13 Irresistible Reasons to Travel to Thailand

Just like falling in love, you never know when you’ll travel to a place and fall head over heels for the culture, the people, and the food. And with almost 200 countries in the world to visit, any one of them could be the one. So, how do you decide which country to see next? From mouthwatering street food to friendly locals and unique islands, you’ll find one reason or another to fall in love with this country. But here are thirteen indisputable reasons why you should travel to Thailand on your next trip. 

Table of Contents

1. The Food Is Beyond Amazing

For foodies everywhere, few better reasons exist to visit Thailand than to experience the rich tapestry of Thai cuisine. 

Bangkok reigns as a street food paradise, where a yummy meal won’t cost you more than a few bucks. But throughout the country, you’ll find a fantastic mix of markets, street vendors, and Michelin-star restaurants to spoil your tastebuds. From the hearty comfort of Pad See Ew to the crunchy sweetness of Kluay Tod, Thai food is a mix of salty, sweet, and savory flavors that make their mark on your senses as soon as you set foot on Thai soil. 

While big cities like Bangkok offer a slew of foreign-inspired dishes, don’t be tempted away from the Thai restaurants serving up local favorites like Pad Krapow and Papaya salad.

No matter where you travel in Thailand, you’ll find new flavors to explore, from the strong salt and spice in the south to the north’s complex sour and bitter flavors. 

The food is so good that we made learning a signature dish one of our bucket list reasons to travel to Thailand! 

2. The People Are the Friendliest

There’s no better reason to travel to a country like Thailand than to experience the unbelievable warmth of its people. After all, it’s called the Land of Smiles for a reason. From the statues frozen in peaceful content to the much warmer and animated faces of its people, you’ll find smiles at just about every turn. 

With such a unique moniker, it seems a given that the people of Thailand would be friendly. Yet, you may still be surprised at the hospitality and warmth you encounter as you travel around this quirky country. 

Without a doubt, the smiles will make you feel welcome. But, it’s the Thai culture that will put you right at ease, with their easy-going mentality, accepting demeanors, and hospitality-minded outlook. 

Mai bpen rai (which translates to “no worries”) isn’t just a phrase Thai people say—and they say it a lot. But, at their core, they’re words the Thai people live by and ones that characterize their laidback attitudes and friendly hearts. 

3. The Jungles Are Lush

Nature lovers need to look no further for reasons to travel to Thailand than its verdant jungles. 

Almost a third of Thailand is covered in lush, moss-coated forests. The majority of it falls under the country’s protected national and forest parks and wildlife sanctuaries, so for anyone hoping for an unplugged paradise, Thailand awaits.

Intrepid explorers will find all kinds of hidden treasures within the dense thickets of Thailand’s jungles, from cascading falls and tranquil lakes to ancient ruins and imposing limestone mountains.

Hike the cloud forest of Doi Inthanon in northern Thailand or swim in the many pools of Erawan Falls north of Bangkok. 

No matter your destination or exploration method, you’ll find all kinds of wildlife and gorgeous scenery squirreled away in Thailand’s jungles.

4. The Islands and Beaches Are Magnificent

Thailand has some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the world. Easily one of the top reasons to travel to Thailand, tourists flock to the islands and beaches year after year. And when islands like Koh Chang boast stunning diving spots and places like Sunset Beach in Koh Kradan offer spectacular sunset views, it’s not hard to understand the allure.

The islands and beaches are popular destinations for tourists during the dry season, but that doesn’t detract from their beauty. From the notoriety of Maya Bay to the tranquility of Koh Ngai and the loud, party vibes of Phuket, there’s something for everyone, no matter the season or the crowds.

And despite their diversity, if there’s one thing the beaches in Thailand have in common, it’s their beauty. Stunning white sands, gorgeous blue waters, and limestone karsts set the breathtaking beaches of Thailand apart from anywhere else.

For any self-proclaimed beach lover, the islands have to be first on your list of reasons for traveling to Thailand.

5. It’s Crazy-Affordable

Thailand is a backpacker’s paradise for a reason: it’s one of the cheapest countries to travel to in the world!

Not only is street food in Thailand delicious, but it’s also insanely affordable. You can grab a meal, drinks included, for as little as $5. And it’s not just the food. 

