Are you thinking of taking your next holiday to Thailand? Maybe you’ve been wondering why Phuket is so popular. If you want to discover what makes it such a famous holiday destination, you’re in the right spot!

Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island that it actually seems more like an extension of the mainland. Even so, it still has everything you could want when you picture a tropical holiday. The paradise island is a picture-perfect utopia.

But what else makes Phuket so popular? Is it somewhere you should be taking your next holiday and what about the bad stuff?

In this post, we’ll talk about why Phuket is so popular and why it isn’t, all so you can work out if it’s the right place for you!

Why Is Phuket So Popular?

Phuket is known across the world as a popular holiday destination, but why? It’s actually quite an easy question to answer. I bet you’ve all seen pictures of the island featuring white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a very happy individual bearing a cocktail of some sort.

The beautiful shorelines around Phuket

The beautiful shorelines around Phuket

This is exactly what Phuket is. It’s a sunny paradise, an idyllic escape, a place of dreams and a place which is still amazingly very affordable for tourists; the second reason why it’s so popular and what makes it an attractive holiday spot! 

In truth, there are many reasons why Phuket is so popular, the latest was an ingenious idea to put it back on the map after a devastating couple of years.  

In 2022 the country opened up a unique scheme, known as the Sandbox Scheme, which encouraged tourists to visit Thailand while being confined to the island; promoting travel and quickly re-establishing Phuket as Thailand’s most popular tourist destination!

In truth, we contributed to this number (which reached over 2.5 million) as Phuket was where we chose to enter Thailand after we’d spent a budget-friendly 5-days in Singapore. Unbeknown to us, we actually caught covid in Singapore!

What Happened You Ask?

Nothing too noteworthy but it did mean we had to change our plan. The plan was to stay the 7 days before travelling around the country. However, after testing positive on our second test and an additional 10 days of quarantine, we ended up staying in Phuket longer. 

The result was more time to explore the island which turned into a blessing. Phuket is a breathtaking island which caters to both nature lovers and party people. The landscape is stunning, the sun is always shining, the water warm and the food delicious. 

There’s not much not to like about Phuket, but to make sure you don’t visit with unrealistic expectations we’re going to provide 5 reasons why Phuket isn’t so popular as well as 11 reasons why it is!

11 Reasons Why Phuket Is So Loved

Firstly, let’s dive into more detail about the reasons why Phuket is so loved. I’ve mentioned some above but there are more. Keep reading to find out all the reasons Phuket is so popular, and why it isn’t!

1. The Sunshine

Aerial view of Phuket with its many beaches

Aerial view of Phuket with its many beaches

The main thing which draws the crowds to Phuket is the weather. The sunshine, to be precise, is always warm and welcoming. Thailand has a year-round tropical climate which means it’s sunny, all the time. 

If you’re a sun worshipper and looking for that sunkissed holiday glow, you’ll love Phuket! 

2. The Beaches

Follow up those sunny days with incredible beaches and you’ll feel like you’re in heaven. As it goes, Phuket is full of beaches; it’s an island after all! Some are busier while others are secluded but whichever beach you choose they are famous for its pristine waters, white sand and stunning scenery.

3. The Culture

We love Thai culture! It’s one of the country’s biggest draws and attracts many tourists who, like us, appreciate the rich culture. You’ll find Thai heritage and Buddhism deeply ingrained in their society. Phuket is most famous for a 45-meter marble-covered Buddha statue, known as Phuket Big Buddha. 

There are many temples, both new and ancient, which can be explored while visiting Phuket. You’ll find plenty of museums and even tours offering day excursions to local villages where you can spend the day learning about traditional practices.

4. The Hospitality

Did you know that Thailand is known as the land of smiles? Thai people are known for their warm and welcoming hospitality. Visiting A foreign country with such a different culture can sometimes feel overwhelming, but in Thailand, the locals are so friendly that it can make you feel welcome and at home.

