Thailand is filled with beautiful beaches, stunning temples, and serene mountains. There is no shortage of beautiful places in Thailand.
After having spent over a year living and traveling throughout Thailand, I got to see so many beautiful places in Thailand. I loved every second of exploring this country, as it’s filled with so much culture, things to see and do, and nature to explore.
In this post, I will show you my list of the 10 most beautiful places in Thailand. These range from the most popular and worth-the-hype tourist destinations to a few local hidden gems scattered throughout the country. Wherever you choose to visit, you will be in awe of the beauty of Thailand.
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10 Most Beautiful Places in Thailand You Have To Visit
Railay Beach in Krabi
Railay Beach in Krabi tops the list of the most beautiful places in Thailand. While this list is in no particular order, Railay Beach is one of my favorites.
The south of Thailand is famous for its crystal-clear water and beautiful sandy beaches, and Railay Beach is one of the best. This beach is actually more like an island.
Locked in seclusion because of its steep limestone cliffs, there are no cars or vehicles on the island. Actually, the only way to get here is by boat!
You’ll need to take a boat from Krabi to Railay Beach, which is about a 10-minute journey. It’s a beautiful boat ride on a longtail boat and coasts by the limestone cliffs.
Once you are on Railay Beach, there are lots of accommodations from luxurious hotels to cheap party hostels.
You will also find an abundance of things to do including hiking, world-class rock climbing, shopping and dining, and watching wild monkeys!
I actually loved Railay Beach so much, I visited 3 times during my year in Thailand! That’s more than anywhere else. It’s less touristy than its neighbor, Phuket, and just as beautiful.
I am obsessed with Railay Beach and it is easily one of the most unique and beautiful places in Thailand.
Ang Thong National Marine Park
WOW! Ang Thong National Marine Park is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. This National Park is located off the coast of Koh Samui, Koh Phang Na, and Koh Tao. This makes it an easy and accessible day trip from any of these islands.
The only way for a tourist to access this beautiful area is with a tour. On a tour, you will be taken all around the national park with time for snorkeling, hiking, playing on the beach, and more!
Although I booked my tour on arrival in Koh Phang Na, I highly recommend booking a tour in advance, as it gives you peace of mind and ensures availability!
It’s a full-day tour and one absolutely worth doing. The highlight of the trip was on Koh Wua Talab Island. Here, there is an incredible hike that gives you 360 views of Ang Thong National Marine Park. The hike is steep and considered challenging. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the top and most of the path is in the share. Once you reach the top, you are rewarded with picture-perfect views of the chain of islands.
Although you cannot stay inside Ang Thong National Marine Park, the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phang Na, and Koh Tao offer great accommodations ranging in price to accommodate all budgets.
There is also plenty to do on these islands from scuba diving to chasing waterfalls to relaxing on white sandy beaches.
Chiang Mai Doi Suthep
I spent most of my time in Thailand living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although I am slightly biased, this city is filled with the most beautiful places in Thailand. However, if I have to choose my favorite place, it has to be the famous Doi Suthep Mountain.
Doi Suthep absolutely dominates the Chiang Mai city skyline. At the top of Doi Suthep mountain, you will find Wat Doi Suthep. This is a Buddhist temple located at the top of the mountain. Here, you will get beautiful city views surrounded by northern Thai mountains.
Visiting Doi Suthep is one of the most popular attractions in Chiang Mai, with good reason. It’s one of the most peaceful places in the city. It’s especially lovely in the morning for sunrise. After many visits to this temple, I can confidently say the morning is the best time to visit.
To get to Wat Doi Suthep, you can rent a motorbike or take a songtaew to the top. It’s about 45 minutes outside the city, and you’ll weave through the lush forest on the way up. The drive transports you out of the big city life and into the peaceful nature.
When planning your Thailand trip, if you head to Northern Thailand, this stop is not to be missed.
Chiang Rai White Temple
This picturesque temple is one of the most photographed places in Thailand. The Chiang Rai White Temple is one of the postcard pictures of Thailand.
