Thailand’s top tourist attractions by us at Rentaroompattaya
Thailand is famous for many things, high rise condo’s, beautiful beaches, a rich culture with a strong tradition, but the beaches, everyone loves the beaches! Krabi province is home to some of Thailand’s most famous beach destinations—and Railay tops the list as one of the most stunning. Considered by many as one of the best beaches in the country, Railay delivers on promises of white sand, turquoise-blue water, and the feeling that you’ve found a slice of paradise even before your feet touch the sand.
The island can be reached by boat from Krabi town and Ao Nang—and the trip on a long-tail traditional boat is just as magical as what you’ll encounter when you reach the shores.
While the beach might be the main reason to visit the island, Railay is also a rock-climbing hot spot, with karst peaks drawing adventurers both experienced and novice, ready to take on the towering limestone cliffs.
Among the many other active things to do, Railay is well-known for its ocean rafting and kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving—but visitors can also try their hand at cooking classes or indulge in a massage.
There’s also the tourist-friendly Diamond Cave, reached via a beautiful trail with stunning views and ready to accommodate curious visitors looking to do some exploring between stretches of sunbathing.
Erawan Waterfall is recognized as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand. Located in the Tenasserim Hills in Kanchanaburi Province, some 200 km northwest of Bangkok, Erawan has seven separate tiers and is part of a national park of the same name. Besides the waterfall, the park hosts a handful of limestone caves offering plenty of exploration opportunities to visitors.
The entire length of the seven tiers span approximately 1,500 m through the thick rainforest of the park. Each of the steps has its own name. The access to the first waterfall – named Lai Keun Lung, is relatively easy, as you can get there on a flat trail, directly from the visitor centre’s car park. The highlight of this first waterfall is the great number of fish swimming in the ponds formed by the smooth limestone sculpted by the water. The fish are rather curious and will swim around your legs. It can be disconcerting at first but you soon get used to it.
The trail gets steeper as it carries on to the next tier, Wung Macha, which is usually busier with swimmers. It’s very scenic as there’s a small cave under the falls. Another hike of about 50 m takes you to the third tier, called Pha Nam Tok. This tier is taller than the two first falls (about 20-metre high), and offers a large pond, again filled with fish, at which you can refresh yourself. Oke Nank Phee Seah and Bua Mai Long are the fourth and fifth steps of Erawan Waterfall. They feature small cascades and ponds surrounded by rock formations and dense vegetation.
Phimai Historical Park
Phimai historical park is the largest of all Khmer temples in Thailand, the rectangular complex measures over 1,000 meters long by almost 600 meters wide. It contains some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture in Thailand.
What makes this temple unique is that it is constructed as a Buddhist temple, even though the Khmer who built it were Hindu.
Phimai, which is officially named Prasat Hin Phimai was built during the 11th and 12th century, during which time the area was part of the Khmer empire. It was constructed on the end of the ancient highway connecting it with Angkor (present day Siem Reap), with other Khmer temples like Muang Tum and Phanom Rung in between.
Judging from the style of the temple which resembles Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the size of the complex, Phimai must have been an important temple in its days. Where usually Khmer temples face East, Phimai is oriented towards the South East, in the direction of Angkor in Cambodia.
Sukhothai Historical Park
The Sukhothai Historical Park ruins are one of Thailand’s most impressive World Heritage sites. The park includes the remains of 21 historical sites and four large ponds within the old walls, with an additional 70 sites within a 5km radius. The ruins are divided into five zones; the central, northern and western zones each have a separate 100B admission fee. Note that motorbikes and cars are no longer allowed inside the park.
Despite the popularity of the park, it’s quite expansive and solitary exploration is usually possible. Some of the most impressive ruins are outside the city walls, so a bicycle is essential to fully appreciate everything. Electric buggies (two to four people, without/with driver 200/400B per hour) can also be hired to get around the park.
