Thailand is an astonishing city that possesses a great combination of modern adventurous and ancient traditional landmarks. The best cities in Thailand represent numerous destinations with authentic cultural heritage, famous historical places and wonderful beaches of Thailand altogether. In fact, millions of tourists visit these most popular cities in Thailand every year to taste the air of adventure and roister up the inner-self. Thailand has so much to offer in very least amount in comparison to any other tourist hotspot of the world. You’ll have plenty of choices like visiting the temples, get lost in urban jungles or real jungles, have a moral experience with elephants or just relax on some of the planet’s beaches all under the cheapest deals. Here are 12 of the must-see cities in Thailand, that you must explore straightaway.
List of Cities in Thailand to be Visited
1. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a glorious tropical island city in Thailand which takes about one hour flight from Bangkok. Koh Samui has numerous old historical epics which most of the people don’t know about. The main town in Koh Samui is Nathon. This town is the main administrative centre of Koh Samui island, which is equivalent to the capital in a city. Koh Samui is a tropical island, it has lots of beaches, nightlife, thousands of places to eat, night and day markets and fantastic shopping. There are many other choices, such as cultural sights and several islands to visit that are not too far away from the city due to which it is one of the most important cities in Thailand which worth visiting.
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Kanchanaburi is a very popular city in Thailand. It’s a quick 2.5-3 hour ride from Bangkok via train. This city is well known for the ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ which is the location of the WW2 bombing as well. There are other ties to WWII history, but the thing which keeps tourists coming to this gorgeous place is the exclusive nature and the culture of the city. Erawan Waterfalls National Park is outside of Kanchanaburi, where one can hike to the multi-levelled turquoise waterfalls. Also, you can explore numerous caves and mountain ranges. There are many cultural sites, massive Buddha figurines that watch over the region from mountaintops. These are temples tucked in town, temples that you have to climb stair after stair to explore are the best destinations to get a tremendous panoramic view of the city.
Ayutthaya has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. It’s an absolute must-see city in Thailand and it’s easy to reach by train or bus from the capital, Bangkok. Ayutthaya was one of the ancient capitals which held its title during 1350 and 1767, then it was plundered by the Burmese. There were approx 400 temples at the height of Ayutthaya’s power. You can also explore many ruins, in varying states of repair of the city from a certain distance. The most popular location in Ayutthaya is the sandstone Buddha head wrapped in tree roots, which you can find at Wat Phra Mahathat.
The Krabi city lying in Southern Thailand has offerings for everyone. Getting here by plane is a bliss and there are plenty of activities to keep you interested for weeks. The city itself is too dry for tourist’s taste so the best option is to head 40 kilometres inland to Ao Nang. Here, you can rent a luxury villa and have massages and swim full day if you prefer. There are some professional companies which will take you for day trips to Phi Phi island as well as James Bond island from The Man With The Golden Gun. There are island tours too such as Four Island Tour or Hong island excursion. You can choose your favourite and enjoy the best destinations of the city.
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Bangkok is one of the best cities to visit in Thailand. This city is the ‘poster boy’ of Thailand that attracts lots of tourists looking for relaxing massages and super delicious foods. But, this Thai capital has much more to offer than just massages. All kinds of visitors can find their favourite activity in this city. Since this city gets very crowded at times, there’s a way to get away from people to quieter places. Among all the other things to do in this city, visiting all the beautiful Buddhist temples can ease your mind and gives you a sense of peace from all the hustle of the main city. As the city gets more crowded on weekends, it is better to avoid Saturdays and Sundays and explore the city early in the morning.
Sangkhlaburi is one of those destinations in Thailand which is the most visited city in Thailand that should have a lot more tourists visiting it. However, over six hours from Bangkok, and about three hours further west of Kanchanaburi, it still remains largely finished. The city is surrounded by marvellous waterfalls, many are unnamed stops along the side of the road. There are no entrance fees for the park and jungle. The best time to visit Sangkhlaburi is during October and March, the cool season. Western Thailand is extremely hot during summer, one of the hottest places in Southeast Asia
7. Koh Lanta
If you desire to explore the Old Towns of Thailand then this city is the best destination for all such activities. But the town in itself forms an island experience that can’t be missed. Koh Lanta Old Town is made up of the street lined with vintage shops and restaurants. Several restaurants spread out on the piers so you can have a lovely dinner admiring the dark views of the sea. While Koh Lanta Old Town is a small Thai town with a post office and everything else you might need, it feels like a village too. There’s fish drying on a back street and a big temple hiding just a few blocks away.