Budget options for accommodations abound, but the comfort afforded with even top-end budget options puts other countries to shame. Only $25 a night to sleep in a bungalow with air conditioning, hot water, and a view? Consider our bags packed and passports ready.

If you’re looking to treat yourself for a night, you can find options that’ll only put you out a couple of hundred dollars. You know, the price you’d typically pay for a substandard hotel in another country. 

And when it comes to activities like cabaret shows, temple tours, and diving, Thailand is king. There aren’t many places that offer lessons and prime diving spots that don’t cost a fortune, but Thailand is undoubtedly a favorite. 

Whether you want to get out and explore or stay in and pamper yourself, Thailand makes dreams come true at a price that will make you think you’re dreaming.

6. The Markets Are Tons of Fun

An integral part of any trip to Thailand is experiencing the many markets throughout the cities. 

If you’ve been to one market, you may think you’ve been to them all, but that’s far from the case in Thailand. That’s because the markets here carry their own unique character, from the locals they attract to the wares they sell. You’ll find flavorful food and snacks in some and incredible antiques in others.

Just when you think you’ve uncovered them all, you stumble upon something like the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Sailing along the river, snapping pics of colorful boats stuffed full of fruit, and haggling for souvenirs are experiences that’ll stick with you long after returning home.

Away from the touristy markets that draw in crowds of foreigners, you’ll also find plenty of hidden markets frequented by locals. Here, you’ll find a more authentic experience of Thai life and culture.

7. The Temples Are Unbelievably Majestic

If Thailand wasn’t known as the Land of Smiles, it could easily earn a moniker as the land of temples. Over forty thousand temples dot Thailand’s sprawling landscape. It doesn’t matter if you’re standing in the middle of bustling Bangkok or magical Ayutthaya; you won’t have to look hard to stumble upon one.

But Thailand’s stunning temples aren’t just impressive decorations or an incredible reason to travel to Thailand. They play a critical role in everyday life, serving as education centers, gathering places, and homes for monks. Pay a visit to the temples in the early morning, and you’re bound to catch glimpses of the locals making their daily offerings and monks performing their morning prayers.

Greet the tallest Buddha in the world in Ang Thong or marvel at the famous White Temple in Chiang Rai. Wherever you go, the temples in Thailand are a must-see attraction and cultural juggernaut you won’t regret visiting or forget seeing anytime soon.

8. The Shopping Is Amazing

Few better ways exist to commemorate a trip than with a sentimental souvenir. If you’re the type to shop till you drop, Thailand is a shopper’s paradise for finding the perfect keepsake to memorialize traveling to this country, whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time. 

The fun and colorful markets are just the start. Thailand also offers buzzing malls and fun weekend bazaars. In them, you can find antiques, elephant carvings, Thai jewelry, silks, spices, and so much more. From flowers and fabrics in Bangkok’s Chinatown to watches and bags in Phuket’s Weekend Market, you’re bound to find something to capture your interest. 

Even if haggling isn’t your forte, strolling through the vibrant weekend markets and wandering the massive shopping malls is a fun way to spend any day on your itinerary and learn your way around the city streets.

9. Unique Festivals Are Everywhere

Festivals are one of the best reasons to travel to Thailand because they offer an opportunity to learn more about Thai life and culture. Of course, they’re also fun and joyous celebrations. The Ghost Festival is one such celebration, mixing religious traditions, colorful handmade ghost masks, and a wild party loud enough to wake the dead—coincidentally, how the festival earned its name in the first place. 

Of course, not all the festivals in Thailand are quite as wild and boisterous as the Ghost Festival. However, that’s not to say some don’t give it a run for its money, like the famous Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, which takes place several months out of the year. 

In contrast, the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai is a much quieter affair, celebrating the end of the rainy season with paper lanterns dotting the night sky. Meanwhile, for environmentally-minded travelers, the Koh Tao Underwater World Festival is all about preserving Koh Tao’s environment with clean-ups, turtle releases, and live performances. And who could forget Songkran? The giant, nationwide water fight during Songkran is one that had to make its way onto our wild bucket list adventures.

With such fun and unique festivals, you’ll want to come back again and again just to experience them all!

10. The Wildlife Is Wildly Unique

If you thought the food, the people, and the temples were the best Thailand had to offer, think again. Almost one hundred and fifty national parks dot the country, including countless beautiful forests, lagoons, and islands. From Chiang Mai in the north to Phuket in the south, the amount of diverse wildlife Thailand is home to is magical to experience firsthand.