This is another reason why Thailand is so popular, because who wants to go somewhere and not feel welcome? From experience, I can tell you it’s not nice!

5. The Landscape

It’s just like what you’ll see on a postcard, I kid you not, Phuket has an amazing landscape! There are mountains and forests to rice paddies and waterfalls. 

The most famous is the Karst landforms which you’ll find dotted along the coast and are popular for visiting during day excursions while island hopping around the tropical beaches, these make for magnificent photos. 

Phuket"s Karst Limestone Tower

Phuket”s Karst Limestone Tower

If you’re a lover of nature and wildlife you’ll love exploring the natural beauty of Phuket, and even Thailand!

6. The Islands

Even though Phuket is an island, it does feel more like part of the mainland only because it’s pretty big. However, if you want to visit smaller islands, where you can walk from one side to the other there are plenty just off Phuket’s coast. 

The most popular islands to visit are Phi Phi Island, Banana Island and the ‘James Bond Islands’, expect more stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life.

That said, our all-time favourite island in Thailand is the small island of Koh Mook. You can reach it from Phuket although you’ll need to change boats at Koh Lanta. Plan 3 nights at least!

7. The Affordability

Thailand is known for its affordable prices, making it a popular destination for budget-conscious travellers. The affordability of food, accommodation and transport makes a holiday to Phuket that much more appealing.

That said, it can also get expensive! If you’re choosing a luxurious holiday, eating out at top-end restaurants and taking daily excursions the price of your holiday is going to spike. However, compared to the same holiday in the Caribbean, it will be much cheaper!

8. The Accommodation

Phuket offers a huge selection of accommodations from budget hotels to luxury resorts. It’s got something for everyone, to suit everyone’s travel style. What’s even better is that even the top-rated hotels can still be affordable. 

Overall, you’ll get much more for your money in Phuket than say in New York or London. The fact you can stay in some accommodations which might have otherwise been a dream is another reason why Phuket is so popular.

We stayed in Phuket Town which can be slightly more affordable than staying by the beaches. If you don’t mind travelling to the beach on the local bus and are looking for an affordable and cultural location in Phuket, then Phuket Town has some of the best hotels!

9. The Cuisine

I’ve briefly mentioned how affordable the food is but it’s also delicious. Thai cuisine is one of our favourites and is world-renowned for its bold flavours, fresh ingredients and unique combinations making it a major draw for foodies. 

In Phuket, you will notice loads of markets and food street stalls. Don’t shy away from trying that food at these, not only are they delicious but also extremely affordable! 

One of our favourite local food markets was in Phuket Town. We would walk past it every morning and evening and always grab something whether we knew what it was or not, 9/10 times it was very tasty! 

10. The Markets

The large markets in Phuket are not only great for food lovers but also great for anyone looking for anything! They are full of stalls selling a wide variety of products such as fresh produce, souvenirs to clothing and electronics.

You’ll find knock-off designer brands and food stalls and they are the go-to place for gift buying. For yourself or others, you’ll find everything at the markets in Phuket!

We visited the Weekend Market just outside the old town which sells a huge selection of products and Thai delicacies. It’s where we tried deep-fried insects, just because when you’re in Thailand this is what you do right? Toasted up with seasoning and kaffir lime leaves, they weren’t that bad but still not that great…

11. The Night Life

If you love a night-time tipple and dancing until the sun comes up, Phuket is for you. It’s world-known as being a party island and there are areas which live up to this reputation – Patong. 

You’ll find a vibrant nightlife scene with bustling night markets, music blaring from speakers along the roadside and countless bars and clubs to explore. 

That said, you can still experience a quieter, calmer Phuket away from the nighttime escalades if you choose. Just stay away from Patong! 

This is why Phuket attracts such a variety of tourists; it’s great for party-goers but is also perfect for families, nature enthusiasts and those seeking a relaxed holiday.

5 Reasons Why Phuket Isnt Loved So Much

So now you know all the reasons why Phuket is so popular what about the reasons for not visiting?

