Beyond Bangkok: The 8 Most Fascinating Places in Thailand

By Michelle Yastremsky

Majestic temples, postcard-worthy beaches, and breathtaking national parks, Thailand is a haven for dreamers. While starting in Bangkok and experiencing the bustling capital city is a must, the discovery shouldn’t stop there!

Here are 8 of the most beautiful places in Thailand beyond Bangkok– add these to your Thailand bucket list!

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The ruins at UNESCO World Heritage Site Ayutthaya will transport visitors to a time of the city’s grandeur, when it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam.

Chiang Rai

Thailand’s northernmost city is a cultural powerhouse! It serves as the main commercial hub of the Golden Triangle – comprised of the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar – and is home to the famous Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple).

Chiang Mai

The capital of Northern Thailand, this must-see city is sprinkled with temples, monasteries, and traditional Thai homes. During the city’s medieval period, most of the city was made by teak brought over by elephants from the nearby rainforest. Make sure to leave time to explore the breathtaking Doi Inthanon National Park and its iconic temples.


The city of Petchaburi has a secret. Protected by monkeys and hidden within a cave is one of the gems in Thailand, the Khao Luang Cave Temple. The surrounding area is home to jungles worth exploring, so those with a thirst for adventure should add this to their Thailand itinerary!


Explore the ruins of the Sukhothai “Dawn of Happiness” Kingdom, viewed by many as Thailand’s Golden Age. This ancient site features over 15 square miles of partially rebuilt ruins, and is a great day trip during your stay in Chiang Mai.

Ao Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park

Majestic limestone cliffs and a group of over 40 islands comprise this majestic national park. James Bond fans may recognize one of the park’s most famous islands as a film site from the film “The Man with the Golden Gun.” Many destinations found within are only accessible by boat, so pack a swimsuit and plan accordingly!


An easy day trip from Bangkok, this historical village is a blend of history and scenic beauty. The city is best known for its WWII and POW Camps, and is also surrounded by incredible parks, waterfalls, caves, and even an ethical elephant camp.

Phanom Rung Historical Park

Set on the edge of an extinct volcano, this well-preserved temple complex is thought to be an early model for Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Explore the main temple, made of pink sandstone, then become surrounded with carvings of Hindu Gods and folklore in the inner sanctuary.

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