Where to stay in Thailand: A guide to Thailand Regions
Do you know what makes Amazing Thailand so amazing? Not just its exotic beaches, natural fauna, lip-smacking cuisines and temples, but also that it is one destination in the whole world that has something for everyone! Whether you’re a family travelling for a relaxing vacation, a solo backpacker or senior citizens wanting to enjoy a different experience in Thailand. Everyone enjoys the Thai experience, their Thai vacation exploring the different Thailand regions. While some may enjoy island hopping in Southern Thailand, some prefer the comfort of the hills in the north and others love the city life and food. So, here’s sharing all the places you can travel to in Thailand. Follow our guide to the Thailand regions you can explore and start planning your trip to Thailand.
When travelling to Thailand the first place you’ll land is the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, so it makes sense to spend time doing the city circuit. It isn’t just for no reason that Bangkok is named ‘best leisure city in Asia-pacific’ for fifth consecutive year. Bangkok offers its visitors everything from food, to parties and shopping. Spend the day exploring Bangkok’s Thonburi klongs and venture into Chinatown to experiment some Chinese food. Don’t miss shopping at Asiatique: The Riverfront and the night markets. Unwind with sundowners on the Chao Phraya River with dinner cruises after a day of exploring temples, museums and the palace in Bangkok.
Most attractions in Bangkok are accessible via the sky trains. So, you have several places to stay depending on your budget and the kind of access you’re looking for. Try the boutique hotels by the riverside, since it is centrally located to many attractions. If you love the backpacking life, hostels and mid-budget hotels at Khao San are a great choice too. But you would need to travel by buses, taxis, and tuk-tuks. Prefer luxury stays? International hotel chains and luxury hotels near Siam Square and in Sukhumvit would be your places to go.
Living in Bangkok, gives you easy access to explore the nearby places too.
After the hustle-bustle of Bangkok, planning a day trip to the ruins of Thailand’s old city-Ayutthaya is a great idea. A UNESCO World Heritage site, its name is derived from the Indian city Ayodhya. If heritage exploration is your thing, then there’s much to discover at Ayutthaya. And you’d might as well consider staying here for two or three days. You could consider hotels like Kantary Hotel, Phuttal Residence and Krungsri River Hotel or choose homestays and guesthouses. To enjoy the heritage city, it would be a good idea to pick guest houses like Baan Thai House, Baan Lotus and Baan Are Gong Riverside Homestay. You could also choose to stay at The Park Hotel in Ayutthaya’s main attraction the Ayutthaya Historical Park. Especially if you love having a stunning view of Wat Mahathat right outside your window. And for all those nature and elephant lovers, consider Elephantstay. It’s a unique experience where you get to first hand interact with elephant and work with them at the Royal Elephant Kraal village. From exploring temples and Khmer ruins, to local art and crafts and museums and palaces, Ayutthaya is worth your time and visit.
Drive up to Kanchanaburi, just 2 hours away from Bangkok or take a train ride to enjoy the riverside and passing hills and greens.Kanchanaburi will take you into a journey of history and nature and is a good place to get away from the busy city life. Does the Bride on River Kwai ring a bell? This is it! With The Glory River Kwai Hotel and U Inchantree Hotel you could be enjoying the riverside live every day, surrounded by lush greens of the jungle and hills. Consider choosing a more affordable option to stay at homestays and guest houses like Baan2rai, WesTory, Chez Bure – Bure Homestay, Milin Villa and Canaan Guesthouse. Take your pick of the various things to explore like nature trail itinerary Kanchanaburi, Mallika City, the Death Railway or a quick day trip to the Erawan National Park and Sai Yok national park. Here’s everything you need to know about Kanchanaburi.
Another city popular in Thailand tourism is Pattaya in the Chonburi province.Ancient Thai traditions, beaches, to water parks, nightlife, shopping and art, Pattaya can definitely take up 3 -4 days of your itinerary. And you’d still have much to see. The ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’ museum, 3D art gallery, Ramayana Water Park, Mini Siam there are just so many things to do in Pattaya – ancient tourist attractions & modern adventures. And you can easily choose where to stay depending on whom you are travelling with, budget and what you want to do in Pattaya. Staying at the North Pattaya luxury resorts is an experience of a lifetime, because the access to Pattaya beach is fantastic. If you’re travelling solo, want to enjoy the nightlife and are looking for budget options, you could look at several backpacking hostels near the walking street. Staying at Naklua, Jomtien beach and Wong Amat Beach is more relaxed, away from the nightlife and allows you to take in the local culture without being swarmed by crowds. Try the Backpacker Time Guest House and Qinglin Youth Hostel for easy on the pocket stay or Nova Park Hotel Pattaya and Pattaya Discovery Beach Hotel are great options for families.
