Thailand is one of the most popular countries in Asia, attracting millions of tourists annually. This is due to its serene environment and several cultural and historical attractions. It is also one of the cheapest countries to visit in Asia.
Thailand is home to stunning islands and beaches, bustling cities, and a vast range of sights from temples and museums to national parks. It can be difficult to plan what to see in the country due to the many famous landmarks in Thailand.
To ensure you can see as much as possible, you should plan to spend more than a week travelling the country. Ideally, plan to spend a minimum of 10 days in Thailand.
Continue reading to discover 30 must-visit Thailand landmarks. Hopefully, this list will make planning an unforgettable Thai vacation a lot easier!
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Using the map of Thailand, you can explore all the landmarks.
The Grand Palace is the most visited landmark in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The palace was built in 1782 and served as the home of the Thai King for 150 years. It also housed the Royal Court and the administrative seat of government.
Along with its historical significance, the palace is a very impressive piece of architecture. The Grand Palace consists of three separate courts: the outer court, the inner court, and the central court.
The central court is where you can find the main palace and temple complex. The inner court includes the royal residences, court hall, and annexes for the king's royal duties.
You are allowed to take a full tour of the palace, but you must be dressed modestly to be allowed to enter.
The Grand Palace is definitely one of the must-see landmarks when visiting Thailand and should be on every traveller's list of things to do in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, was built in 1784. It is the home of the Emerald Buddha which is considered to be one of the most important deities in Thailand.
This historic attraction lures hundreds of visitors every day, and it is believed that it brings prosperity to the country. The temple is found in Bangkok, in the same complex as the Royal Palace.
Along with housing the 14th century Emerald Buddha, there are other artefacts on display. You will also be able to take in the stunning architecture featuring colourful designs and intricate carvings.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a magnificent temple for you to visit when in Thailand and is a must for your 5 week Southeast Asia itinerary. As it is very popular with tourists, you should arrive early to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
The Erawan National Park is a large park located in the Kanchanaburi Province. It is one of the most famous natural landmarks in Thailand and is just one of 12 national parks in the country.
This national park is well-known due to its attractions and stunning natural beauty. The park notably features a seven-tiered waterfall, Erawan Falls. You can also discover two sets of caves to explore.
A trip to Erawan National Park is especially recommended if you love nature and hiking. There are many hiking trails to follow, and you are sure to spot various wildlife, all while being surrounded by incredible scenery.
This landmark is one of the most popular temples in Thailand, and visiting it definitely deserves to be on your Thailand bucket list! Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, is a Buddhist temple renowned for its incredible architecture.
The temple is located in Chiang Rai. Construction of the temple began in 1997 and ended in 2008. It is the project of Thai artist Chalermchai Kosipipat who funded the construction by selling his paintings.
The main hall of Wat Rong Khun is entirely white to symbolise purity. The exterior of the hall is additionally decorated with mirrors to represent a reflection of one's wisdom.
Aside from being an architectural masterpiece, the temple also serves as an art exhibition. Wat Rong Khun is a very unique and exciting place in Thailand for you to visit.
Wat Mahathat, also known as the Temple of the Great Relic, is a royal temple located in Ayutthaya that was built in 1374. The royal temple served as the residence of the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism. Royal ceremonies were also frequently hosted in the temple.
Wat Mahathat is a historic attraction that educates tourists on the history of Thailand. Visitors will primarily learn about Thai culture and the country's most practised religion, Buddhism.
The historic temple has several highlights for you to see. One of these is a sandstone Buddha head that is tangled within a Bodhi tree's roots. The Buddha's head is linked with many stories that guides at the temple can explain.
Wat Mahathat is a temple of architectural and spiritual significance in Thailand. It is open every day, so you can pass by anytime during your visit.
The Big Buddha Phuket, officially called Mingmongkol Buddha, is a majestic Buddha in Phuket. The 148-feet tall white marble statue sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills. It is one of the most popular attractions in Phuket and the entire country.
Big Buddha was constructed in 2004, along with a smaller buddha statue next to Big Buddha. The larger statue was dedicated to King of Thailand, Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej with the smaller statue being dedicated to his wife, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
The statue attracts hundreds of tourists every day. Along with the beauty of the monument, the views you get from the Nakkerd Hills are outstanding. This is absolutely a landmark to add to your list of must-visit Thailand landmarks.
Lumphini Park, founded in 1925, is the first public park to be built in Thailand. It is located in the heart of the city of Bangkok.
The park is one of the largest green spaces in the capital at approximately 500,000 square metres. It is home to many varieties of flora and fauna, tranquil lakes and other water features.
The park is a common gathering place for both tourists and locals. It is the perfect place to escape the bustle of the city without having to travel far.
Along with just relaxing and taking in its beauty, some popular activities to try in the park include jogging, cycling, and aerobics. Lumphini Park also has playgrounds making it family-friendly.