1. Higher Prices

I know I said how affordable Phuket is for most tourists, but when compared to the rest of Thailand it’s actually more expensive. Thailand is an affordable country overall but because Phuket is such a popular holiday destination within Thailand the prices are hiked up, particularly in terms of accommodation and food.

If you’re looking for a truly budget-friendly holiday experience, Phuket might not be the right place for you. Due to this reason, many people choose to skip Phuket, and instead head to other areas within the country.

2. Touristy Atmosphere

Another reason Phuket isn’t so popular is that some people find it to be too touristy. Many of the attractions and activities are geared towards tourists rather than offering an authentic cultural experience. Especially if you’re staying along the beaches it’s possible to miss out on the culture.

We stayed in Phuket Town and loved the mix of cultures in the old town. For us, it made our experience in Phuket more authentic. We visited temples, and museums and walked around the old town’s streets immersing ourselves in the lovely Sino-Portugese architecture. 

3. Environmental Issues

With increased tourism comes the issue of environmental degradation. Phuket has experienced its fair share of environmental issues, such as pollution and overdevelopment, which can be a turn-off for some visitors.

4. Overcrowding

Overcrowding at Maya Bay near Phuket

Overcrowding at Maya Bay near Phuket

Linked to the environmental impacts above the issue of overcrowding can be a problem. Phuket can be very crowded, especially during peak season, which can detract from the overall experience.

It’s difficult to escape the crowds in places such as Phuket but you can choose to stay at less populated beaches and visit during the quieter periods. But, if you’re someone who prefers a more quiet and tranquil holiday you’re more likely to not enjoy visiting Phuket.

5. Party Scene

Bangla Road, Phuket

Bangla Road, Phuket

While the nightlife in Phuket might be popular with some of you, the rest of you may find the party scene to be too loud, raucous, and overwhelming. It’s famous for a reason and it’s not to everyone’s taste!

However, you can choose to stay away from the party scene. Jack and I enjoyed a more peaceful escape in Phuket as we aren’t big drinkers and although we enjoyed a few nights out it was never the main focus of our time in Phuket. 

Why Is Phuket So Popular For Tourists?

Overall, we enjoyed our time in Phuket. As tourists, we felt that it catered to all our needs and was a good place to start our travel through Thailand. Immersing yourself in a new culture can be overwhelming to begin with and if it’s your first time overseas, Phuket makes for a great spot to visit.

It’s got a good mix of west meets east and since it’s been a tourist hot spot for decades the tourism infrastructure is well-established. This means that travelling to Phuket and taking excursions and tours is very simple helping to make your holiday experience easy and hassle-free.

In terms of natural beauty, cuisine and cultural attractions Phuket has it all and although it might not be the ideal destination for some travellers you’ll find it hard to not find something you enjoy in Phuket. 

With all this in mind and alongside the stunning beaches and the tropical atmosphere, affordability and kindness of the local Thai community Phuket has become a very popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

When Did Phuket Become So Popular?

Interestingly, Phuket’s emergence as a popular tourist destination can be traced back as far as the latter half of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 70s, backpackers began flocking to the island to enjoy the natural beauty and hospitality that Phuket is now so popular for. 

As tourism grew, hotels and resorts began to open, and in the early ’70s, an international airport was built, making Phuket much more accessible to tourists.

Phuket’s popularity was increased even more by its appearance in several Hollywood films, including “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “The Beach,” which helped to attract even more visitors. 

These days, Phuket has become a resort destination and has a reputation for being safe and hospitable, making it a popular destination for families and solo travellers alike.

Why Are There So Many Westerners In Phuket?

This is a good question! Well, we would say that there are many Westerners in Phuket for several reasons. Firstly, Phuket is a well-known tourist destination that offers beautiful beaches, warm weather, and a wide range of activities that appeal to Western travellers. It is paradise after all! 

The island also has many amenities and conveniences that cater to Western tastes, including restaurants serving international cuisine and Western-style hotels and resorts. Due to this, there is a large expat community, providing a sense of familiarity and a home away from home. 

