Thailand is a country with a peculiar shape. While the north has a relatively compact form, the south is a narrow peninsula dotted with numerous islands. Even though the north is 500 km wide, most of its fascinating places are located within a narrow strip close to Myanmar. The north is interesting from an architectural and cultural point of view, while the south is famous for its nature. There are several low cost carriers operating in Thailand, perfect for long distances. For shorter journeys trains and buses are a great option.
Check out this post to learn about the cost of travel in Thailand.
Here are the Thailand Top 7
Chiang Mai is the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom and the most important city in Northern Thailand. It is a great starting point to explore the mountains. The Old City inside the city walls is home to some astonishing Buddhist temples. It has a very special, relaxed atmosphere, only interrupted by the colorful Sunday market.
Lampang is less touristy than its northern counterpart and perhaps a bit more authentic. Dozens of traditional wooden houses dominate the quiet city center on the southern bank of the river Wang, while several enchanting temples lie hidden in the northern bank. One of the most impressive Lanna style temples can be found 10 km southwest of the city.
Sukhothai was the capital of the first independent Thai kingdom for 140 years. The ruins of 193 temples stand in a 70 square km area in perfect balance with nature. The main part of the Sukhothai Historical Park is its central zone, located inside the city walls. The area to the north includes a giant Buddha and the one to the west a temple on top of a hill.
Ayutthaya was the second capital of Thailand after Sukhothai for more than 400 years. The Burmese destroyed it in 1767. In the 18th century it was considered the largest city in the world with around 1 million inhabitants. Unlike Sukhothai it is completely incorporated into the urban setting, although the main area on the peninsula has a similar natural feeling.
Bangkok is a great place to start a trip around South East Asia. Apart from being incredibly well connected to almost the entire world, it is a shiny city perfect to begin a wider travel experience. Its temples and palaces, amazing shopping, great variety of cafés and restaurants and a never ending nightlife can’t be matched by any other city in the region.
Khao Sok is an outstanding national park in Southern Thailand in Surat Thani province. The park is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the region. In the middle of it all, the large fiord type Ratchaprapha Lake has plenty of sandstone rocks and cliffs. The diverse flora and fauna are an additional treasure of this unique place.
Railay Beach is probably among the best beaches in Thailand. It is located on a small peninsula that is cut off from the rest of Krabi province by limestone cliffs. The peninsula itself has three different beaches: Rai Leh east, Rai Leh west and Phra Nang beach. Only the first and the last one are suitable for swimming. The area is especially popular among climbers.