Where To Stay In Thailand? The BEST Areas and Hotels

Finding where to stay in Thailand, especially for the first time, can become an exhausting task for foreigners because of the great diversity between the country regions along with the enormous number of different types of hotels available. Read this complete in-depth guide to understand the dreamy Thailand, choose where to stay, and discover the best hotels for different budgets and for different travel experiences.

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations for vacationers all around the world. This country is known for its variety of attractions, from large metropolitan cities, beautiful beaches on quiet islands, and phenomenal nature through many national parks.

Many travelers pick Thailand as their ideal destination because of the amazing experiences the country has to offer. You can find diving classes, volunteer at an elephant sanctuary, experience the lives of the kind locals, or just hang out at a spa.

Thailand is never short on amazing activities for a memorable trip.

With great diversity throughout the country, it can be difficult to decide where to stay. No matter what experience you are looking for, whether it be hostel living and backpacking or living in luxury through 5-star resorts, Thailand has every option available to its travelers.

In the following article, you will find a breakdown of the different touristic regions of Thailand to find out which parts of the country are a must-see for your trip, and the best accommodation options.

If You’re In A Hurry, Here’s Our Advice In Short…

Stay in Chiang Mai!

Chiang Mai is located in the Northern Region of Thailand, and is the ideal place to stay in Thailand. It is a widely popular destination for visitors and is a great place for first time visitors due to it’s easy accessibility to other parts of the country.

Top Places to Visit in Chiang Mai:

  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
  • Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
  • Night Bazaar
  • Wat Chedi Luang
Where to stay in Thailand

Quick Facts About Thailand:

  • Thailand’s currency is the Thai Baht – ฿
  • The native language is Thai.
  • The country is located in Southeast Asia bordered between Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
  • The country is often nicknamed as “the Land of Smiles” due to the friendly nature of the locals.
  • The whole country’s population falls just under 70 million people.
  • Thailand is known for many things among being a desired tourist location with beautiful beaches and jungles. It is known for: friendly locals, hundreds upon hundreds of temples, elephants, durian, fire shows, martial arts, fabulous waterfalls, and so much more.

Regional Guide

Northern Thailand

The region of Northern Thailand is made up of mountainous jungle landscapes. The valleys are filled with rice and crop fields. The north has a much different culture than the south, from architecture, cuisine, and beliefs. The culture is significantly influenced by the region’s nature and mountainscape. The north even has its dialect of the Thai language: “Kham Muang”.

Sunlit Hills of Northern Thailand
Sunlit Hills of Northern Thailand – by Mild Delirium (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The region of Northern Thailand is divided into 9 different provinces. From the main provinces within the north, they are then divided further into multiple districts. The main cities to visit in Northern Thailand are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son (Pai).

  • Chiang Mai is a metropolitan attraction with endless shopping, amazing restaurants, beautiful temples, and historic landmarks. It is famous for trekking, tribal villages, and elephant sanctuaries.
  • Chiang Rai is known for its historic attractions. It is one of the oldest towns in Thailand and attracts tourists for nature hikes, historic temple visits, and to experience traditional Thai living.
  • Maehongson attracts tourists for nature-based activities. The province is filled with jungle terrain for trekking, cave exploration, and elephant viewing. The province is also home to the chill popular backpacking town of Pai. The village is a little known secret. You will find a sleepy hippy village with beautiful nature, where few backpackers desire to leave.

Getting around the north is extremely easy with Thailand’s popular and cheap public transportation. You can easily travel throughout the various northern cities and sites either through a tour company or by taking public buses from the bus stations.

Renting a car or motorbike is also a possible option for exploring the region if you feel comfortable and have an international driving license.

Central Thailand

The central region of Thailand is home to large metropolitan areas and is home to Bangkok, the biggest city in all of Thailand. This region was once home to the Ayuthaya, the previous royal capital now known as Siam. The region is known for its incredible historic ruins, buzzing metropolitan areas, and beautiful national parks.

View on Bangkok Central Thailand

The central region is divided into 26 provinces, of which are further divided into smaller districts. The main touristic areas in the central region are Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, and Ayutthaya.

  • Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand. This city is ideal to visit if you are looking to experience the amazing nightlife, shopping, and cuisine. The city has amazing temples and historical landmarks as well.
  • Kanchanaburi attracts many tourists due to its natural beauty. This central province is home to the Erawan National Park, known for its famous 7 tier waterfall, and the Death Railway.
  • Ayutthaya was once the capital of the city of Siam and remains a historic site to this day. Many people visit Ayutthaya for cultural and historic exploration, along with experiencing the local Thai life through the local markets, folk art, and local museums.

The central region of Thailand has convenient public transportation running between the cities, with options ranging from public buses and trains to private taxis. Renting a car or motorbike is also an option, although you should be very comfortable driving in big cities and traffic.

Southern Thailand

Southern Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in the country due to the beautiful beach destinations the region has to offer. The south is filled with breathtaking national parks and more islands than can be counted. Literally!

Although, the whole of the south is divided into 21 provinces, for the sake of this article we will divide it into two. The southeast region lies on the Gulf of Thailand, and the southwest region lies on the Andaman Sea.

Phuket Southern Thailand

The main tourist areas in the Southern region are Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Samui.

  • Phuket is located in the southwest region and is a well-known tourist destination that is often crowded with tourists. You can find plenty of pristine beaches, temples, and night markets to explore.
  • Krabi is also located in the southwest region. Krabi attracts travelers year-round for its beautiful nature with many secluded white sandy beaches on the Railay Peninsula. Krabi attracts many visitors to its beaches and climbing spots, and the town center is often overlooked but provides some of the best Thai- Malaysian cuisine.
  • Koh Phangan is located on the southeast side and is one of the most well-known islands in the south due to the wildly popular Full Moon Party that occurs monthly. The rest of the month is quieter on the island and visitors can enjoy many quiet beaches, untouched jungle, and a popular night market! This island offers many yoga, cooking, and Thai language classes.
  • Koh Samui is located in the southeast as well, and is one of the largest islands in the south and attracts visitors for its various atmospheres, from backpacking party fuelled beaches to other more quiet local spots. Koh Samui offers waterfalls, temples, and gardens to explore beyond the beaches.
  • Koh Phi Phi is located on the southwest side and is the ultimate island to visit in the south. Unfortunately Koh Phi Phi is one of the most expensive islands due to its popularity.

The island offers many different viewpoints, bays, and beaches to explore. It is highly recommended to book a boat tour to explore the entirety of this island. There are diving courses, climbing spots, and shark watching tours among many other activities.

It tends to be a bit more difficult to travel around the southern islands because there are less transportation options available. There are public ferries between the islands for quite cheap, and tour groups can guide you from the southeast to southwest islands or vice versa. When on the islands, most offer the option of renting a scooter- if you have an international license.

Best Areas to Stay in Thailand Overall

I. Northern Thailand

1. Chiang Mai

The best area to stay in Northern Thailand is Chiang Mai, preferably in the city center. Chiang Mai is a bustling city center that attracts many visitors every year for its various attractions. The city is very affordable and the attractions are easily accessible by walking.