Another reason is because of the island’s location, it makes for a popular stopover for travellers wanting to explore the rest of Southeast Asia.

On top of that, the cost of living in Phuket is relatively low compared to Western countries, making it an attractive destination for long-term stays. Many Westerners come to Phuket to retire and work remotely and so you’ll find that there are many Westerners in Phuket.

Conclusion: Why Is Phuket So Popular?

Phuket is so popular for many reasons but the main ones come down to affordability, landscape and friendliness of the locals. With such a combination, it’s no wonder Phuket is a much-loved holiday destination.

Hopefully, you have found this article useful in helping you determine if Phuket is somewhere you would like to visit. If it’s you’re first time heading to Asia it’s an excellent place to start your travels. 

If it’s not, it’s still somewhere which can be enjoyed by all types of travellers. Since you can find incredible deals, it’s a great place to visit for a relaxing holiday in the sun too.

Gone are the days of travel jail due to closed borders from the COVID pandemic. As the world opens up to welcome tourists across the globe, the number of options for vacation also increases. Forecasted to rise over 30% in 2023, traveling has taken the world by storm. No longer a luxury, the way people take vacations is changing society.

In this article, discover the best destinations painstakingly chosen to help you create memories that last a lifetime. Inclusive of hiking, oceanic views, and incredible food, you are spoiled for choices.

Here are the eight off-the-beaten-track venues to add to your travel bucket list.

El Nido, Philippines

Entalula Island, El Nido, Philippines

Entalula Island, El Nido, Philippines

An ocean haven tucked away in the Asiatic Mediterranean, the Philippines is hailed as a gem in South East Asia. Renowned for its Bacuit archipelago of 45 islands, El Nido sets itself apart as a simple yet stunning tiny beach town in Palawan. The best part? Each boat tour group is kept small to cater to your needs on board fully. Even though the traveling journey is taxing, the views rewarded make it all worthwhile. Start by flying into Puerto Princesa Airport to begin. With buses that run every two hours till 10 pm, your arrival time would fit in snugly with this schedule. Book accommodations beforehand, as they tend to run out faster than expected.

Koh Tao, Thailand

A tiny island off the Western coast of the Chumphon Archipelago, it is a dreamboat for divers. Koh Tao is a backpacker’s dream filled with incredible food, people, and the ocean. Despite being small, it makes up for being big on activities. As a hotspot for incoming tourists to take diving courses, Koh Tao remains affordable compared to its neighboring islands: Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. With easily accessible motorbike rentals, transport on the island can be simple yet inexpensive. A pro safety tip is to prevent accidents by driving slowly and keeping your eyes on the road. Non-experienced drivers should never rent a bike. Instead, opt for cheap taxis to get to the next destination.

Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

Sunrise at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

The hidden gem of Cambodia is Angkor Wat. Culturally rich with a plethora of space of over 150 hectares, this Buddhist temple is often a country highlight. In addition, Cambodia is close to Vietnam. If you prefer covering more bases, consider combining Vietnam and Cambodia in a single trip. This ensures that your itinerary is fully packed as you get more done within the same time. One of the best ways to do that is by booking trips with a professional such as Exotic Voyages’ tour packages in Cambodia that you can customize to fit your needs.

Zadar, Croatia

Sun Monument in Zadar, Croatia

Sun Monument in Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is a quaint little city with much to offer; it is also known as one of the oldest towns along the Adriatic Sea. With a historical setting of stone-set beach houses, Zadar is a sight to behold. As part of the newest member of the European Union, its main source of revenue is tourism. In addition, it also uses the EUR (€) currency. Not just a little countryside venue, Zadar is famous for its sea organ. A self-made musical, the sea organ captures incoming waves from the ocean and plays a harmonic tune as nature directs. Located in the city center, the city also has dozens of delectable Mediterranean dishes guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Saranda, Albania

Get the best of both worlds with Saranda – a little town in the Mediterranean Sea across Greece and Italy. Relatively unknown due to its obscure position, Albania is fast becoming one of the top destinations for Europeans. Highly affordable yet breathtaking, it is a traveling haven due to its azure blue waters and close proximity to a UNESCO World Heritage: the Butrint National Park. 

