Top 20 places in Thailand that you must explore in 2020
Thailand is a blend of picturesque landscapes with rich cultural heritage.
The land embodies a soul of its own, enthralling the people who visit it.
Welcome the beginning of a new decade by visiting Thailand this 2020.
From the tranquil sight of Buddhist temples perched on the mountains, the quaint villages filled with the simplicity of traditional Thai culture, to the azure blue oceans meeting the white sands of Thailand’s Beaches, there is much to explore on your next visit to Thailand.
We shall guide you through places to explore during your visit. The magic of the land will undoubtedly give you reasons to keep coming back.
Let us present to you the Top 20 places in Thailand that you must explore as we head into 2020.
1. Chiang Mai
An amalgamation of traditional culture merging with modern Thai architecture, Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand and is a prominent tourist destination. Breathe in the rich history as you walk around the streets of Chiang Mai’s Historical Centre and gaze upon the old city walls and the Buddhist temples nestled within it, like the Wat Phra Singh (Gold Temple). Take a relaxing break and stop for a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes & restaurants, rejuvenating amongst the natural beauty of the region. Once the sun sets, don’t forget to take in the sights of Chiang Mai’s bustling night markets. They offer an assortment of products for sale from the Northern Thai, Burmese & Lanna cultures.
2. Mae Hong Son
Nestled between the North-Western corner of Thailand, Mae Hong Son is a premier adventure tourism location in Thailand.
Rent a bicycle & ride away as you watch the picturesque landscape blend into the ocean’s horizon. There are over 1,800 curves along the sprawling bike racing tracks that Mae Hong Son has to offer.
If you’d rather take in the scenic beauty over a walk, you may do just that! Take a pleasant stroll across the hillside, offer prayers at Phra That Doi Kong Mu, or simply relish a delicious choice of Thai cuisine at one of the many restaurants located here.
Rayong, the capital of Rayong Province is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It’s a popular tourist destination owing to its scenic beaches and vast stretches of picturesque landscapes. Visitors here can opt to go island hopping or relax and engage in a variety of water-sport activities. One may also visit the Ban Phe Seafood Market, enjoy an exotic fruit buffet at Suan Lung Thongbai, Suan Lamai, Suan Sangdad or other local orchards, experience the visceral beauty of Mu Koh Samet National Park or simply take a stroll through the quaint Yomjinda road during their stay at Rayong.
4. Chiang Rai
Not to be confused with Chiang Mai, although both should be on your itinerary of places to visit in Thailand during 2020. Chiang Rai has situated just North-East of Chiang Mai.
Not fond of crowded, hustling & bustling places?
Would you rather enjoy the solitude that comes with exploring the land? Then Chiang Rai would be the perfect place for you!
Take in the sights of orange-robed monks offering daily prayers at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and admire the sound of the Khun Korn Waterfall cascading in the backdrop. Some of the other notable locations to visit here would include the Baan Dam (Black House), Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) and Wat Rong Suea Ten (The Blue Temple)
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ayutthaya has located a mere 2 hours’ train ride away from Bangkok. Ayutthaya was originally founded in 1350. Brimming with rich history and culture surrounding its origin, Ayutthaya is a hotspot for any archaeologist or history enthusiast to visit. While you must pay a visit to all the temples here, don’t miss out on Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.
Chanthaburi is a hidden seaside gem located on the banks of Chanthaburi River. It is the capital of the Mueang Chanthaburi District. From exploring the quaint riverside communities, hiking among the lush landscapes of Khao Khitchakut National Park & offering prayer at King Taksin Shrine, there’s much to do during your visit to Chanthaburi. If you’re simply looking to relax, why not visit some of the tranquil beaches here? Come, experience the stunning sight of sky & sea at Kung Wilman Beach and let the sea breeze rejuvenate you.
7. Khao Sok National Park
Declared in 1980 as the 22nd national park in Thailand, Khao sok sprawls an impressive 285-square mile range across Southern Thailand. On your visit here, you can spot the elusive Rafflesia, the heaviest flower on Earth that’s native to this land. Immerse yourself within the serenity of the forest. Enjoy the reflection of the sun set across the majestic lakes and indigenous huts you may find floating along these lakes.
Krabi, located on the west coast of southern Thailand is a world-famous tourist hub. Home to the iconic Phi Phi Islands & Railay Beach, Krabi has cemented its position as a must-visit spot for any intrepid traveler. The gleaming blue waters and white sandy shores make the ambience of this place very relaxing and perfect getaway from the hustle & bustle of the mainland. There are about 150 islands & islets around the Krabi coastline for those interested in island hopping. One can also witness the tranquil sight of Wat Tham Sua or spend the afternoon strolling through Krabi Town.
Kanchanaburi is set on the famous river Kwai and located just two hours away from Bangkok. While replete with prolific history of the World War 2 era, Kanchanaburi has emerged as a trending tourist spot. It is home to the prominent bridge connecting Bangkok and Rangoon. It was even featured in the French novel based movie ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’. Other attractions to explore here include the Erawan National Park and Sai Yok National Park.
