18 Famous Landmarks In Thailand

We’ve gathered together the most famous landmarks in Thailand, from ancient temples to natural wonders, to help you plan your next Thai adventure.

Culture, cuisine and beaches are Thailand’s main tourist draws. This Southeast Asian country is home to stunning temples, delicious food, and welcoming people.

If you’re planning a trip to this Southeast Asian country, be sure to add these must-see landmarks to your Thai itinerary.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace is one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions. This beautiful complex was built in 1782 and served as the home of the Thai king, queen, and court for 150 years.

Today, the palace is used for ceremonial and state affairs, but it is also open to the public.

One of the most important things to know before visiting the Grand Palace is that there is a strict dress code. Visitors must be dressed modestly to enter; this means no bare shoulders or legs and no see-through clothing.

There is so much to see at the Grand Palace; make sure to allow yourself enough time to explore fully.

Some of the highlights include Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Chakri Maha Prasat Hall (the palace’s main hall), Dusit Maha Prasat Hall (a smaller hall often used for state functions), and Phiman Rattanat Hall (a residential hall where members of the royal family once lived).

These are just a few of the many highlights; there’s plenty more to see and do at this massive complex.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is one of Bangkok’s most iconic and well-loved temples.

Situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is an impressive sight, especially from across the river at night when illuminated with thousands of lights.

Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple complex that was built in the early 19th century.

The temple’s main feature is its 70-metre-tall central prang (tower), which is decorated with colourful ceramic tiles and pieces of seashell. The temple complex also includes several smaller prangs, courtyards, halls, and statues.

Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok’s Thonburi district. The easiest way to get there is by taking a ferry from the pier at Tha Wang Pha (N8) or Tha Tien (N9). Ferries run every few minutes and cost only a few baht per person. Once you get off the ferry, simply follow the signs to Wat Arun.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a longtail boat from any of the piers on either side of the river. Just be sure to negotiate a price with the boat driver before getting in!

The entrance fee to enter Wat Arun is 100 baht per person. The best time to visit Wat Arun is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it isn’t too hot.

However, even if you do visit during the heat of the day, it’s still worth it because Wat Arun is absolutely stunning! Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Wat Pho, Bangkok

This iconic temple is not only one of the largest and oldest in Bangkok but also home to the world’s largest reclining Buddha.

Wat Pho is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, just south of the Grand Palace. It covers an area of 80 acres and is home to more than 1,000 Buddhas, as well as a school of Thai traditional medicine.

One of the most popular attractions at Wat Pho is the 46m long reclining Buddha. The statue is covered in gold leaf and adorned with jewels, and its feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Visitors are welcome to walk around the statue and take photos, but please remember to be respectful and refrain from touching the Buddha or taking flash photos.

State Tower, Bangkok

When you think of Bangkok, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the city’s distinctive skyline, towering high-rises and gleaming temples. And no building is more emblematic of that skyline than the State Tower.

Standing 810 feet tall, the State Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Thailand. It’s home to a luxury hotel, a shopping mall, and a rooftop observation deck with stunning city views.

The State Tower is located in the Silom district of Bangkok, close to the Chao Phraya River. It’s easy to spot thanks to its unique architecture; the building is shaped like a coiled dragon, with two spiralling towers that taper off at the top.

The Observation Deck offers 360-degree views of Bangkok and its surroundings. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the mountaintops in Kanchanaburi province, more than 60 miles away.

There’s also an open-air deck where you can enjoy the fresh air and even cooler temperatures; on hot days, it’s a great place to escape the heat of the city below.

If you’re feeling hungry after taking in the views, there’s no need to head back down to ground level; there’s also a restaurant on the 77th floor serving Thai and international cuisine.

Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

This beautiful property is the former home of American businessman and architect Jim Thompson, who is credited with reviving the silk industry in Thailand. The house is now a museum that’s open to the public.

The Jim Thompson House is located in Bangkok’s central business district, and it’s easy to get there by taxi or Uber. If you’re using public transportation, take the Skytrain (BTS) to the National Stadium station and then walk for about 10 minutes. The house is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, and admission is 300 THB (about $10 USD).

The beautiful architecture is the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at the Jim Thompson House.