Due to its archaeological background and significance, it is one of the highlights of Albania. In addition, Saranda is also close to Ksamil, a Bora-Bora lookalike at a fraction of the price. Simply fly into Corfu in Greece to take a ferry or fly into Tirana, then take a bus straight to Saranda.

Machu Picchu, Peru

For your next adventure, consider Peru for its rich heritage, culture, and forests. Begin by setting foot in a 15th-century citadel on a high mountain range, 7000 feet above sea level. Once home to the Incan Empire, it is one of the world’s seven wonders. As a famed UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, Machu Picchu is always open. From rainy seasons to the middle of the night, it never closes. In addition, hiking with a guide or other tourists helps to keep you safe. Unlike the rest of the country, Machu Picchu is often free from petty theft and pickpockets. This keeps your mind at ease and your valuables intact as you explore the country.

Florida Keys, USA

Key West, Florida Keys

Key West, Florida Keys

Consider heading to the Florida Keys the next time you plan your holiday. With ocean-blue waters and a myriad of tropical islands, it is the perfect family destination. One of the best ways to enjoy it is by ensuring you spend a few days in the Florida Keys. Discover history in The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum as you top it off with the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory to get a dose of something different. In addition, you can charter a boat to snorkel, like Key West Snorkeling, to explore the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. With history, nature, and the ocean on a trip, it can be a fulfilling experience for the entire family.

Your Next Adventure – Final Thoughts

Planning for your trip can be fun yet tedious. The key is to select a location that resonates and move forward. Focus on keeping your itinerary sparsely spread so you have time to enjoy it fully. One main tip is to check visa entry requirements and travel advisories to prevent being turned away at the border when you fly in. Your next adventure can be incredible from Asia to the Balkans, provided you plan it intentionally and carefully.

Bangkok is the capital and largest city of Thailand, and it is a city that is rich in history, culture, and diversity. There are many things that Bangkok is famous for, and in this blog post, we will be exploring 15 of the top reasons why Bangkok is such a popular and beloved destination.

From its delicious food and vibrant street markets to its stunning temples and bustling streets, there is something for everyone in Bangkok. Whether you are a foodie, a shopper, or a history buff, you will find plenty to love about this vibrant and exciting city. 

So without further ado, let’s take a look at 15 things that Bangkok is famous for.

Delicious Thai Food

Firstly, Bangkok is famous for its delicious Thai food, which is known for its bold flavours and aromatic herbs. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, you can find a wide variety of delicious dishes in Bangkok. Some popular Thai dishes to try in Bangkok include tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup), pad thai (stir-fried noodles), and green curry.

Street food at a Thai Market, one of the many reasons Bangkok is famous

Street food at a Thai Market

In addition to traditional Thai dishes, you can also find a wide variety of international cuisines in Bangkok, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, and more. China Town in Bangkok is always a busy part of the capital! The city is a food lover’s paradise, and it is a great destination for anyone looking to try new and delicious dishes.

Vibrant Street Markets

Another thing Bangkok is famous for is its vibrant street markets. These markets are a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city, and they offer a great way to experience the city’s culture and find unique and affordable items.

You can find just about anything at these markets, including local handicrafts and souvenirs, clothes, electronics, and more. Whether you are looking for traditional Thai crafts or modern souvenirs, you are sure to find something that catches your eye at one of Bangkok’s many markets.

Bustling Streets

Bangkok is known for its bustling streets, which are always full of life and energy. The city is known for its chaotic, but somehow organized, traffic, and there are always people on the go. It’s similar to Vietnam and the scooters, but not quite as hectic. Nonetheless, the bustling streets of Bangkok are just one of the many things that make this city such a vibrant and exciting place to visit.

