After spending almost a year living and traveling all over Thailand, it’s safe to say, we know this country pretty well. The whole reason behind these bucket lists is to help people plan and make the most out of their trip by not missing out on the ultimate highlights that a country can offer.
Thailand is a place with stunning beaches, colorful and unique festivals, incredible food (omg the food!!) and interesting culture. While the majority of Thailand is built to cater to tourists, there are still some hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So without further ado, here is my guide to the ultimate Thailand bucket list composed of MUST NOT MISS things to do while in the land of smiles.
Bucket List: Things to Do in Bangkok & Central Thailand
Bangkok and the rest of Central Thailand is a very busy region, so full of energy and life. While Bangkok is a big metropolitan city, however, if you venture just a little bit further, you will be pleasantly surprised with quiet neighborhoods and pleasant historical gold mines like the UNESCO heritage sites in Ayutthaya or the beautiful wildlife by Khao Yai National Park.
- Visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok and marvel at the intricately designed temples and palaces.
- Cruise down the serene Chao Phraya River
- People watch in the busy streets of Khao San Road
- Dare yourself to eat a few bugs and crickets
- Watch a traditional Muay Thai fight
- Learn how to Cook traditional Thai food in Bangkok
- Shop till you drop in Chatuchak Market and many of Bangkok’s incredible markets
- Eat your weight in Pad Thai, Tom Yum, and all the other delicious Thai street food
- Visit the Historic City of historic city of Ayutthaya
- Visit the floating market in Bangkok and watch the chaos of vendors float by
- Go Skydiving in Pattaya
- Go Trekking in Khao Yai National Park to see the incredible wildlife.
Resources for Where to Stay in Bangkok and Central Thailand
Bucket List: Things to do in Northern Thailand
Although I am a self-confessed island girl, my partner and I spent a good 7 months living in Northern Thailand. The city of walled gated city of Chiang Mai became home and the mountains became our playground as we filled our weekends with trips to nearby lakes and mountains. Naturally, I could write an entire article just talking about the many MUST dos while in Chiang Mai, here are a few of the ones that top my list.
- Go trekking in Chiang Mai and the other remote hill tribe villages
- Wander around the Night Bazaar and Sunday Walking Street in Chaing Mai
- Pay a visit to Doi Inthanon which is home to the highest point in the entire of Thailand.
- Go camping in Thailand’s many national parks like Doi Pui and Doi Inthanon.
- Have a bowl of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai
- Walk around the famous Doi Suthep Temple in Chiang Mai
- Attend a Thai Cooking Class and learn how to make northern Thai delicacies
- Drive the Mae Hon Song Loop by motorbike
- Visit the famous and picturesque White Temple of Chiang Rai
- Chill out in Pai (my favorite place in Northern Thailand!)
- Watch the sunset by the Pai Canyon
- Take a motorbike and drive to the Lod Caves
- Watch the incredible sunrise by Mount Phu Chi Fah
- Set foot at the Golden Triangle
- Support the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai
- Attend some of the best festivals in Thailand like the Songkran Water Festival or the Yi Peng Festival of Lights
Resources for Where to Stay in Northern Thailand
Bucket List: Things to do in the Thai Islands
Whilst very touristy, the hopping from one Thai island to the next is nothing short of amazing. Although only the main islands are frequented by tourists, there are actually loads of other incredible beaches in Thailand which are worth discovering and venturing out to. So if you’re the type that loves the sun, the sea, and frolicking from one palm-fringed island to the next, here are few things that you can’t miss out on doing while cruising down the Gulf of Thailand or by the Andaman Sea.
- Go island hopping on a longtail boat
- Drink a bucket or two (or three…who we kidding?)
- Go snorkeling in the clearest waters imaginable
- Stay in a Similan islands liveaboard
- Get PADI certified in Koh Tao
- Party until sunrise in the legendary Full Moon Party
- Visit Koh Nang Yuan Island off of Koh Tao island
- Cruise on down the beautiful rock formations of Ang Thong Marine Park
- Go on a sunset cruise in Krabi as you watch the sky change colors
- Explore the famous beaches of Koh Samui
- Explore and find awesome things to do in Koh Phangan and its lesser known beaches
- Attend Muay Thai lessons in one of the islands
- Wander around Khao Sok National Park
- Relax by Khao Lak island
- Enjoy the stunning beaches by Koh Lipe
- Go kayaking by the iconic Phang Nga Bay
- Explore some of Thailand’s best scuba diving sites
Resources for Where to Stay in Southern Thailand
While of course, you can’t possibly see and do everything during your trip, hopefully, this list has gotten you excited and inspired to start planning a trip of a lifetime. If you’re looking for more adventurous activities in Thailand, don’t forget to check out our fully covered Thailand Adventure Guide featuring the best adventures in the country as well as sample itineraries.