15 Amazing Things To Do In Thailand

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s most favoured destinations and the list of amazing things to do in Thailand is endless.

This beautiful country is jam-packed with culture, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, welcoming people and so much more.

15 Amazing Things To Do In Thailand

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s most favoured destinations and the list of amazing things to do in Thailand is endless.

This beautiful country is jam-packed with culture, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, welcoming people and so much more.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

We’ve included suggestions of the best things to do on Thailand’s islands, in the big cities, and everywhere in between.

Thailand is undoubtedly one of our favourite countries in the world. It ticks all the boxes for us, and each time we return, we discover more things to do in Thailand.

The main reasons why we love Thailand so much are the warmth of the Thai people, the cuisine, the affordability, and the temperature (we love warm destinations).

We recommend planning to spend at least two to three weeks in Thailand to visit the capital city of Bangkok, the gorgeous islands, and Northern Thailand.

After visiting every country in the world, Thailand is still in our top 3! We’re often asked what are the best things to do in Thailand, so let’s cover our top 15 experiences now.

15 Amazing Things to Do in Thailand

1) Visit a Floating Market

There’s nothing quite like it, visiting floating markets in Thailand is one of the best things to do in Thailand. There are many floating markets to choose from, however, the most famous one is Damnoen Saduak, located in Ratchaburi, around 100km from Bangkok. 

Our tip is to arrive early and avoid crowds. The best photographs can be taken during this time, so it’s worth it. In the early hours, you’ll have access to the freshest food and be able to nab the best bargains, too.

If you’re a little short on time, I recommend this 6-hour tour to visit Damnoen Saduak floating markets. Alternatively, this full day tour of Damnoen Suduak floating market and Maeklong Railway Market is a great choice. Just another one of the awesome things to do in Thailand.

floating markets things to do in thailand
Damnoen Saduak floating market

Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram is a great experience, too. This market is open in the afternoons only, and this half-day tour of Amphawa Floating & Maeklong Railway Train Market is your best option for visiting and soaking up the vibes.

My top choice is the Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market. It’s located about 10km from the city centre of Bangkok and it feels a little more authentic than the others. It receives far fewer tourists as it’s smaller, and the food is fantastic.

Make your way out there alone or book this fantastic 4-hour group tour to experience this bustling market. 

2) Go Island Hopping

things to do on thailand island hopping
Things to do Thailand

Are there things to do on Thailand Islands? The answer to that is yes! You could say that Thailand has a few islands to keep you busy, there are more than 1,400 of them! 

Of course, you can choose just to relax, soak up the sun and work on the tan or you can go island-hopping and explore! The islands are so popular because of the amazing things to do on Thailand islands. It’s quite easy to ferry between more popular islands such as Ko Samui, Koh Tao and Ko Phangan.

The things to do on Thailand islands below are endless – but we’ve selected the best experiences below.

If you’re keen to explore further and search for the best things to do in Thailand on the more remote islands, read on.

I’d highly recommend Koh Lipe (click here for things to do in Koh Lipe), Koh Phayam, Koh Kood (click here to book private transfer from Bangkok) and Koh Jum for the paradise vibes you’ve been craving.

These islands are much quieter, but boy, are they gorgeous! Trust me, you will never want to leave!

3) Relax on Koh Lipe

My all-time favourite things to do in Thailand (apart from eating all the food) is to escape the crowds and relax somewhere beautiful. Of all of the stunning Thai islands to visit, Koh Lipe is high on my list.

This island is absolutely stunning. This is the picture-postcard shot of white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters and the iconic colourful longtail boats bobbing around on the beach. Koh Lipe is perfect in size (making it easy to get around), and it offers superb snorkelling trips and day tours to surrounding islands.

If island hopping is high on your list of things to do in Thailand, Koh Lipe is the perfect island to spend as long as you need to recharge your batteries.

4) Explore Bangkok

Want more awesome things to do in Thailand? Explore Bangkok!

What a vibrant city this is! Upon arrival in the capital of Thailand, you’ll soon realise that anything goes here. The mixture of noises, aromas, crowds, and endless traffic jams will have you bug-eyed. 

Bangkok can be a little overwhelming for some visitors at first, but give it a few days and you will soon get your bearings and understand how this bustling city works. I’d recommend you plan to stay at least 2-3 days in the big city to visit the best things to do in Bangkok and get over any jet lag you may be experiencing. 

things to do in thailand bangkok tuk tuk

Don’t miss the Best Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand:

  • Khao San Road
  • The Royal Palace
  • Wat Arun
  • Wat Pho
  • Chinatown
  • The Golden Mount
  • The Siam district 

5) Visit the Temples in Chiang Mai

A visit to Thailand isn’t complete until you’ve experienced the mountainous region of Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the most popular city for visitors and those wanting to immerse themselves in Thai culture. 