Stunning Temples such as Wat Arun and Wat Pho

Bangkok is famous for its beautiful temples, and two of the most iconic and stunning temples in the city are Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Wat Arun is known for its stunning architecture and intricate details.

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple, one of the most famous sites in Bangkok

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple

The temple’s central spire is adorned with ceramic tiles and seashells, and it stands over 80 metres (262 feet) tall. Wat Pho, on the other hand, is home to the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, which is over 46 metres (151 feet) long and 15 metres (49 feet) high.

Of course, they are beautiful to look at, but these temples also have a rich cultural and spiritual significance in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.

Shopping, including high-end malls and local markets

Bangkok is a paradise for shopping lovers. As already mentioned, there are plenty of excellent street markets. However, one of the most popular shopping destinations in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is astonishingly big and contains more than 15,000 stalls.

Other popular shopping areas in Bangkok include the Siam Square area, which is known for its high-end malls, and the Pratunam Market, which is a hub for wholesale fashion. There is without a doubt something for everyone in Bangkok’s vibrant shopping scene.

Thai Massage

Thai massages are very popular in Bangkok and can be found at many spas and massage parlours throughout the city. Thai massage is a traditional therapeutic massage that has been practised in Thailand for centuries. They involve the use of hands, elbows, knees, and feet to apply pressure to the body and stretch the muscles. Many spas in Bangkok also offer traditional Thai treatments such as herbal steam baths and oil massages.


The seventh thing Bangkok is famous for is its nightlife. The city is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, which caters to all tastes and budgets. From high-end rooftop bars and clubs to casual street food stalls and live music venues, there is something for everyone in Bangkok after dark.

One popular area for nightlife in Bangkok is the Sukhumvit Road area, which is home to many clubs, bars, and restaurants. A popular destination amongst those backpacking Thailand is the Khao San Road area, which is known for its budget-friendly bars and clubs.

The Chao Phraya River and Boat Tours

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

The Chao Phraya River is a major river in Thailand that flows through the centre of Bangkok. The river is an important transportation hub and is home to a network of waterways that are commonly referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Boat tours along the Chao Phraya River are a popular way to explore the city and experience its unique waterways. 

Museums, such as the Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok is home to a number of interesting and informative museums that offer visitors a chance to learn about the city’s rich history and culture. Some popular museums in Bangkok are the National Museum, which houses a large collection of Thai art and artefacts, and the Bangkok National Gallery, which features a diverse range of contemporary and traditional Thai art. Bangkok’s museums offer a fascinating insight into the city’s past and present and this is why they are famous around the world.

Beautiful Parks

Bringing in the 10th reason that Bangkok is famous is its beautiful parks.

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

is the largest and most well-known park in the city, and it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the park features lush gardens, a lake, and numerous paths.


It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including turtles and monitor lizards. There are many other great parks in Bangkok too as they are an important part of the city’s attractions and contribute to its reputation as a destination for nature lovers.

Backpacking Culture and Communities

Backpacking is a form of budget travel, where a traveller lives out of a backpack, stays in hostels and tries to travel as cheaply as possible. Backpacking South East Asia, known as the Banana Pancake Trail is an extremely popular route for backpackers.

Thailand is in the heart of the trail and is commonly where the backpacking journey for many begins. Throughout Thailand, there are likely thousands of backpackers at any given time. The country is filled with hostels, backpacking bars and other cheap ways of life.

It’s clear to see why Thailand is so popular with backpackers, as it is a beautiful and affordable country. Backpackers would typically spend around a month in Thailand, if not more, and this allows for enough time to see most of the country. 

Cultural Attractions

At number 12 is Bangkok’s cultural attractions. They provide visitors with a glimpse into the city’s rich history and traditions. One of the most iconic cultural attractions in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, which is a complex of ornate buildings and temples that were once the residence of the Thai royal family. The palace is a popular tourist destination and is known for its intricate architecture and stunning decor. 

