34 Bucket List Things To Do In Thailand
Traveling to Thailand? Wondering where to go in Thailand? Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, foodie or history buff, there are literally dozens of fun, exciting and memorable things to do in Thailand – the premier destination in Southeast Asia. Famous for its gorgeous beaches, rich culture, and budget travel opportunities, this tourist magnet has so many wondrous experiences to offer that you can easily spend over a year getting to know its quirks and intricacies.
From mind-blowing adventurous trips to soothing traditional Thai massage therapies, there is absolutely no shortage of amazing things to do in Thailand. Trust me, this Southeast Asian nation is brimming with bucket list worthy experiences.
1. Experience Chiang Mai’s Flight of the Gibbon
When it comes to allure and popularity, very few adventures and attractions in Thailand can rival the Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai. After all, it’s a globally renowned outdoor thrill that started the entire zipline craze. With more than six kilometers of zipline among the steep trees of an ancient rainforest, Chiang Mai’s Flight of the Gibbon is definitely a thrilling outdoor trip that you should include to your bucket list. Aside from the obvious adrenaline rush, this Thai trip also lets catch sight some rare animals, such as the super elusive Gibbon.
Looking for a heavy dose of fun and adventure in Thailand? Strap yourself to a licensed jumpmaster, jump off a plane, and experience a memorable spine-tingling skydiving adventure!
3. Eat some bugs
It may be one of the most unusual things to do in Thailand, but eating an insect delicacy will make a terrific and interesting story once you get home. Just ignore the weird pincers or hard shell, and try to enjoy the taste of savory spicy locusts and sweet fried grasshoppers.
4. Eat Thai street food
From grilled meats to Som Tam (papaya salad) and Pad Thai, this Southeast Asian hub has a plethora of mouthwatering street food choices that guarantee to please your taste buds and gastronomic urges.
5. Take a Thai cooking class
A good and fun way to immerse yourself into the Thai cuisine is to do a full or half day cooking class with a local chef. For the most part, a cooking class in Thailand starts with a visit to a local market to buy the ingredients needed for your dishes. Also, this visit will include a little introduction into the local spices, vegetables, herbs and fruits that are used in daily Thai cooking. Once you’ve picked your ingredients, the chef will take you through the preparation and cooking methods of some of Thailand’s most delightful dishes, such as the Tom Yum soup.
6. Climb Bangkok’s Sathorn Unique Tower
Getting to the top of Sathorn Unique Tower is a little challenging even if you’re in tip-top shape. But once you’re there, you’ll get awe-inspiring views of Thailand’s bustling and sprawling capital.
7. Take a day trip to Ayutthaya
A visit to Ayutthaya is something you must seriously consider, as you create a travel itinerary and list down your things to do in Thailand. Listed in 1991 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya will treat you with its magnificent ruins and historic temples like the Wat Phra Mahathat and Wat Phra si Sanphet.
8. Join a Muay Thai Camp
Even if you’re not an aspiring kick-boxer or pro MMA artist, joining a Muay Thai training class or camp should be one of your bucket list things to do in Thailand. Folks who are willing to pay the price – physically and mentally – will be rewarded with elevated fitness levels, ripped Spartan-like abs, and improved hand-eye coordination.
9. Jungle trekking in Northern Thailand
Northern Thailand, with its lofty jungle mountains, is truly a paradise for outdoor adventurists and trekking enthusiasts. Home to some of the best jungle trek destinations in Asia, Northern Thailand appeases outdoor aficionados with its intriguing wildlife, tasty local food, hot springs, lost trails and rugged falls.
10. Flyboarding in Kon Samui
Flyboarding is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the best and most exciting things to do in Thailand. With this extreme sport and adventure, you get aquatic superpowers that let you zoom through the waters of Kon Samui and leap in the air like Iron Man.
11. Dance like there’s no tomorrow at a Full Moon Party
For partyholics, one of the coolest things to do in Thailand is to join a Full Moon Party. Celebrated every month on Koh Phangan, this former native Thai ritual is now known as one of the world’s best and biggest all-night raves. Transforming the secluded island into Southeast Asia’s party capital, this monthly event buzzes with neon paints, heart-pounding music, alcohol buckets, fire skipping ropes and some booty shaking.
12. Bamboo rafting
Traveling with a bunch of friends? One of the best and most amazing things to do in Thailand with your friends is to hop on a bamboo raft and float down a river. Sure, it isn’t the most stable mode of transportation, but it’s pretty fun and exciting. Taking the river’s rapids, as you battle to balance, is a test of teamwork, and is sure to give you and your travel buddies a few laughs.
13. Explore Pai’s Canyons
Though they are not quite as striking and majestic as the Grand Canyon, Pai’s canyons are still impressive and a mesmerizing sight to behold.
14. Travel through Bangkok’s city canals and floating markets
With an extensive canal system, it is no wonder people often dub Bangkok as the “Venice of the East”. Although they are not as romantic as Venice, exploring a canal or floating market in Bangkok is nevertheless a worthy entry to your bucket list. Full of life and color, these markets offer a charming and one-of-a-kind bucket list worthy experience in Bangkok, Thailand.
15. Meet a bunch of tigers
Are you an animal lover who’s looking for some awesome things to do in Thailand? Then, visit the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, and get friendly with the daddy tigers and baby cubs in the vicinity.
16. Visit Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun is the extraordinary and contemporary temple in Chiang Rai. While Wat Rong Khun is a designed as a Buddhist temple, it really looks like a fortress from Game of Thrones, with a hauntingly eerie fairytale façade and interior walls painted with disturbing dark cartoons.