Chiang Mai offers cultural exploration through the hundreds of temples, the many museums, and friendly locals. The city also attracts many visitors for its lively city life, with amazing night markets, nightlife, and shopping. The city is surrounded by a lush mountainscape that is only 30 minutes drive away from the city center, perfect for those looking to explore the untouched jungle.

Chiang Mai is the ideal location to stay in Northern Thailand because of its variety of attractions, and it’s accessibility. Not only is the city easy to get around, but it’s easy to find transport to your next destinations.

Check out this complete guide on the best places to stay in Chiang Mai, it includes a neighborhoods guide and many accomodation options depending on the type of traveler your are and who you are traveling with. Definitively don’t miss it!

View on Chiang Mai city in Northern Thailand Northern Thailand

From Chiang Mai, Pai is only 3 hours North, MaeHongSon is only 4.5 hours, and Chiang Rai only 3.5. The bus station is easy to find, and offers cheap transportation all around the country, even to Bangkok.

What You Can See and Do in Chiang Mai:

  • Explore over 200 different temples.
  • Visit an Elephant Sanctuary: Bathe, feed, and play with elephants in an ethical way.
  • Shop at the Night Bazaar: Find the best deals on souvenirs and try some delicious street food.
  • Try a Thai Cooking Class: Learn how to make your favorite Thai dish at home!
  • Trek in the Jungle: Take a trekking tour, or explore the jungle solo. There are many different paths with breathtaking views.
  • Learn about the Culture: Visit one of the hill tribe communities and experience the life of the local tribes.
Wat Phra Singh temple and reflection in water
Wat Phra Singh temple and reflection in water in Chiang Mai, Thailand – by mzabarovsky/GettyImages

Low Budget: Giant House

This homestay boasts of nothing fancy, but the owner is the kindest man you will ever meet and provides endless hospitality. The homestay is located in the city center and offers hostel beds and private rooms.

Mid Range: Buri Gallery House

This hotel is the ideal mid-range hotel located in the city center, only a short walking distance to several monuments. The hotel offers an in-house restaurant, spa services, and an outdoor pool. The rooms are quaint but comfortable, and filled with everything you might need from tea and coffee to even a mini-fridge.

Luxury: Rimping Village

This hotel is located in the city center, within walking distance of most city attractions. The rooms are spacious, clean, and well-decorated. The hotel offers an in-house restaurant serving western and Thai food, and the hotel even has an outdoor pool to cool off.

2. Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is the sister city of Chiang Mai, but it is significantly slower and more relaxed. Chiang Rai Province is located in the furthest northern part of Thailand and falls on the border of both Laos and Burma.

With not as much nightlife, this city makes up for it with historical and cultural attractions. The city remains as an example of Lanna identity, with many temples, art museums, and cuisine to explore. Chiang Rai is home to some of the most stunning temples, including the famous White Temple.

View on Chiang Rai White temple

The city is still developing the touristic aspects with a new Night Bazaar and Saturday night market just being developed. Chiang Rai offers a great chance to get in touch with the local people and explore their culture.

What to See and Do in Chiang Rai:

  • Visit the Temples: The White Temple is a must-see in Chiang Rai, so if you only have time for one make it this one!
  • Hill-Tribes Museum and Education Center: This museum raises awareness of responsible tourism when visiting the hill-tribes of Thailand by educated visitors on etiquette and the lifestyle of the people.
  • Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park: This museum offers a wonderful historical insight into the city, along with exhibitions featuring local art and historical artifacts.
Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park in Chiang Rai, Thailand
View on Mae Fah Luang Garden in Chiang Rai, Thailand – by Andrey Khrobostov/GettyImages

Low Budget: OYO Luck Swan Boutique

This hotel offers clean spacious rooms at a fair price, with plenty of amenities and views of the city. The hotel also offers a shared common space in the lobby. The location is 1.6 km from Wat Phra Singh.

Mid-Range: Blue Lagoon Hotel

The Blue Lagoon Hotel offers comfortable and cozy high quality rooms. The hotel has an outdoor pool and a shared lounge, along with its own in-house restaurant. The location is conveniently within walking distance of the city.

Luxury: Maison De Chiang Rai

This luxury hotel has modern chic rooms with lots of light. The hotel has amazing quality staff, room service and inhouse restaurant, and even free bike usage. The resort even has their own garden to relax in.

3. Lampang

Lampang is located one hour from Chiang Mai. The city is very quiet and unpopular with foreign tourists. However, plenty of Thai people are enticed to visit this quaint city from around the kingdom. The city is very accessible with various options of public transportation available, along with convenient walking distances.

This riverside city has beautiful architecture and popular markets. With the increase of Thai travelers to this city as of late, new and hip cafes and restaurants offering delicious local food have been popping up all over the town.

Lampang is unique because it is home to the oldest Elephant Conservation Center. The center is funded by the government and even houses the King’s white elephants.

Lampang city in Thailand
View on Lampang city center in Thailand – by Médéric (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lampang is a great place to visit if you are looking for a less touristic northern city. Here you can meet many locals of Thailand and hang out at their local spots, and also witness the natural beauty of the province with the scenic mountain views.

What to Do and See in Lampang:

  • Elephant Conservation Center: This is one of the most popular attractions in all of Thailand. You can learn about elephants and watch some demonstrations here.
  • Doi Khun Tan National Park: This national park gives you a look at Lampang’s virgin jungle and pine forests in the area, along with a look at the longest railway tunnel.
  • Visit Local Temples: Thailand is filled with local temples, and the city of Lampang is no exception. Wat Kaew Don Tao Suchadaram & Wat Si Rongmuang are two beautiful local temples that are often quiet and rarely visited by foreigners.
Tourists watch elephants Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand
Tourists watch elephants in the water in Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, Thailand – by Loin des yeux (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Low Budget: Pangtip

This hotel offers spacious and clean rooms for a very cheap price. The location is a bit far, but the town is easily accessible with public transportation. The rooms include free wifi, air conditioning, and a private bathroom.

Mid-Range: The Coconut Hotel

This hotel is within 3km of the town and the main street market. The accommodation is spacious and clean and is reasonably priced. The hotel offers a restaurant, shared lounge, and even free bikes to use around the town.

Luxury: Kanecha’s Home

This unique resort offers various accommodation options, from private rooms to private villas. The property is located on the river with beautiful views and easy access to town. The rooms are all air-conditioned with a large flat-screen TV and a seating area.

4. Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son is one of the further northern cities, bordering Burma. The city is usually slow with not many sightseeing tourists coming to visit the far north. The province is covered in nearly 80% of uncut and untouched forests.

Mae Hong Son is the perfect location for those looking to experience the raw natural beauty of Thailand. The province is filled with many natural attractions such as waterfalls, river spots, hot springs, and caves. The province is also home to Salween National Park, where you can river raft or camp in the raw jungle.

Woman resting in hotel in Mae Hong Son, Thailand

Beyond natural attraction, Mae Hong Son does not have much in the way of cultural attraction beyond immersion. Mae Hong Son’s slow tourist life makes it the perfect place to fully immerse yourself into the Thai way of life and meet many friendly locals.

