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Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

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Amazing Thailand is on most travellers’ bucket lists. With beautiful temples and epic, tropical islands, this Southeast Asian country is iconic for those wanting to experience life in a totally different way. Here, you can travel throughout the Kingdom, experiencing different regions and their unique cultures. Chiang Mai features ethical elephant sanctuaries while Chiang Rai features ethnic hill tribes.

In the south, travellers can explore the Gulf of Thailand islands or the Andaman Sea islands, both of which are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Hiring a longtail boat to island hop is quite popular among backpackers. Others prefer to just soak in the sun with a beach towel laid out on the fine, white sand. Thailand clearly is a large oasis to explore, as its tropical landscape creates a backdrop for some of the most scenic memories for travellers’ worldwide. Therefore, we’ve complained a list of the top 10 provinces in Thailand to visit, to give you a little inspiration.

10 Best Provinces To Visit in Thailand

1. Chon Buri (Koh Larn)

Coral Island, or Koh Larn, in Chon Buri province, is where visitors can escape from Bangkok’s busy streets. This little piece of paradise offers blue waters and white sands and is only 7.5 kilometres away from Pattaya. As a result, it has become quite a popular destination to go to in the morning and stay for a few hours. Moreover, if you are looking to do a bit of water sports, the island offers it all. From snorkelling to parasailing, Koh Larn will refresh your mind against the backdrop of a palm tree-lined beach.

In addition to the water activities, visitors can relax on their beach towels and sunbathe with the ocean waves lapping in the distance. Furthermore, if you want to take your relaxation to the next level, a beach masseuse is surely nearby to stretch out your muscles and get you ready for more fun in the sun. But, before you get back to the hustle and bustle of the big city, enjoy a healthy lunch on the beach. And, you can definitely wash it all down with a nice, tropical beverage.

File:Koh Larn,Thailand.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Chon Buri

2. Samut Sakhon

If you go to Samut Sakhon Province in Thailand, you’ll see an amazing floating vineyard. Best of all, it is only 1 hour away from Bangkok. The Siam Winery is an award-winning winery featuring the Chatemp and Monsoon Valley wines. Thus, trying these wines is a must-do for visitors to the vineyards. Planted in rectangular isles, the vines are separated by canals that are reminiscent of Venice.

The Chao Phraya Delta produces the bulk of the vineyards’ grapes, defying the commonly-held belief that wine cannot be produced in such areas in Thailand. Regardless, wine buffs can take a wine-tasting tour and can visit the floating vineyards for an additional fee. Visiting Siam Winery is definitely a good option for those wanting to experience how Thais do wine.

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand | News by Thaiger

Samut Sakhon

3. Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin)

In Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the seaside resort of Hua Hin is definitely quite popular with locals and expats alike. As the area is located along the Gulf of Thailand, it is the perfect getaway for those working and living in Bangkok. Furthermore, the area is known for its beautiful landscapes as well as interesting activities for everyone to do. Kids will especially like the water parks and ocean activities that can turn a few hours into a whole day.

In Hua Hin, shopping is plentiful, with many new and modern ‘villages’ offering a themed escape from reality. Santorini Park, for example, is definitely a cool place to visit as its surroundings and decor transcend visitors to Greece. Visiting the temples also provides a bit of cultural education and aesthetically pleasing architectural views.

Huahin Hua Hin Beach - Free photo on Pixabay

Prachuap Khiri Khan

4. Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is Thailand’s northernmost province, featuring a strong Lanna identity. Here, is where you can find the majestic hill tribes who produce their own handmade arts, crafts, and music. Speaking a different Thai language than the rest of the area, it is worth exploring the Lanna culture. As Chiang Rai is part of the Golden Triangle region bordering Laos and Myanmar, it was founded as the capital of the Mengrai Dynasty in 1262.

Perhaps the most iconic landmark of Chiang Rai City is that of the White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun. This beautiful temple is a modern Buddhist shrine featuring interesting sculptures and murals. However you choose to explore this beautiful province, it is definitely worth noting that the hill tribes are the most unique and interesting feature to see.

Wat Rong Khun Chiang Rai Thailand - Free photo on Pixabay

Chiang Rai

5. Phra Nakhon

Once the 2nd capital of Thailand, Phra Nakhon’s Ayutthaya is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Wats here are some of the most iconic in the country. However, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is one of the most popular. Located in the royal palace grounds, its bell-shaped pagodas definitely serve as a striking landmark.

