Traveling to Thailand for the first time can be excitingly overwhelming. With so much to see and do during your time in Southeast Asia, it can be hard to decide how to fill your itinerary.
First Time Adventures in Thailand
With such a beautiful country, you’ll need to pick and choose what sights to see first. The following seven places are a must-see during your Thailand trip.
1. The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is a series of buildings that go back 200 years. While it is one of the most touristy places in Thailand, the beauty and grandeur of the palace is truly something incredible. While you will be truly blown away during any visit to the palace, if you get the chance to visit at night, you will see the Grand Palace beautifully illuminated.
2. The Golden Triangle
Be sure to stop by Sop Ruak or the Golden Triangle on your trip to Thailand. When visiting the Golden Triangle you can hire a boat to take a tour, stand at the river bank, and check out the many food stalls in the area.
3. An Elephant Adventure
As the national symbol of Thailand, the elephant is a very revered creature. While it may seem like a total tourist trap, you will appreciate getting the opportunity to have an experience with a Thai elephant. In many places, you can see elephants, take pictures with them, and even get an elephant ride.
4. Island hopping
With an expansive 5,000 miles worth of coastline, Thailand is the perfect place to go island hopping. Use long-tail boats to visit all of the various beaches and islands. The incredible limestone rocks and Phang Nga Bay are famous sights that make the most picturesque visits. Consider visiting Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Lee for some great snorkeling and a walk along the white-sand beaches.
5. Hill Tribe Villages
There are several tribes throughout northern Thailand. Take a chance to learn about the lives of Thailand tribes like the Karen, Hmong, Lisu, and Akha tribes. You can spend a night with a family to find out more about their daily lives. Be sure to choose a tour guide that can respectfully give you a guided tour of the tribes.
Depending on the time of year that you visit Thailand, you can find various festivals and celebrations going on. Visiting a local festival will allow you to see Thailand in a completely different light. Consider visiting Thailand in November for Loi Krathong, in April for Songkran, or in October for the Naga Fireballs festival.
7. Floating Markets
The floating markets of Thailand are iconic. The markets themselves are comprised of wooden boats filled with the best picks of local produce. The most famous floating markets are the Damnoen Saduak, Amphawa, and Taling Chang floating markets.
The best thing about these markets is that they’re a favorite of the locals and are now only being discovered by tourists. Visiting these floating markets is a great way to get to know life in Thailand through the eyes of a local.
In Thailand, you’ll experience many firsts whether you’re there as a newcomer or a returning visitor. Use this guide to help plan your first exciting trip to Thailand.