The property consists of six traditional Thai teak houses that were brought from various parts of Thailand and assembled on-site.

As you wander through the different buildings, you’ll learn about Thompson’s life and work and see some of his personal belongings on display.

Be sure to take some time to explore the grounds, which are beautifully landscaped with ponds, flowers, and trees.

If you’re interested in learning more about Thai silk production, there’s a small shop on-site where you can purchase fabrics and souvenirs.

There’s also a restaurant if you need a break from sightseeing.

All in all, plan on spending at least a couple of hours at the Jim Thompson House – it’s really that captivating!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Near Bangkok

Thailand is a land of many markets, each with its unique flavour. If you’re looking for an authentic Thai experience, there’s no better place to go than Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located about 100 kilometres southwest of Bangkok in the Damnoen Saduak District of Ratchaburi Province. The easiest way to get there is by taking a bus or an organised tour.

The market itself is quite small, but it’s packed with stalls selling everything from fruits and vegetables to clothes and souvenirs.

Bargaining is expected, so don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendors.

And when you’re ready for a break, there are plenty of food stalls offering delicious Thai dishes like pad thai and mango sticky rice. Just be sure to have cash on hand, as many vendors don’t accept credit cards.

Bridge Over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi

The Bridge Over the River Kwai is one of Thailand’s most famous historical landmarks.

The bridge was built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II and has become a symbol of the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity.

Located in the town of Kanchanaburi, about two hours west of Bangkok, the bridge is now a popular tourist destination, perfect for a day trip from Bangkok.

The Bridge over the River Kwai was built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II. The Japanese Army needed a railway to transport supplies from Bangkok to Burma, and they forced the POWs to build it. Construction began in 1942 and continued until 1944.

The bridge was bombed by Allied forces in 1945 and partially destroyed. It was rebuilt after the war and is now a functioning railway bridge. A memorial park was built near the bridge to honour those who lost their lives during its construction.

The best way to experience the Bridge over the River Kwai is to visit the nearby memorial park. The park contains several monuments, museums, and cemeteries commemorating the POWs who died during the bridge’s construction.

The most notable monument is the Death Railway Memorial, which is a granite wall engraved with the names of those who sadly died while building the railway. The museum at the park contains artefacts from the construction of the railway, including tools, personal belongings, and photographs.

Ang Thong Marine Park, near Koh Samui

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Ang Thong Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands.

The name Ang Thong means “Golden Basin” in Thai, and it’s easy to see why this place is so named when you witness the stunning turquoise waters surrounded by limestone cliffs.

One of the most popular attractions in the park is the Emerald Lagoon, a lagoon located inside a crater that was formed when a volcano erupted thousands of years ago.

The lagoon is located inside a crater that was formed when a volcano erupted thousands of years ago, and the water is an amazing shade of emerald green.

When you arrive at the lagoon, you’ll take a short hike to the top of the crater, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lagoon below.

Ang Thong Marine Park is reached most easily from Koh Samui, making it a perfect day trip during your stay on the popular Thai island.

Many boats go on day trips to Ang Thong Marine Park; these can be arranged from your hotel or by visiting one of the tour companies dotted about Koh Samui.

Ayutthaya Historical Park, Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many ancient ruins.

Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 by King U Thong. The city quickly rose to prominence and became one of the most prosperous cities in Southeast Asia.

By the 18th century, Ayutthaya was one of the world’s largest cities, with a population of over 1 million people.

However, in 1767 the city was invaded by the Burmese and was completely destroyed.

The city was abandoned and fell into ruin. Today, the ruins of Ayutthaya are a popular tourist destination.

There are many different ruins that you can explore at Ayutthaya Historical Park. Some of the most popular attractions include Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Ratchaburana, and Wat Mahathat.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once the largest temple in Ayutthaya. It was used as a royal temple and was where the king resided.

Wat Ratchaburana was built in 1424 and is known for its beautiful architecture.

Wat Mahathat is one of the most iconic temples in Ayutthaya, as it is home to the famous “Buddha head in tree roots” statue.

Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai

Sukhothai Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to some of the most well-preserved ruins in Thailand.

Sukhothai Historical Park was the capital of the first Thai Kingdom and served as an important cultural and political centre for over 200 years.