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Sukhothai is different from the other popular Thai cities on the list. Instead of being a buzzy modern Asian city, Sukhothai is an iconic Thai capital of the past. This ancient city is made up of the sprawling ruins of temples and monuments, spread all over the massive area known as Sukhothai Historical Park, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s big enough that you definitely need a bicycle and at least one full day to explore. There is a modern and bigger city centre surrounding these ancient ruins, but the popular old capital is the main event and significant reason for people visiting Sukhothai. The best time to visit is Thailand’s “dry season” i.e. during November and February.
If you are a beautiful nature lover then you are definitely going to love Pai. Being full of aristocratic landscapes, just taking a scooter and wandering around is in itself a great experience for any nature geek. The best time to visit this town is probably during November and February. Pai is Thailand’s top cities to visit. This city also owns several awesome waterfalls that are major spots for spending the summer vacation rides in Pai. Usually, you can have a bath at the waterfalls but if you visit there during the high season, they might be quite dried out. The Pai night market is the best night sport in this city. Here you find a lot of great international and traditional Thai snacks to take away as a popular souvenir from the city
10. Chiang Mai
A tour of Thailand can’t be complete without one visit in Chiang Mai. It’s the best cities in Thailand for so many reasons. One of the things tourists really love about Chiang Mai is its luscious green surroundings, high scenic mountains, all surrounded by thick forests. You can go hiking, eat or play with elephants. This city gives you a completely local experience of Thailand’s culture. You can simply visit temples to explore the astonishing artistic skills of this city’s workers. Personally, I think the best time to visit is from February to June. I have been in Chiang Mai twice, once during the rainy season, it was pretty cool.
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11. Hua Hin, Thailand
This city, situated 200 kilometres south of Bangkok, lying on the Gulf of Thailand is much more engaging than any other theme parks of Thailand. It is a lively city that owns many restaurants and cuisines from around the world to explore. Their markets, high tea shops, and tailors are some of the most attractive stores. This famous city to visit in Thailand is one of most-visited holiday destinations for travellers coming from all around the globe. Their favourite attraction is the Buddha on the Beach, which is a sculptor of Lord Buddha in standing position, with a backdrop of one of the many mountains along the coast complemented by the soft colours of the sand and sea. There are two famous national parks: Kaeng Krachan and Sam Roi Yot which you can explore with your family together in this awesome city.
12. Koh Tao, Thailand
If you are searching for something relaxing and peaceful city vibes then this popular city in Thailand is your best shot! This city’s services can make you feel right at home. Besides chilling and enjoying your vacations you can get the best and cheapest diving lessons in this city. Such classes are the cheapest places in the world to get certified for diving and besides anything diving is the best summer spot to explore. There are many viewpoints to hike in Koh Tao as well, some of the recommended ones are Jon Suwan, Freedom Beach, and Love Koh Tao. If you are planning to wander around the city in the hippie fashion and you are renting a motorbike in Koh Tao then be careful! While driving and protecting your bikes from any scratch as the roads are terrible here and you might have to pay a heavy price for maintenance.
This city has a long-gone reputation of being the ‘city of sex traders and workers’. But the local authorities have attempted to clean up its image and there is now a wide range of watersports, shopping centres and entertainment facilities on offer that can make your trips more adventurous and fun. Rest you can get booze in the all-nighter’s go-go bars or relax at the massage parlours which are the primary draws of this top city to visit in Thailand. With a large gay scene, straight and gay men alike flock to the city to enjoy its raucous nightlife and plethora of bars and clubs. You can do that too if you desire any other fun besides the water parks!
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14. Nakhon Ratchasima
This is one of the most famous city in Thailand that is commonly referred to as Korat. Such a large and lively city has expansive markets and vibrant street stalls to wander around. You can find a lot of tourists landing at this destination to start their tours in Thailand. Consequently, many visitors to the city use it as a base to explore other famous sights and adventure zones of the city. You can also visit the nearby Khao Yai National Park for a closer experience of Thai wildlife collection. Wat Phra Narai Maharat is one of the more popular places to visit in this city. Their stunning scenery and extensive hiking trails are the delightful pleasures to attract large scale of travellers from all around the world.
15. Nong Khai
This city has the most exclusive and beautiful location out of all the tourist hotspots in Thailand. This is one of the best city to visit in Thailand that is set on the banks of the Mekong River. With welcoming locals, you can explore a wide array of interesting local festivals and their traditional cultural identity. This city is the perfect place to learn about the myriad sides of Thailand. The famous attraction in this city is Sala Kaew Ku, this is an incredible sculpture park that has huge statues of Buddha, Vishnu and Shiva contained within its premises. With fresh air and traditional history, you can never forget the relaxing environment of this city
So far I have curated the list of cities in Thailand which briefly described the best cities in Thailand to visit and some of the most visited cities in Thailand to explore. Hope you enjoyed reading this article and the suggestions about various popular cities in Thailand. Don’t forget to share your views in the comment section below. If interested you can know more about the travel tips and other essential travel information from our other engaging articles on Adequate travel website.