Arguably one of, if not, south-east Asia’s most popular countries, Thailand should be on any avid explorer’s bucket list.

Peppered with charming sights in the forms of beautiful beaches and breathtaking temples, alongside the optional bustle of non-stop city life, there’s something for every kind of traveller. And not to mention, the food is second to none.

If you’re wondering which are the best and most popular destinations to visit in Thailand, read our recommendations below. And for more insights into a Thai trip, read our top Thailand travelling tips.

Best Thailand Holiday Destinations

1. Phuket

As Thailand’s largest island, it would be nothing short of a shame to miss visiting Phuket on a trip to Thailand. Based in the south, it’s easily accessible and a great island to head to for first-time Thailand visitors. This is wholeheartedly one to tick off your bucket list.

On a visit to Phuket, be sure to explore the streets of Old Phuket Town. Expect brightly coloured Sino-Portuguese townhouses that have spanned centuries. The charming markets offer a look into authentic Phuket life, serving street food delicacies like fried banana, as well as beautiful souvenirs.

Kata Beach is known as the surfing capital of Phuket and hosts the island’s biggest annual surfing competition. Alongside offering unmatched waves and surfing conditions, Kata Beach also provides guests with a fruitful Thai food scene like fresh seafood. Plus, a vibrant yet sophisticated nightlife ideal for younger travellers and couples.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Phuket? Visit Club Med Phuket.

If you’re on the hunt for an all-inclusive family resort in Phuket, acquaint yourself with our Club Med Phuket resort. Covering 25 hectares of tropical forest, bask in an authentic Thai experience whilst dabbling in relaxation and adventurous activities.

Our Thai cooking classes allow you and your family to play chef for the day, teaching you the invaluable skills you need to recreate popular Thai dishes from home. Dishes range from green curry to tom yum soup, led by our talented chefs. If you want to get to know Thai culture even more, we recommend taking part in our Thai boxing classes. Led by our talented instructors, lessons occur daily and allow guests to inject a little fitness into their Phuket trip. Our Club Med Phuket resort also offers climbing, scuba diving and archery classes. Plus, a selection of restaurants like The Mamuang which has been newly redesigned, and The Chu-da.

Discover more about our Club Med Phuket resort.

2. Chiang Mai

Found in northern Thailand, the modern city of Chiang Mai is known for its beautiful sights and landmarks, like ancient temples and exquisite mountains.

A trip to Chiang Mai wouldn’t be complete without heading to Wat Phra Doi Suthep, one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples. Nestled at the top of a 306- step staircase surrounded by naga - mythical sea serpents - the journey itself is one to behold. Once at the top, visitors can expect breadfruit trees, rock gardens, and breathtaking views of the city. Similarly, the Wat Phra Singh temple is also worth visiting, made up of stunning buildings and elegant gardens. Known as the Temple of the Lion Buddha, it’s also home to two buddha statues which attracts many pilgrims.

For those seeking postcard-perfect views, Doi Inthanon National Park is home to the highest mountain in all of Thailand and offers nothing short of “wow” moments. Covering a staggering 48,240 hectares, the park is home to more birds than anywhere else in Thailand. And for those looking to experience authentic northern Thai food, Chiang Mai is the place to do so. Known for Khao Soi, the coconut and curry soup with yellow noodles and chicken, it’s a mesmerising amalgamation of textures, colours and flavours.

3. Koh Tao

As the smallest island of the Samui-Pha-Nagan-Tao trio in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao is making its way onto many more tourist’s maps for all the right reasons. Speckled in palm trees and white sands, the island takes its name from the sea turtles that frequent the shores, which visitors can expect to see.

Offering guests an endless list of beaches, coves and coasts to explore, Ao Tanot Bay is most definitely the most popular. Providing the perfect waters for snorkelling, rock-jumping and diving, become acquainted with the local wildlife like angelfish and coral, as well as a sunken catamaran. Or, simply sunbathe on the peaceful shores. For something more secluded, Hat Laem Thian is a sheltered white sandy beach north of Ao Tanot offering the same clear waters and activities.

For those seeking views from Koh Tao, John Suwan viewpoint is just the ticket. Allowing visitors to take in the trio of islands from new heights and revel in the blue and green hues from above, it offers a truly unforgettable view. However, we recommend hiking to the top in cooler temperatures or early in the morning, as the uphill trail is known for being challenging.