What to See or Do in Mae Hong Son:

  • Visit Wat Chong Kham: This temple is one of a few local temples around the area, it is most beautiful at night when it lights up and reflects on the lake.
  • Visit Salween National Park: A beautiful national park where you can camp directly in nature, Salween National Park is perfect for a day trip or a camping destination.
  • Mae Hong Son Living Museum: This museum offers a look into the historical culture and architecture through photographs and artifacts.
  • Visit the markets: Mae Hong Son has a morning market where you can engage with the locals selling their fresh produce, and a walking street market at night during the high season where you can find delicious street food and crafts.
Early morning mist on Wat Chong Kham temple in Thailand
Early morning mist on Wat Chong Kham temple in Thailand – by KHellon/GettyImages

Low Budget: Saiyid Hostel

A slow and cheap hostel in the city center with a shared space and kitchen. The hostel offers dorm rooms along with private rooms.

Mid Range: Hotel Siblanburi Resort

A very nice resort in the main city with easy walking distance to attractions around the city. The hotel offers spacious family rooms with a restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, among many other amenities.

Luxury: The Imperial Mae Hong Son Resort

One of the nicest hotels in Mae Hong Son, the Imperial has incredibly kind local staff along with amazing rooms with many amenities like a pool and a top-notch restaurant. The rooms are spacious, modern, and clean

5. Pai

Pai is a small backpacker town in Mae Hong Son province, only a 3-hour bus ride north of Chiang Mai. The town is nicknamed the “Pai Hole” because many tourists come for just a short visit of a few days and spend upwards of a week because of the chill and beautiful atmosphere. The town is very busy with tourists year-round, and everything is accessible by walking.

Pai is surrounded by the luscious green mountains of the north and has many natural attractions. The city has waterfalls, hot springs, and many trekking trails perfect for the adventurer. However, the town is known for simply being a backpacker hangout.

Village woman grooming her pony in Pai

The town of Pai offers visitors a chance to chill out on sightseeing and truly enjoy the beautiful scenery of Northern Thailand. The town is very westernized but has amazing local northern Thai food and even a few temples within the area.

What you can See or Do in Pai:

  • Visit a Natural Water Feature: There are many different stunning water features to visit in Pai. Take a morning dip in the hot springs, then spend the rest of the day chasing some waterfall views.
  • Visit the White Buddha: Located at the top of 353 stars is a stunning large white Buddha statue with a stunning view of the town below.
  • Try KhaoSoi: This delicious Thai noodle soup is exclusive to northern Thailand and is a must-try dish for foodies.
  • Watch the famous Pai Fire show: Paradise Backpackers Hostel puts on a fire show on Thursday and Sunday every week. They claim to be one of the biggest fire shows in Thailand, and their show is never disappointing.
  • Pai Canyon: Pai Canyon is one of the most breathtaking views in all of Pai. You can hike the canyon from top to bottom- just don’t forget to bring good hiking shoes!
View on Pai Canyon in Thailand
View on Pai Canyon in Thailand – by Jeremy Foster (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Low Budget: Pai Backpacker’s Paradise

This hostel offers private rooms as well as dorms, and is just a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk into town. The property has a bar, riverfront area, and a fireshow.

Mid Range: Chang Pai Hill

This resort has a restaurant serving Thai and Western dishes, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar on the property. The hotel is located a close drive from the city center.

Luxury: Pai Panalee Nature Boutique

This resort is a luxurious stay in Pai, with private spacious high quality bungalows with their own private balconies. It is located 2km from the town center.

6. Phrae

The Phrae province is located adjacent to Lampang province and is about 3 hours from Chiang Mai. The area is far off the tourist radar and is never crowded. This town is easily accessible by walking or local public transportation.

Phrae is a wonderful location to visit if you are looking to enjoy the local culture and beautiful scenery. The province offers beautiful temples, small local markets, and amazing local food. The province is also home to a few national parks, perfect for adventurers and nature lovers. Phrae is home to many teak forests and has many examples of beautiful old Thai architecture built with teak wood within the city.

View on Phrae city center in Thailand
A view of the city center of Phrae in the north of Thailand – by urf/GettyImages

The main benefit of staying in Phrae is meeting the local people and experiencing a less touristic city in Thailand to truly immerse yourself in Thai culture. Take a day trip to Phrae to escape the tourist scene and meet some friendly locals!

What to Do and See in Phrae:

  • Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Kiri: This temple is rarely on any travel guide, but is one of the most stunning in Thailand.
  • Phae Muang Phi Forest Park: This forested park is made up of interestingly shaped sandstone formations sometimes standing up to 15 meters high.
  • Saturday Walking Street Market: This market is filled with local street foods and handicrafts and is a great way to interact with locals and enjoy the culture.
Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Kiri temple in Thailand
Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Kiri temple in Phrae, Thailand – by Eak8dda/GettyImages

Low Budget: Bannoi Resort

A low budget accommodation option in Phrae, Bannoi Resort offers sleek modern rooms at a cheap price. The rooms include air conditioning, a TV, and a bathroom. The hotel also has stunning views out onto the fields.

Mid-Range: Anantaya Home

This hotel offers minimalist rooms with lots of light neutral colors. The rooms are spacious and have lots of amenities. The rooms come with a TV, air-conditioning, and a private bathroom. The hotel also offers guests a breakfast of their choice, American or Asian style.

Luxury: Huernnana Boutique Hotel

This hotel is one of the nicest in Phrae. It offers its guests an outdoor pool, a bar, and a restaurant. The hotel and its guest rooms are filled with modern Thai decor, and there is plenty of space. The staff is friendly and offers a concierge service.

II. Central Thailand

1. Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is located 1 hour north of Bangkok and makes for a perfect day trip, or longer stay if you are interested in exploring the town further. The city is a very crowded tourist destination due to its famous historical ruins and over 360 temples.

Ayutthaya is the ideal location for travelers looking to explore the historical side of Thailand. The ancient city was once the capital of the Siam Kingdom and is still littered with ruins and old temples to explore. The Ayutthaya Historical Park is one of the best sites to see ruins, it is a declared UNESCO World Heritage site.

If you choose to stay in Ayutthaya, you will be able to experience first hand the beauty and awestruck nature of the ancient Thai architecture. Ayutthaya is also a wonderful place to engulf yourself into the local culture.

Ayutthaya temples in Thailand

Beyond the historic ruins, there are still plenty of cultural attractions to explore in the town. Ayutthaya is a wonderful place to visit in Thailand but doesn’t need more than a day or two to be explored.

What to Do and See in Ayutthaya:

  • Ayutthaya Historical Park: This is the main attraction in Ayutthaya, attracting the most tourists to the town. You can gaze upon and explore the vast park filled with ruins of the historic Siam capital.
  • Floating Market: The market stalls are wooden platformed buildings on the water connected by a single wooden walkway. The market offers delicious foods, handicrafts, and clothing mostly made by the local people.
  • Water Folk Show: In Klong Sa Bua, performers recreate Thai folk stories by acting them out and gliding over a shallow water surface. The performers are dressed in traditional Thai costumes and traditional Thai music plays in the back of the stories.
Brick ruins of an ancient Buddhist temple Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya Historical Park in Thailand
Brick ruins of an ancient Buddhist temple Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya Historical Park, Thailand – by David_Bokuchava/GettyImages

Low Budget: OYO 465 Krung Kao Traveler Lodge

This hotel boasts an excellent location, only 2km from the Historical Park, and a few temples. The amenities are minimal, and the rooms are small but you will find a private bathroom and air conditioning.