Going on vacation is fun. Moreover, when on vacation abroad with friends and loved ones. It must be nice, right? Imagine if you had the opportunity to witness the beauty of Wat Arun in Thailand, while absorbing all the uniqueness contained in the local wisdom of Thai culture. Surely all fatigue you will be able to get rid of.
Talking about traveling, Thailand is indeed a traveler’s paradise. Even though the country is not as large as the Indonesia we love, in fact every corner of the country has its own charm in the eyes of domestic tourists, even foreign tourists. And, of the many tourist attractions available, surely you know about Wat Arun, the enchanting temple of dawn.
Maybe some of you have been to this place some time ago. However, if you haven’t had the chance and are still curious about this historical temple, it’s a good idea to listen to our following article. Happy listening.
As we know, the Wat Arun temple has another name, the Temple of Dawn, or the Temple of Dawn. This temple is very beautiful, especially because of its strategic location. How come? The location alone is on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. Those of you who have traveled to Thailand may be familiar with the conditions of this river.
Even though it is on the edge of a river, Thailand has water transportation that is quite reliable. Moreover, the boats are deliberately used to transport tourists. The difference with most rivers in Indonesia, the Chao Phraya River looks very well maintained, there is no rubbish that has accumulated on the banks of the river, and the water looks quite good.
Almost every day, boats carrying tourists pass on this river. In fact, tourist boat traffic is getting denser when the holiday season is in progress. Because of the busy crossing schedule, this river seems to be transforming into a tourism wheel in the land of the White Elephant.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
The main venue for shopping in Chiang Mai, indeed all of Thailand, the night bazaar is a can’t-miss part of the Chiang Mai experience. Ground zero of this nightly commerce bomb is located at the intersection of Chang Khlan Road and Loi Khro Road but the whole thing spreads out for two blocks in either direction. Set up time is around sunset (usually about 18:00) and shopping goes on unabated until about 22:30 with a few vendors remaining open even later.
A good way to check out the whole thing is to start at Tha Phae Road and work your way south towards Loi Kroh. Once you reach the end of the market, cross the street and work your way back along the other side. Don’t forget to peek down the little sois (alleyways) and arcades along the way. If you see something you like you might want to be patient-there are hundreds of vendors and an absolute flood of products for sale.
Koh Lipe is a small L-shaped island located in southern Thailand’s Satun Province near the Thailand/Malaysia border. It belongs to the Adang-Rawi Archipelago, situated on the outskirts of the Tarutao National Marine Park. Originally only inhabited by Sea Gypsies, the Chao Ley who gave the island its name – Koh Lipe means Paper Island in Chao Ley, Koh Lipe (a.k.a. Koh Lipeh or Koh Lipey) has been through rapid development to face the increasing tourism demand.
Sunset Beach (west), Sunrise Beach (east), and Pattaya Beach (south) are the three main beaches of Koh Lipe. The island and its surroundings are quite famous for snorkelling and scuba diving; its coral reefs are easy to reach as they start just a few metres away from each of the four main island’s beaches. A large number of accommodation choices are available on Koh Lipe, from bamboo-and-thatch bungalows to four-star resorts.
Khao Sok National Park
Being the most popular mainland national park destination in South Thailand, Khao Sok is a rainforest with great diversity of plants and wildlife. It is one of the few national parks in the country easily accessible by public transportation. The nearest towns are Surat Thani, Krabi, Ao Nang (Railay Beach), Phuket, Khao Lak and Koh Samui.
The main attractions of the park are Cheow Lan Lake, iconic limestone hills, waterfalls, raft houses spread over the lake, trails, caves and rivers.
Khao Sok was established as Thailand’s 22nd national park in 1980 by The Royal Forest Department. It covers the 739 km² land area of Amphoe Phanom District and Ban Takhun District in Surat Thani province and includes the Cheow Lan Reservoir dammed by the Ratchaprapha Dam.
The park is part of the Khlong Saeng – Khao Sok Forest Complex that incorporates 12 protected sites covering an area of 5,316 km², including some offshore islands in the Andaman Sea. The mountains in the park are along the Phuket Range which extends from Phuket Island further north to Ranong Province.
