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.

Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

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

Embark on a one-of-a-kind experience and visit an ethical rescued elephant facility 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 Pon Elephant Thailand 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.

Koh Samui: Coral & Pig Island Longtail Boat Small-Group Tour

3. Koh Samui: Coral & Pig Island Longtail Boat Small-Group Tour

Start your trip nice and early with pickup from your accommodation before heading to Thong Krut Pier. From there, board a boat and make your way to Koh Madsum, also known as Pig Island, for a stroll and selfie with the wild island pigs. From Koh Matsum, travel to Koh Tean. In Koh Tean, spend your time swimming, relaxing, snorkeling, kayaking, or exploring the area before enjoying lunch. Afterward, take some free time to enjoy the pristine beach, kayak in the crystal clear waters ,and savour the inhabited landscape. After a full afternoon, make your way back to Thong Krut Pier and be transferred from there back to your accommodation. Want to make your experience even more special? You can choose the Luxury Long-tail Boat option which ensures you island hop in style and in elevated comfort. Besides having more space, the luxury boat also comes with snacks, cold towels, soft drinks, and mineral water.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip

4. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip

Discover some of the notable historical sites of Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok. Visit ancient temples and palaces as well as the Ayothaya Floating Market with an expert guide. After meeting in Bangkok in the morning, start the 2-hour drive to Ayutthaya. The ancient city of Ayutthaya was founded around 1350 and became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. On this full-day trip, you will explore the ruins of the old city, in the UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya Historical Park. The park is an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues. Visit the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, originally built in 1632 by King Prasat Thong. At this spot, you can find a number of impressive buildings built in different architectural styles from Thai, Chinese and European design. Continue your tour with a visit to the Ayothaya Floating Market and enjoy some free time for lunch at your own expense. After lunch, you will visit 2 more historical sites, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Mahathat, to discover the ruins of the great temple sites. You will return to Bangkok in the early evening, where you will be dropped off at a location close to the original meeting point.

From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch

5. 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.

Ko Samui: 4WD Wild Jungle Safari Tour with Lunch

6. Ko Samui: 4WD Wild Jungle Safari Tour with Lunch

Embark on a spectacular adventure up into the mountain and through the Jungle of Koh Samui and then down the other side. All safaris are conducted using authentic rugged ex-army jeeps. It is an exhilarating and rugged experience, but safety is always the highest priority. After pickup from your hotel on Ko Samui, travel to the first stop on the safari, the famous Grandfather/Grandmother Rocks. Next to the rocks is a quaint market selling all sorts of handmade Thai products and souvenirs. Then, head off to the largest waterfall on the island for a cool swim in the natural spring water. Visit the mummified monk statue in the glass case at the temple as seen on TV. After this ground-level experience, crank the vehicle into 4WD and head up into the mountain to impressive viewpoints located along the route to the top. Pass by local Thai farmers working their coconut farms in the forest. Stop for a delicious, traditional Thai lunch in the mountain-top restaurant with beautiful views of the island. After lunch, head to Buddha’s Magic Garden, with weird and wonderful statues all made by hand by one man over many years. Running through the garden is a quaint little stream, and above it is an old monk’s prayer room. Drive down the mountain and stop at the rubber-making plantation before heading toward the iconic Big Buddha. After an exhilarating day, you will be transferred back to the hotel in the evening.

Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park & Elephant Sanctuary

7. Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park & Elephant Sanctuary

Discover the beauty of the Doi Inthanon National Park, see the Wachirathan Waterfall, and feed elephants at an elephant sanctuary. Choose from a tour with a centrally-located meeting point in Chiang Mai or a tour with convenient pickup and drop-off directly at your accommodation in Chiang Mai.  Hop aboard a comfortable van or bus and relax the drive to the southwest of Chiang Mai. Stop at one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country, Wachirathan Waterfall. This waterfall is more than 80 meters high, creating a refreshing mist that nourishes the surrounding vegetation.  Continue your journey to admire the stunning Twin Royal Pagodas. Take in gorgeous panoramic views with a terraced flower garden and the summit of Doi Inthanon Mountain. Walk on an ancient fern forest trail and have a delicious lunch at at local restaurant. Drive through the mountains and hill tribe village to the Elephant Village. Once you arrive, put on a traditional Karen tribe t-shirt and get ready for your jungle adventure. Pickup some fruits to feed the elephants. Learn about Asian elephants and the village's background. Find out how to approach elephants and the correct ways to feed them. Go on a forest hike with the friendly elephants through the lush vegetation and breathtaking mountains. Observe elephants roaming and foraging for food freely in the wild.  Swim with the elephants at the hidden waterfall where you can take some amazing picture. Have free time for a cool shower, to dry off, and to change back into your own clothes. Leave the Elephant Village and travel about 1.5 hours back to Chiang Mai City. 

Pattaya: Coral Island & Sak Island Adventure Trip

8. Pattaya: Coral Island & Sak Island Adventure Trip

On this unique tour, benefit from a versatile selection of action-packed adventure options as you explore the serene natural beauty of the Pattaya Islands. Make the day your own by choosing as many water activities as you'd like. Your guide will ensure you catch all of the highlights. Begin your island excursion with pickup from your hotel in Pattaya. For your first adventure of the day, take to the skies with the adrenaline rush of parasailing. Soar above the water and cruise over Pattaya Beach. Awaiting you are the panoramic views of expansive, crystal-clear blue waters. After you've finished your first activity, take a stroll along the coastline, marvel at the coral reef and paddle peacefully on a paddle board before heading to Coral Island. While you cruise, admire the breathtaking beauty of the pristine waters and sandy beaches. If you're hungry, grab lunch at an island restaurant by Tawean Beach. Fully replenished and ready for action, hit the water for your choice of afternoon thrills. Climb on a banana boat, or rev the engine on a jet ski. Afterwards, you might seize the opportunity to rest on the beach; soaking up the sun's rays. Next on the agenda, zoom along the water to discover the stunning coral reefs and marine life around Sak Island. On board, grab your snorkeling gear and dive in, or explore the sea floor up close with a seawalker. Marvel at the diversity of the vibrant underwater world as sea creatures swoop by. Once you've scouted out every corner of the reef, it's time to pack up and return to shore. Relax on the way back and enjoy a final transport to your hotel to conclude your tour.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Group Tour

9. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall 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 Pon Elephant Thailand. 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 Pon Elephant Thailand. 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 Pon Elephant Thailand and stop at the Mae Wang waterfall for a quick swim before transferring back starting point after the tour.

Bangkok: City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Central Thailand

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 27,873 reviews

Absolutely stunning strip! Would definitely recommend. It was so well planned. The taxi driver and tour guide were so lovely and friendly. They stopped enough times for snacks and toilet breaks. Our guide was super helpful sharing knowledge about the sites we were seeing and the culture of Thailand and its people. We really enjoyed this.

Fantastic day trip. You cannot interact more closely with elephants than this tour. Feeding them, washing them with mud and them going in the river with them to rinse them off. Bamboo rafting was a great experience, and then finished off with a swim at the waterfall! Highly recommend this trip!

Our host and guide was Jimmy. We had an awesome day. Fed the elephants, interacted with them, hiked with them and bathed them. Afterwards we had a good lunch of chicken pad thai with pineapple and watermelon. The day finished with spending some time at a small waterfall. Worth it.

Très belle découverte et très bon moment

Small group, fun & friendly tour guide (I had Jackie!) and well planned itinerary :)

The trip was great! The guide knew good English and the arrangement was great.