Mid-Range: Baan Suan Krung Kao

This hotel also offers a convenient location, with close proximity to many temples and the Historical Park. The rooms are spacious and well decorated, and the hotel also offers breakfast. This hotel offers a unique homestay feel.

Luxury: Sala Ayutthaya

This luxurious resort offers views of the famous ruins of Ayutthaya from the property! It is only 1.6 km from the Historical Park and is close to many other of the town’s attractions. The hotel offers a river-view restaurant, a swimming pool, and spacious stylish rooms with everything you would need for a great stay.

Tourists on the entrance to the Sala Ayutthaya resort in Thailand
Tourists near Sala Ayutthaya resort in Thailand – by lin Judy(快樂雲) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2. Bangkok

Bangkok is the largest city in all of Thailand, and although it would take weeks to explore the entirety of this large metropolitan city, it is recommended to take only a few days and spend the rest exploring the rest of the country offered.

Bangkok is always crowded, and not only with tourists but with the locals of the city as well. The city is constantly bustling with pedestrians, motorists, and forms of public transportation. The city is very easy to get around thankfully, with public buses, taxis, and motorbike taxis constantly running.

Bangkok offers many different attractions around the city, from temples and the Grand Palace to its river market and shopping malls. Staying in Bangkok is perfect for those traveling to experience the country’s city life. Many tourists visit the many night markets, and Khao San Road to fully experience the nightlife.

View on Bangkok city center in Thailand
Sunrise with Grand Palace of Bangkok, Thailand – by tawanlubfuh/GettyImages

Bangkok is also the perfect place to continue your travels with transportation available to every part of the country as it is the main hub of travel for the country. Traveling from Bangkok to Ayutthaya takes only an hour, and Kanchanaburi is only 2 hours making the perfect day trips if you desire to stay in the city.

Things to See and Do in Bangkok:

  • Khaosan Road: This is a popular night market street filled with restaurants, shops, and backpackers hostels. During the market times, the streets are packed with visitors experiencing the nightlife and shopping for the perfect souvenir
  • Grand Palace: The Grand Palace is the previous royal palace since 1782. Although it no longer houses the royal family, this is a must-see destination. The palace has stunning Thai-Lanna architecture and houses many buildings with a temple, and a museum of cultural and historical significance.
  • Wat Arun: This temple is located on the riverbank of Chao Phraya River, and is a stunning architectural site. The temple is made up of bright golden decorated spires surrounding the main temple building.
  • Lumphini Park: One of the biggest open space parks in Bangkok where you can experience locals hang out and play. There are trails extending over the 142-acre park, taking you to various playgrounds, ponds, and the central large- but artificial lake.
Khaosan Road in Bangkok Thailand
Tourists crowds on Khaosan Road in Bangkok Thailand – by Aapo Haapanen (CC BY 2.0)

Low Budget: Khaosan Green House Hotel

This hotel is located on Khao San Road, above the hustle and bustle of the large night market, and with a convenient location to nearby attractions and bus stations. The hotel offers nothing too fancy, but great private accommodation with a private bathroom for the price.

Mid Range: Evergreen Place Siam

Not only is this hotel located conveniently close to the underground station, but it also offers an outdoor pool and various classes like aerobics free for guests. The rooms are clean and spacious, with a private balcony and eating space. The hotel even offers a fitness center, a business center, and a cafe.

Luxury: Grand China Hotel

This hotel has a convenient location close to the Chao Phraya River, and only a few minutes walk to the bus station. The hotel offers Bangkok’s only revolving restaurant, for full city views while you eat! The rooms are light, clean, and spacious with amazing city or river views.

3. Hua Hin

Hua Hin is located in the southern portion of the central region facing the Gulf of Thailand, just before Thailand stretches out into its tip. Hua Hin is a luxury vacation spot often busy with businessmen and women.

The spot is best known for housing domestic tourists. Hua Hin is even the preferred vacation destination of the royal family! The area offers a tropical retreat with amazing beaches, dense rainforest, and beautiful surrounding mountains. The city also has many unique natural attractions to explore like waterfalls, caves, and even a place called “Monkey Mountain” where you can interact with monkeys and see them in a natural state.

Hua Hin is not too popular with foreign tourists, but its uniqueness is slowly causing it to show on travel guides. The city offers top-notch accommodation, golf courses, malls, and spas making it the perfect luxury location. Hua Hin is unique not only for its scenery and accommodation but also for their interesting replicas of different parts of the world such as Venice and Santorini.

Hua Hin sea front overview in Thailand
Hua Hin modern building and bay overview at sunset in Thailand – by Stephane Bidouze/GettyImages

Travelers can benefit greatly from visiting this beach town because its rarely visited by foreigners and you will be able to experience where the locals vacation!

What To Do and See in Hua Hin:

  • Phraya Nakhon Cave: Located in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, this jungle cave houses Khuha Kharuehat Pavilion, a small temple in the middle of the cave clearing. The spot is truly special due to its lush and bright jungle growing inside of the cave.
  • Buang Bua Nature Observation Center: This center is located in the same national park as Phraya Nakhon Cave. There is a wooden boardwalk between the mountain range and the beach where you can explore and observe the local wildlife.
  • Pa La-U Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall situated in the jungle with pools of natural flowing water to play in. The location is also perfect for butterfly watching.
Phraya Nakhon Cave and small temple in Thailand
Phraya Nakhon Cave and small temple in Hua Hin, Thailand – by Teseum (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Low Budget: Nicha Home

These budget apartment rooms are equipped with a kitchen, a private bathroom, and a living room. The property also has a pool on the property. It is conveniently located near the town, with easy access to beaches.

Mid-Range: iSanook Hua Hin Resort

This resort offers spacious and modern hotel rooms, situated with a TV, private bathroom, wardrobe, and sofa. The resort also offers buffet breakfast and a daytime restaurant. iSanook has an outdoor pool and a 5-minute walk to the beach.

Luxury: Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort

This luxury, minimalist, and bright resort boasts of world-class service and accommodation. The hotel offers not only a spa but an infinity pool and 2 restaurants. It is conveniently located on the beach, and within close distance to hiking and a golf course.

Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort in Thailand
Exterior of Putahracsa Hua Hin Resort in Thailand – by lin Judy(快樂雲) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

4. Khao Yai

Khao Yai is located 3 hours from Bangkok and is hardly known for much besides its national park. The town itself is quiet and quirky and makes for the perfect off-the-beaten-path destination.

Khao Yai is one of the most beautiful regions of Thailand and is home to Khao Yai National Park. This national park offers over 50km of hiking trails with various natural attractions like waterfalls scattered throughout the park. The park also is home to lots of natural wildlife from bears, to hornbills, and even elephants.

Beyond the national park, this town is quirky and interesting with various attractions like its art museum to its various themed resorts. There are several resorts based on various countries around the world and even a Hobbit-themed resort where you can stay in a replica Hobbit house from the movie “Lord of the Rings”.

Khao Yai National Park in Thailand
Entrance to the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand – by Sam Zondervan (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Travelers that choose to stay in Khao Yai can enjoy a town less visited by travelers, and enjoy exquisite nature with the national park. The town is unique and has plenty of charm making it an ideal stay for those looking for something new!

