You’d think we’d be tired of writing about Thailand by now, but the country offers so much that it never gets old. With its crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and green mountainous regions, we can’t get enough of sharing this beautiful country with you guys. If you’re actually planning a trip here soon or if you just need your daily dose of travel inspiration, here is our list of fun things to do in Thailand that you can’t miss out on!
- 1 Things to Do in Bangkok & Central Thailand
- 2 Things to Do in Northern Thailand
- 3 Things to do in the Thai Islands
- 4 Get the Ultimate Thailand Adventure Guide
Things to Do in Bangkok & Central Thailand
Experience the Floating Market
What’s cooler than a normal market? Only a floating market! Full of rickety wooden boats loaded with piles of colorful local produce, you’ll need your camera and your best haggling skills. If not just for the amazing sight and experience, the incredibly fresh Thai fruit is enough reason to find your nearest floating market and get there early! The most famous floating market is found in Damnoen Saduak, with other favorites located in Samut Songkhram and Bangkok.
Eat Street Food
There is a reason why Asia is known for its street food and Thailand is no exception! Whether you are peckish, starving or just enticed by the smell, we can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. We highly recommend trying the green papaya salad, mango sticky rice and of course, a true Thai pad thai! Regardless of where you are, you will find a busy road full of street food where you can discover new tastes and explore your senses! While you can get street food pretty much anywhere in Thailand, the street food scene in Bangkok is unlike anywhere else.
Admire the Many Temples
You would think that once you’ve seen one temple you’ve seen them all, but that’s really not the case. Each temple in Thailand, and Asia, in general, has its own unique character, with beautiful architecture and grand furnishings. Regardless of whether you’re religious, anyone can enjoy visiting and appreciate the faith of the people that come here to pray. Popular temples are The Grand Palace and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the heart of Bangkok. Ayutthaya, a city located 80km away from Bangkok is also a pretty popular place to explore due to its UNESCO World Heritage site standing.
Rooftop Bar Crawl
When in Bangkok, one thing not to miss is enjoying the stellar rooftop views that most bars offer. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Hangover, you would know that no night out in Bangkok is ever complete without doing some sort of roof top bar crawl. Here are a few of our top picks for the restaurants and bars with the best views.
- Sky Bar by Lebua
- Vertigo and Moon Bar
- Park Society
Wander Through the Mazelike Thai Markets
Even if you’re not a shopper, markets have something for everyone. Wander through the rows of endless stalls and browse the local handicrafts, silk, and handmade clothes. With major markets such as Chatuchak and the Asiatique Night Market in Bangkok, you’ll be sure to find somewhere to shop at every turn! When spending time in Thailand, you’ll soon find that there is a kind of market for every time of day and for every person.
Things to Do in Bangkok Resources
Things to Do in Northern Thailand
Rent a Motorbike and Explore
This was my absolute favorite thing that we did while in Northern Thailand, partly because of the breathtaking views we rode through and partly because I got to experience it all with my brother. Experience the freedom of riding through the mountains with the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin (or the monsoon rain soaking your clothes – true story). There are no words to describe the feeling of renting a bike and riding through a new beautiful place so close to your surroundings, so go and experience it for yourself! We would highly recommend the Mae Hong Son loop. Whether you plan to do it all or just a section of it, it will be a ride you won’t forget and shouldn’t be missed!
While you might feel “templed out” after spending a day or two wandering around Bangkok, the temples in Northern Thailand are still worth visiting. My personal favorite was visiting the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep atop a mountain in Chiang Mai. Not only was the golden temple stunning but the amazing views we saw over the whole city over sunrise was pretty special. If you’re keen on getting active, there is also a weekend walking group which hike to the sunrise view point on most weekends.
Help Take Care of Elephants at an Elephant Sanctuary
Many Asian countries have a bad reputation with animal exploitation but if you do your research, you will find specific nature parks dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and care for certain animals. A particular experience Anna recommends is The Karen Elephant Experience at the Elephant Nature Park. Not only did she get to see beautiful and well looked after elephants, she also got to interact, feed, bathe and trek alongside these kind creatures in their natural habitats with a few members of the Karen tribe. What’s cuter than giving an elephant a mud bath? (Cue your “awws” here).
