Tourism in Thailand has picked up tremendously in the last few years. Although cities like Bangkok and Phuket have always attracted vacationers from around the globe, now it’s also the smaller, hidden treasures that have found a place in the itineraries of the more impulsive travellers.

A visit to Thailand is incomplete without spending a few days in Bangkok, but you can also slip in a day or two to visit some areas around the city. Here are the best day trips you can take from central Bangkok to explore the best that Thailand has to offer.

Quick Tip: These trips involve a lot of walking around, and since the climate is tropical, it can get hot and humid. Wear walking shoes, carry enough drinking water and put on a hat and sunglasses.

1. For History Buffs: Ayutthaya

History, natural beauty and culture combine in the city of Kanchanaburi, just a short distance away from Bangkok. The small town is home to a lot of sightseeing spots that date back to World War 2.

Depending on how you’d like to spend your day, you can visit the Death Railway Museum, Erawan National Park, Tiger Cave Temple, JEATH War Museum and the famous bridge over River Kwai. The place has a dark history, but it has a strong spirit and pretty vistas all around.

How To Get There: Catch a train from Thonburi station and disembark at Kanchanaburi or River Kwai Bridge station.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 2.5 hours


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2. For Beaches & Nightlife: Pattaya & Koh Samet

Jomtien BeachJomtien Beach via Gopal Venkataraman

What is Thailand without its beautiful beaches? The islands of Pattaya and Koh Samet boast some picturesque beaches, temples and tons of bars and eateries. Originally quaint and rather quiet, both islands are now swarming with tourists throughout the year.

You can choose to enjoy the sunshine and enjoy all day on the beach, with a cocktail in hand. The islands have quite an active nightlife and luxury resorts as well, so you can choose to spend more time here if required.

How To Get There

To go to Pattaya, you can take a bus from Bangkok Eastern, Southern or Northern Bus Terminals. Just ensure that you check the timings at each station, since they may differ slightly.

For Koh Samet, take a bus from the Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal to Ban Phae Pier. Then take a ferry to Koh Samet.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 2-2.5 hours 

3. For Adventure & Wildlife: Khao Yai National Park

Thailand’s first official national park, the Khao Yai National Park has retained its glory, with its lush greenery, valley views, abundant wildlife and adventure activities for thrill seekers. The park is spread over hundreds of acres and has five distinct areas, each one more beautiful than the next.

You can go hiking, splash around in a manmade reservoir, take some memorable photographs at three stunning waterfalls, go rafting or simply walk around exploring the untouched natural beauty.

Quick Tip: On the border of the park is the Khao Yi Vineyard, where you can take a tour, understand the wine-making process, and sample some exquisite selections too.

How To Get There: Catch a train from Thonburi station and disembark at Kanchanaburi or River Kwai Bridge station.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 2.5 hours

4. For Rich Local Culture: Ko Kret

Home to the Mon tribe, Ko Kret is a manmade island rife with a unique culture. The Mon people are known for their pottery and architecture, and you can easily see and experience both here.

Participate in a pottery workshop, and watch the locals in action as they create their signature ceramics. As for the architecture, the magnificent Wat Paramaiyikawat is a must-visit for its reclining Buddha and leaning stupa. The island is small in size, so cycling around is fun and easy.

How To Get There: Take a bus from Victory Monument or Sanam Luang to Pak Kret pier. Grab a green flag Express Boat from Pak Kret to Ko Kret.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 1 hour

5. For Natural Sights: Bang Krachao

Another artificial island that is a popular tourist haunt, Bang Krachao calls out to those looking to spend an easy day in nature. The island is lined with wooden paths that you can easily cycle along, making pitstops at coconut orchards, parks and gardens, the small Thai market, and one of its many eateries with the best local flavours. There are lakes where you can go boating, and also a weekend floating market for food and souvenirs.

How To Get There: Take a taxi to Khlong Toey Pier, and then hop on a small crossing boat to Bang Krachao.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 45 minutes

6. For A Unique Shopping Experience: Floating Markets

The floating markets of Thailand offer a true taste of local lifestyles, clothing, food and shopping. As the name suggests, the market is a long canal with people selling their wares on stalls alongside the canal as well as on floating boats. You can hop onto a boat yourself and slowly float along the canal, making purchases along the way.

There are two large floating markets close to Bangkok – Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, frequented by tourists, and Amphawa Floating Market, where you’re likely to spot more locals. At both markets, you can try local delicacies and pick up some interesting knick-knacks for friends and family.

Quick Tip: Remember to bargain hard! You can bring down the price of everything, from the long boat ride to the wares on sale.

How To Get There

For Damnoen Sadauk Floating Market, take a bus from the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal to Damnoen Sadauk.

To go to Amphawa, take a bus from Bangkok Southern or Northern Bus Terminal to Samut Songkhrama.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 1.5 – 2 hours

7. For Historic Thailand: Ancient Siam

You may not have been around to see the Thailand of old, but you can see a miniature version today. Muang Boran, or ancient Siam, is a recreation of old Thai structures, monuments, personalities and markets, just as they used to be. Touted as an open-air museum, this park is like taking a journey through Thailand centuries ago.

How To Get There: You can take a direct taxi for Samut Prakan province from anywhere in Bangkok. Ask the driver for Muang Boran.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 40 minutes

8. For Quiet Culture & Beaches: Koh Si Chang

If you want to escape the buzz of Bangkok for just a day, make your way to the island of Koh Si Chang. A rich history pervades the area, which you can witness in its palaces, museums and temples.

Beaches are also a given here, and are less crowded compared to Pattaya and Koh Samet. Quite a few tourists and locals make their way here on the weekends, so you’ll enjoy the company too.

How To Get There: Take a bus from Bangkok Eastern or Northern Bus Terminal to Sri Racha. Once you get off, walk or take a tuk-tuk to the Ko Loy Pier where you can hop on a ferry to Koh Si Chang.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 3 hours

9. For An Island Adventure: Hua Hin

Hua Hin brings with it the tranquillity of Koh Si Chang and the beauty of Pattaya and Koh Samet. Frequented more often by locals, Hua Hin is a paradise of natural beauty and local culture. There are numerous options for visitors, like waterfalls, caves, a national park with walking trails, and street markets for food and art. You can try water sports here, too.

How To Get There: Catch a train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Hua Hin Railway Station.

Time Taken From Bangkok: 3 hours

The Free Trip Planning App for Thailand!

Highest Rated Travel Planning App on Android & iOS

If you want to avoid reading hundreds of articles like these to plan your trip, download Ithaka.

It is a fun way to discover Thailand and plan your entire trip by talking to someone who’s already been there and done that!

From helping you discover the coolest destinations to recommending activities, your travel buddy on Ithaka will help you plan your entire trip.

Download the App Now:

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