What To See and Do in Khao Yai:

  • Visit the National Park: The oldest national park in Thailand is a must-see when visiting Khao Yai. You can hike around the jungle and experience the natural wildlife.
  • Morning and Night Markets: As in all Thai towns, you don’t want to miss the unique culture of the markets. Each town has a different market feel, and you can never visit too many.
  • Visit Various Theme “Parks” and Resorts: Whether you are looking for a unique place to stay or just want to explore, there are plenty of quirky themed places around Khao Yai.
  • Art Museum: This museum features a contemporary art gallery and a sculpture garden. The art pieces are mostly derived from classic Thai legend and folklore.
Khao Yai National Park in Thailand
Foggy Mountains in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand – by sittitap/GettyImages

Low Budget: OYO 748 Pada Homestay

This hotel offers large and spacious rooms with the essentials for a nice stay. The hotel offers free wifi and in-room TVs. The hotel property is lovely and spacious and is within convenient distance to many attractions.

Mid-Range: Isaan Isan Boutique Resort

This resort is well valued, with plenty of desirable aspects. The hotel has an on-property restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant. The hotel offers modern spacious rooms with unique style and has a convenient location.

Luxury: Baan Khun Ying Retreat

This resort features a beautiful garden, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. The hotel also offers a concierge service to help with any needs. The resort offers large spacious rooms with plenty of amenities.

III. Southern Thailand

1. Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is located on just off the coast of Krabi, in the Andaman sea. The island is known to be a backpacker’s haven and is often busy but never too crowded. It is a large quiet haven away from the touristic areas of Phuket & the Phi Phi islands.

Koh Lanta has all the beautiful attractions a dream tropical island should, pristine white sand beaches, clear blue water, and palm trees lining the coast. The island fosters a much more laid back atmosphere with significantly fewer tourists.

The island has incredibly friendly locals eager to befriend the tourists and untouched nature to be explored. The island has many treks leading to waterfalls, caves, and beautiful viewpoints. Koh Lanta has so much to offer its travelers, but it is somehow a largely skipped location.

Koh Lanta island beach and fishing boatsin Thailand
Koh Lanta island beach and fishing boatsin Thailand – by Alexander Ozerov/GettyImages

Koh Lanta is the perfect spot for island hopping if you are looking to avoid staying in the large touristic destinations. Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, and other islands are only a short boat ride away.

What to Do and See in Koh Lanta:

  • Explore Koh Lanta’s Caves: The island is home to many caves, both on land and on the sea. Take a day to trek the jungle to a mountain cave or take a sea kayak tour to explore nearby islands and their caves.
  • Old Town Koh Lanta: The area consists of old wooden buildings sitting on stilts over the water. The Old Town consists of souvenir shops and restaurants and many friendly locals.
  • Relax at the Beach: The main attraction to Koh Lanta is its many uncrowded beaches. Spend the day relaxing or beach hopping!
Emerald Cave, Koh Lanta Caves in Thailand
Tourists near Emerald Cave, one of the most popular Koh Lanta Caves in Thailand – by ironypoisoning (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Low Budget: Lanta Para Hut

This hotel offers cute and quaint bungalows with mountain and garden views. Although it is located away from the beach, motorbike and car rentals are available on the property. The resort has a common area and serves American and Asian breakfast options.

Mid-Range: Papillon Bungalows

This beachside resort offers affordable modern bungalows. The bungalows are spacious and equipped with a TV, private bathroom, and a patio with garden views. The property has a restaurant and a pool as well.

Luxury: Casuarina Beach Resort

This resort is beachfront, offering amazing views and direct access. There is a lovely outdoor pool, seafront restaurant, and a beach bar. The rooms and villas are luxurious with modern decor and plenty of resources.

2. Koh Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi Islands are a group of 6 islands, the two most popular being Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. These islands are located 45-90 minutes away from the coast, depending on whether you ferry from Phuket or Krabi. These islands are some of the most desirable due to their picture-perfect images of a tropical vacation, thus making them always crowded.

Travelers should stay on the Phi Phi islands if they are looking for the best visually pleasing tropical island stay. The islands are also versatile, offering complete silent natural beauty to loud nightlife and parties on the beach. Phi Phi Leh is an uninhabited island only visited by boat tours and Koh Phi Phi Don is the larger island where you can find hotels, restaurants, and bars.

Koh Phi Phi Islands in Southern Thailand
Koh Phi Phi Islands in Southern Thailand – by KarlosXII/GettyImages

The Phi Phi islands are unique because they house a marine nature reserve, where you can experience the untouched nature of the island. The islands are also home to Maya Beach, where the famous Leonardo Dicaprio movie “The Beach” was filmed. By taking a boat tour around the islands, you can experience quiet snorkeling spots and empty beaches.

What to Do and See in the Phi Phi Islands:

  • Visit Phi Phi Leh: Taking a boat tour around Phi Phi Leh gives you a beautiful look at the natural reserve and Maya Beach. Maya Beach is now closed to visitors due to preserving a species of sand shark, but you can still get a beautiful view of the empty picturesque location.
  • Diving and Snorkeling: The Phi Phi islands are known for their colorful coral and tropical fish, diving or snorkeling is the perfect activity to experience the island’s underwater beauty.
  • Explore Phi Phi Don town: During the day you can explore the restaurants and market, and at night the town comes alive with bars and parties.
View from Maya Beach on Phi Phi Leh in Thailand
View from Maya Beach on Phi Phi Leh in Thailand – by Pakhnyushchyy/GettyImages

Low Budget: Tropical Garden Bungalow

This hotel offers proximity to the beach, at just 400 meters. The hotel offers guests their own private bungalow or private room with air-conditioning. The property also has a bar and an outdoor pool.

Mid-Range: Phi Phi Andaman Legacy Resort

This secluded resort is beachfront and still offers a convenient location to shops. Located within Tonsai Bay, the hotel offers a pool, well-manicured gardens, and a restaurant. The hotel rooms are air-conditioned, with a private bathroom and a balcony.

Luxury: Zeavola Resort

This exclusive resort is only reachable by boat, making it one of the more secluded resorts on the island. The resort has a private beach amid the island’s National Park. The resort offers luxurious spacious villas, along with its own private spa and pool.

3. Koh Samui

Koh Samui is located in the southwest region, adjacent to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. The island is the second biggest in all of Thailand. This island is one of the best locations to visit in the south due to its various attractions and beautiful scenery.

Koh Samui is a very popular island among tourists. It is known for its pristine white sandy beaches littered with tropical palm trees and clear blue waters. The island is a perfect mix of untouched nature and civilization.

It is busy year-round on the island, as there is no offseason, however, you will have no problem finding peaceful beaches on the large island. Many travelers of all kinds come to Koh Samui, from budget travelers looking for hostels, to celebrities looking for resorts and spas.

View on Koh Samui Island in Thailand
View on Koh Samui Island in Thailand – by Keith Burgie (CC BY 2.0)

Koh Samui is the perfect location for island hopping as it is only a quick ferry ride in between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. The island is also a hub for travel within the south with many ferries leaving its ports daily. The island even has its own airport.