The park itself covers over 70 square kilometres and contains over 200 ruins, making it one of the largest archaeological sites in Thailand. While it may seem like a lot to see, don’t worry – there are plenty of tour options available that will help you hit all the highlights.

One of the best things about Sukhothai Historical Park is that it’s relatively quiet compared to other popular tourist destinations in Thailand. This means that you can actually take your time to enjoy the ruins without feeling rushed or crowded.

The Wat Mahathat temple, in particular, is not to be missed. This 14th-century temple is one of the most iconic in all of Thailand and features a massive Buddha head surrounded by intricate stonework.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, we recommend visiting Sukhothai Historical Park at night. Once the sun goes down, the park comes alive with thousands of candles and lanterns.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

When it comes to temples, Thailand has no shortage of breathtakingly beautiful ones. However, one particular temple stands out from the rest – Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.

This temple is located in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai and is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in this part of the country.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep was built in 1383 on the orders of King Keu Naone. It is said that a relic of the Buddha was brought to the temple by an elephant, which stopped and trumpeted three times before dying at the spot where the temple now stands. The temple complex underwent several additions and expansions over the centuries, and today it covers an area of 15 acres.

The main attraction at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is, of course, the temple itself. The temple is reached by a flight of 306 steps (or you can take the funicular railway if you don’t feel like climbing), and once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with stunning views over Chiang Mai. The temple itself is ornately decorated with mosaics, statues, and paintings.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can also hike up to Doi Pui summit, which takes around two hours round trip. Along the way, you’ll pass through forest Monastery, where you can take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Phanom Rung Historical Park, Nang Rong

Tucked away in the small town of Nang Rong in Thailand’s Isaan region is Phanom Rung Historical Park, a little-known but stunningly beautiful temple complex that is well worth a visit.

Constructed entirely of laterite and sandstone, the temple was built in the Khmer style between the 10th and 13th centuries and was used as a place of worship for the Hindu god Shiva.

Today, the temple is a popular tourist spot for both Thai and foreign visitors, who come to admire its intricate architecture and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Phanom Rung is located in Nang Rong district, about 3 hours by car from Khon Kaen city. The easiest way to get there is to take a bus or minivan from either Khon Kaen or Bangkok; there are also direct flights from Bangkok to Nang Rong airport, which is just a short drive from the temple complex.

The best time to visit Phanom Rung is between November and February when the weather is cool and dry. However, even during Thailand’s hot season (March-June), the temple complex provides welcome relief from the heat thanks to its elevation (it sits atop an extinct volcano!) and its many shady trees.

There are several buildings at Phanom Rung, including the main shrine, a bell tower, and several smaller shrines; the most impressive structure is undoubtedly the magnificent main gate. Standing nearly 30 meters tall, this imposing sandstone gateway is adorned with beautifully carved figures of Hindu deities. As you walk through it into the temple complex, you can’t help but feel like you’re stepping back in time.

Wandering around Phanom Rung, it’s easy to see why this temple complex is considered one of Thailand’s most important archaeological sites.

The attention to detail in both the architecture and sculptures is truly astounding, and it’s hard to believe that such a place exists outside of Bangkok!

Even if you’re not particularly interested in history or archaeology, I think you’ll still find Phanom Rung to be an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place—a perfect spot for some quiet reflection or simply taking in the amazing views.

Tham Lot, Soppong

Tham Lot cave is tucked away in the small town of Soppong in Northern Thailand. This incredible cave features a stunning river running through it and is home to various wildlife.

Tham Lot has been a popular tourist destination for centuries—it was even mentioned in a novel by famous French author Victor Hugo. The cave gets its name from the Thai words “tham,” meaning “cave,” and “lot,” meaning “to float.”

And trust us, you’ll want to float down the river that runs through this beautiful cave!

When you arrive at Tham Lot, you’ll be able to take in the full majesty of the cave from the wooden viewing platform. From there, you can take a boat ride down the river that runs through the cave. Keep your eyes peeled for bats and other wildlife as you float through this magical place!

Once you reach the river’s end, you’ll be able to explore the rest of the cave on foot. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight—you’ll need it.

Big Buddha, Koh Samui

Just off the coast of mainland Thailand is the island of Koh Samui, home to another iconic landmark: the Big Buddha.

