Thailand is one of the most scenic destinations in the world. From natural wonders to historical buildings and everything in between, every inch of this magnificent country is photo-worthy.
1. The highest point on Koh Phi Phi, Phi Phi viewpoint
The best views of Koh Phi Phi require a bit of work to get to, but the destination is definitely worth the journey. The steep hike to the viewpoint will take you less than half an hour and will get you to the highest point on the island. This spot is the best way to see the sandbar which connects the two rock formations that make up the island. There is a 30 Baht ($0.98) entrance fee, so be sure to have some cash on hand.
Hours of operation: Always accessible, but best to go between 10 am and 2 pm
How to get here: Take a ferry from Phuket or Krabi to Koh Phi Phi. Once you’ve made it to the island, you’ll want to make your way to the edge of the Tonsai Village. From here, follow signs for “Viewpoint 1” and “Tsunami Evacuation Route.” If you find a steep set of stairs, you’ve come to the right place!
2. Phra nang Cave, Krabi
Named after and dedicated to a princess goddess, there are many legends about the life of Phra Nang. Most famously, it is believed that she was the wife of a fisherman who was lost at sea. She spent the rest of her life hoping and waiting for his return, but sadly, he never did. Today, as a way to honor Phra Nang, local fishermen leave penis-shaped offerings and incense to represent the Hindu god Shiva to ensure safe travels.
How to get here: From Ao Nang, you can take a 10-15 minute long longtail boat ride directly to Phra Nang beach.
3. Koh Nang Yuan
Easily one of Thailand’s most beautiful island paradises, Koh Nang Yuan is the only place in the world where three islands are connected by one single sandbar. What really makes this island unique are the measures being taken to maintain it. There is a 100 Baht ($3.26) entrance fee that must be paid upon arriving to the island which was authorized as a means to limit tourism. Moreover, and perhaps most impressively, bags are checked before entering the island. Plastic bottles are strictly forbidden in an effort to protect the island from pollution. Towels are also not allowed to be brought onto the island, as local officials are trying to maintain the already dwindling amount of sand on the island. Both items are confiscated if found during the bag check.
How to get here: Koh Nang Yuan is a 10-15 minute boat ride from the west side of Koh Tao that leave at anytime during the day, as long as you find a boat driver with an empty boat!
4. Maeklong Railway Market
Located about an hour southwest of Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is a truly unique sight to see. Take the train from Bangkok’s Wongwian Yai Station on the Maeklong Railway Line, and you’ll be taken straight through the market. Literally. Visitors walk along the train tracks that are lined with vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruit and other local foods. When you hear the horn of an oncoming train, immediately hop into the nearest stand, watch as the shop owners lower their umbrellas and awnings, and take out your camera to capture a photo of the train you just got off of passing by the tracks you were just walking on.
Hours of operation: Everyday from 4 am – 5 pm
How to get here: Although there are bus, minivan and taxi options, the most fun and unique way is by train. From Wongwian Yai Railway Station in Bangkok, you’ll want to go to Mahachai. From there, you’ll get off the train, hop on a ferry to cross the Tha Chin River, walk 10 minutes to Ban Laem Station, and take a train to and through the market. This whole excursion should take around 2-2.5 hours.
5. Sunset at Wat Arun
The best place to watch the sunset is actually just opposite Wat Arun, Bangkok’s most famous temple. Coming to this side of the river will provide you with majestic views of the temple that towers over its surroundings while the setting sunset is reflected on the Chao Phraya River. Enjoy this view from what locals refer to as “sunrise road” aka Phra Sumen Road, where you can find cute bars, cozy cafes and yummy restaurants or simply go for a stroll as day becomes night.
How to get here: If coming from Sukhumvit, take the Skytrain to the Saphan Taksin station (there’s a transfer at Siam) and walk to the pier. From there, take a ferry to Tha Tien Pier, cross the bridge on foot (it’s less than a 5 minute walk) and the temple will be right in front of you.
6. Floating bungalows at Khao Sok National Park
Simply put, Khao Sok is a dreamscape come to life. One of Thailand’s more unique locales, the park is completely surrounded by some of the oldest rainforests (both evergreen and tropical) in the world. Khao Sok also boasts vertigo-inducingly tall limestone karsts that rise out of the impossibly turquoise waters. Take in these humbling views from the comfort of one of the park’s above-water bungalows. It really is one of Thailand’s most picturesque destinations that cannot be overlooked, both on your trip and on your newsfeed.
Hours of operation: Everyday from 7 am – 7 pm
7. Sathorn Unique Tower
There is something hauntingly beautiful about abandoned places. The unfinished history mixed with a future of uncertainty make for an eerie atmosphere that is just too enticing to stay away from. Case in point: Sathorn Unique Tower in the center of Bangkok. Construction began on the unfinished skyscraper in 1990, was halted in 1997 as a result of the Asian financial crisis, and has remained on hold ever since despite being 80% complete. Today, it is an iconic member of the city’s skyline and has become a popular destination for tourists; to explore the building itself and to capture the sweeping views.
How to get here: Take the Silom line to Saphan Taksin Station. You will see the building once you leave the station, just a 2 minute walk away.
8. Monkey beach on Koh Phi Phi
It’s a beach… with monkeys… what about this is NOT instagrammable?!
9. Doi Suthep–Pui National Park
Home to one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples as well as some of the country’s most dazzling and eye-catching waterfalls, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is a well-preserved, natural masterpiece. From sacred peaks to a dense jungle to a coffee-producing village to cascading waterfalls and pools, this park is a feast for the eyes and the feed like no other.
Hours of operation: Everyday from 8 am – 5 pm
How to get here: Once you’ve gotten to Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is only a half hour drive from the city center and a 20 minute drive from the zoo.
Now that you know where to go, get your cameras ready and take in the sights at some of the world’s most strikingly beautiful places that you will ever have the pleasure of encountering.