This beautiful white temple stands out from the thousands of other temples scattered throughout Thailand. What makes the Chiang Rai White Temple especially unique is that it leans into an artistic side. It’s literally a work of art, complete with an art gallery.
As you walk around the ground of the White Temple you will notice incredible artwork outside of the temple. From the beautiful caves to the golden bathroom, it’s an incredible stop.
Although I was a bit skeptical before visiting, due to its popularity I wasn’t sure if it was worth the trip, I was proven wrong. I actually visited the White Temple on a day trip from Chiang Mai. It was a LONG day trip, but we squeezed in a lot! The day trip included visiting the White Temple, Blue Temple, Black House, and the Mighty Mekong.
If visiting with a tour, you’ll want to book an early one to arrive as early as possible. Because of its popularity, it tends to get very crowded. Another option would be to spend a few days in Chiang Rai and visit the White Temple in the evening. The sunset is a fantastic time to get pictures of the temple.
Koh Chang Beaches
I couldn’t gush over Koh Chang more if I wanted to, I mean I LOVE this island! This hidden gem island is located about a 5-hour drive east of Bangkok. It’s much less touristy than islands like Koh Samui, Phuket, and Krabi. This means there are miles of unspoiled white sandy beaches.
Koh Chang is my TOP hidden gem in Thailand. Koh Chang is the third largest island in Thailand and is filled with beautiful mountain tops, crystal-clear water, and incredible snorkeling.
While in Koh Chang you can take a snorkeling tour, which happens to be the best snorkeling I saw during my time in Thailand. The coral is vibrant and colorful and there is plenty of fish and other creatures.
Koh Chang is the perfect trip if you are looking to get off the beaten path and away from tourist traps.
Actually, I loved Koh Chang so much I wrote about the 18 best things to do in Koh Chang + FAQ’s! This article will help you plan the perfect trip to my favorite island in Thailand, Koh Chang!
Kanchanaburi is a town just 2-3 hours outside of Bangkok with lots of history and beautiful nature. Kanchanaburi played a large part during World War 2, and the city pays homage to its history with an abundance of museums, war remnants, and cemeteries scattered throughout the town.
Most notably, Kanchanaburi is famous for being home to “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”. Here, you can learn more about the bridge and its story. You can even walk the bridge or take the train over it. It’s truly a very humbling experience.
In addition to its historical significance, Kanchanaburi is also a gateway city to some of the most beautiful nature in all of Thailand. This city is located in the heart of the mountains, so just a quick drive in any direction you will reach awesome hiking and beautiful mountain views.
The best day trip from Kanchanaburi is to Erawan National Park. Erawan National Park is famous for its insanely beautiful waterfall. Actually, this is said to be the most beautiful waterfall in all of Thailand!
Unfortunately for me, during my visit to Erawan, the park was closed due to strong winds a few days prior which left the waterfall closed to guests. I was really disappointed, but the drive through the mountains was worth it. At least I can say I tried! Now, I have another reason to come back!
Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi
Famous from the early 2000s Leonardo Dicaprio movie, “The Beach”, Maya Bay has to be one of the most picturesque islands in the world.
This island is surrounded by breathtaking limestone cliffs and gorgeous white sand beaches. It really looks how it does in all the photos.
With the popularity of this beach, it has been plagued with over-tourism throughout the years. This has caused the Thailand government to close the beach to swimming. So, during my trips, you could go to the famous beach to take pictures, but you cannot swim in the water. They did this to help the ecosystem replenish and keep it healthy.
The best way to get to Maya Bay is to stay on Koh Phi Phi and then take a longtail boat to Maya Bay. Staying on the island gives you the advantage of being close, thus being the first ones on the beach in the morning.
The other way to get to Maya Bay is to take a day trip from Phuket or Krabi. Koh Phi Phi is smack dab in the middle of Phuket and Krabi! It’s about a 90-minute boat ride from each city. This is one of the reasons it’s so popular too – it’s accessible from two of the biggest tourist cities in the south!