Floating Markets like Damnoen Saduak

Bangkok’s floating markets are a popular tourist destination and offer a unique and authentic look at Thai culture. The markets are held on the waterways that crisscross the city and are known for their colourful boats filled with fresh produce, flowers, and other goods.

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The most well-known floating market in Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Visiting a floating market is a great way to see a different side of Bangkok and to purchase unique and locally-made products.

Bicycle Tours and other Outdoor Activities

Bangkok is famous for its cycling tours, which offer visitors a unique and active way to explore the city. There are several different cycling tour companies in Bangkok that offer guided tours of the city, ranging from leisurely sightseeing tours to more strenuous rides through the city’s streets and parks. Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Bangkok and is a great way to get around and see the city from a different perspective. 

Cultural Festivals and Events

Lastly, Bangkok is known for its cultural festivals and events, which celebrate the city’s rich history, traditions, and religion. One of the most popular festivals in Bangkok is Songkran, which is the Thai New Year celebration and is held in April.

Songkran is known for its water-throwing celebrations, which take place on the streets of the city. Another important festival in Bangkok is Loy Krathong, which is held in November and involves the release of floating lanterns into the waterways.

The festival of Loy Krathong

The festival of Loy Krathong

Of course, there are endless other festivals too, Bangkok’s cultural festivals and events offer visitors a unique and authentic look at Thai culture and traditions.

What Is Bangkok Famous For: Conclusion

And there you have it, 15 reasons why Bangkok is famous around the world. Bangkok and the rest of Thailand are such a unique part of the world and are definitely worth visiting if you get the chance. As you can tell, there are plenty of reasons that Bangkok is famous and these reasons are appealing.

From the cultural landmarks and festivals to the street and floating markets, from the cuisine to the massages, Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world. And there are good reasons why it is famous. 

What do you think of when you think of Thailand? Is it the incredible beaches, the lush green jungles, and fascinating culture? This is what comes to mind for most visitors. Yet, hidden beneath all that is a landscape eager for company. So, consider skipping the tourist hotspots and  hitting the trails to do one of the best hikes when you’re in Thailand next. But, finding trails while traveling can be difficult. Luckily, I’ve done all the dirty work for you already. Enjoy.

Tiger Cave Temple Trail

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

Incredible views and one of the most sacred temples in Thailand? Can I count you in?

Less of a hike and more of a climb, this is one of Thailand’s top spots to visit. To make it easier for yourself, find accommodation in Krabi Town.

At the bottom of the mountain, you can explore the Tiger Cave temple, which has an intriguing story. After that, begin climbing the 1,260 steps to the top.

But all this hard work is worth it when you arrive at the top.

The tropical forest extends in all directions. The tree-covered mountains jut up and down like they’re playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. 

In the distance, you see the azure waters of the Andaman Sea meet the mainland, and tiny islands dot its waters.

If you’re looking for the best time to go, aim for the late afternoon. Foreigners and locals alike rave about the sunsets from the summit of Tiger Cave Temple Mountain.

There are many mesmerizing sunsets in Thailand, but this one ranks up there with its best.

Hike Details

Length: .5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

From Krabi Town, you can take a bus or rent a motorbike. It’s around a 15-minute drive from the center of town to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike

For this hike, you’ll head to Khao Sok National Park. An interesting fact about this park is the oldest evergreen forest in the world covers it.

And wildlife and plant life thrive in this environment.

This hike is an out-and-back hike that takes you along the Sok River. Along the trail, monkeys hide in trees, birds fly from branch to branch, and greenery erupts from the ground.

At the end, you can dive into the chilly waters at the base of the Ton Kloi waterfall to reward yourself for a job well done.

The trail has a few hills that are easy to handle initially. But, about halfway through the hike, the path becomes more difficult. There are guides you can book to navigate you through this section.

If you’re unsure of your navigational skills, I recommend a guide for this section.