The Old City in Chiang Mai still retains relics of moats and walls from its history. The small alleyways lead into quaint cafes, small shops, charming guesthouses and local eateries.

We’ve spent quite a lot of time in Chiang Mai, it’s one of our favourite cities in Thailand. Check out the post on where to stay in Chiang Mai – best hotels & accommodation guide.

Don’t miss the famous Khao Soi noodles of Chiang Mai, most places serve this delicious dish. You can find the best place to eat Khao Soi and 14 other places you need to eat in our Food Guide to Chiang Mai.

Better yet, taste Chiang Mai’s favourite foods on this 20 dish lunchtime tasting Food Tour!

RELATED POST – Best City for Digital Nomads in Thailand – Chiang Mai vs Chiang Rai

things to do in thailand chiang mai temples

Chiang Mai is also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, they’re scattered all over the city. The Lonely Planet Guidebook for Thailand has an excellent walking tour to visit all the temples, plus fantastic information for the rest of your time in Thailand.

Furthermore, it has updated information about the best things to do in Thailand as you travel around the country.

Chiang Mai is also known to have some amazing day trips to go trekking or visit local Hill Tribes. The most popular day tours I’d recommend starting from Chiang Mai are below:

6) Join a Food Tour – Delicious things to do in Thailand

If you’re not already aware, one of the best things to do in Thailand is to eat! Yes, this cuisine is world-renowned for being one of the best! And to be honest, Thai food is so much more than the popular classic dishes such as Pad Thai (fried noodles), green curry and fried rice. 

Read my post about these 12 Delicious Thai dishes you need to try.

To get a better understanding of the variety and complexities of Thai food, join a food tour and let a local lead the way. They know all the best eateries and spots to chow down on the tastiest food ever. From personal experience of eating my way around Thailand many times, these food tours below are highly recommended.

7) Take a Thai Cooking Class

If you take my advice and join one of the amazing food tours above, you’ll want to recreate Thai cuisine back in the comfort of your own home. The best part is that you can! Join a Thai food cooking class in any city in Thailand and learn how to cook like a local.

The secret to Thai cuisine is all about the balance of flavours. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy is what it’s all about and your smiling Thai chef will gladly show you the ropes.

things to do in thailand cooking class

8) Hire a surfboard or take a surfing lesson

Looking for some awesome things to do on Thailand islands of Phuket or Koh Samui? Take a surfing lesson or hire a surfboard and go it alone. There are usually a few places on the beaches with a range of large surfboards, just perfect for practising your surfing skills.

Private surf lessons begin at around 1200 THB per hour. Alternatively, if you’d just like to hire a surfboard and get out there, surfboard hire in Phuket starts at 200 THB for 1hr or 500 THB for a half-day.

9) Get a Thai Massage

After a day of discovering the best things to do in Thailand or relaxing on the beach, there is nothing better than a Thai massage.

An hour-long traditional Thai massage costs 200 – 300 THB ($6 – 9 USD), depending on where you get it. Northern Thailand or Bangkok is much cheaper than the Thailand islands and beaches.

things to do in thailand massage

For around the same price, you can choose a relaxing massage or maybe just a relaxing foot massage. This is by far one of the best things to do in Thailand, and it’s available all over the country.

You’ll be dreaming of these once you leave, I promise.

Off to Thailand for vacation? Take advantage of these basic Thai phrases! Make your travels smoother and connect better with the locals. 

10) Drink a Thai Iced Coffee

To all the coffee lovers out there, you’re going to love Thailand. Just another reason why I love Thailand too. I can get my coffee fix, and it’s always affordable.

You can find amazing coffee places that sling out the perfect espresso, americano or flat white, however, the popular choice here is Thai iced coffee. Yes, they’re so good!

things to do in thailand iced coffee
Things to do in Thailand – Drink Thai Iced Coffee

It’s the perfect way to cool down and still stay caffeinated. I do not drink too much milky coffee, so I usually just order an iced americano. Either way, I’d agree that the best things to do in Thailand should include either coffee or food!

11) Eat Street Food

Thailand is a nation of food lovers! Thais are passionate about cooking, eating and celebrating life with food and family. This attitude to life is seen all over the country.

We recommend you hit the night markets for these 12 most delicious Thai dishes.

The temperature is usually tropical and warm, so the most popular place to eat is on the streets! The street food in Thailand is arguably the best street food I’ve eaten in the entire world, and I frequently eat street food in most countries.

In some countries, such as Morocco in Northern Africa, for example, you need to be extra careful. I discuss this further in my post about what to eat in Marrakech (and what to avoid).

things to do in thailand eat street food

I don’t have any worries about eating street food in Thailand. These outdoor kitchens are usually kept so clean and hygienic, that there is no need to be concerned. One of the most common questions I’m often asked is if I’m worried that I’ll get ill from it. 