About a day’s trip from Bangkok to the west lies Ratchaburi, a province that must be on your itinerary. Only to see the Damnoen Saduak floating market. This is an experience you cannot miss. Sit on a longtail boat and float away on canals where a 100-year-old market thrives. And the pictures we assure will be stunning. After all, where do you get to shop at a floating market? Most visitors prefer doing a day trip while staying in Bangkok. If you want to make it a 2-day stay to explore more, Ratchaburi has mountain ranges, waterfalls, natural hot springs and bat caves to explore. Check out a few attractions on our travel guide Ratchaburi – amazing attractions that you must visit. Ratchaburi has limited staying options so pick from what suits your budget most. Like the Phingphayla Photharam, Rachabhura Hotel are upmarket resorts while you can choose something more budget friendly such as Neno The One House.
The north is where the mountains lie, rivers flow and life is relaxed. So, it is fitting that you first travel to Chiang Mai, the most culturally relevant city in the north. While most travelers love to backpack in the north, trekking, river rafting and simply living the relaxed life, some make it into a luxury nature escape too – check out luxury itineraries Chiang Mai. It is probably why Chiang Mai was named one of Condé Nast Traveller’s world top 20 small cities 2018. Chiang Mai is a destination to enjoy over a few weeks – from the temples to the stunning landscapes and heart-warming food. It offers travellers the old Thai living while being a developed city with a modern outlook. Don’t miss the 10 best cafés in Chiang Mai. Based on what experience you are looking for you can take a pick of your stay. Le Meridien, Holiday Inn, Changpuak Hotel and The Royal Guest House offer you luxury comfortable stays with in house swimming pools. But the true travellers experience is living in the hostels in Chiang Mai and there are plenty to choose from. Like the Bodega Chiang Mai chill hostel and Party Hostel or Suneta Hostel and Hostel Lullaby. Maybe try living along Chiang Mai’s River Ping at Tanita House, Anoma Boutique House or Vida Guesthouse in a central location.
Want to make your vacation culturally enriching? How about you try living with the hill tribes at Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribes Village. Love animals? Chiang Mai offers a unique experience living with elephants at the Ethical Elephant Sanctuary for an overnight trip.
If you’re over the bustling city of Chiang Mai, slow down to the pace of living in Chiang Rai – a city that shares its borders with Laos and Myanmar. Surrounded by lush green hills and villagers that are always smiling ready to welcome you, here are the top 7 tourist attractions in Chiang Rai, Thailand. While you are bound to be blown away by the temples in Chiang Rai and the amazing food, one unique experience you must undertake is travelling to live with a hill tribe in northern Thailand.
Chiang Rai is home to several hill tribe villages that live in the highlands and mountains. And you get the chance to live with them, learn their ways of working, cooking and trek the nature trails while you’re there too. Check with Akha Hill House in the Nature for stay availability. You can even consider living in community-run lodges at the Hmong Hill tribe Lodge, about an hour drive from Chiang Mai. You live comfortably in well-kept lodges amongst nature, meet the locals, listen to their stories, watch them perform musicals and sit under the stars to enjoy a Thai barbecue. Spending your vacation with the hill tribes is not just an enriching experience for you, but also a source of income for the hill tribe communities.
Mae Hong Son and Pai
How about a road trip in the northern mountain range of Thailand? Yes! Most bikers, trekkers and road trip lovers choose to experience the Mae Hong Son Loop, starting at Chiang Mai. It takes you anywhere between 4 days to a week and if you love living on the road, it’s the best escape into nature. The places you get to stay at while on this road trip are in itself an enriching and exhilarating experience. While in Mae Hong Son, consider staying at the Green Mountain Resort or Imperial. Take a trip to meet the long neck hill tribes at the Long neck Karen Village in Pai and learn their history. Plan a day trip to spend time with their lifestyle or stay overnight with a Karen tribe family at a homestay facility. Learn weaving, local ecology, cooking traditionally, and more; community living with hill tribes is inspiring.
While you’re on your Mae Hong Son road trip, definitely stop by the sleepy town of Pai. Special community centers in Pai teach Muay Thai; stop by for a lesson or three. Staying at local hostels in Pai or a bungalow resort like Rim Pai Cottage is an excellent way to spend time in Pai. Experience staying at the Circus School and hostel in Pai for a lifetime experience of learning a few circus skills. We’ll leave you to check out all the awesome things to do in Pai.