If you need a breather from the craziness of Bangkok, Lumphini Park is definitely the place to go!
Khaosan Road got its name from the translation of Khaosan, which is "milled rice." This is because the area was once a major Bangkok rice market.
For the past few decades, however, Khaosan Road has been transformed into a famous spot for tourists and backpackers.
The area features market stalls as well as a vast range of affordable bars and restaurants. Khaosan Road is additionally one of the places in Thailand where you can see a diverse mix of people from all walks of life. The atmosphere of the area alone makes it worth checking out.
The market is close to the Grand Palace, so it is an excellent stop after your time there. It is also close to Bangkok's National Gallery. The National Gallery is one of the few museums in the country, making it well worth a visit!
The MBK Center, which stands for Ma Boon Khrong Center, is an eight-story shopping mall in central Bangkok. The mall is a modern Thailand landmark that attracts many tourists and locals every day.
It is definitely a place to visit if you love shopping and/or need to pick up some gifts and souvenirs.
The MBK Center has more than 2,000 stores as well as restaurants and a food court. The mall is also very affordable. You will find a range of shops selling all types of products from fashion to tech and decor items at low prices.
The mall does get very busy, especially on weekends. If possible, try to go on a weekday morning to avoid the crowds.
Railay Beach is an exotic Thai paradise that is thought of as one of the natural landmarks of Thailand. Railay Beach is found between Ao Nang and Krabi. Due to its location between tall limestone cliffs, visitors must take a boat to access the beach.
This tranquil beach is the perfect place to relax. You can hang out on the sandy beaches or swim and kayak. There is also a selection of beach cafes to stop at for a drink and snack.
Other activities to try here include visiting the area's caves and going rock climbing. Be sure to keep an eye out for Railay Beach's resident monkeys too! If you can stay late, watching the sunset from the beach is highly recommended as well.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a temple and museum and one of the main landmarks to visit in Pattaya City, Thailand.
This beautifully designed building is made entirely of wood, including the many detailed carvings that cover it. The height of the museum is another impressive feature, standing to about 105-metres tall.
Construction began in 1981; however, construction is not yet complete! It is predicted that the structure will not be fully completed until at least 2025.
Even though the museum has not yet been completed, it is open to the public and is a beautiful place to see if you find yourself in the area.
Wat Arun, also known as the "Temple of Dawn" or Wat Chaeng, is a stunning landmark of Thailand. The temple is found in Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
The temple was constructed in the 17th century and is dedicated to Aruna, the god of dawn. Wat Arun is covered in beautiful carvings, and you will find many statues of the Buddha. There is the option to leave offerings and light incense around these statues as well.
It is highly recommended to visit around sunset as well. Even though the temple is called the Temple of Dawn, viewing the temple with the sun setting around is fantastic!
Wat Phra Chetuphon, also known as Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, can be found behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is absolutely a must-visit landmark while travelling in Thailand.
The highlight of the temple is the Reclining Buddha statue. This 150-feet long gold statue is an amazing sight to see.
The temple additionally features Thailand's first public university. It is also covered in intricately designed carvings like other Buddhist temples in the country.
Because the temple is close to the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Chetuphon does not get as many visitors as you would think. However, this does not mean that the temple is not an exciting place to visit; the iconic Grand Palace simply overshadows it.
This fact will likely be seen as a benefit, though! You will get the opportunity to relax while exploring the temple with minimal crowds.
Koh Poda is another natural landmark in Thailand well worth visiting. This peaceful island is located in Krabi and is accessible via boat from Ao Nang.
It is the biggest of the islands that surround it. However, it is still small enough to be able to walk around the whole island. While on Koh Poda, you can relax on the beautiful white sandy beaches and swim in the clear blue waters.
You will additionally find some great snorkelling spots here. These sights offer views of coral reefs and the colourful fish that inhabit the waters.
Koh Poda is the perfect place to visit to completely let go and unwind surrounded by the most stunning scenery.
Ko Samet is just one more of Thailand's beautiful islands for you to visit. This island is located three-hours from Bangkok, making it a perfect weekend getaway from the city.
The island is known for its stunning sandy beaches, clear blue water, and fantastic seafood restaurants. The island is especially great for those that enjoy water activities.
Some of the most popular activities you can try while visiting include snorkelling and diving. Ko Samet also offers great beachside bars to hang out at and tropical bungalows for you to stay in. This island is the ultimate place to relax and treat yourself!
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is a museum that houses exhibits on contemporary art. This includes exhibits displaying artworks such as paintings and sculptures as well as cinematic exhibits, among others.
It is thought of as Thailand's home of all things contemporary and creative. Whether you love artistic design, film, music, or theatre, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is a must-visit!
