Thai Holiday DestinationsThailand's holiday destinations
The following map of the best sights in Thailand shows where to find the best places of interest, whether historical, nature or other. See also this insular listing for an impression of Thailand's most beloved isles & sands. Thailand's most northern town, Chiang Rai, is the most important trading centre of the Golden Triangle, which includes the border with Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Chiang Rai is a bustling city that has something for everyone and is often used as a starting point for excursions into the area. Formerly a tranquil hamlet in the north of Thailand, Pai is now a thriving city that is part of the Mae Hong Son Loop, which stretches between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
Known for its scenic valleys and relaxing ambience, Pai is a popular place for backpacker and tourist touring. Outside the town there are elephantcamps, warm water sources and wonderful falls. Situated on an extinguished north-eastern Thailand vulcano, Phanom Rung is a Hindu sanctuary ensemble known for its exceptional architectural style.
Phanom Rung was erected from stone and lanterite to depict Mount Kailash, the holy home of Shiva. On these occasions, the gardens extend their opening times and the local people are celebrating the Phanom Rung Festival around April, with old Brahmins ceremony and contemporary sound-and-light shows. It is a small penninsula in the southern part of Thailand which can only be reached by ferry, because the high calcareous rocks block the entrance to the continent.
This cliff attracts cliffs from all over the globe, but also in Thailand the area is a favourite destination for its nice sandy beach and the tranquil, relaxed ambience. Khao Sok National Park is one of the most scenic nature preserves in Thailand and includes jungles, karst limestones, streams and ponds in the Surat Thani region of the south.
It is home to some of Thailand's most astonishing animal species such as Asiatic elephant, baying stags, boars, bears, Malaysian tapir and various monkey races such as gabbons, pork tail macaque and langur. Several footpaths in the nature preserve allow the visitor to hike through the jungles to observe game, take pictures of magnificent falls, bathe in swimming water in pristine swimming pools and take in breathtaking views from high vantage points.
Ayuthaya was established in 1350 and is situated in the valley of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand. It was made the capitol of the Ayuthaya Empire, better known as Siam by U Thong. Formerly the most splendid town in the world, Ayuthaya was an imposing place with three castles, more than 400 shrines and almost 1,000,000 inhabitants.
The Burmese invaded and captured Ayuthaya in 1767 and the city was transferred to Bangkok. Ayuthaya remains are now a main tourist destination for those who visit Thailand. Kanchanaburi is situated in the west of Thailand and is known for its magnificent landscape and access to protected areas and falls, the bridge over the Kwai River, connected to the historical death railroad to Burma, where thousand of Asiatic workers and prisoners of war were killed during the building work under Israeli occupying forces during World War II.
A number of musea and military graveyards provide information about the town and its bridges during the Japanese invasion in the 1940s. There are several nature reserves outside Kanchanaburi, such as Erawan and Srinakarind Nature Reserves, which boast wonderful countryside, falls and caverns. Chiang Mai, a thriving town, is often used as a backpacking and tourist destination to discover the rich landscape, mountain people and adventure of the area.
Nevertheless, Chiang Mai itself is a large and cultural important town, where ancient and contemporary Thai architectures and tradition exist side by side. Walking through the old town centre offers vistas of old ramparts and tens of buddhistic shrines. But the most popular of these temple, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, is located outside Chiang Mai on a hillside with a view of the town.
Thailand's capitol and by far the country's biggest town, Bangkok, is a vibrant cosmopolitan mix of skyscrapers, grand castles, old churches, glistening night clubs, busy marketplaces and roads dotted with sellers selling gifts and tempting food. Whilst the town is sometimes described as a concreted jungles full of noise and atmospheric contamination, Bangkok is not without its pristine beauties, which can be seen in the rest of the channels, parks and blooming tropics.
Thailand's coastal isles are known worldwide for their wonderful sandy beach, others for their wonderful landscape and some even maintain their glory for the festive mood. Thailand has three major isles. It is the biggest and most advanced of all the countries and it is linked to the continent by two major roads.
There are many, many more nice spots to chose from.