do in Thailand include going to the beach

Thailand is a beautiful country located in South Asia. It receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, attracted by stunning and quiet beaches, a bustling nightlife and peaceful rainforests.

Discover the essential things to do in Thailand, and even some you may not know about! But remember that, before traveling, you're going to need to apply for a visa for Thailand.

Things to do in Thailand

What are the typical things to do in Thailand? Here you will find some common tourist spots like Bangkok, the capital, and a historical attraction like the Death Railway.


One of the essential things to do in Thailand is visiting Bangkok, the capital of the country. If you visit Bangkok, you have to see the Royal Palace (also called Grand Palace). Inside you will find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (the most important buddhist temple in Thailand), as well as a museum and many beautiful rooms worth exploring. 

If you enjoyed the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, you can also visit Wat Arun and Wat Pho, two other beautiful temples. Wat Pho is home to the famous reclining Buddha. 

Lastly, the weekend market in Chatuchak is one of the things to do in Thailand that will best show the local culture. You will be able to buy everything, ranging from food to jewelry and clothes. It’s also the largest market in Asia!

Bangkok is also one of the regions where the safety in Thailand is at its best. 


Exploring Phuket, the largest out of all the Thailand islands, is one of the best things to do in Thailand.

Without a doubt, one of the main things to do in Phuket Thailand is going to the beach. You can do all sorts of activities on the island: bungee jumping, scuba diving, rock climbing and more! If you choose one of these activities, make sure the equipment is in good shape and that security regulations are being followed.

After the sun sets, Phuket turns into one big party. Stroll around Bangla Road in Patong to see the wild nightlife in Thailand!

If that’s not your scene, you can always visit less crowded beaches and avoid staying near Patong. Phuket is also a good place to enjoy another of the essential things to do in Thailand: going island hopping. Don’t miss out on the chance of sunbathing in Koh Phi Phi or James Bond Island. 

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is located in Northern Thailand. This city has over 300 temples, most located in the Old Town. Some you can’t miss are Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (a 13th-century temple on the top of Doi Suthep Mountain), Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chiang Man.

If you have any time to spare, take a trip to Chiang Rai to see the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), an architectural masterpiece.

Another good activity to partake in is strolling around Chiang Mai’s markets, like the Night Bazaar and Warorot Market.

The Historic City of Ayutthaya

The starting point to visit the Historic City of Ayutthaya is Bangkok. Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and used to serve as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam. It was founded in the XIV century and destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese army.

Despite the city being burned, many buildings and sculptures survived, providing future generations with the opportunity of catching a glimpse at what life in Ayutthaya used to be.

You can book any number of tours to explore the remains of Ayutthaya if you’d like to learn more about the city’s past booming culture.

If you choose to visit on your own, be aware of the fact that there’s quite a lot of distance between each temple. You can avoid the exhaustion by renting a bike, a motorcycle or a tuk-tuk.

Thai-Burma Railway

Going to Kanchanaburi for the Thai-Burma/Siam-Burma Railway is one of the best things to do in Thailand for history buffs. 130 km north of Bangkok, this area is a live reminder of the atrocities committed during World War II.

The railway connecting Thailand and Myanmar (ex Burma) was built by enslaved prisoners of war in terrible conditions, with thousands not living to see it finished. In fact, the Siam-Burma Railway is also known as the Death Railway.

If you didn’t know about this sad chapter of world history, you might have heard about the classic movie “The Bridge On the River Kwai” which depicts these events.

While you’re in the area, take the chance to see the related museums to truly absorb the history of Thailand during this time. You can also go to Erawan National Park to see the Erawan Waterfall.

Wat Non Kum is part of the things to do in Thailand

Natural things to do in Thailand

Enjoying the natural landscapes of the country is one of the best things to do in Thailand. Keep reading to discover some of the best natural attractions of Thailand, from the beaches to a few national parks.


The beaches in Thailand are some of the best in the world and one of the most beautiful things to do in Thailand.

Enjoy the calm and crystal clear waters while eating and drinking to your heart’s content in spots like Klong Dao, Chaweng, Sichon, Nui Beach and many more. Don’t forget your snorkel!

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in a luscious Thai rainforest.

Although most hiking trails require the presence of a guide (there’s a good chance someone might get lost without professional assistance), there are a few you can walk on your own. But that’s not all you can do in this National Park: you can go kayaking or tubing, sleep in a floating hut, visit waterfalls and see amazing wildlife like elephants and tapirs and over 400 species of birds.

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park was the first national park in the entire country, and it’s also the third-largest. A visit to this park will let you walk around evergreen forests and grasslands. This is also one of the best places in Thailand to see elephants (as well as many other species of mammals, birds, snakes and lizards). Look into booking a wildlife tour if this sounds interesting to you.

Phang-Nga Bay

Phang-Nga Bay is located to the south of Thailand and it’s a marine national park. 

This beautiful area is home to James Bond Island, one of the top attractions and typical things to do in Thailand. But there are plenty of other caves and lagoons to see! Try to visit as many as you can, they are stunning.

Erawan Falls (Erawan National Park)

Inside Erawan National Park you can find the Erawan Falls. There are seven waterfalls, each falling into amazing natural pools in which you can swim. Explore the park to see each waterfall! It’s a stunning sight that you’re not likely to ever forget.

Nightlife of Thailand

Fun things to do in Thailand

We’ve gone over some of the best urban attractions in Thailand, also the unique natural landscapes. Here you will discover some of the fun things to do in Thailand: not “important”, but still typical of the area and worth the try.

Try Thailand's food

Thai food is known all over the world, it’s delicious! Most dishes representative of the food in Thailand include rice or noodles and some type of meat, along with sauces and garnishes to elevate the taste even more.

Tasting the varied Thailand street food is definitely one of the top things to do in Thailand for everyone who enjoys the local cuisine. You will find typical delicacies such as Pad Thai, Tom Kha Kai, Som Tam and the dessert Khao Niao Ma Mouang.

You can also take a Thai cooking class. Chiang Mai is the most common location for this activity. 

Thai massage

What better way to end a long day than booking a traditional massage, one of the top things to do in Thailand? 

Most hotels offer this service but, if your accommodation doesn’t have a spa or a masseuse on staff, you won’t have trouble finding an establishment that does.

You can get a complete 1-hour massage for about €8. As you can tell, Thai massages are affordable and great for the body!

Patong: Party all night in Bangla Road

Bangla Road in Patong (Phuket) is the top party location in Thailand. Even if you don’t consider a nightclub as one of the fun things to do in Thailand, don’t miss out on the chance of just walking around the area and seeing the spectacle that is Thai nightlife. 

Koh Phangan: Full moon party

Going to a Full Moon Party is one of the things to do in Thailand that people from all over the world have added to their bucket list.

It always takes place at the time of the full moon in Koh Phangan. Tens of thousands of international travelers and locals get together to party until the sun comes up in one of the most beautiful locations in Thailand.