Along with a range of permanent and temporary exhibits, there are events and performances held across the year. See their website before your trip to see what is being hosted when you are there.
The centre additionally has cafes, craft shops, commercial art galleries, and an art library for you to check out during your visit.
Khao Sok National Park is another of many unique natural landmarks of Thailand. The large park covers an area of 739 kilometres, so there is lots for you to explore.
While visiting Khao Sok, you can hike a selection of trails that will take you through the most incredible scenery. There are also waterfalls and lakes to discover.
Additionally, the national park is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Creatures you may spot include Asian black bears, marbled cats, and elephants.
This is the perfect place to visit in Thailand to relax while surrounded by nature. You will also find several fantastic photo opportunities.
You may even see animals that you would otherwise never of had the chance to encounter. A must-visit for all nature enthusiasts!
Dream World is a popular amusement park found in Thailand's capital of Bangkok. It is a great place to go if you are after a super fun and relaxed day out.
The park has over 20 rollercoasters and other rides to try. You will also have access to various shows and other amusements like go-karts and bicycle boats. Whether you love thrilling rides or more chill attractions, there is something for everyone.
The park also has a range of restaurants and souvenir shops. It is therefore easy to spend the day here with everything you need available.
Dream World is an excellent place to visit for all types of travellers from families to groups of friends and couples.
Doi Inthanon is one of the most cherished national parks in Thailand. It is found on Thailand's tallest mountain, Mount Doi Inthanon, and it is well known for its incredible viewpoints, waterfalls, and surrounding remote villages.
The park was previously known as Doi Luang but was renamed to Doi Inthanon to honour King Inthawichayanon after he passed away. The park was also used as the burial ground for the late king.
Doi Inthanon National Park features a vast range of natural and humanmade attractions. This includes stunning waterfalls and gardens as well as small temples and statues to admire.
There are many activities available for you to try in the park too. For example, you can hike to the top of the mountain to enjoy the views and take awe-inspiring pictures.
You can also explore caves found in the park or wander around, following the various hiking trails.
After visiting the Doi Inthanon National Park, you can additionally pass through the Pha Chor Canyon which is about an hours drive away.
Tha Phae Gate is one of the most well-known and most visited landmarks in Chiang Mai. If in Chiang Mai, this is definitely an attraction not to miss.
The historic gate was built during the 13th century as a form of protection from Burmese invasion. Between 1985 and 1986 it was reconstructed slightly but still maintains its historical look.
The Old City wall originally surrounded the gate. However, the wall is mostly in ruins today, with the gate being the primary reminder of the city's past.
The best time for you to visit the Phae Gate is during the weekends, especially on Saturday evenings when there are live band performances.
There are also many restaurants and shops around the Phae gate, so it is a great place to spend the evening or even an entire day.
Phanom Rung Historical Park, or Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, is a historic public park constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries. It is one of the most impressive Khmer-style temples in the country.
The historical park can be located in the Northeastern part of Thailand, specifically in the Buriram province. This is another must-visit Thailand landmark for you to check out when you travel to the country.
The temple's foundation was built with laterite, while pink sandstone was used to construct the upper portions and carvings.
While the temple had been almost reduced to ruins, restorations have brought the ruins back to their former impressive state over the years.
Wandering around these ruins is a great way to get a feel of Thailand's past. Phanom Rung Historical Park should be included in your itinerary if you are passionate about cultural and historical tourism.
Khao Kheow Open Zoo is a large zoo found in Si Racha. It was the first zoo in Thailand to be opened to the public in 1978.
The zoo is home to over 8,000 animals and birds that belong to 300 different species. Some of the animals in the zoo include giraffes, antelopes, elephants, and lions.
All the zoo animals live in an uncaged environment, making it easy for you to interact with them.
You can learn more about all the zoo animals through guides and exhibits, along with viewing the animals. Khao Kheow Open Zoo is a great place for kids and adults alike to learn more about wildlife.
Please refrain from riding the elephants here though, and in any place in Thailand in general!
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is another major tourist attraction in Pattaya. The tropical garden covers about 600 acres and features a mini zoo, 30 gardens, a car museum, and other exciting sights.
These gardens are not typical gardens, though! Along with beautiful plants and topiary, the gardens feature temples and other buildings and are even filled with dinosaur replicas. In some ways, the gardens resemble a theme park rather than an ordinary garden.
The tropical garden also hosts some shows to enjoy. These include Thai traditional dance shows, boxing matches, and even puppet shows. You can also check out the car museum, which features more than 50 cars.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is truly a unique landmark of Thailand and a trip there is sure to be a great adventure.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram was built during the reign of King Prasat Thong in 1630 A.D, making it one of the most impressive temples and historical landmarks in Thailand (and in Ayutthaya).
