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Thailand tourist spots worth a visit aside from Phuket and Bangkok

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Apr 19, 2022 3:27 pm

True travelers know that a country isn't just made up of its capital and well-known cities.

Much like the Philippines, we are far more than the typical white beaches that advertisements show. The same goes for Thailand, another culturally rich country with lots more to see and experience beyond the typical travel guides 

Though there's much to see in Phuket and Bangkok, there's something satisfying about exploring a place that's not as flooded with tourists. Or at least something that not everybody has visited before.

Curious to experience Thailand in its full glory? You're in luck – the country has recently reopened its borders to welcome tourists, quarantine-free! With the Philippines at low risk of COVID-19 transmission, that means fully vaccinated Filipino travelers can now explore the Malay Peninsula with ease.

If you and the fam are already planning out a Thailand itinerary, consider these other spots to fully enjoy your next vacation.

Phi Phi Islands

You might have heard of this destination from Kim Chiu and Xian Lim's latest Thailand trip! Phi Phi Island is one of the country's top-rated destinations for tourists looking to recharge and unwind beyond the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Phi Phi Islands is a group of islands in between Phuket and the Straits of Malacca coast that showcases white sand beaches and breathtaking scenery overhead.

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The island group is a part of Noppharat Thara Beach and contains two major islands: Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le. Four smaller islands are also nearby: Koh Yung, Koh Mai Phai, Koh Pida Nok, and Koh Pida Nai.

Tourists are recommended to swing by between the months of November and April when the temperature and sun are just right for a perfect beach trip or day tour. 

Sukhothai

Known as a land of history, Sukhothai is a small town rich with reminders of the country's old capital. Think Old Manila, but in an entirely new perspective.

This is ideal for travelers that really want to get to know Thailand's history, mixed with modern architecture. The town's signature tourist spots include the Wat Khao Suwan Khiri Ancient Remains, Ta Pha Daeng Shrine, Sukhothai Historical Park, and Ban Pak Khwae Marigold Fields.

A day or two should be enough to enjoy the area, though it bears noting that the place is inclined to have hot temperature, especially during April.

Chiang Mi

For those looking for a low-budget, but equally fulfilling contemporary romp in Thailand, Chiang Mi province is the way to go. With the area translating to "New City", Chiang Mi is the second-largest city in the country.

The mountainous area offers a beautiful blend of natural attractions, street food, and night markets.

Its key highlights include the Phra That Doi Suthep pilgrimage spot, Thapae walking street with local art and culture, Doi Ang Khang mountain, and the trendy Nimmanhaemin road.

Phang Nga

Is this beachside view familiar? It might be if you're a big James Bond fan, as Phang Nga beach has been heavily featured in the 1974 Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. 

Movie feature or none, though, this gorgeous province has definitely piqued tourists' attention with its unique rock formations and endless lively water. The island can be reached via Phuket International Airport or Krabi island.

Other Phang Nga attractions include hiking, boating, snorkeling, swimming, and more. Seriously, you could spend an entire vacation and be content with the province's beautiful scenery.

Koh Samui

With Phuket showcasing a livelier side of the country's beaches, consider Koh Samui as its much calmer and more private counterpart. The third-largest island in Thailand offers three major beach towns: Chaweng Beach (busy metropolitan scene), Lamai Beach (for a more relaxed but lively mood), and Bophut's Fisherman's Village (for a historical tour with its rustic-style buildings).

Famous activities include visiting the Ang Thong National Marine Park, scuba diving, kayaking, golf, and even Muay Thai training.

It's also ideal for travelers that want a packed tour in a short amount of time, as the entire island can be toured via motorbike in a couple of hours.

Ayutthaya

If you're a huge history buff or just someone that wants to add more culture to their trip, the historic city of Ayutthaya is for you.

The city was once the capital of the Siamese Kingdom and now serves as a beautiful archeological ruin abundant with classic architecture such as prang (pointed shrine monuments) and Buddhist monasteries.

You'll get wonderfully lost in the town's bending canals and huge monuments, but the town's rich history will surely pull you in. It's recommended to read up on the area before embarking, although some travel sites recommend going on a tour group or even listening to an audio guide for the full experience.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most captivating ruined cities in the world. It is also considered as Thailand's Ancient Modern Kingdom.