If you are spending more then just a few days in Thailand, be sure to check out some of these nearby provinces to the major cities! Maximize your experiences, and see more than just the city you’re in. For example, leave the urban city of Bangkok and be immersed in a world of forests and waterfalls in Khao Yai for a day!
Needing little introduction, Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and is as metropolitan as a city in Thailand would ever get. That doesn’t mean that urban exploration, tourist attractions and shopping are all there is to this city. Being in a centralized location, you have access to plenty of provinces, more than those listed below!
The Ancient capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya is a great place to visit if you would like a deep dive into Thailand’s history. Known for its ruins, let your imagination run wild with stories of how this ancient city used to be the most opulent in the world, as written about by travelling merchants back in the day. Other then exploring the ruins, don’t miss out on the boat noodles and prawns there, Ayutthaya’s specialties!
If you like the city of Bangkok, but yet wish to explore by hiking, check out Khao Yai. Not too far from Bangkok, the Khao Yai Nature Park spans over 2,000 square kilometers! Beautiful and iconic waterfalls await those who explore. You can stay at Khao Yai too, with some hotels overlooking the Nature Park giving you a breathtaking view.
Perhaps the most commercial and “touristy” city, it holds a few attractions worth visiting, like the Sanctuary of Truth, a beautiful structure made from hand-crafted wood with intricate carvings and wooden statues, and the Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens, a massive garden filled with all sorts of flowers showcasing Thailand’s horticulture.
Chiang Mai is the next biggest city to Bangkok and is located to the North. Perhaps the biggest difference between these two cities is how laid-back Chiang Mai feels. In much better proximity to beautiful hills, mountains and nature, this is where you want to go when you want the conveniences of Bangkok, but accessibility to the less developed towns and nature.
Chiang Rai is a quiet and beautiful part of Thailand, most famous for the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun. Featuring several unique temples, a walking street and unique architecture with heavy Lanna influence, it’s a great place to visit for a day or two. In addition to the temples, take in the countryside along the highway! You’ll be rewarded with scenic mountains and plenty of paddy fields of this quaint province.
Pai is a town in the Mae Hong Soon province north of Chiang Mai and is a great place to explore if you’re into nature. Bamboo and white river rafting is popular here, along with hiking and mountain trekking. If you wish to enter a part of Thailand where time has stopped, Pai is the place to go.
A bustling costal city, it is most known for its resorts and boat tours to the beautiful islands nearby, like the famous Phi Phi Islands. A great city if you enjoy the beach and associated watersports or the relaxed resort lifestyle.
Great for a day trip, it must not be missed. With clear seawaters, beautiful beaches and reefs that can be explored via snorkelling, it is an experience of a lifetime! There are plenty of options for island hopping tours, so you’ll get to see most of the islands in a day. Do note that they rotate the island availability to give the coral reefs time to recuperate.