17. Get a massage every day
On average, a Thai massage in the United States costs more than a hundred dollars, but in Thailand, you’ll only have to spend around 350 baht – more or less 10 dollars – for a session. Pretty affordable, right?
18. Get a fish spa
One of the surprisingly relaxing things to do in Thailand is to have your feet nibbled by a group of tiny fish. Unique and soothing, taking a fish spa in Thailand will remove impurities and dead skin from your feet, as they bathe in a specially designed tank.
19. Get to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple – a famous Buddhist temple in northeast Krabi – sits on top of a steep and long 1,237- stairway. After subjecting yourself to the possible dizziness, pain and strain of climbing over a very long stair, you will be rewarded with a fuzzy warm feeling of accomplishment. What’s more, you’ll get to see breathtaking panoramic views of limestone cliff formations, forests and land. On a clear day, you may also catch sight of tropical islands and the Andaman Sea.
20. Explore Krabi’s caves
Go to Krabi’s Tham Klang, and explore its deep caves, to quench your thirst for adventure. There will be a lot of dirt as well as climbing involved, so ditch your flip-flops and bring in your trainers.
21. Take a tuk tuk ride
There are a few modes of transportation throughout Thailand, but none of them is as popular as the tuk tuk. For the uninitiated, the tuk tuk is a motorized 3-wheeled vehicle that you will see zipping all around the country’s towns, and riding is one of the most popular things to do in Thailand.
22. Bathe an elephant in Chiang Mai
Forget elephant treks! The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is an elephant rehabilitation and rescue camp where visitors can bathe and feed these majestic giants. Plus, a visit here would also give a deeper insight of these creatures.
23. Pay a visit to a hill tribe in Thailand
On the lookout for out-of-ordinary and non-touristy things to do in Thailand? With a legit local guide, take a trek though the lush foliage of Thailand, and meet the indigenous folks who build their own communities and live off the land.
24. Visit Phang Nga Bay
From its gorgeous lagoons and turquoise seas to its cave and mangroves, Phang Nga Bay has a chock-full of sights that will take your breath away.
25. Snorkeling in Koh Phi Phi
Snorkeling in Koh Phi Phi may not be one of the most heart-pumping things to do in Thailand, but it is a fun aquatic experience that should put on your bucket list. With its crystal waters and incredible scenery, a snorkeling trip in this part of Thailand lets gaze on strikingly beautiful corals and prismatic schools of fish.
26. Have your own Hollywood moment
Everybody wants to have a glamorous shot of the Mayan beach and Phi Phi bay. As a matter of fact, there have been a number of celebrities who have walked and snapped a jillion photos on these shores. And by the way, did I mention that both “James Bond” and “The Beach” were filmed across these powdery pristine sands.
With its dazzling marine life and sheer natural beauty, it’s no surprise dozens of diving connoisseurs flock to the azure seas of Mu Ko Similan. Rated as one the top dive sites in the world, Similan Islands bring bliss to divers with its colorful corals and charming sea creatures, such as the Yellow Boxfish, Leopard sharks, and many more.
Alternatively, you may also head off to Koh Tao, which is grandly nestled in the Gulf of Thailand. Here, you get to dive into its clear and warm waters, and see a fabulous array of corals, wrecks and fish.
28. Be awed by the Wat Arun
Named after the God of Dawn, Wat Arun is a magnificent 79-meter tall tower, wonderfully covered in ceramic and porcelain tiles, making it a mesmerizing sight.
29. Visit Wat Po’s reclining Buddha
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is home to an impressive 43-meter long golden statue that promises to leave its spectators in awe.
30. Rock climbing in Railay Beach
Known for its laid-back beach setting, Railay Beach makes a perfect retreat for those who want to get away from the bustling city life. Here, you relax on its pristine white sands, and admire its fascinating natural backdrop. But, make no mistake about it – there’s more to Railay Beach than its lovely waters and white sands. With plenty of towering limestone cliffs and climbing schools to offer, Railay is also a mecca for rock climbing in Southeast Asia.
31. Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai
One of the top things to do in Thailand in November is to watch the thousands of lanterns float and illuminate the sky during the Yi Peng Latern festival. Often deemed as one of the most beautiful and magical festivals in all of Asia, Yi Peng is a spectacle that transforms the sky into a surreal and wonderful sea of golden lanterns.
32. Go on a shopping spree in Chiang Mai
The Chang Khlan Road in Chiang Mai is a typical street that transforms into a vibrant nighttime bazaar that offers everything from local cuisine to old town fashion and country relics. When shopping in this bazaar, haggle it up with the locals and street vendors, to get bargained deals on their products.
33. Climb the Banyan Tree
Just because the Banyan Tree is a pricey place to stay, it doesn’t mean backpackers and budget travelers can’t have a blast in this five-star resort and spa. If you have a few baht to spend, the hotel has rooftop bar that offers an incredible panorama of the Bangkok. As an added bonus, the rooftop has a rather charming ambiance, especially at night.
34. Visit the iconic Grand Palace
No list of the best things to do in Thailand is complete without a visit to the iconic Grand Palace. Lauded as one of sough-after tourist attractions in Bangkok, the Grand Palace will wow you with its collection of dazzling intricately-painted gold and white temples that give you a quick insight of the Thai culture. Just don’t forget to the follow the strict dress code, as a sign of respect.
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