Areas in Thailand

Where to go in Thailand, from cultural Chiang Mai to buzzing Bangkok and island beaches 

Most travellers start their Thailand holiday in Bangkok – where ornate temples and traffic jams characterise this distinctly cosmopolitan South-East Asian capital – then head to the rural and more traditional realms of Northern Thailand or to the alluring islands for its stunning beaches.

Chiang Mai, the north’s capital, is a favourite if you're looking for a more rustic side to Thailand, with its authentic Lanna-style architecture and famous night market, while Chiang Rai is sleepier and a great option if you want the northern experience with fewer crowds. On the Andaman coast, Phuket is a popular beach destination with lively nightlife, while in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui has long been a romantic spot favoured by honeymooners for its balance of beaches and buzzing towns. For a quieter, castaway experience, there are the lesser visited Koh Yao Islands and Koh Samet. 

 

Our recommendations for the best places to visit in Thailand 

areas sorted by

1 / 7

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is a name-drop-worthy island of palm trees, emerald-tinged waters and sultry weather that elicits a languid, lazing-by-the-pool kind of pace...

Read more 12 hotels from £1,105
1 / 7

Phuket

Peering out of the plane window, a surprising sight awaits. You might be just an hour from Bangkok, but suddenly the high-rise buildings have disappea...

Read more 9 hotels from £1,004
1 / 14

Bangkok

Zip down the streets in a colourful, tassel-lined tuk-tuk, passing Starbucks and food stalls selling grilled pork skewers for breakfast. Once you reac...

Read more 7 hotels from £709
1 / 5

Krabi

  • Try your hand at limestone rock climbing on Railay beach
  • Dive amid colourful coral reefs
  • Relax upon the fine sands of Ao Nang beach

The province of Krabi is just a one-hour flight to the south of Bangkok, set on the shores of the glorious Andaman Sea. Relatively low-key compared to...

Read more 5 hotels from £761
1 / 5

Hua Hin

  • The summer residence of Thailand’s Royal Family
  • Maruekatayawan Palace
  • Lovely beaches and vibrant night markets

On Thailand’s beautiful Gulf of Siam and just a few hours by road from Bangkok, Hua Hin is home to a Royal Palace and enjoys long attractive beaches, ...

Read more 5 hotels from £1,079
1 / 5

Khao Lak

  • Snorkel around the Surin and Similan islands
  • Bask in the sun on Hat Bang Niang beach
  • Discover the natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park

Khao Lak is a low-key beach resort that sits on the mainland, around an hour north of Phuket. Here, miles of glorious sands sit against a lush jungle ...

Read more 4 hotels from £906
1 / 11

Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai

  • Ancient walled city
  • Countless temples and pagodas
  • Shop at the famous night bazaar

Contrasting completely with the tropical shores of the country’s south, Chiang Mai is a land of hills, mountains and forests. The northern region of T...

Read more 4 hotels from £845
1 / 5

Koh Lanta

  • Relax on white sand beaches fringed with colourful coral reefs
  • Explore lush
  • hilly rainforests and intricate caves
  • Enjoy an evening in cheerful beachfront bars and restaurants

With endless white sand beaches, world-class diving and a friendly, laid-back culture, the islands of Koh Lanta are ideal if you're looking to enjoy a...

Read more 2 hotels from £906
1 / 7

Koh Phangan

  • Unwind on Koh Phangan's secluded beaches
  • Dive in the crystal clear waters
  • Savour the island's spellbinding sunsets

Escaping the southern shore where the famed monthly Full Moon Party is held, Koh Phangan’s northern shore offers an idyllic break with picturesque bay...

Read more 1 hotel from £1,678
1 / 5

Koh Samet

  • Quiet island escape
  • Fantastic to combine with Bangkok
  • Isolated and secluded

Thailand’s northern beaches offer a mix of intriguing culture and superb beach hideaways. If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic escape, Koh Same...

Read more 2 hotels from £929
1 / 3

Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi

  • Dive in the clear emerald waters
  • Relax and unwind on in stunning beaches
  • Experience untouched island relaxation

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful experiences of Thailand is to escape to one of the smaller islands that offer some of the best and most unspoilt...

Read more 2 hotels from £991
1 / 9

Koh Phi Phi

  • Close to Maya Bay – the setting of 'The Beach'
  • Perfect balance of activity and tranquillity
  • Incredibly pretty islands

The stunning Phi Phi archipelago boasts marine-rich clear waters, rugged jungle-clad islands, dazzling white-sand beaches and stunning Phi Phi Leh – a...

Read more 1 hotel from £1,177