10. Udon Thani
Udon Thani is the provincial capital city in northeast Thailand (Isaan). The place is an important hub that connects the region with the rest of Thailand & Laos. Udon Thani is a top destination for history enthusiasts as it is home to one of the world’s earliest bronze age civilizations ( at Ban Chiang ). There are beautiful attractions sprawled across the city for one to explore, a notable one being the City Pillar Shrine. One may also choose to have a fun-time at the Playport Udon Thani Water Park or spend a relaxing afternoon at Phu Foi Lom Eco Park.
11. Koh Kood
Koh Kood stands proud as one of the most preferred destinations for anyone who wishes to enjoy the beaches of Thailand. There is a gentleness in the land of Koh Kood that entices it’s visitors. Simply enjoy a drink and relax away the afternoon on a hammock, letting the lullaby of the ocean waves lull you gently into sleep. Of course if you’d rather have fun in the water, you’re welcome to indulge in an array of water sport activities provided at the beach.
Nestled in the central region of Thailand, Lopburi is rich in culture & history. It appeals specifically to those who wish to immerse themselves further in tales of Thailand’s origins. Visit the architectural ruins of Ban Vichayen, or if you’re up to it, hold onto your bags carefully as you visit the Monkey Temple of Phra Prang Sam Tot. The mischievous monkeys are accustomed to human presence and will be happy to say hello!
The name that almost certainly makes it’s way on every travel itinerary, Phuket is one of the most popular cities of Thailand attracting tourists from all corners of the globe. Phuket boasts an armada of adventure tourism amenities, including adrenaline inducing bungee jumping to offer its visitors! It has a massive selection of shops and malls for the spendthrift customer, along with bustling clubs and pubs that the party lovers can enjoy until the sun comes up! You’re encouraged to give exploring Phuket ample time, as 1-2 days aren’t enough to breathe in all the wonders it has to offer.
Situated in Southern Thailand, Trang is synonymous with food & culture to the discerning traveller. One of the appeals of Trang rests in the fact that it’s not heavily populated with Tourists when compared to areas like Phuket & Chiang Mai. Take your time getting acquainted with Trang as you visit the famous Trang Christian Church or Kew Ong Ear Shrine. You may also pay a visit to the Ko Libong Islands. If you wish to take a break from exploring, how would you like to feed some fish instead? You can do so at the lake situated in Trang Central Park!
15. Hua Hin
Not every trip to Thailand needs to be full of partying & drinks. There is serenity in simplicity. Hua Hin encompasses just that. In the past Hua Hin was a retreat for nobility to leisure at. Today it appeals to the modern public through its scenic beaches & seaside resorts. You may very well be forgiven for opting to spend your day quietly admiring the beach view from your resort gallery. The views to be admired here are truly that magnificent.
16. Koh Lipe
The island of Koh Lipe is part of the Andaman Sea. Koh Lipe offers visitors a variety of prospects for frolic and adventure. Go Kayaking across the blue sea and tickle your wanderlust. Set up a bonfire at the shore and gaze upon the star-filled sky at night. You may not get to carry souvenirs from Koh Lipe, but you’ll return home with rich memories to keep for years.
17. Koh Tao
Sea turtles! Those privy to movie culture will undoubtedly have come across the tales of Pirate Jack Sparrow crafting a raft made of Sea Turtles while he was stuck on a remote island. Could that Island be Koh Tao? The Island derives its name from a large number of Sea Turtles that live here. Marine enthusiasts will have much to do here, ranging from snorkeling to scuba diving and even jet-ski!
18. Koh Chang
One of the largest islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang is regarded as a prime tourist location. The white sun-kissed sands meeting the gleaming ocean water paints a lasting image in the eyes of whoever beholds it. Koh Chang isn’t all beaches, however! It’s filled with lush greenery and jungles at its center.
You’ll also find well-preserved hiking trails and waterfalls such as the Klong Plu. The coastline is always a hub for backpackers to party as it is dotted with villages including Bang Bao, a village built on a pier.
19. Khao Lak
Destroyed by Tsunami in 2004, Khao Lak has risen to prosperity once again. Khao Lak is a series of tourist-oriented villages situated mainly in the Takua Pa District. The area derives its name from the Lak Mountain which is one of the prominent mountain peaks in the small hilly region.
Here you’ll find museums that showcase the details of the Tsunami’s devastation.
The people here are jovial and full of life however and will welcome you with open arms. Khao Lak is fast emerging as a romantic honeymoon destination owing to it’s secluded & peaceful island set up against the backdrop of picturesque beaches.
No trip to Thailand and no list about places to visit in Thailand would be complete without mentioning Bangkok.
It is Thailand’s largest city and quite possibly the most popular destination on any tourist’s itinerary. There is much to do during your stay in Bangkok.
Admire the grandeur of the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, breathe in the novelty of the Grand Palace at Bangkok, see the exotic items on sale at the ever-bustling Chatuchak Market & Siam Paragon, reward yourself with the breathtaking view atop Sathorn Unique Tower or simply dine your heart out at Chinatown. To enumerate the ways one can enjoy their time in Bangkok would need a much bigger list.
Why not experience it for yourself?
Why not experience the splendor of all 20 locations in 2020?
Visit Thailand and take home memories for decades to come.
Welcome, 2020. Welcome to Thailand.