Bangkok is a bustling city with many attractions, but sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle. Fortunately, there are many fantastic day trips you can take from Bangkok to enjoy nature, culture, and adventure. Here are some top day trip ideas:
Ayutthaya (also spelled Ayudhya or Ayodhya) is a historical city in Thailand located about 85 km north of Bangkok. It was founded in 1350 and served as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) for over 400 years, until it was destroyed by invading Burmese armies in 1767.
During its heyday, Ayutthaya was a major center of trade, culture, and religion in Southeast Asia. Its strategic location at the confluence of three major rivers – the Chao Phraya, Lopburi, and Pasak – made it a natural hub for commerce, while its rich cultural heritage, including art, literature, and architecture, attracted scholars and artists from across the region.
Today, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with numerous ruins and historical sites that attract tourists from all over the world. These include the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which contains over 400 temples and other structures from the ancient city, as well as museums, palaces, and other cultural attractions.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a popular tourist attraction located in the Ratchaburi province of Thailand, about 100 km southwest of Bangkok. It is a traditional Thai market where vendors sell their wares from boats floating on a canal.
The market has been in operation for over 100 years and was originally established as a way for farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers. Today, it has become a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering a glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.
At the market, visitors can see vendors paddling their boats along the canal, selling a wide variety of goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade crafts, souvenirs, and delicious local snacks. The market is busiest in the early morning, so visitors are advised to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
In addition to the market itself, there are also several nearby attractions worth visiting, such as the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Railway Station, which is a historic train station built in the early 20th century, and the Bang Kung Camp, which is a temple complex built around an old fort used during the Ayutthaya period.
Erawan Waterfalls is a seven-tiered waterfall located in the Erawan National Park, which is in the Kanchanaburi Province of western Thailand. The waterfall is named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology and is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand.
The falls are situated in a densely forested area and each of the seven tiers is unique in its beauty and character. The water is clear and turquoise, and visitors are often seen swimming in the natural pools at the base of each waterfall.
The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit Erawan Waterfalls is during the rainy season from May to October when the water is at its highest and most spectacular. The surrounding forest is also at its most vibrant during this time, making for a truly beautiful and immersive experience.
Visitors can hike the trails to each of the seven tiers of the waterfall, taking in the natural beauty of the park and enjoying the refreshing pools along the way. There are also several other activities available in the park, including camping, bird watching, and wildlife spotting.
Khao Yai National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest national parks in Thailand, covering an area of over 2,000 square kilometers. It is located in the northeastern part of the country, about 160 kilometers from Bangkok.
The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including a large population of wild elephants, gibbons, and macaques. It is also home to numerous bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.
Visitors can explore the park’s many hiking trails, which lead through dense forests and past waterfalls, rivers, and scenic viewpoints. There are also several campgrounds and lodges within the park for those who wish to stay overnight.
One of the most popular attractions in Khao Yai National Park is the Haew Narok Waterfall, which drops over 150 meters and is the tallest waterfall in the park. The park is also home to several other impressive waterfalls, including Haew Suwat, which was featured in the movie “The Beach.”
In addition to hiking and wildlife spotting, visitors can also participate in other activities such as mountain biking, camping, and rafting. Overall, Khao Yai National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in Thailand.
Kanchanaburi is a province located in western Thailand, about 130 km west of Bangkok. The province is known for its beautiful natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance.
One of the most popular attractions in Kanchanaburi is the Bridge over the River Kwai, which was built by Allied prisoners of war during World War II and is now a major tourist destination. Visitors can walk across the bridge and learn about its history at the nearby JEATH War Museum.
Another popular attraction is the Erawan National Park, which is home to the stunning seven-tiered Erawan Waterfalls, as well as hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife spotting.
Kanchanaburi is also known for its numerous temples and historical sites, such as the Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) and the Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park, which contains the ruins of an ancient Khmer temple.
Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities such as rafting, kayaking, and trekking in the surrounding countryside. The province is also known for its delicious local cuisine, including the famous Kanchanaburi-style grilled chicken.
Overall, Kanchanaburi is a great destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and anyone looking to experience the best of Thailand’s cultural and natural attractions.
Pattaya is a popular coastal city located in the Chonburi province of eastern Thailand, about 147 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. It is known for its lively atmosphere, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife.
One of the main attractions in Pattaya is its beaches, including the famous Pattaya Beach, which stretches for several kilometers along the Gulf of Thailand. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and a variety of water sports, such as jet skiing and parasailing.
Another popular attraction in Pattaya is the Sanctuary of Truth, a massive wooden temple that is intricately carved and adorned with sculptures and carvings that depict traditional Thai, Hindu, and Buddhist mythology. The temple is located on the coast and offers stunning views of the surrounding sea.