Standing 12 metres tall and weighing in at 25 tonnes, the Big Buddha is impossible to miss. The statue is made of concrete and covered in Burmese-style gold leaf, and it sits atop a hill on the north coast of Koh Samui, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Visitors can reach the statue by climbing a set of stairs. Once you’ve reached the top, take some time to explore the grounds of Wat Phra Yai temple, which houses the Big Buddha.

In addition to being a popular tourist spot, Wat Phra Yai is an active Buddhist temple where monks live and worship.

You’ll also find several smaller Buddhas on the temple grounds and a museum with information about Buddhism and Thai culture.

Related: Things To Do In Koh Samui

Khao Phing Kan, Phang Nga Bay

If you’re a fan of the James Bond franchise, then you’ve probably seen Khao Phing Kan before. This small island in Phang Nga Bay was featured prominently in the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun. It has become one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations in the decades since.

Khao Phing Kan is located in Phang Nga Bay, which is about an hour’s drive from Phuket International Airport. The best way to get to the island is by a longtail boat, which can be arranged through your hotel or resort.

Khao Phing Kan is home to a beautiful sandy beach flanked by towering limestone cliffs. It’s the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and simply enjoying the stunning scenery.

For those who want to explore beyond the beach, Khao Phing Kan also has a hiking trail that takes you to the top of the island for panoramic views of Phang Nga Bay. The hike takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s worth it for the photo ops alone.

Maya Bay, Krabi

This world-famous bay was made even more popular by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach, filmed in 2000.

Although it’s become quite touristy since the film’s release – the Thai government had to close it in 2018 to help restore the damage to the ecosystems caused by all the visitors over the years – Maya Bay is still an absolutely beautiful place and well worth a visit, just remember to treat it with care.

Maya Bay is located on the island of Phi Phi Leh, which is part of the Phi Phi Islands archipelago. The best way to get to Maya Bay is by longtail boat from Krabi Town or Ao Nang Beach. Most tours will include a stop at Maya Bay and other popular spots like Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, and Pileh Lagoon.

If you’re staying in Ao Nang, plenty of tour operators offer day trips to Maya Bay. Just walk along the beach until you find someone selling tickets. If you’re staying in Krabi Town, you can book a tour through your hotel, hostel, or any of the tour offices around town.

Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple), Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, is one of the most unique and beautiful temples in all of Thailand. The temple is located in the small city of Chiang Rai, which is about a two-hour drive from the popular tourist destination of Chiang Mai.

Wat Rong Khun is unlike any other temple you will see in Thailand, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The temple’s exterior is entirely white, with intricate details and sculptures. The inside of the temple is just as beautiful, with ornate paintings and sculptures.

Wat Rong Khun is located about 10 kilometres from downtown Chiang Rai. If you are coming from Chiang Mai, there are a few different ways to get there. You can take a bus directly from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai – there are several companies that offer this service, and it takes about two hours. You can also take a train from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, which takes a bit longer but can be a fun experience. Once you arrive in Chiang Rai, you can either take a taxi or grab a tuk-tuk to Wat Rong Khun.

Wat Rong Khun is open every day from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. The best time to visit is early in the morning or later in the afternoon when it isn’t as crowded. If you go during peak times, be prepared for large crowds and long lines.

Maeklong Railway Market

Located in Samut Songkhram province, about an hour and a half southwest of Bangkok, is the Maeklong Railway Market.

This market is like no other; it’s one of the only markets in the world where a train runs right through the middle of it!

The market started over 100 years ago when farmers would set up stalls along the railway tracks to sell their produce to passing trains.

Nowadays, the market is still very much a functioning train station, with eight trains stopping there daily. But that doesn’t stop the 200 or so vendors from setting up their stalls!

When a train approaches, vendors quickly pack up their wares and move them off the tracks. As soon as the train has passed, they set up their stalls again and continue business as usual. It’s an amazing sight to see and well worth a visit if you’re ever in Thailand.

The market is open every day from 8 am until 5 pm. However, if you want to see the market in action, with vendors moving their goods off the tracks as a train approaches, you’ll need to go early or late in the afternoon when the trains are scheduled to pass through.

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