No matter how you choose to get to Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi, you will be awe-struck by its beauty. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Thailand and the world.
Khao Sok National Park
This national park is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. Khao Sok National Park is a massive man-made lake that produces energy and provides water to the cities in the south of Thailand.
This lake is famous for its stunning natural beauty, unique rock formations, wild elephants, and over-the-water floating bungalows.
Actually, Khao Sok National Park was the #1 place on my Thailand bucket-list before I arrived! Luckily, I can say it lived up to the hype.
I booked a 2-day 1-night tour of the lake with a stay in the over-the-water floating bungalows. I was absolutely blown away by the calmness of the water and the serenity all around. Although the lake is massive, you truly feel like you are the only people around. Not to mention, the star gazing is amazing.
Khao Sok National Park is also famous for its abundance of wild Asian elephants. My tour actually included 2 animal safaris, where we went out on a long-tail boat and went to find wild elephants. Although it’s not guaranteed to find them, it’s really incredible if you get lucky enough! Even if you don’t find the wild elephants, the safari is still a peaceful way to experience the lake and take in the views.
Chiang Dao Mountain
This peaceful mountain town is definitely less known but just as beautiful. Located just 1 hour drive north of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Dao is the perfect day trip.
Chiang Dao Mountain is actually the third tallest mountain in Thailand, but it’s the only one with a true hiking trail to the top.
What makes Chiang Dao Mountain so special is its wide variety of unique plants and species. Many nature enthusiasts come from all over the world to witness this biodiverse area.
Even if you are not into hiking, Chiang Dao is a peaceful small Thai town. It’s covered in beauty and relaxation.
Here, you can get away from the tourist traps and not worry about being scammed.
You can see Chiang Dao mountain from all over Chiang Dao, and it’s so beautiful. Just spend a few days here relaxing in the rice fields and taking in the views.
Last, but far from least, is Pai Canyon. Pai is another mountain town in Northern Thailand, however, this one is a 3-hour drive from Chiang Mai.
I’ll admit, Pai Canyon is the only place I haven’t personally visited on this list. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I never made the time. I consistently visited Chiang Dao, because its known to be the “Thai’s Pai”, and I just loved it there. However, Pai easily ranks as one of the most beautiful places in Thailand from my friends and I am going to take their word for it!
Pai is a backpacker’s paradise. Many travelers come here to rest and relax for a few days before heading off to their next spot.
What makes Pai so beautiful is its vast views of the Thailand mountains. Here, you feel alone and reconnect with nature.
Pai is also a bit of a hippie town with a big bohemian vibe. It’s really more of a westernized place, than a true authentic Thailand town. However, it continues to attract tourists from all over the world.
Next time you are in Northern Thailand, add this spot to your list!
What is Thailand Famous For?
Thailand is famous for its abundance of beautiful scenery, delicious food, and friendly people. After having traveled throughout Thailand during my year living there, it has become of of my favorite countries in the world.
These 10 beautiful places are also what Thailand is famous for. Places like Maya Bay, The White Temple, and Railay Beach, are some of the most photographed places in the entire world! During your trip to Thailand, you should definitely see these popular sights – they are worth the hype for a reason! However, also head to some more beautiful hidden gems like Chiang Dao and Koh Chang.
No matter where you visit in Thailand, you will find beautiful nature and rich culture.
How Long Should I Spend in Thailand?
When asking the question, “how long should I spend in Thailand?” it’s important to ask yourself what you want to see. Do you want to relax on the beaches? See the big cities? Experience northern Thailand culture? Anywhere from 7-10 days is perfect for a first-time visitor on a time constraint.
However, many backpackers and long-term travelers choose to stay in Thailand for over a month and say they need more time! My honest answer is, that no time is enough in this beautiful country. There will always be something new to explore.
However, for a first-time visitor, 7-14 days is plenty.
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