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Updated by Erin Hunter on Jan 04, 2015
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Erin Hunter Erin Hunter
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Best Places to Visit in Thailand - Thailand's Top Tourist Hotspots

As Asia's vacation Mecca Thailand is a land of diverse landscapes and attractions. From the beaches haven of Koh Phangan to the historic confines of Ayutthaya the must-visit Thai regions are explored below.

1

Bangkok

Bangkok

Often regarded as the gateway to Asia and a popular stopover among backpackers touring the region Bangkok is a city brimming with touristic possibilities. As the largest city in Thailand, the capital city is a bustling metropolis that combines the best of the old and new within its leafy confines. Littered with the country's top departments stores and shopping venues and its best nightclubs Bangkok is also home to iconic temples and ancient palaces harking back to Thailand's golden age. Crisscrossed by the River of Kings or the Chao Praya River with its intricate network or canals and floating markets Bangkok is a food lover's dream come true. Street food vendors line every corner of this city that also includes lush green spaces between its high rise havens.

2

The Islands

The Islands

Tipped to be among the world's most coveted beach holiday destinations the pristine beaches littering the Thai coast are some of the finest in the globe. Frequented by beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts and holidaymakers alike the white, sandy beaches of Thailand also host globally renowned parties throughout the calendar year including Full Moon Parties and Half Moon Parties. Highlights include the islands of Koh Phangan, Ko Samet, Ko Samui and Ko Tao while Ko Chang is equally popular among seasoned visitors. Ko Phi Phi is another must-visit point of interest for beach vacationers as the venue served as the backdrop for the Hollywood film The Beach starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Phuket is Thailand's most well regarded beach hub. As the biggest island in the country Phuket is a holiday heartland like no other.

3

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

Set within the picturesque confines of the Chao Phraya River valley Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand. Established as early as 1350 this idyllic city which occupies an island encircled by not one but three rivers is linked with the Gulf of Siam thanks to the bodies of water that surround it. Named the capital of the country by King U Thong the Kingdom of Ayutthaya was known as one of the most glorious cities on the planet during its heyday. Famously known as Siam the iconic city is littered with ruins and relics of its golden era and is one of Thailand's most visited historic cities. Conveniently located within 50 miles of the current capital Ayutthaya is a must-visit highlight for history buffs.

4

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

As the country's finest natural reserve the Khao Sok National Park is a sprawling wildlife sanctuary located in Surat Thani. Occupying the verdant confines of southern Thailand the vast expanse covers tropical forests, rivers and limestone karsts. Asian elephants, languor and bears are just some of the wildlife found within the national park which is also home to pig-tailed macaques, Malayan tapirs, monkeys and barking deer.

5

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Occupying the northern territory of Thailand Chiang Mai is a scenic city that is encircled by sky-piercing mountains on all sides. Known as the first stopover for tourists exploring the natural beauty and pristine landscapes of the county Chiang Mai is a historic region that is home to several hill tribes that still maintain their traditional way of life to this day. An adventure sports haven outdoor activities in the area are varied and many. Historic structures are interspersed with modern buildings in this cultural melting pot where the past and the present coexist in harmony. Those based in Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa or a similar well-situated Chiang Mai resort will enjoy easy access to the city's most coveted corners.