For those interested in the local culture and history, the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is a must-visit attraction. The garden features beautifully landscaped grounds, traditional Thai architecture, and a range of cultural shows, including traditional Thai dancing, elephant shows, and martial arts demonstrations.
Pattaya is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues that cater to all tastes. The city is particularly famous for its go-go bars, which are concentrated in the Walking Street area.
Overall, Pattaya is a great destination for those looking to enjoy the best of Thailand’s beaches, culture, and nightlife.
Ayothaya Floating Market is a popular tourist destination located in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, which is about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok. The market is designed to recreate the atmosphere of traditional Thai floating markets and offers visitors a chance to experience local food, handicrafts, and culture.
The market is located on the Pasak River, which flows through the center of Ayutthaya. Visitors can explore the market by boat, taking in the sights and sounds of the vendors and their wares. The market is particularly known for its food, with a wide variety of local dishes available for visitors to try, including traditional Thai sweets and snacks.
In addition to the food, the market also offers a range of handicrafts, including ceramics, wood carvings, and traditional Thai textiles. Visitors can watch artisans at work and even try their hand at creating their own souvenirs.
Beyond the market, Ayutthaya is a city rich in history and culture, with numerous temples and historical sites to explore. The city was once the capital of Thailand and is home to many impressive ruins and monuments, including the Ayutthaya Historical Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overall, Ayothaya Floating Market is a great destination for those looking to experience traditional Thai culture and cuisine while also exploring the fascinating history of Ayutthaya.
Nakhon Pathom is a city located in central Thailand, about 56 kilometers west of Bangkok. The city is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, as well as its beautiful temples and architecture.
One of the main attractions in Nakhon Pathom is the Phra Pathom Chedi, which is a large Buddhist stupa that is said to be the oldest and tallest in Thailand. The stupa is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
Another popular attraction in Nakhon Pathom is the Sanam Chan Palace, which was once the summer palace of King Rama VI and is now open to the public as a museum. The palace features beautiful architecture and is surrounded by lovely gardens and a lake.
For those interested in the local culture and history, the Nakhon Pathom National Museum is a must-visit attraction. The museum features exhibits on the city’s history and culture, including ancient artifacts and traditional handicrafts.
Nakhon Pathom is also known for its delicious food, including the famous Nakhon Pathom-style roasted duck and other local delicacies. The city is home to a vibrant night market where visitors can sample a variety of street food and shop for souvenirs.
Overall, Nakhon Pathom is a great destination for those interested in history, culture, and food, and offers a glimpse into traditional Thai life away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
Amphawa Floating Market is a popular weekend market located in the Amphawa district of Samut Songkhram province, about 90 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. The market is known for its traditional Thai architecture and lively atmosphere, and is a great place to experience local food, culture, and shopping.
The market is located on the Amphawa Canal and is known for its many vendors selling a wide variety of Thai street food, including seafood, noodles, desserts, and snacks. Many of the vendors sell their wares from boats, which adds to the unique charm of the market.
In addition to the food, the market also offers a range of local handicrafts and souvenirs, including pottery, textiles, and handmade soaps. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the canal to see the local scenery and wildlife, such as fireflies in the evening.
Beyond the market, the Amphawa district is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites, including the Wat Bang Kung temple and the Mae Klong railway market. The railway market is famous for its vendors selling their wares directly on the train tracks, which has to be cleared every time a train passes through.
Overall, Amphawa Floating Market is a great destination for those looking to experience traditional Thai culture and cuisine in a unique and picturesque setting. The market is especially lively on weekends, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.
Samut Songkhram is a province located in central Thailand, about 80 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. The province is known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique attractions, making it a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.
One of the main attractions in Samut Songkhram is the Mae Klong Railway Market, which is famous for its vendors selling their wares directly on the train tracks. The market is located next to a railway line, and when a train passes through, vendors quickly retract their goods and awnings to make way for the train. It’s a unique and exciting sight to see!
Another popular attraction in Samut Songkhram is the Amphawa Floating Market, which I described in a previous response. The market is a great place to experience traditional Thai culture and cuisine, and is especially lively on weekends.
The province is also home to several beautiful temples and historical sites, including the Wat Bang Kung temple and the Don Hoi Lot, a unique coastal formation of razor-sharp shells that can only be seen during low tide.
For those interested in nature, Samut Songkhram has several national parks and nature reserves, including the Mu Ko Tha Chalom Marine National Park and the Khao Kheow Open Zoo.
Overall, Samut Songkhram is a great destination for those looking to experience a mix of culture, history, nature, and unique attractions. It’s also conveniently located near Bangkok, making it an easy day trip or weekend getaway.