The rainy season is between late April and early December with most rainfall from May to October, the dry season is January to March. Average temperature ranges from 22°C to 36°C all year around.
The Similan Islands form a fabulous archipelago in the Andaman Sea, just 120 km north-west of Phuket island. These small islands are so strikingly beautiful; you don’t even need to be an excellent photographer to come back with amazing photos.
Most people go there on a day trip tour, but the best way to enjoy the Similan islands is to stay for two days. It’s a little far from Phuket and can be tiring to get there on a speedboat. This way, you’ll have some fabulous beaches almost for yourself in the morning and the evening, and having the beaches for yourself is absolutely priceless.
To get there, you should consider booking a tour that takes you around for some snorkelling first, then drop you on the main island where a restaurant and basic accommodation are available. If you can afford it, try not to book the cheapest speed boat available, unless you are on a strict budget. You don’t want to travel like a bunch of sardines in a tin can. Of course, if you are a diver, you’ll have dozens of dive centres offering this destination as a day trip from Khaolak or even better: as a liveaboard cruise.
Ayutthaya Historical Park
The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. It flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries, during which time it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a center of global diplomacy and commerce. Ayutthaya was strategically located on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting the city to the sea. This site was chosen because it was located above the tidal bore of the Gulf of Siam as it existed at that time, thus preventing attack of the city by the sea-going warships of other nations. The location also helped to protect the city from seasonal flooding.
The city was attacked and razed by the Burmese army in 1767 who burned the city to the ground and forced the inhabitants to abandon the city. The city was never rebuilt in the same location and remains known today as an extensive archaeological site.
At present, it is located in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province. The total area of the World Heritage property is 289 ha.
Once an important center of global diplomacy and commerce, Ayutthaya is now an archaeological ruin, characterized by the remains of tall prang (reliquary towers) and Buddhist monasteries of monumental proportions, which give an idea of the city’s past size and the splendor of its architecture.
Well-known from contemporary sources and maps, Ayutthaya was laid out according to a systematic and rigid city planning grid, consisting of roads, canals, and moats around all the principal structures. The scheme took maximum advantage of the city’s position in the midst of three rivers and had a hydraulic system for water management which was technologically extremely advanced and unique in the world.
The city was ideally situated at the head of the Gulf of Siam, equi-distant between India and China and well upstream to be protected from Arab and European powers who were expanding their influence in the region even as Ayutthaya was itself consolidating and extending its own power to fill the vacuum left by the fall of Angkor. As a result, Ayutthaya became a center of economics and trade at the regional and global levels, and an important connecting point between the East and the West. The Royal Court of Ayutthaya exchanged ambassadors far and wide, including with the French Court at Versailles and the Mughal Court in Delhi, as well as with imperial courts of Japan and China. Foreigners served in the employ of the government and also lived in the city as private individuals. Downstream from the Ayutthaya Royal Palace there were enclaves of foreign traders and missionaries, each building in their own architectural style. Foreign influences were many in the city and can still be seen in the surviving art and in the architectural ruins.
The Ayutthaya school of art showcases the ingenuity and the creativity of the Ayutthaya civilization as well as its ability to assimilate a multitude of foreign influences. The large palaces and the Buddhist monasteries constructed in the capital, for example at Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Si Sanphet, are testimony to both the economic vitality and technological prowess of their builders, as well as to the appeal of the intellectual tradition they embodied. All buildings were elegantly decorated with the highest quality of crafts and mural paintings, which consisted of an eclectic mixture of traditional styles surviving from Sukhothai, inherited from Angkor, and borrowed from the 17th and 18th century art styles of Japan, China, India, Persia and Europe, creating a rich and unique expression of a cosmopolitan culture and laying the foundation for the fusion of styles of art and architecture popular throughout the succeeding Rattanakosin Era and onwards.