Transportation around the island is also made easy with many hotels offering free shuttles, but if you do not have the option, a few taxi companies run around the island. Rental scooters are also available around the island as well.

Things to See or Do in Koh Samui:

  • Find a Secret Beach: The main activities on the island have to do with enjoying the wonderful beaches Koh Samui has to offer. With some exploration along the coast, you will surely find your own private beach for the day.
  • Namuang Waterfalls: This natural inland attraction is easily accessible in only a short walk. You can spend the day playing in the natural pools at the bottom, or having a nice picnic in the cool surrounding jungle
  • Ang Thong Marine Park: Made up of over 42 different islands, taking a tour to this marine park allows you to climb, kayak, and swim through the untouched natural islands.
  • The Big Buddha: This 12-meter golden Buddha statue can be seen from different spots around the island and gives a wonderful cultural experience. Once climbing to the top, you can see a breathtaking view of the island.
Ang Thong Marine Park in Koh Samui, Thailand
View on Ang Thong Marine Park in Koh Samui, Thailand – by bruno weideli (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Low Budget: Escape Beach Resort

This beachfront resort is well worth the price, even if just as a treat for the night. The resort is located in Mae Nam within walking distance of many shops. There is an on-property restaurant, bar, and pool.

Mid Range: Lipa Bay Resort

This resort is another private beachfront property. The resort boasts a bit more luxury with tours, spa services, and free bike rentals. The resort also has a restaurant and bar with sunset views.

Luxury: SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

Built on an 80-meter private beach, the Sala resort also has two beachfront pools. The resort is conveniently located only 10 minutes drive from the town but is still private. The villas are large and spacious, with plenty of amenities for a lovely stay. The hotel also provides two restaurants and a bar.

4. Koh Tao

Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is one of the more popular tourist islands in the South. It is often crowded except during monsoon season when many diving shops close down.

The island’s sea life is colorful and alive, attracting many people looking to experience the sea by diving or snorkeling. This island is the perfect place to stay if you are looking to gain your diving certificate with many different diving shops offering affordable courses and certifications.

Beyond diving and water activities, the island boasts its stunning white-sanded beaches and clear blue waters. The island is also home to stunning viewpoints from the lush green jungle mountainsides, looking out over the panoramic view of the island and sea below.

People resting on the Koh Tao island beach in Thailand
People resting on the Koh Tao island coast in Thailand – by Andrey Samsonov (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The island is uniquely known as the best place in Thailand for diving and it is reflected within the island’s culture. Many locals and ex-pats work for diving clubs or at least spend lots of time in the ocean. The island’s main town is where most of the nightlife goes on with a few bars and restaurants, but for the most part, this island is very quiet.

Things To See and Do in Koh Tao:

  • Earn Your Diving Certificate: Koh Tao offers open water diving certificates for under $300, that’s a steal! Even if you have never tried scuba diving before, what better place could you imagine swimming in the deep sea with tropical fishes?
  • Visit a Viewpoint: There are many different viewpoints to visit around the island. Whether you’re looking for a hike or short walk, ocean view, or jungle view, you will find an amazing viewpoint on the island.
  • Relax on the Beach: Koh Tao is one of the more relaxed of the Southern Islands, and what better way to enjoy Koh Tao than to find your favorite beach and spend the whole day relaxing.
Koh Tao diving in Thailand
Woman diving in Koh Tao, Thailand – by Alexander Ozerov/GettyImages

Low Budget: Sunrise Koh Tao

This hotel is conveniently located close to the town. The rooms are fairly priced, they are clean, spacious, and modern. The hotel has a restaurant and a common space to meet people.

Mid-Range: The Miracle Guesthouse & Diving

This hotel offers its guest’s close location to the town center and the Mae Haad Pier. The rooms are comfortable and provide a TV and air conditioning. The hotel also has an inhouse diving chapter.

Luxury: Cape Shark Villas

This resort offers fully stocked villas with a dining area, kitchen, living room, and spacious bedrooms. The villas all have amazing ocean views and easy access to the resort’s private beach perfect for relaxing and snorkeling.

5. Krabi

Krabi is located on the Southwest side of the southern tip facing the Andaman Sea. Krabi is located on the mainland but is known for its easy accessibility to 154 different islands. The town is a popular spot for travelers and is often crowded.

Krabi is the perfect destination for those looking to explore many different islands and relax on white-sand beaches. The surrounding islands around Krabi offer many different attractions. From rock-climbing on Railay Beach to snorkeling and diving around the empty islands, Krabi offers an attractive option for everyone.

Long boats on tropical beach in Krabi, Thailand
Long boats on tropical Railey beach in Krabi, Thailand – by kotangents/GettyImages

The mainland town of Krabi is actually the least busy, most travelers stay close to Ao Nang for the better accommodation options and close proximity to the beach.

Krabi is a unique place to visit because of its easy accessibility to other islands to stay on, such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. Travelers who chose to visit Krabi have the most access to island hopping.

What To Do and See in Krabi:

  • Hire a Boat: When hiring a private boat, you can visit places many tours don’t take people to. You can visit the mangroves, empty lagoons, private beaches, and empty islands.
  • Krabi’s Night Market: This attraction is located in the town of Krabi, and is a great way to interact with locals. The market offers street food and local handicrafts for sale.
  • Railay Beach: A stunning white sand beach only accessible by boat, even though its on the mainland. You can find the best climbing spot in the country here.
  • Ao Nang: This is one of the most famed beaches in Krabi, and the location also is the most popular location for tourists to stay! It is 20 minutes from Krabi town and offers great accommodation options.
Women shopping at Krabi’s Night Market in Thailand
Women shopping at Krabi’s Night Market in Thailand – by Anders Lejczak (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Low Budget: Changsi Resort

Located inland in the mountains, this resort features a beautiful garden with mountain views. The rooms are spacious and include a private bathroom and a balcony. All rooms are air-conditioned.

Mid-Range: Phu Pha Aonang Resort and Spa

This resort offers beautiful and spacious wood furnished rooms equipped with air conditioning and private bathrooms. The hotel offers spa treatments in your room, and a restaurant with Thai and Western cuisine. The hotel is very close to the beach and 13 km from Krabi town center.

Luxury: The Haven Krabi

This beautiful resort features an outdoor pool and hot tub. The Haven offers luxury villas with spacious bedrooms and living areas. The villas are also equipped with a kitchenette and dining area. All villas are private and have air-conditioning.

6. Phuket

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is located on the southwest coast of the southern tip. It is a very popular tourist destination and is consistently busy year-round. The city of Phuket is very accessible, with convenient walking distances and public transportation. The island also offers scooter rentals.

Phuket attracts many travelers to their white sandy beaches, cultural destinations, and tourist attractions like Patong Beach. The island is also surrounded by thousands of smaller islands to explore. These islands are reachable by boat, which can be found easily for hire around the island.

Phuket is a unique destination because of its large island with many attractions. It is the most popular island with consistent nightlife. Because of Phuket’s large tourist scene, beware of petty theft and tourist scams.

View on Phuket beach in Thailand
View on Phuket beach in Thailand – by jeiline (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This island is the perfect island to visit if you are looking to experience an ideal island escape to just relax on the beach or if you are looking to sightsee the many cultural, historical, and natural attractions the island has to offer.

