7 Tourist Spots in Thailand to Visit on Your Holiday

It might sound like a waste to you that I did not travel outside of Thailand to surrounding South-east Asian countries during my Student Exchange Programme (“SEP”). However, that was the case for me for 3 reasons – (1) There are enough beautiful places to explore in Thailand. (2) It would be a real pain to exit Thailand and then have to reapply for my student visa all over again. (3) I am based in South-east Asia anyway, so I can easily visit countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia etc. on my own.

5 months just travelling in Thailand alone was pure bliss for me. These are some of the places I visited that are both popular and exotic tourist destinations:

Popular Tourist Destinations in Thailand

1. Khao Yai National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาใหญ่)

Khao Yai National Park is the third largest national park in Thailand and is easily accessible from Bangkok. During my SEP, I went to Khao Yai National Park with Calvary Baptist Church as part of their retreat programme / Church camp. We got to immerse ourselves in nature, check out some mini waterfalls and basically just chill in the resort over the weekends. However, I always wished I’d explored Khao Yai more – the entire national park is bigger than Singapore and I’ve seen so many Thai lakorns film there (to showcase its beauty and encourage local tourism).

Ps: 4 Hua Jai Haeng Khun Khao (4 Hearts of the Mountain) / 4 หัวใจแห่งขุนเขา is a star-cladded Thai Lakorn filmed in 2010 is set in Khao Yai – specifically Chateau de Khaoyai hotel & Resort (ชาโต เดอ เขาใหญ่ โฮเต็ล แอนด์ รีสอร์ท). The beautiful sceneries will definitely mesmerize you and make you wish to travel to Khao Yai. See some screenshots I took from the drama below:

Check out 5 Thai Dramas you should binge watch in Singapore here!

Thara-Himalaya-Thai-Lakorn-Drama

Thara Himalaya / ธาราหิมาลัย

Starring: Atichart Chumnanon (Aum) and Kimberly Ann Voltemas (Kim)

Duang-Jai-Akkanee-Thai-Lakorn-Drama

Duang Jai Akkanee / ดวงใจอัคนี

Starring: Nadech Kugimiya (Barry) and Urassaya Sperbund (Yaya)

Pathapee-Leh-Ruk-Thai-Lakorn-Drama

Pathapee Leh Ruk / ปฐพีเล่ห์รัก

Starring: Prin Suparat (Mark) and Chalida Vijitvongthong (Mint)

Wayupak-Montra-Thai-Lakorn-Drama

Wayupak Montra / วายุภัคมนตรา

Starring: Pakorn Chatborirak (Boy) and Rasri Balenciaga (Margie)

When travel restrictions are completely lifted, Khao Yai National Park is definitely a place I will revisit. I’ll be writing a detailed post on touring Khao Yai National Park which will include the following information:

  • Best time to visit Khao Yai National Park
  • How to get to Khao Yai from Bangkok
  • Getting around Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park Waterfalls

2. Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่) / Chiang Rai (เชียงราย)

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the northernmost major city in Thailand.

As a capital of Lan Na, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have a rich history with plenty of cultural and historical sites for you to explore. Not to mention the beautiful mountains to trek in. It is of little wonder that I visited Chiang Mai twice in 5 months, because there is simply no shortage of places to explore.

Some useful information I will share on my post include:

  • How to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok
  • Getting around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
  • What to do in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

3. Ko Chang (เกาะช้าง)

Ko Chang is the second island in Thailand and is located in Trat Province, Eastern Thailand.

Ko Chang will be perfect for a weekend getaway. You can easily hop on a bus to Ko Chang from Bangkok and spend your weekends exploring the island. Activities on Ko Chang island include: Snorkeling, Diving, Fishing, Kayaking…basically all the must-dos on any island you hop to in Thailand.

เกาะช้าง Koh chang sunset
Sunset at Ko Chang Beach

Vana Nava Hua Hin -LearnThaiInSingapore

Vana Nava in Hua Hin

4. Hua Hin (หัวหิน)

It is definitely possible to squeeze a day trip to Hua Hin in your itinerary. During my SEP, my friends and I ditched classes one fine day to visit the following places in Hua Hin 🤭

  • Vana Nava Water Jungle (this took up the bulk of our time)
  • Soi Bintabaht Walking Street
  • Hua Hin Beach

I’ll be writing a detailed post on my adventures in Hua Hin. This will include how to go to Hua Hin from Bangkok and a review of Vana Nava Water Jungle.

Exotic Tourist Destinations in Thailand

5. Isan (อีสาน) / Loei (เลย)

Isan/Loei is located in the North-Eastern region of Thailand.

I recommend reserving a week or more to tour Loei specifically. My Thai friends and I toured Loei within a week but we didn’t have enough time to do all that we wanted (and very nearly missed our flight back to Bangkok). 

My detailed post on Isan/Loei Thailand will showcase my itinerary and adventures there. Do keep a lookout for my post to go live!

Image on right: 4 Mountains in 5 days Loei
ภูทอก ภูเรือ ภูป่าเปาะ ภูกระดึง

4 Mountains in 5 days Loei ภูทอก ภูเรือ ภูป่าเปาะ ภูกระดึง

Villa Tuscany Country Resort - Suan Phueng Thailand

Villa Tuscany Country Resort

6. Kanchanaburi (กาญจนบุรี) / Suan Phueng (สวนผึ้ง)

Kanchanaburi / Suan Pheung in Ratchaburi are located in the West of Thailand.

Suan Phueng holds a special place in my heart because my Thai friend owns a hotel there! Suan Phueng feels like a mini “Switzerland in Thailand” as most resorts have a horse ranch, sheep farm, trickling streams and European gardens. It is as pretty as a picture – so it’s of little wonder I went to Suan Phueng twice and would like a 3rd visit to this tourist attraction.

7. Ko Lipe (เกาะหลีเป๊ะ)

Ko Lipe is located in the southern Thailand Satun Province near the Thailand/Malaysia border.

Ko Lipe was the most exciting place I visited during my SEP because it was an extremely new tourist spot back in 2015, and the only place I took a plane to (from Bangkok). The pristine white beaches and beautiful corals make it a must-visit island if you ever want an off-the-beaten-track vacation to Thailand.

Check out my detailed post on Ko Lipe here!

Kor-Lipe-Beautiful-Thailand-Vacation

Ko Lipe – Clear waters and beautiful beaches

About the author – see the About page for more information

Joanne Tan is an aspiring polyglot and has so far mastered English, Chinese and Thai languages. She first started learning Thai in 2015 before staying in Bangkok for 5 months, and then continued studying Thai up to Advanced Levels at the National University of Singapore. In 2017, Joanne was awarded ‘Advanced Thai Proficiency’ by the Sirindhorn Thai Language Institute of Chulalongkorn University. Today, Joanne continues to teach her friends basic Thai speaking and helps her Thai friends actively promote Thai culture.