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 

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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...

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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...

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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...

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  • 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...

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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, ...

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Khao Lak

Devour a delicious curry in a family-run restaurant, chase waterfalls in a national park or nest on soft sands where there’s hardly anyone else around...

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Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai

Dawn breaks and a sea of monks swathed in orange and saffron robes make the journey to the bottom of Mount Suthep to collect their alms. Scooters whiz...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Koh Phi Phi

  • Stunning movie scene landscapes
  • 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 –...

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Koh Chang

This jungle clad gem may be the second largest island in Thailand, but its unhurried atmosphere and natural ambience make Koh Chang feel like it’s jus...

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