10 Incredible Things to do in Thailand
Are you planning to visit Thailand? Trying to find out more about what you can do in Thailand?
Well, look no further as we cover some of the best things to do in Thailand, and these will be especially useful to get an overview of what to expect and a rough idea of how to plan your trip.
A bit about Thailand
When people talk about Thailand, the words island hopping, elephants and night markets always spring up.
The truth is, you can dive much deeper than that, as Thailand is full of unique sights and activities that will fill up your travel itinerary faster than you know it.
The country is visited by over 38 million visitors each year, making it the most visited country in Southeast Asia.
Most visitors, maybe like yourself, will first set off in its capital Bangkok. Here is a good 4 days Bangkok itinerary to check out.
Beyond the capital, the most popular beach destinations lie in Phuket, Krabi, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Lanta.
If you are searching for more inland-related spots, then you would be heading for the northern region of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
Or possibly at the other end where Pattaya is, on the southern side of Thailand.
Before you go through, be sure you are able to figure out transport in Thailand since it is such a big country to get around.
Wherever you choose to go, Thailand is a fascinating and culturally rich place to visit, and you are definitely in for a good time!
What's covered in this post
- A bit about Thailand
- What are the 10 best things to do in Thailand
- Go to a Train Market
- Thoughts about things to do in Thailand
- Logistics before visiting Thailand
- Like it? Pin it to Pinterest!
What are the 10 best things to do in Thailand
Get lost in Chatuchak Weekend Market
In the heart of the capital, Bangkok, lies Chatuchak Weekend Market, also known as JJ Market to the locals.
This sprawling complex is one of the largest weekend markets in the world, and there are over 15000 shops for you to choose from!
It is divided into sections, and you can find almost anything here, no joke!
From live animals to home decor, you will need to dress light and put on some good walking shoes for the hours you will spend here.
Make sure to try out the local food on selection, especially the moo bing (pork skewers) and tom yum goong.
Island hopping in Thailand
With more than 300 islands to choose from, where do you start would be the appropriate question.
Use those we listed in the above section as a starting point, and once you have decided, make your way there!
Hook up with one of the longboats berthed along the beach and negotiate a good price with the operator.
Try to ask for a private spot where you can have the place to yourself and your group.
Most of the islands have wonderful nature spots to explore on top of the the beaches, so don’t miss that out too.
Check out our Krabi itinerary for 1 to 7 days for more of Thailand!
Be part of a Muay Thai experience
The Thai martial art Muay Thai is likely one of its most famous exports, with fighters like Buakaw and Saenchai becoming international superstars.
If you want to be part of the experience, there are literally thousands of Muay Thai gyms all over Thailand that welcomes visitors to learn and train with them.
You can opt for a single session, or why not stay for a few days to get the experience of living like a fighter? Eat, sleep and train.
If that’s too much for you, consider watching a Muay Thai fight instead.
There are stadiums that hold fights in most provinces, with the most famous 2 being Lumpini Stadium and Rajadamnern in Bangkok.
Shop at a Floating Market
We are sure you have been to your fair share of markets, from supermarkets to the outdoor local farmers market variety, but have you been on a floating market before?
Trying to find a floating market in Bangkok is easy.
You will need to hire a boat to take you through the beautiful mess and experience one of the most authentic activities in Thailand.
Most of them are scattered around Bangkok but dig around and you will be able to find some out of the capital too.
Taste the local street food
It was reported in 2017 that the government plans to clean up the streets and ban street food vendors from operating in all of Bangkok’s main roads.
Not only is it a huge blow to the countless locals who depend on them for their daily meals, but visitors like yourself will also miss out on some of the best food you can taste in Bangkok.
So do yourself a favor, if you find yourself in Thailand, make sure to try out some of its street food.
We highly recommend Gai Pad Krapow (chicken with basil stir fry), Gai Yang Som Tum (papaya salad with grilled chicken), and Gai Tod (fried chicken).
No idea where to go? Take a street food tour.
Sail along the mighty Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River is Thailand’s main river, and it meanders across the country, serving as its guide and transport route.
In Bangkok, you should definitely board a ferry that takes you on a short cruise along the river, with options to drop off to visit the world-famous Buddhist temples.
Usually, we do not recommend you to do or buy touristy things, but in this case, you can consider buying tickets for the tourist boat as it has 8 piers along the river where you can hop on and hop off.
It is also at these piers where you will find the temples, such as Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Grand Palace.
The alternative is to be like locals and take the orange ferry (only this one runs daily) and cruise down the river. However, costs might add up quickly if you choose to stop at many places.
All ferries depart from the pier near Saphan Taksin BTS station.
Day trip to River Kwai
Some of you may know The Bridge over River Kwai, a popular movie in 1957 that used the Burma Railway in some of its scenes.
More importantly, this location is where untold horrors took place during World War II, when the Japanese forced over 250000 civilians and prisoners of war to construct this railway.
It was then aptly named the Death Railway, since many of the men did not make it back.
Today, part of the rail bridge over the River Kwai in the town of Kanchanaburi is still open, and you can easily do a day trip there to learn about its history.
Go to an ethical Elephant sanctuary
Who doesn’t love elephants, eh?
These pachyderms are such lovely gentle beasts, but they are under serious threat.
Due to idiots who buy products made of ivory, the elephant trade is still alive and well.
These innocent elephants are the victims of mindless hunting.
In Thailand, the elephants suffer a different fate, being forced and tortured to take part in dumb elephant shows.
However, there is hope.
In ethical elephant sanctuaries, these captive elephants are given a new lease of life, as they are being well taken care of by trained personnel.
If you want to see elephants, make sure you visit only ethical ones!
You can consider starting your search here.
Try Rock Climbing in Krabi
While Krabi may not be as popular as its counterparts like Phuket or Koh Samui, it has plenty to offer!
We love Krabi for its diverse range of activities, and rock climbing ranks up there!
You may not be aware, but every year, droves of rock climbers descend upon Krabi, specifically on Railay Beach, to test their skills on the limestone walls.
Beginners like us need not worry, as there are routes that are easier and suitable for your skill level.
Conquer your fear and get climbing!
We tried using Real Rocks Climbing School and we totally recommend it. They were well organized, friendly, and most importantly, operated in a safe manner.
Go to a Train Market
Have you seen that video where crowds of people and street vendors scramble to get out of the way of an incoming train?
This is the Maeklong Railway Market, located at Samut Songkhram, which is about 1 hour southwest from Bangkok.
Vendors line the railway track with their wares, and like clockwork, move them out of the way just before the train passes by.
A horn is heard and you will see the mad rush before life resumes again.
It is quite amusing and amazing that nothings gets damaged!
Should you travel to this area, be sure not to miss this out.
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Thoughts about things to do in Thailand
Do you have any recommendations too? Feel free to leave a comment down below!
We hope this short article shows you a side of Thailand that you were unaware of and that it will be useful for you to plan your trip!
Logistics before visiting Thailand
Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.
Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates.
Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.
Planned for you activities in Thailand.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed.
More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.