The Ultimate Thailand Bucket List

Spend mornings feeling like a local at floating markets, relax the days away on picture-perfect beaches, then become awe-struck at majestic temples and palaces. Stroll through postcard-like national parks and hang out with some adorable elephants!

In a country as beautiful and culture-packed as Thailand, every moment is precious. Discover the "must-sees" and "must-dos" to make the trip of your dreams a dream come true.

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Shop (and eat) like a local.

Floating markets, flower markets, night markets, and beyond.

Try delicious street foods, practice bargaining culture, and find tons of crafty souvenirs! Thailand provides lots of travelideas at affordable prices.

Immerse yourself in the bustling culture of Thailand's famous floating markets! While Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi is known to be most popular among tourists, there are tons of others that are even more popular among locals. Check out Amphawa and Khlong Lat Mayom near Bangkok!

Then, spend the night tasting scrumptious street food at the Sunday Chiang Mai Night Bazaar!

Eat, eat, and eat some more.

From the must-have favorites to local delicacies.
Savor the spices, taste the freshness, and feel your mouth bursting with flavor! Thai street food is every food-lover's dream.

Pad Thai is a must, and so is Ka Prao. Bite into crispy stir-fried pork or chicken and taste the salty spice of this basil-filled dish. Some other favorites are Kai Med ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts), Lab Nua (Spicy Beef Salad), Khao Pad (Fried Rice), and Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad).

Watch in amazement as locals shape these tasty little sausage-balls in the blink of an eye. This traditional favorite can be found at almost any market, from Bangkok to Chiang Mai! If you're an adventurous eater, keep your eye out for Malang Tod, or fried insects, at street food vendors. Although many tourists might shiver with disgust, these crispy little critters are a favorite local snack. When in Thailand...!

The weather in Thailand will never be too hot to slurp up some delicious soup. Ladle some tasty Tom Yum Goong, some coconutty Tom Kha Kai, and some red curry Gaeng Daeng.

Treat your sweet tooth! Sip some creamy Thai iced tea, then indulge in traditional desserts made of mangoes, sticky rice, coconut milk, and banana leaves.

See Thailand's Dreamlike Beauty

It's okay to take way too many photos.

National Parks

Explore Thailand's magical natural wonders, from maze-like greenery to turquoise waters.

Walk through a real-life fairtytale at Doi Inthanon National Park, nicknamed "the roof of Thailand."

Or feel the mist on your face as you stare in awe at the rushing waterfalls of Khao Yai National Park. And if you dare, check out the park's hidden caves that are home to thousands of bats!

Walk along enchanted trails and take in lush plant life and unbeatable views!

No visit to Thailand is complete without a visit to Phuket's Ao Phang Nha National Park. This park is so beautiful your friends may think your photos are fake, so take some selfies to prove them wrong.

Palaces & Temples

Wander through golden walls, gawk at colorful statues, and admire ornate architecture. Although it's easy to get lost in the beauty, be sure to respect local culture and temple etiquette. In most Buddhist areas of worship, it's asked that you remove your shoes, dress relatively conservatively, refrain from pointing at and touching objects, and use your "inside voice." The most important rule, however, is to have fun and bask in the beauty of these amazing sites.

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (A.K.A. Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok are absolute musts. Stand in awe of shiny golden structures and feast your eyes on colorful cultural patterns.

Take priceless photos in areas of whimsical beauty. Check out the famous spire of Wat Arun and the jaw-dropping Sanctuary of Truth.

Discover the magic of Wat Chaiwatthanaram in ancient Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to 1350! Weave in and out of fascinating ruins and learn the history of this eye-widening spectacle.

In Chiang Mai, bow your head at breathtaking Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. In Chiang Rai, pay a visit to the mystical Wat Rong Khun, known to many as the "White Temple."

What's there to do?

From fun festivals and parties to enchanting encounters and boat rides.

No two days are the same in Thailand. Hang out with elephants one day and attend a famous Full Moon Party the next.

Let loose at a traditional Full Moon Party. This wild night begins at dusk on the beaches near Koh Phangan, during full moon periods, of course. Watch as the sand explodes into a colorful frenzy of music, dancing, fireworks, circus acts, costumes, and more!

Head to Bo Sang Umbrella Village, right outside Chiang Mai! Experience umbrella-making and the intricate detail that goes into this cultural art. In January, be sure to catch Bo Sang's spectacular Umbrella Festival! Marvel at the bright colors that fill the street and become part of this magical tradition.

If festivals are your cup of tea, look into the beautiful Loi Krathong Festival, which occurs on the night of the twelfth lunar month. Small lotus-shaped baskets filled with candles float away on rivers and canals - a truly breathtaking sight. Then, on the traditional Thai New Year, April 13-15, celebrate Songkran like a native! This festival is basically one big water-gun fight, as it is culturally believed that water will wash away bad luck and sins in the new year!

Play with Thailand's most lovable residents - elephants! Unfortunately, we must keep in mind that animal cruelty is alive and well. Try to avoid "sanctuaries" that force elephants to perform tricks and do some research about organizations before visiting. Show these majestic animals the love and respect they deserve!

Visit Lopburi, one of the oldest cities in Thailand, home to spectacular ruins, Lopburi Palace, Wat Phra Sri Mahathat, and - oh yeah - tons and tons of monkeys! While monkeys may be found in Lopburi year-round, the "Monkey Banquet" that happens every November shouldn't be missed. Explore amazing sites while listening to local music, dancing, indulging in authentic food, and playing with adorable long-tailed macaques. Talk about a new profile picture...

Hit the beach

Make time to relax - you'll be happy you did.
Take in the breathtaking blue waters, vibrant greenery, and sky-high rock formations of Thailand's most beautiful beaches.

Yes, this place really does exist! Experience true paradise at the postcard-worthy Phi Phi Islands near Phuket. Make Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Le your first stop!

Escape to Krabi, a stunning resort town filled with limestone landscapes and mangrove forests. Before you lie down on the white sand of Railay Beach, climb the stairs up to Tiger Cave Temple. Witness sweeping views of Khao Kanab Nam, the famous slanting hills that rise out of the the water!

Find peace in Phuket! Party on Patong Beach, relax on Karon Beach, then grab a bite to eat at any of the trendy nearby restaurants.

Remember to take some time to do absolutely nothing. Soak up the warm sun, sip on refreshing cocktails, and gaze out at the crystal clear blue-green waters. Why not take a wooden boat ride? Don't hold back - your memories will thank you.

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