Things to do in Central Thailand

Our most recommended things to do in Central Thailand

Bangkok: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market

1. Bangkok: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market

Choose from either a shared group or private guided experience to see 2 iconic markets on a day trip from Bangkok. See a market located on the railway tracks, the Maeklong Railway Market, and a market that floats on the canals at the Damnoen Saduak Market. After pickup, arrive at the Maeklong Railway Market, also known as Talad Rom Hup (“Umbrella Pulldown Market”). Maeklong is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand and hugs the track of the Maeklong Railway. Gain fascinating insights into how the market is run and what products are sold here from your local guide. Marvel at how market stalls and awnings are pulled back from the tracks every time a train approaches to let the train pass through. Next, head to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, one of the most famous floating markets in Thailand. To reach the market, take a short ride in a paddleboat. Enjoy plenty of time to meander around the colorful market, where friendly vendors sell directly from their boats. Take in the sights and sounds, and try local specialties like mango sticky rice. Your guide will give you advice on what not to miss. Return to Bangkok in time for the early afternoon.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch

2. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch

Enjoy a small-group tour of the magnificent temple ruins of Ayutthaya, the capital during the golden age of Siam. All entrance fees, an expert guide, and lunch at a local restaurant are included. Travel from Bangkok in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle or choose to join the tour at your first stop in Ayutthaya, Wat Lokayasutha. This temple is known for its giant reclining Buddha image, one of the few structures remaining intact here. Your next stop is Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, being part of the royal palace complex this is where royalty performed rituals. It is considered the most important temple of Ayutthaya. Then, visit Wat Mahathat Ayutthaya. One of the oldest and most significant temples in the history of Ayutthaya, it once housed the Buddha's holy relic. Admire the famous Buddha head entwined within the roots of a Bodhi tree. After, tuck into a hearty lunch at a local Thai restaurant, where your guide will be available to advise on local culinary specialties. Last but not least, finish your trip at the grand, riverside Wat Chaiwattanaram. Marvel at its compelling architectural style, influenced by the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, as you wander around the monumental grounds.

Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

3. Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

Embark on a one-of-a-kind experience and visit an ethical rescued elephant sanctuary in the jungle outside Chiang Mai. Cool off in a waterfall, savor a traditional Thai lunch, and become a caretaker for the day as you interact, feed, and observe the gentle giants in their natural environment.  Begin with a pickup from your hotel or accommodation in downtown Chiang Mai. Take a scenic drive southwest of Chiang Mai and see local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields along the way.  Journey to the Mae Wang Waterfalls, where you'll relax and take a dip in the water. Arrive at the Secret Elephant Sanctuary located deep in the jungle. You'll be welcomed to the sanctuary by a guide who will lead you through the experience. Get dressed into Karen hill tribe clothing like the ones elephant caretakers wear. Next, get a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Come and meet the friendly rescued elephants and feed them bananas. Walk up the hill with elephants through the forest and watch the elephants forage for food in the wilderness. Observe elephants interacting between families in their natural environment. Head down to the river and enjoy bathing with the elephants. Walk with the elephants back to the sanatorium and embrace the memories and have time to say goodbye to these marvelous creatures. Finish off with a scenic bamboo rafting trip along the Mae Wang River before you get dropped off at your hotel in Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day Tour

4. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center for a day to explore one of Thailand’s original national parks and highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. This tour will feature picturesque landscapes, remote villages, and incredible viewpoints. After getting picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai, head to your first stop, one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country, Wachirathan Waterfall. Over 80 meters high, the power of this waterfall creates a refreshing mist that feeds the surrounding vegetation.  Next, stop at the stunning 50-meter cascade, Sirithan Waterfall, which is fed by the Mae Klong River.  Then, stop at the famous twin pagodas: the Napamatanee Don and Napaphon Bhumisiri. Built for the Royal King and Queen, they are located at the highest point in Thailand.  Round out the tour with a visit to the Karen Tribe locale. Learn a bit about the hill tribes people’s culture and way of life in their village of Sobhad.

Bangkok: City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour

5. Bangkok: City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour

Meet the group at River City Bangkok by 9:00 AM and head to the Emerald Buddha Temple by local transport. Along the way, pass by the amulet market, one of the most famous, historical community markets of Rattanakosin Island. Discover the first stop of Wat Phra Kaew which is commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.  Explore the Grand Palace which was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. Nowadays, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year.  After the Grand Palace, continue to visit Wat Pho, if you've selected this option. On the way, pass Tha Thien Market, a cultural food market that sells dried, salted seafood and wholesale products. Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho. It is on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of first-class royal temples. Learn about King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site and how it became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined. The temple is considered the earliest center for medical public education surrounded by the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions. It has been recognized by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. Most importantly, it is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple today. Complete the list of must-visit temples in Bangkok by continuing your journey to Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. The temple is known for its giant 70-meter tower next to the Chao Phraya River and is decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass surrounded by Chinese porcelain.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

6. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

Take a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. Start with a convenient pick-up from your hotel in the city center of Chiang Mai and take a drive to the elephant sanctuary. Learn how to make healthy snacks for elephants and see the rescued animals. Go for a swim at Mae Wang Waterfall. Relax as you are picked up from your city center accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back as you are driven southwest of the city on a scenic 1.5-hour drive. Encounter local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields. Receive a warm welcome when you arrive at the Pupha Elephant Sanctuary. Put on your traditional Karen Hill tribe clothes to look like an elephant caretaker. Listen to a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Gain new knowledge as you are taught how to make healthy snacks for the elephants. Feed the rescued elephants as you walk up a hill in the deep jungle. Watch the elephants foraging for food and see elephant families interacting with one another. Bathe in the river with the elephants and walk them back to the sanctuary, where you will be taught how to make elephant medicine balls. Take a shower and pack up your belongings. Eat a traditional Thai lunch and fresh fruits. Leave the elephant sanctuary and stop at Mae Wang waterfall for a quick swim before transferring back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center. Finally, return to your starting point after the tour.

Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

7. Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Meet elephants on this guided day trip from Chiang Mai to the Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary, located in the middle of a lush national park. Here the elephants are able to roam freely in a large green space. Keep your clothes clean by wearing local clothes and boots. Feed and interact with rescued elephants before sitting down to a freshly cooked lunch.  Depart Chiang Mai aboard an air-conditioned van and journey into the mountains of northern Thailand to visit the ethical Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary (approximately 1-hour drive from the city center). Upon arrival, learn about the elephant conservation program and benefit from an introductory talk, and the chance to interact with the rescued animals. Get the chance to give them a hug and discover how to prepare a healthy meal to feed them. Go for a walk around the sanctuary with the elephants and stop to give them a mud bath to keep their body temperature down and protect them from parasites. Feed them before enjoying a homemade lunch at a restaurant inside the sanctuary.

Suvarnabhumi Airport: 2.5-Hour Miracle Lounge Access

8. Suvarnabhumi Airport: 2.5-Hour Miracle Lounge Access

Enjoy VIP access at Miracle Lounge Suvarnabhumi for a relaxing wait in between flights. Be pampered with unlimited food and hot or chilled beverages, including delicious Thai food from The Miracle Group Hotel chef. Each lounge has comfortable couches, free WiFi, work stations and international TV channels, magazines, and newspapers. The lounge also offers a shower room, a prayer room, and open-air space (Concourse D). At the breakfast counter, you will find fresh cookies, pies, sandwich, and cakes. This is the best place enjoy a break before your next flight.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

9. Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

Meet and feed elephants on this elephant sanctuary tour from Chiang Mai. Watch these majestic creatures up close and learn about them from specialists. Sit down to an authentic Thai lunch and stay hydrated with complimentary water. Start your journey in the morning with a hotel pickup from Chiang Mai city center. Take the 1-hour ride to the countryside of Mae Tang district. Get changed into the local clothes and be ready for the fun activities. The experienced guide will provide information about the elephants' behavior and how to provide proper care for them. Then, prepare food and healthy treats for the elephants and feed them afterward. After that, you and the elephants will walk to play in the mud and sand spa. During this time, you will have a chance to observe their behavior, in beautiful natural surroundings. After your time with the elephants, change your clothes, shower, and then enjoy a delicious traditional Thai buffet lunch, which is suitable for vegetarians. After lunch, relax on the 1-hour journey back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center.

Trat Airport: Shared Transfers to/from Koh Chang with Ferry

10. Trat Airport: Shared Transfers to/from Koh Chang with Ferry

Start your holiday stress-free and arrive in Trat without worrying about how to get to your hotel. Land at the airport without a care in the world knowing your professional driver is waiting to transport you to Koh Chang. Depart on a shared van transfer and take a ferry directly to your hotel in Koh Chang. Sit back and relax in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, whether you're traveling to or from the airport. Enhance your whole transportation journey by upgrading to a roundtrip transfer to guarantee your seats in advance. The transfer also includes your ticket for the ferry to Koh Chang, during which you can wander around the upper deck and admire the ocean views before getting back in the vehicle for the final leg of the journey.

Frequently asked questions about Central Thailand

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Other Sightseeing Options in Central Thailand

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What people are saying about Central Thailand

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 23,056 reviews

Good, half day trip to the ancient capital of Thailand. Get to know the earlier battles between Thailand and other countries, the buildings of earlier Thai dynasties, and some local stories. This is a 60 minute drive from Bangkok. Our tour guide, Uncle Sam was knowledgeable, and full of humor. Overall, a well planned group tour for anyone looking to know the history and religious landscape of Thailand.

Since we went really early, before the sunrise, there were just few people around, amazing view from the temple! All the temples were speechless, speacial thanks to the guide Tim which was a good driver with an amazing sense of humour and gave us many tips about Thai culture and temples history!

I joined a group tour, but when I got to the meeting point, only me, I am the only one. Thanks for tour guide Nancy and the driver, from 7am to 7pm, long time work for me, Nancy is always smiling and telling jokes, brought a pleasant trip to me.

Guide Kiwi is very experienced and gave us a very good day. She speaks pretty fluent English and takes good care of us. My family truly enjoyed the day tour

Very clean and comfortable a good place to relax before your flight