The mountains and forests that make up Si Lanna National Park in Chiang Mai are home to tigers and Asian black bears! Upon initial view, the forests and grasslands of Khao Yai National Park may make you feel as though you’ve been transported to Africa until you catch a glimpse of an Asian elephant lumbering along. And in Khao Sok National Park, you can see everything from leopards to mangrove snakes and barking deer. Not to mention the calm peacefulness of Cheow Larn Lake is perfect for bird-watching.

You’ll find plenty of wildlife outside of Thailand’s national parks too. In fact, it may just wander up to you as the monkeys do on Monkey Beach.

Of course, strap on your diving gear, and you’ll find all kinds of wildlife under the water’s surface, from tiny seahorses to impressive whale sharks.

Thailand allows you to explore nature in all its facets.

11. The Cities Are Bustling and Diverse

Hectic cities can be a turn-off for many foreign tourists. However, the country’s unique and colorful cities make them one of the best reasons to travel to Thailand. And the cities are well worth a stay, even for the self-proclaimed beach lovers and jungle trekkers.  

Thailand’s cities offer wildly different experiences, providing a glimpse into just how diverse the country is. 

The capital of Bangkok is the most visited city in the world. Winding streets threaten to swallow visitors whole, only to reveal hidden wonders in markets and temples tucked away from the random tourist’s eye. Muay Thai matches and nightclubs keep the evenings lively, and Khao San Road is known for cheap, fun nights out.

Meanwhile, Phuket is for beach lovers and party-goers. With gorgeous beaches like Freedom Beach and the flashing neon lights of Bangla Road, Phuket is the place for fun in the sun that lasts long into the night.

Finally, Chiang Mai offers a more peaceful respite for city living. Tucked away in the north, Chiang Mai stands ready to steal your heart with romantic charm and serene nature everywhere you turn.

No matter your preference for city living, you’re bound to find a city that calls to you in Thailand.

12. Fascinating Culture Abounds

If you’re looking for a quick glimpse of Thailand’s fascinating culture, you can start with its festivals. Be it Songkran or Loy Krathong, both center around water and its significance to Thai life, washing away the past in a giant water fight or starting a new beginning with a candlelit boat sent down the river.

But dive deeper than the festivals, and you’ll find the unique culture of Thailand everywhere, from the traditional “wai” greeting to the practice of Muay Thai and the people’s adoration for their king. 

Despite the modernization of its cities, Thai culture remains strong throughout the country. Family comes first, and religion plays an integral role in the country’s customs and traditions. Bangkok is a perfect example of that, with towering skyscrapers sharing space and sky with intricate temples. 

You’re bound to run into fascinating aspects of Thai culture throughout the country, from the ancient city museum park to beautiful Khon masked dances. At every step, you’re guaranteed to learn more about what makes Thailand so unique.

13. Adventure Is Everywhere

With diverse lands such as the forests of the north, the islands of the south, and everything in between, it’s no surprise that adventure is everywhere. Travel anywhere in Thailand, and you can treat yourself to experiences unlike any other. It’s one of the reasons why traveling to Thailand is so special!

Hike to temples atop mountains and hidden in caves. 

At an elephant sanctuary, try your hand at bathing an elephant or go on a jungle walk to see how they thrive in the wild.

Phra Nang Cave Beach is perfect for rock climbing, while diving off the coast of Koh Samui presents divers with a colorful underwater scene.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy, from biking through the city to exploring ancient ruins and kayaking out to private islands. Whether you’re into heart-pounding stunts like ziplining through the trees or more sedate jungle treks, you’ll find all of it and more awaits you in Thailand.

Planning a Thailand Vacay? We’ll Get You the Cheapest Flights to the Land of Smiles

Thailand may be kind to your wallet, but the flights to get you there certainly won’t be. You could splurge on a ten-day vacation at your destination for the money you spend on your flight alone. With prices like that, the skies are looking a little less friendly.

But they’re the only way to get you from being stuck where you are to roaming Thailand’s cities and islands. So, pocket more of that hard-earned money by flying with Next Vacay.

Our team of deal hunters scour the web for deals from all over the country and send them directly to your inbox. You don’t even have to lift a finger. All you have to do is book. 

So, how about it? It’s time to travel to the Land of Smiles. Do it with Next Vacay.

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