Go Trekking in Chiang Mai
Although very touristy, trekking in Chaing Mai is one of the top things to do in the area. Together with a local guide or a tour group, you can get a glimpse of local culture and life as you trek towards remote hill tribe villages. Most of the trails take you through lush jungles and forests and is a great way to see the incredible wildlife in the area. If you’re looking for trails that are a little bit more secluded, you can head to Chiang Rai, Pai, Mae Hon Song, and other places further up North.
Join in with Local Celebrations and Festivals
Festivals offer a really unique insight into the local customs and traditions of a place so why not get involved? Top festivals for Thailand have to be the Songkran Water Festival, celebrating the Thai new year with a giant water fight, and Loy Krathong, the festival of light which is celebrated in Chiang Mai. Whether you want to get wet and wild or release your own Krathong with your troubles and wishes, these are experiences you will only have here in Thailand and can share it with the locals. Both these festivals are incredibly beautiful (and fun) to witness so trust me when I say try to time your trip to Thailand in time for these events. You won’t regret it!
Things to do in Northern Thailand Resources
Things to do in the Thai Islands
Get Active and Experience Thailand’s Adventurous Side
By now you guys know we love to explore a new place by bike! With its mountainous regions and beautiful islands, Thailand has numerous bike companies and even more routes to choose from. Do you fancy mountain biking around the breathtaking islands in Phuket? If you like to be active and love a good challenge, get on your bike and ride! If biking isn’t your thing, there is also trekking, rock climbing, and loads of other fun adventurous activities to enjoy.
Here are a few highlights of activities that you can do in each place:
- Rock Climbing: Ton Sai, Krabi, and Railey
- Cycling Tours: Phuket, Phi Phi
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Yao Noi
- Obstacle Course: Koh Phangan
Go Island Hopping
What better way to explore Thailand’s best beaches than to go island hopping? You get to ride the waves with the smell of the sea around you and sit on the beach with a coconut in hand. Some tours also throw in scuba diving or cliff jumping just for the perfect mixture of a relaxing yet adventurous day! If you want to spend some time on idyllic, isolated islands that can only be described as paradise, island hopping should be at the top of your list. A few of our most not miss places are Ang Thong Marine National Park, Nang Yuan Island, and a few of the remote beaches and islands like Koh Lipe.
A few of our most not miss places are:
- Ang Thong Marine National Park
- Nang Yuan Island
- Similan National Park
- James Bond Island
Attend the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan
Even if you’re not a huge party person, taking part of the legendary full moon parties in Thailand is sort of a right of way that every traveler goes through. Dance the night away as you’re decked out in neon apparel and body paint as you celebrate this fun occasion together with thousands of other travelers. If you’re not there during the full moon, they also have half moon and black moon celebrations that are pretty fun.
Get PADI Certified & Go Scuba Diving
With everything on offer in Thailand, there is yet more to be discovered under its waters! Due to the great value for money and affordability, loads of people head to Koh Tao to get their PADI certification. As soon as you’ve done that, you can now travel all over Thailand to explore their stunning marine life. Koh Tao, Phuket, and the Similan National Park are popular all over the world for its clear waters and tropical marine life and is considered paradise for both diving and snorkeling. Elephant head is considered one of the best dive spots due to the intricate maze-like rocks that dominate the seabed. I mean who want to explore the many channels and swim throughs of an underwater maze? It’s like an adult playground!
Things to Do in the Thai Islands Resources
- Things to do in Khao Lak
- Ultimate Guide to Koh Tao
- Things to do in Koh Lanta
- Ultimate Guide to Ton Sai
- Things to do in Koh Phangan
- Things to do in Koh Samui
- Things to do in Koh Phi Phi
- Things to do in Phuket
- Things to do in Krabi
- Things to do in Koh Lipe
- Things to do in Koh Chang
Get the Ultimate Thailand Adventure Guide
Over the last 2 years, we’ve spent a good amount of time exploring the best adventures that Thailand has to offer. Based on our experiences of both living and traveling around the country, we created a 72-page travel adventure e-book to Thailand showcasing the best things to see and do in the country.
Click Adventures in Thailand: The Ultimate Adventure Travel Guide to check it out!
As always, Thailand offers food, culture, and adventure for every type of traveler. There will never be a shortage of fun things to do in Thailand, just remember to research the place that you are staying for local events and recommendations in order to make the most out of your stay there.
Need help planning your trip to Thailand? Check out these articles
- Complete Guide to Planning Your Dream Trip to Thailand
- Best Places to Stay in Thailand
- What to Eat in Thailand: Food you will love!