What To Do and See in Phuket:

  • Patong Beach: This is a popular beach among visiting tourists due to its pristine white sands and beautiful scenery. The beach also offers water sports like parasailing and jet skiing. During the night the area comes alive, with many shops, restaurants, and bars.
  • Phang Nga Bay: This bay is home to over 40 different small islands rising straight out of the sea. When exploring the area, taking a tour guide, or renting a boat driver for the day is the best option to explore the caves, private beaches, and lagoons.
  • Phuket Town Weekend Market: This market is the biggest on the island, with street food stands and shopping up and down the busy street.
  • Big White Buddha: This attraction is one of the most popular and well known in Phuket. The large Buddha statue is over 45 meters tall and sits on top of a large hill offering a panoramic view of the island coasts.
People shopping in Phuket Town Weekend Market in Thailand
People shopping in Phuket Town Weekend Market in Thailand – by Werner Bayer (CC0 1.0)

Low Budget: Baan Suwantawe

This hotel provides large spacious rooms with built-in seating areas at a very cheap price. The boutique hotel provides an outdoor pool along with landscaped gardens. The location is convenient to shopping centers and restaurants, and only a short drive to the center.

Mid-Range: The Besavana Resort Phuket

This hotel is modern and sleek with a minimalistic design. The hotel rooms are equipped with balconies, private bathrooms, and other amenities such as a TV and a small kitchenette. The property has an outdoor pool that is open year-round.

Luxury: Loftical Resort

This resort offers private bedroom units in a beautiful garden. The rooms are spacious and modern, equipped with air conditioning, private bathroom, and a large flat-screen TV. The hotel is located 13 km from Phuket old town.

Baan Suwantawe resort in Phuket, Thailand
View on Baan Suwantawe resort in Phuket, Thailand – by Isriya Paireepairit (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thailand Hotels: Tips and FAQ

Areas to Avoid in Thailand

Thailand is a very safe destination for tourists, in fact it’s one of the safest destinations in all of Southeast Asia. Although the country has a history of violence and unrest, crimes very rarely involve tourists or even come close to tourist areas. Oftentimes tourists can be victims of scams or petty theft, but nothing beyond a bit of stolen cash and a scare. As long as you take simple travel precautions and be aware, Thailand is one of the safest countries you will ever visit.

The U.S. Department of State does recommend you avoid the areas of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla Provinces due to current conflict. However these areas are rarely visited by typical tourists anyway.

Thailand is currently still classified as a developing country, so it is important to understand that certain standards are not held the same as in the western world. Traffic laws, food standards, public transportation, etc. are not funded as well, and the rules are quite loose. This doesn’t necessarily make it dangerous, it’s just necessary to be more aware.

Where to Stay for the First Time in Thailand?

Chiang Mai is the ideal location to stay in Thailand if you are visiting for the first time. The city offers various different attractions for many different kinds of tourists, from cultural, historical, natural, and local destinations and activities.

This city is perfect for first-time travelers to Thailand because of the city’s convenient accessibility.

Most attractions for first-time travelers are within walking distance of the city center, with cheap and easy public transportation.

The city is very friendly to its tourists and there will always be people willing to help you find your way.

Woman travel Chiang Mai
Woman with baggage travel Chiang Mai, Thailand – by phaitoons/GettyImages

This city is also perfect for first-time visitors due to its location within the country.

Visiting Chiang Mai makes it easy to step outside of the city and experience nature within a short drive. The location is perfect to find transportation to the next destination, whether it be to continue traveling through the northern cities or to head down south.

Chiang Mai is a hub for travel throughout Thailand and has many travel agencies and public transportation options throughout the country.

Low Budget: Giant House

Mid Range: Buri Gallery House

Luxury: Rimping Village

Where to Stay in Thailand on a Budget?

Thailand is the perfect destination for budget travelers in general. The exchange rate favors western money in this country, so a little can take you far. It is very easy to find budget hotels and even easier to find budget hostels and homestays.

Mad Monkey Backpackers is a great hostel chain found in almost every tourist city of Thailand offering a great low budget accommodation option perfect for backpackers. The environment is very friendly and the accommodation is well valued.

Bodega Hostel also offers low budget hostels all around Thailand’s touristic cities, however, this hostel is geared more towards backpackers looking to party. The hostel hosts events and activities around the city and is very attentive to their guests.

Where to Stay in Thailand As a Solo Travelers?

Bangkok is the best place to stay as a solo traveler because you have the opportunity to meet so many people doing the same thing as you. Bangkok attracts thousands of solo travelers and is a great place to meet some new friends. Rarely are hostels ever empty, especially in the Khaosan Road area.

Women solo travel Bangkok, Thailand
Young woman solo travelling in Bangkok, Thailand – by twinsterphoto/GettyImages

Meeting people in Bangkok often means you will most likely find someone going to the next destination as you and you can travel together.

1. Bed Station Hostel

This hostel is the ultimate place to meet other travelers in Bangkok. The hostel offers a large common space with a pool, a pool table, a restaurant and bar, and even a gym. The location is right on Khaosan Road making it convenient to meet others outside your hostel as well.

2. Nappark Hostel @Khao San

Another phenomenal hostel for solo travelers. The hostel offers plenty of socially shared space to meet new friends. The staff are incredibly friendly as well and are willing to help organize events with travelers.

3. Once Again Hostel

This final hostel is located away from Khaosan road but is very attentive and interactive with their guests. The hostel offers free Thai lessons, cooking classes, and even tailored tours around the old town. This hostel also has shared common areas to meet other like-minded people.

Where to Stay in Thailand for Couples?

Koh Samui is the best island for couples looking for a romantic retreat in Thailand. The island offers pristine secluded beaches, stunning waterfalls, and even some national parks. It is a dream location for lovers. The island also offers world-class spas, luxury resorts, and amazing romantic dining. Koh Samui is perfect for any romantic retreat.

Where to Stay for Couples in Thailand

1. Sandalwood Luxury Villas

This hotel is the best value for the romantic retreat you’re looking for. The hotel boasts of its 9 outdoor infinity pools with amazing views over the ocean. Each villa is designed in a traditional Thai style and is private and intimate. The villas are connected via garden paths around the property and lead to the main area of the resort. The resort also offers a spa and restaurant on the property.

2. Baan Luxor Villas

The location of these villas is convenient between two popular beaches and convenience stores. The hotel offers private poolside villas, with a modern and comfortable design. The villas are fully equipped and decorated, with granite kitchen, furniture, TV, and even a two-person Jacuzzi.

3. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

This hotel offers spacious poolside villas nestled along the hillside, overlooking the Gulf of Siam. Each villa has its own private infinity pool, and the resort itself has a 50-meter infinity pool. The resort has several different amenities and anything one could ask for. From a spa, bar and restaurant to the resorts own private bay and beach, the Four Seasons Resort is the perfect romantic getaway if you have the cash.

Where to Stay with Kids in Thailand?

Chiang Mai is the best city in Thailand for “family-friendly vibes”. The city offers the most family activities from hiking through the jungle to various educational activities within temples and museums. A wonderful family-friendly activity that is specific to only Chiang Mai is the Elephant Sanctuary. You can pet, feed, and bathe the beautiful creatures without harming them. The sanctuary also offers educational classes about elephants with fun for all ages.