Indeed, when the capital of the restored kingdom was moved downstream and a new city built at Bangkok, there was a conscious attempt to recreate the urban template and architectural form of Ayutthaya. Many of the surviving architects and builders from Ayutthaya were brought in to work on building the new capital. This pattern of urban replication is in keeping with the urban planning concept in which cities of the world consciously try to emulate the perfection of the mythical city of Ayodhaya. In Thai, the official name for the new capital at Bangkok retains Ayutthaya as part of its formal title.
Ko Phi Phi
The Phi Phi Islands are one of Thailand’s most popular resort areas for a reason—the clear blue waters, the soft sand, the breathtaking views that go on forever.
You can reach Phi Phi Don—the largest of the islands and the only one permanently inhabited—on a rented kayak or by hiring a small wooden boat to take you here.
Perhaps one of the most fun spots on Koh Phi Phi is Monkey Beach, where you’ll come face to face, literally, with plenty of macaques ready to steal your lunch.
Long Beach is another nice spot on the island; while not a secluded place where you can hope for privacy, it’s great for watching the sunset. If you’re lucky and the tide is out, it’s a beautiful walk back towards the main part of the island.
Tour operators offer packages for snorkeling and diving trips to the islands, as well as excursions to the famous Maya Bay, where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed. Because Koh Phi Phi draws so many tourists, there are plenty of tour companies arranging tickets to other beach destinations, such as Phuket, Koh Chang, and Koh Lanta.
Phi Phi Don was one of the areas hit hard by the 2004 tsunami—but since then, guesthouses, restaurants, and markets have been rebuilt, and crowds still come in droves to the resort island. There is a small, somber memorial park to honor those who died in the tragedy, but the resort areas are otherwise revived and looking as beautiful as ever.
The Grand Palace, Bangkok
Even if your plans for Thailand mainly involve frolicking on a beach and eating as much Massaman curry and pad Thai as humanly possible, you’ll probably spend at least a day or two in Bangkok. There are plenty of things to see and do in the capital, but the Grand Palace should definitely be at the top of your list. This is the number one sightseeing attraction in the city, and it’s staggering in both historical significance and craftsmanship.
The grounds are a maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important being Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), said to hold a fragment of either hair or bone from the enlightened Buddha himself.
Allow several hours to do the Grand Palace justice, but if you’re up for more walking afterward, you can easily take in some of the city’s other major landmarks nearby. The famous Wat Pho and Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn (a great place to watch the sunset), are just a few minutes away.
Doi Suthep is a constant part of life in Chiang Mai. A Thai saying goes, If you haven’t tasted Khao Soi or seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai. This regal mountain overlooks the city from the northwest, providing commanding views from its summit. Aside from its dominating presence on the horizon, Doi Suthep is the home of some of the most deeply loved symbols in the Kingdom.
In 1981 Doi Suthep, Doi Pui and Doi Buakha, along with the 161 square kilometres (62 square miles) of forest in which they are located, became Thailand’s 24th national park. A year later a 100 square kilometre (38 square mile) annex was added, bringing the park’s total area up to 261 square kilometres (100 square miles). Dense forests hang from the mountain’s shoulders like a cloak; deciduous at lower elevations and evergreen near the peaks of the mountains.
The highest peak in the park is Doi Pui which tops off at 1,685 meters (5,528 feet), making it the eighth largest mountain in Thailand. Flowing from these heights are some of the most highly enjoyable and accessible waterfalls in the Kingdom’s northern reaches. Mae Sa Falls, Huay Kaew Falls and Monthathan Falls are among the most popular sights of the park and are easily reached from the main road. The forest is also home to a variety of wildlife, including many small mammals and birds as well as the rare Crocodile Salamander, which is only found in four places in Thailand.
The park’s high elevation keeps the temperature pleasantly cool, even during the blistering heat of June. Doi Suthep National Park also incorporates the Mae Sa Valley, a veritable buffet of activities and sights. Farther north, in the park’s 100 square kilometre (38 square mile) annex you will find the delightful and often overlooked Mok Fa area which boasts a wonderful waterfall, a cave and a nature trail.