Of course I follow some basic rules when eating street food which I’ve covered in my post 7 tips for how to find the best food when travelling.  

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12) Wander through Night Markets

It seems that anywhere you go in Thailand, there is always a night market happening. The best thing about night markets in Thailand is that the Thai people really know how to organise them.

This is THE place to wander around, browsing the racks of handmade clothing, handicrafts, artwork, and lovely souvenirs that you want to keep as memories from your time here.

night markets chiang mai things to do in thailand
Marty at the night markets in Chiang Mai, Thailand

There’s usually music playing throughout the markets and, of course, every type of street food vendor you can imagine serving everything from grilled meat on sticks, mango & sticky rice or home-made coconut ice cream.

If you ask me, the best street food markets are in Chiang Mai, Pai and Bangkok.

13) Explore the city of Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is about 45 minutes by car from Bangkok or 1.5 hours via bus. The ruined city was once the most important and powerful place in Thailand. Travellers with an interest in Thai culture and history, as well as Buddhism, will love this unique destination.

The former capital of Siam (present-day Thailand), this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers you some of the best things to do in Thailand.

In Ayutthaya, you can discover multiple ruined temples over 15 sites. It’s pretty large, so it will take you about a full day to visit the 6 main temples. 

To visit all temples and get the most value for money, I’d recommend purchasing a pass for 220 THB. However, you can buy each ticket separately if you’re not keen to visit them all.

Alternatively, this small group tour of Ayutthaya Historical Park is highly recommended. Learn from your local guide about this fascinating place.

If you don’t have the time to stay here for a few days in Ayutthaya, there are some fantastic day tours from Bangkok.

I rented a bicycle many years ago and cycled around this cool city, but now there is small group bike tour of Ayuttaya that looks like so much fun! I’ll try that on my next visit.

14) Stay in an Overwater Bungalow

Escape the big city of Bangkok and take a trip to Sai Yok National Park.

A popular spot for both tourists and locals. The best things to do in Thailand include exploring caves, waterfalls, and historical sites – all of which you will find here.

See the raft houses along its main river Khwae Noi, and book a night or two in the Floating House River KwaiThis will be one of the most memorable things to do in Thailand, so book your room early to avoid disappointment.

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15) Visit Phuket – So many amazing things to do in Thailand from here

things to do on thailand islands kata beach

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, located in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. The island is famous for offering some of the best beach resorts in the country.

Its gorgeous white sandy beaches and endless options for things to do in Thailand attract visitors worldwide.

There are many choices for where to stay, but I recommend Kata Beach. Not only because it’s beautiful, but for these 10 fun things to do in Kata Beach in Phuket.

Kata Beach is both the name of a small town on Phuket’s west coast and its popular beach. The 1.5 km long, postcard-perfect crescent of white sand beach is lined with trees throwing shade to relax and enjoy the sound of the calm waves breaking on the sand. 

If you’re looking for a beautiful resort only minutes from the beach that offers amazing value for money, the Chanalai Flora Resort is highly recommended. I stayed here recently and it was bliss!

Check prices for all accommodation in Kata Beach

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the amazing things to do in Thailand. Did I mention your favourite thing to do in Thailand? Let me know in the comments below.

Travel Tips for Thailand

We have many travel guides and tips for Thailand—what a delicious country!

Our 26 helpful tips for travel in Thailand are good to know before you arrive.

Start by tasting these top 12 Thai dishes and then explore more of this incredible cuisine. We love to eat here, and Thailand is featured in our top 10 best countries for food lovers. 

There are many reasons why it’s the perfect destination, and here are 15 amazing things to do in Thailand to help plan your next trip.

Our ultimate Southeast Asia packing list covers what to take (and what to leave at home). Learn a few basic Thai expressions to impress the locals!

If you plan on travelling to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand (which I highly recommend), our post about where to stay in Chiang Mai—our accommodation guide will be helpful to you.

Chiang Mai is a food lover’s paradise, our food guide on its best restaurants and places to eat is essential reading!

For those looking to stay a little longer in Thailand, this country is a digital nomad & remote workers’ heaven! Read our detailed digital nomads guide to both Chiang Mai vs Chiang Rai and Ko Samui vs Ko Phangan for remote workers.

Some of our favourite places include Kata Beach, on the island of Phuket – here are ten awesome things to do in Kata Beach, and of course we put together this ultimate food guide for Phuket Town.

We recommend visiting Lampang, a lesser-known (but fantastic) city – here are 11 reasons to visit Lampang! 

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Thailand. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View options for eSIM in Thailand or the regional Asialink eSIM (which covers 13 countries).

If your travels in Thailand are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

Want to travel in Thailand with like-minded travellers? View the best deals on group adventures in Thailand.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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