King Prasat Thong primarily constructed the building, located on the bank of Maenam Chao Phraya, to honour his mother. It was intended to be a replica of the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
Wat Chaiwatthanaram was once used as the holy place for the cremation royalty. Today, it is a fantastic tourist attraction that became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
One amazing feature of Wat Chaiwatthanaram is the temple's 35-metre tall spire. The interior and exterior design is also exquisite.
When you enter the temple, you will also notice that the walls are decorated with a range of paintings that tell of Buddha's life. You cannot miss visiting this historic temple when you travel to Thailand!
Ao Phang Nga National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Thailand. Notably, the park was featured in the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
Along with its history as a film location, tourists are attracted to the national park for its beautiful scenery of the clear ocean, beaches, and greenery. The park features about 40 individual islands which are surrounded by stunning azure waters.
While visiting, there are many activities for you to try. For example, caving and canoeing are well-liked activities here. You can also go snorkelling, scuba diving, and rock climbing.
While it is recommended to visit in the cooler months that run from November to February, you will still have an enjoyable time if coming outside of these months.
Cicada Market is an art night market that connects creators, artists, designers, tourists, and art lovers to contemporary art masterpieces. Everything in the market is related to art, and there are many affordable handmade crafts for sale.
Cicada is located in Hua Hin, which is about two hours from Bangkok. The market is divided into four sections: Art of Eating, Art of Indoors, Art of Act, and Art a la Mode.
Art of Eating is an open-air food court where you can find all kinds of delicious snacks and dishes. Art Indoors is an art gallery where you can see sketches, sculptures, paintings, and other art forms for sale.
Art a la Mode occupies the outdoor space. Here you will find colourful decorative clothes and accessories to purchase. Art of Act is an outdoor stage area where performances are held.
The market a must-visit spot if you are looking for unique art and other souvenirs to buy for yourself and your family back home.
Cicada Market is only opened on weekend evenings from Friday to Sunday. The fact that it is opened only during the weekends should not stop you from visiting the market, though, as it is an excellent place to explore and find unique keepsakes.
Tarutao National Park is a marine park that was established in 1974. The park covers 1,490 square kilometres and consists of 51 islands that have been grouped into two regions named Muko Tarutao and Muko Adang–Rawi.
The marine park is home to an array of diversity, including animals like sea otters, crab-eating macaques, and kingfishers. The park is surrounded by clear oceans and features white beaches, unspoiled rainforest, and coral reefs.
Tarutao National Park is a popular spot for many people due to its natural beauty and because of how secluded it is from other tourist sights.
The marine park is the perfect place for you to be if you like water-related activities like diving and snorkelling. It is also a great place to visit to hang out on the beach or go out on a boat with friends.
The Emerald Pool, or Sa Morakot, is an incredible natural landmark of Thailand. The pool is located in the south of the country in Khlong Thom.
The pond is known for its incredible bright emerald blue coloured water. What's unique is that the water changes colour based on the temperature.
However, no matter the shade the water turns, all are equally striking. Along with visiting and swimming in the pool, you can hike in the surrounding jungle.
Adventuring to the Emerald Pool should be on your list of "must-dos" while in Thailand.
Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is a palace complex once used by the Thai Kings as a residence. The palace is located beside the Chao Praya River in the Bang Pa-in district.
The palace has a history dating back to the 17th century having been built in 1632. Today, the palace is open to tourists and is also used for state occasions.
The palace has European design elements making it slightly different from other palaces in the country. Bang Pa-In Palace and surrounding buildings are located around an ornamental artificial pond.
One highlight is the ornate Thai Pavillion that houses the bronze statue of King Chulalongkorn. It is made to appear even more majestic as it seemingly floats in the middle of the pond found on the premises.
You are also likely to see fun topiary designs around the grounds. This includes trees clipped to resemble elephants and rabbits!
Khao Yai National Park is a large jungle park in Bangkok. The park covers approximately 2,100 square kilometres and is the oldest national park in the country, having been opened in 1962.
A visit to the park is a must if you have spent a lot of time in the city and are after a more relaxing day. The park is especially perfect for those who enjoy hiking. You will find a range of trails to follow that takes you through the stunning green jungle.
Additionally, visitors are likely to spot a range of wildlife. This includes elephants, sun bears, and pythons. As some of the park animals are dangerous, be very careful when hiking and ideally go with a guide.
As the park is so large, you may also decide to rent a car and drive around or join a tour group with transport provided. No matter how you explore the park, you will enjoy the beautiful jungle and hopefully spot lots of Asian animals.
The places mentioned in this article are just a few of the many notable famous landmarks in Thailand.
However, they are some of the most popular. I recommend adding a selection of those mentioned to your list of places to visit while in Thailand.
Hopefully, this article helped show how unique and diverse a country Thailand is and that you enjoy your trip no matter which landmarks you explore.
This article was edited by Alli Sewell.
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