Hike Details

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Accommodation is plentiful near Khao Sok National Park, and it’s easiest to book a stay at a place nearby to fully explore the park. From there, you can enter Khao Sok National Park at the main entrance ($9 entrance fee). 

From there, follow the road down to the Khao Sok Park HQ. There’s a bridge where you cross the Sok River (it has a sign that says Ton Kloi Waterfall Nature Trail) until you arrive at the trailhead.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Suthep Monk’s Trail

Markers along the Monk's Trail

Orange flags mark the path along the Monk’s Trail

Doi Suthep is located right next to Chiang Mai. In fact, it towers over the city like a behemoth, keeping watch for any intruders. But, trails make this behemoth a trekker’s playground.

Tropical forests surround you like a wet blanket, blocking out any sunlight trying to find its way to the forest floor. 

Yet, throughout all this, you will find a well-maintained trail system.

The Monk’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai. The hike is well-marked with orange flags and takes you to Wat Pha Lat, a temple built in the 14th century.

After the temple, you’ll head to a viewpoint that provides you with a vista you won’t forget. After this, it’s back to the starting point to finish the hike.

Tip: The hike itself isn’t strenuous, but you’ll be traversing over rocks and roots. So, bring proper footwear and avoid sneakers. And get plenty of water; the Thai heat will add to the difficulty.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

To find the trail, follow Suthep Road to the end, which is near Chiang Mai University. Keep going forward and turn right at the following intersection. It will head toward the rear entry of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

From here, keep your eye out for a large tower (painted red and white). Here’s the start of The Monk’s Trail.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

We arrive at the only hike that requires a guide — the Doi Luang Chiang Dao trail. Being the third-tallest peak in Thailand, this hike is for experienced hikers. Hence why a guide is necessary.

You can’t book a guide on the day of the hike, so you should book in advance (at least one day if it’s not high season). Also, there’s a daily visitor limit of 150 people, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.

And that spot will be worth it as you reach the summit. Mountains extend in all directions, rolling up and down like ocean waves. But they truly shine at sunset/sunrise. Colors fill the valleys, providing a borderline religious experience.

The best place to stay is in Chiang Dao itself or Chiang Mai, about an hour and a half from the mountain.

If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Thailand, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is with the best of them.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

If you’re staying in Chiang Dao, you simply have to drive to the entrance of the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. From here, meet your guide and enjoy the trek!

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, you can rent a car/motorbike to drive to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve entrance. Rental motorbikes run from $3-15 per day depending on the size. Car rentals range from $10-$30. 

Otherwise, you can get a taxi to drive you to the entrance (around $25-$35).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Phuket’s Manik Mining Trail

This is a hike you’re not going to find on other blogs — I can promise you that. I didn’t discover this trail, but I’ve run/hiked it so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. 

And the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hikes in Phuket.

This hike starts near Manik Dam in Phuket — you can find the dam in the north-central part of the island. It’s an out-and-back that takes you up above the dam, where you get an incredible view over the island’s northern and southern parts.

You can even see Radar Hill and Big Buddha on a clear day!

Most people don’t think of hiking when they visit Phuket. Instead, visitors choose Phuket’s world-famous beaches and sky-blue waters. But, you miss out on the side of Thailand that most tourists don’t see.

Don’t be one of those tourists.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles (a little over 3.5 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Finding this trail will be easy. Head to Manik Dam (one of three dams on the island). Once you arrive, you can park in the dam’s parking lot. Head east on Sawatdirak Road until the road starts to go uphill. Here you will see a dirt road that veers off on the left side. 

Follow that trail until it comes to a three-way split — one going left, one going straight, and one going right. Follow the trail that goes right (and slightly uphill). This is the start of the hike.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Thailand – Final Thoughts

While Thailand is a well-known backpacking destination, it’s less known for hiking, but that’s the beauty of it. As you hike, you’ll have the trails to yourself. So, take it slow, and enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding you. But you should get there quick. You won’t have them to yourself for much longer.

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Thailand, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in Thailand, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.