Moreover, the small ruins surrounding the pagodas have their own place in history. The crumbled remnants are thought to be those of the old royal housing. The placement of the temples in Ayutthaya was strategic as the city became a hub for global diplomacy and commerce back in the 14th to 18th centuries. Additionally, it was located above the tidal bore of the Gulf of Siam (Thailand was known as Siam previously), to prevent the attacks of warships and other nations. Overall, its history and beauty is definitely a sight to see.

Measure Ayutthaya Old - Free photo on Pixabay

Phra Nakhon

6. Surat Thani

This beautiful province features the Gulf of Thailand broken up by some of the world’s most beautiful islands. Including the famous island trio of Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao, visitors can island-hop to their hearts’ desires. The Ang Thong National Marine Park is another popular sightseeing trip where nature lovers can trek through the jungles and explore the surrounding oceans.

Koh Tao is known for its world-class scuba diving, while Koh Pha Ngan is known for its eclectic culture, where yogis and holistic healing is plentiful. Koh Samui is the largest of the islands and features a shopping mall, large grocery stores and water sports. Surat Thani province is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for some epic holiday adventures!

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand | News by Thaiger

Surat Thani

7. Krabi

Krabi province is brimming with amazing things to do and see, all against the backdrop of beautiful limestone cliffs. If you are wanting to go island hopping, this is the place to do it as the islands are unforgettable. Alternatively, for a more adventurous trip, visitors can opt to rent a kayak and paddle around the lagoon in Koh Hong, or hike in one of the area’s national parks.

Those who are James Bond fans may want to see the actual island which the 1974 movie used as its backdrop. In fact, taking selfies here may just get you a bit of street credibility. Furthermore, venturing to the Phi Phi islands will have you arriving at the outskirts of Maya Bay, where the famous movie The Beach was filmed. Don’t forget your snorkelling gear as you may want to explore the underwater oasis as well.

Love all the wooden longboats here. #thailand #asia #krabi… | Flickr

Krabi

8. Phuket

Known as the most popular place for travellers in Thailand, Phuket definitely has a multitude of things to do. Here, you can go island hopping or sunbathe at one of the many pristine beaches sprinkling the island. Or, if you are interested in experiencing jungle life, try out a national park. Although Phuket is an island, it is connected to the mainland by a bridge, making excursions that much easier.

To experience local culture, try one of the night markets where you can bargain for a souvenir or indulge in some street food. For those wanting to party, stroll down Bangla Road at night and spend time with the locals. Moreover, an amazing photo op is just a car ride away as the Karon Viewpoint is magnificent.

Phuket, Thailand | Krabi | Jeff Gunn | Flickr

Phuket

9. Rayong Province (Koh Samet)

Koh Samet, in Rayong Province, offers a weekend getaway for those in Bangkok as it is only a 3-hour drive from the capital city. Furthermore, the island is mostly part of the Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park. Named after the ‘Samet’ trees, or cajeput trees, the island is full of beauty. With turquoise blue seas and white sands, water sports are a fun way to spend the day here. Moreover, the island’s nightlife is full of fire shows and good times.

The island has many beaches, including Monkey Beach where (as the name suggests) you can feed monkeys. One thing to remember, in addition to the more crowded areas, the further south you go, the less developed it gets. Visitors can also take advantage of just about any kind of accommodation they wish for, as the island caters to all kinds of tourists.

Koh Samet Thailand | Koh Samet - Thailand more pictures : ww… | Flickr

Rayong

10. Chiang Mai

“If you haven’t tasted Khao Soi or seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai.” This famous Thai saying clearly rings true, as visitors to Northern Thailand will find that there are certain things to try in order to fully experience the city. Chiang Mai is definitely more relaxed than Bangkok, and its northern mountain air definitely offers respite from the country’s normally hot and humid weather.

Nature lovers choose Chiang Mai as their top place to experience a unique and organic trip, full of waterfalls, mountains, and rare wildlife. From Doi Inthanon to Mae Ping River, the opportunities are endless when it comes to touring the natural side of Northern Thailand.

Chaingmai Chiang Mai Thailand - Free photo on Pixabay

Chiang Mai

Regardless of what province you visit first, each one is sure to bring a different outlook to your experience of this amazing country. With jungles offering nature lovers epic treks, featuring unique wildlife and refreshing waterfalls, visitors can explore the country at their hearts’ desire.

Despite the southern islands offering some of the best sun, sea, and sand to be seen, the inner provinces of this country offer iconic temples that are one of a kind. From temples made of entirely teak wood to those featuring the largest Buddha, exploring Buddhism and how it runs through every facet of Thai society is unforgettable.


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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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