Kid with mom swimming in the pool on some of the Krabi resort in Thailand
Kid with mom swimming in the pool on some of the Krabi resort in Thailand – by Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi (CC BY 2.0)

Chiang Mai offers a calm city environment where the whole family can experience Thai culture and history. The city offers many educational classes from cooking to language, that is fun for the whole family. You can find many different family-friendly hotels throughout the city, all within close distance to the many attractions.

1. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

This resort is perfect for combining a luxury stay in a beautiful resort with a functional family stay. The resort offers spacious and modern rooms with some rooms containing a full kitchen set up. Anantara has an infinity pool for kids and parents to play and relax in, along with spa treatments for tired parents.

2. Rati Lanna Riverside

The RatiLanna offers well priced large rooms ideal for families. The resort has beautiful views of the River Ping, a quiet library, Thai cooking classes, and even a fitness center with a spa. The Rati Lanna Riverside Resort will help organize all your tours and travel plans and even offers in-room childcare at a surcharge price.

3. Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

The Four Seasons is located 30 minutes drive from the city. Although it is a far drive to the center, the accommodation offered is well worth it for families. This resort offers large villas with multiple bedroom layout options and offers many outdoor activities and cooking classes for adults and children.

Where to Stay for a Luxury Vacation in Thailand?

Koh Phi Phi is one of the most popular and most beautiful islands in the south of Thailand. It is known for being one of the most expensive of all the islands because of this. This island is perfect for luxury vacation as Koh Phi Phi offers many luxury villas and resorts. The island also offers many private tours and activities for those looking to explore the more expensive benefits of the island.

Koh Phi Phi beach in Thailand
View on Koh Phi Phi beach in Thailand – by Wolfgang_Steiner/GettyImages

1. Zeavola Resort

This exclusive resort is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. The resort is only reachable by boat, making it one of the more secluded resorts on the island. The resort is located on a private beach in the midst of the island’s National Park. The resort has luxurious spacious villas, along with its own private spa and pool.

2. Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort

This resort is private and secluded, but is within a close proximity to the town. The resort offers a luxurious modern touch while still incorporating traditional Thai style. The resort is on the beach, with a large pool, restaurant, and bar.

3. Holiday Inn Resort Koh Phi Phi

This beachfront resort offers various different accommodation options from studio-style rooms to luxurious bungalows. This resort focuses its attention on exceptional service and offers many different services including childcare. It also offers an outdoor pool, spa services, and 3 different restaurants on the property.

Holiday Inn Resort Koh Phi Phi in Thailand
Houses of Holiday Inn Resort Koh Phi Phi in Thailand – by dany13 (CC BY 2.0)

Where to Stay for Thailand’s Local Vibes?

Mae Hong Son and Pai offer the best local vibes in Thailand.

Mae Hong Son offers a look into the lives of the local Thai people as it is a beautiful vacation destination for many locals. The local people are very kind to tourists, as it is a very slow city not receiving many. You will often be invited out to lunch or given a drink or two in exchange for a chat.

Tourists see the panorama of Mae Hong Son in Thailand
Couple making panoramic photos of Mae Hong Son in Thailand – by chirawan/GettyImages

Low Budget: Saiyid Hostel

A slow and cheap hostel in the city center with a shared space and kitchen.

Mid Range: Hotel Siblanburi Resort

A very nice resort in the main city, offering spacious family rooms with a restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, among many other amenities.

Luxury: The Imperial Mae Hong Son Resort

One of the nicest hotels in Mae Hong Son, the Imperial has incredibly kind local staff along with amazing rooms with many amenities like a pool and a top-notch restaurant.

Pai, on the other hand, gives you a look into the lives of local ex-pats. There is a large community of foreigners living in Pai and they create a lovely community environment within the town. There are many activities put on around the town where you can meet not only friendly ex-pats but also plenty of friendly Thai locals.

Low Budget: Pai Backpacker’s Paradise

Backpacking Hostel offering private rooms as well, located within 5 minutes of the town center. The hostel also has a bar, riverfront area, and widely popular fire show!

Mid Range: Chang Pai Hill

This 3-star resort offers a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. The hotel is located outside of the city but is within a close drive.

Luxury: Pai Panalee Nature Boutique

This luxury Nature resort offers private bungalows with private balconies. The space is comfortable and spacious and a good 2km from the town center.

Where to Stay for Beaches in Thailand?

Any of the islands and regions in the south will provide amazing beaches and amazing places to stay such as Krabi for example.

However, Koh Phangan offers some of the most pristine and beautiful. During the 3 weeks before the Full Moon Party, the island is quiet and calm. If you are looking for this atmosphere, it is not recommended to visit during the week of the Full Moon.

Koh Phangan beach in Thailand
Koh Phangan beach and palms in Thailand – by ante cizmic/GettyImages

Low Budget: Sunset Cove Resort

This resort is located on the west coast of the island and is found on one of the most peaceful public beaches on the whole island, Haad Chao Phao. This is the most affordable and valuable beachfront property in all of Koh Phangan.

Mid Range: Sarikantang Resort and Spa

This hotel is located on its own secret beach called Seekantang. Although private and secluded, the resort is only 5 minutes away from the famous Haad Rin beach where the full moon party takes place. For its low price, the resort offers many amenities including its own spa.

Luxury: Santhiya Resort and Spa

This 5-star resort and spa is located in the midst of a tropical hillside right on the beach. It offers 11 luxury suites and villas and is only a 5-minute walk from Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach. This resort is perfect for enjoying the island in luxury and in private, as the resort is secluded within the bay.

Where to Stay for Hiking in Thailand?

Chiang Mai is the best place to stay in Thailand for hiking. The lush jungle mountainscapes around the city offer endless trekking and nature exploration. It is only a 30-minute drive from the city center to the surrounding nature, making Chiang Mai the perfect option for accommodation.

When in Chiang Mai you can find various trekking tours being offered at hotels and travel agencies, however, you can always explore solo if you prefer. There are many different trekking options in Chiang Mai. There are jungle treks, waterfall treks, and even hill tribe treks where you get to explore the minority villages.

Women's sitting on a cliff in Thailand

If you plan to visit Chiang Mai for hiking, you can find accommodation easily anywhere in the city and then find transportation to the trek sites.

Budget: Giant House

Mid Range: Buri Gallery House

Luxury: Rimping Village

Wrapping Up

Thailand is a phenomenal travel destination, with breathtaking views, amazing attractions, delicious food, and budget-friendly accommodation. No matter where you go in Thailand you are guaranteed to make a good choice.

My favorite destination in Thailand is Chiang Mai because of its vast potential for every kind of traveler. Chiang Mai is the ideal place to travel in Thailand if you are looking to enjoy the natural beauty and local life, along with learning a lot about the Thai culture.

My favorite hotel in Chiang Mai is Buri Gallery House, due to its convenient location and helpful staff. It is a luxurious stay at a mid-range price and is the ideal accommodation for any traveler.

And my favorite budget stay for solo travelers and budget travelers is easily Giant House. I have visited Chiang Mai for years and I always stay at Giant Guesthouse for their amazing hospitality.