Visiting Thailand but don’t know where to begin? Look no further, for we have gathered the best there is to do and put it all into one ultimate Thailand Bucket List.
Thailand is the most visited country in South East Asia, and for good reason. With delicious cuisine, amazing beaches and some of the friendliest locals on earth, it is the ideal travel destination. It also has the added benefit of being pretty affordable once you get there.
With the huge variety of things to do in this tourist hotspot, it can be hard to narrow down it down. But have no fear, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Thailand Bucket List: 15 things to do in Thailand before you die below!
15. Visit the floating markets – For a visual spectacle
Whether you’re just visiting Thailand or you’re planning a full trip around southeast Asia, the floating markets of Bangkok are a must.
They are visual treat and a popular Instagram shot for tourists. But you’ll probably have to go outside of the capital to get an authentic experience. You won’t regret striking this one of your Thailand bucket list.
14. See the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho – for a great photo
The Temple of the reclining Buddha in the Wat Pho is a must-see for any first time visitor to Bangkok. The 15 metres tall, 45 meters long gold figure is beautifully adorned in mother-of-pearl illustrations.
Plus, the temple is only a short distance from another huge must-see: The Grand Palace.
Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
13. Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary – walk with gentle giants
There is no shortage of elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, but if you want to see these gentle giants up close, make sure to visit an ethical one.
Avoid any establishments offering elephant riding or washing and check out havens like the Samui Elephant Sanctuary on Koh Samui and the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai instead.
12. Enjoy some traditional Thai street food in Bangkok – a treat for the taste buds
Thailand is famous for its delicious street food stalls and no trip to this beautiful country is complete without visiting one. You’ll be spoiled for choice, but look out for the stalls with the queues of locals rather than tourists. You’re more likely to have an authentic and tasty experience.
11. Island Hop – why stick with one?
Seen by many as a rite of passage for visitors to Thailand, island hopping has become increasingly popular in recent years. Given many of the islands’ close proximity to each other, and improved transport, it’s now easier than ever.
Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao, among others, offer great beaches, a laid-back vibe and a range of exciting activities.
10. Try Durian – if you can handle the smell
This tropical fruit is like marmite: you either love it or hate it. But you’ll never know if you don’t try it! So famous for its pungent smell, many establishments have even gone so far as to ban it. Definitely one to cross off your Thailand bucket list.
9. Explore Koh Samui on a motorcycle – for ease of travel
It’s true that Koh Samui is one of the more touristy islands in Thailand. But with stunning beaches and tons of fun events going on, it’s still well worth a visit.
To see the most of the island, the best mode of transport is a motorcycle. Many hotels provide a rental service, but you won’t have to walk far to find a place to hire one.
8. Ride the Sky Train – for seeing the sights from a height
You’ll be surprised how much of the city you’ll get to see from the famous sky train in Bangkok. Soar through the pristine, chic shopping area near Siam Paragon, passed ornate, ancient temples.
Take in the sights of the city that really is the perfect blend of the old and the new, all while getting where you need to go.
7. Go Snorkelling – for a world-class underwater experience
It’s no secret that Thailand is home to some of the best places in the world to snorkel. And if that’s your thing – it’s definitely worth crossing off your Thailand bucket list.
Visit the Surin Islands and immerse yourself in the clearest water imaginable. Invest in a waterproof camera or phone case and snap some of the incredible marine flora and fauna Thailand has to offer.
6. Visit “The Golden Triangle” – where three countries collide
The point in northern Thailand where the country meets Myanmar (Burma) and Laos is known as the “The Golden Triangle”. Why not visit and cross 3 countries of your list while you’re at it?
Take in the impressive scenery of hill-tribe villages, rich jungle and mist-shrouded mountains in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
5. Visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya – for centuries of history
Once the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam, the ruins of the city now form an impressive historical park. There are tons of temples seeped in rich history to explore here, and while many tourists only visit for the day, we recommend spending longer.
Definitely try and fit in a visit to the iconic Buddha head, mysteriously fused with a Banyan Tree at Wat Mahathat Maha That.
4. Eat out in Chinatown in Bangkok – one of the best things to do on the Thailand Bucket List
You’ll find a bustling Chinatown in every major city, but Bangkok’s is something particularly special. Centred around the bustling Yaowarat Road, you’ve got a seemingly infinite choice of restaurants and street food stalls, all serving delicious Chinese cuisine.
Address: Yaowarat Road, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Thailand
3. Go hiking in Khao Yai National Park – for nature lovers
50km hiking and biking trails through forest and grassland, stunning waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife, Khao Yai National Park has it all.
If you’re visiting northern Thailand, this natural spot of heaven needs to be on your Thailand bucket list.
Address: Hin Tung, Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok 26000, Thailand
2. Get a Thai Massage – no pain, no gain
No trip to Thailand is complete without treating yourself to a Thai massage. But be warned, this experience may not be as relaxing and meditative as a massage back home.
Be prepared to be pulled into shapes you’d never thought possible, and to feel incredible afterwards.
1. Visit the Grand Palace – for a royal treat
No doubt one of the most popular tourist hotspots, visiting the Grand Palace deserves a spot on your Thailand bucket list. Constructed in the late 18th century, the impressive gold-tipped buildings are a sight to behold.
Guided tours in multiple languages are available, or feel free to explore this gem yourself.
Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Born in County Down, Lewis Sloan is a writer who has a passion for Irish travel and history. While studying toward a Master’s in English Literary Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, he held the role of Features Editor for The Gown, Belfast’s largest independent student newspaper. When not writing, he can be found practicing yoga or petting every cat he meets on the street.