Beaches, islands, sunshine, luxury, comfort – Welcome to Southern Thailand. Say hello to tall limestone cliffs and karsts at Krabi. Relax by the white sandy beaches, island hop on the open blue seas, head to the emerald pools or simply kayak your way through lagoons, Krabi has something for every traveller. Families that are looking to relax must check out the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi. Surrounded by sea, pick a place to stay right at the beach like KRABI, The Sea Condo, Glur Hostel, Sleep Club Hostel and Nature House Ao Nang.
Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi
There are several islands in the Andaman sea and while you can enjoy them on a day trip, staying on these islands is a whole different experience in itself. If you’re not one for the busy streets and beaches of Krabi, Koh Lanta should be your next choice. Explore the lush mangrove forests on kayaks and meet the locals of Tung Yee Peng village. Join them or watch them make native handicrafts. Take a full-day trip to Koh and Koh Rok for snorkelling or head to Talabeng Cave on a long tail boat. You’ll most likely want to stay near a beach and Koh Lanta has many of them. Pick from Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta Old Town, Klong Dao Beach or Saladan Village; all have excellent hotels for families and solo travelers. Backpackers could consider more budget friendly hostels at Phra Ae Beach.
Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay have been inspiration for many movies due to its alluring natural beauty. Thus attracting several travellers. Rock climbing, diving, cooking; here’s a glimpse of Phi Phi Islands attractions. If you’re an adventurous traveler and want to fill your vacation days with activities, it would be best to stay at Tonsai Pier, Nice Beach or Loh Dalum Beach. Luxury travelers and honeymooners enjoy the tropical luxury of Phi Phi islands with resorts like Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Zeavola Resort. Travelling with your buddies? Definitely stay at the Ibiza House Phi Phi to enjoy the Ibiza Pool Party. The Pier 519 Hostel and Blanco City Hostel are more suited to solo travellers.
Koh Samui & Koh PhaNgan
On the other side of it all, in the gulf of Thailand lie Koh Samui and Koh PhaNgan. From the James Bond island in Pha Ngan bay to the Secret Buddha Garden in Koh Samui, both islands offer travelers and honeymooners a delightful experience. In fact, Koh Samui is chosen by many couples for destination weddings owing to its idyllic scenery and white beaches. The beaches are clean, water sports fun and lined with upscale resorts and luxury hotels. Truly a romantic getaway for newlyweds in Thailand. If you want to stay in the heart of it all, pick hotels at Chaweng Beach and Lamai. Prefer the touch of luxury then the resorts and villas at Maenam Beach would be more suited to your choice at Koh Samui. Don’t miss checking out the two resorts on Koh Samui awarded the amazing Thailand sha certificate.
Koh PhaNgan is less luxurious, more exploratory and yes, it is the island of the full moon party. And these parties are all about the backpacker vibe. Solo travelers look for accommodations at Haad Rin and Baan Tai. Want to relax and enjoy a calmer version of Koh Pha Ngan? Stay at Srithanu and enjoy the Laemson Lake, fine dining, and laid-back vibe or pick from the luxury resorts at Mae Haad.
A mountain island nestled in rain forests and surrounded by the Andaman sea, must surely make it to your places to visit in Thailand list. An island so vast and diversified that we’ve even listed out 100 things to do in Phuket. So sit tight and plan out your Phuket vacation for at least 2 -3 weeks. Explore the various beaches, hike to stunning viewpoints, snorkel in the clear blue waters and jump on to some adventure activities. Phuket makes for the perfect vacation destination. It’s probably why Phuket is included among the ‘world’s best places to visit’. Most couples and families prefer choosing luxury itineraries in Phuket. And Phuket does offer a complete rejuvenation of mind, body and soul! Check out the most luxurious resorts in Phuket, curated just for you! Whether it’s the party you’re chasing or the old-town heritage vibe, staying at Phuket’s homestays and guest homes offer you the real Phuket vibes. Check out Baan Rai Mee Rak Farm stay or the Baanersuen Jungle Lodge. On a budget dear backpacker? Try out Lub D Phuket Hostel, Lupta Hostel Patong Hideaway or the Phuket Backpacker.
Love the city life or beach life, mountains or oceans, each of the Thailand regions offers every traveler a unique and exhilarating experience. Discover yourself in Thailand with meditation resorts or plan adventures and live in the jungle hinterlands, Thailand welcomes you with open arms and many options to stay!