Central Thailand

Amazing Thailand

Central Thailand

Not only does central Thailand play host to the chaotic and wonderful capital city of Bangkok, it is also Thailand’s historical hub and home to natural beauty that takes many forms.  From Ayutthaya to Kanchanaburi, any history buff will be at home in this region of Thailand.  For those looking to find outdoor adventures, explore the jagged mountain ranges or the rushing waterfalls, you can even take you chances at finding one of the few remaining wild tigers!


Welcome to the booming metropolis and capital city of Thailand: Bangkok.  Bangkok is a delight for travelers from all backgrounds.  Full of ancient temples and palaces, Bangkok is the perfect place for a history buff.  If you’re looking for good shopping and souvenirs, look no further than Bangkok’s bustling marketplaces, street stalls, and shopping centers.  Bangkok is a dream come true for foodies, whether you are looking for delicious street food or high-end Thai cuisine.  And if you are a backpacker looking to meet fellow travelers and share a few cocktails, Khao San Road is the place for you.  With an area of over 1500 square kilometers and a population of over 8 million, there is plenty to explore in Bangkok and Attractions

Grand Palace

Bangkok’s Grand Palace is the most popular landmark in the city.  It’s stunning architecture and elaborate design make it a must-see for all tourists visiting the city.  Built in 1782 as home to the Thai King, the Royal court, and the administrative seat of government, vast amounts of Bangkok’s political and governmental history lie in the walls of the Grand Palace.  Most impressively, within the complex, lies the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Phra Kaeo Morakot — home to Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist sculpture.

Floating Markets

There are five floating markets in the areas surrounding Bangkok.  The most popular one is Damnoen Floating Market.  The best way to visit the floating markets is to book a guided tour.  You will wake up very early in the morning and ride out of Bangkok in an air-conditioned minibus for about an hour before arriving at the floating markets.  When you have arrived, guests will climb in a long tail boat and take a 20 minute boat ride before they reach the market and begin drifting through the many stalls.  Enjoy bartering with the many vendors and just enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds all around.  Although the floating markets have become more of a tourist attraction than a local market, it is still an amazing experience and a nice morning away from hectic Bangkok.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha

One cannot visit Bangkok without paying a visit to the famous Wat Pho, one of the largest temple complexes in the city.  The complex is most famous for its giant (46 meters), gold leaf statue of the reclining Buddha.  Wat Pho is also considered by many to be the best massage school in Thailand, making it an excellent place to duck out of the heat and enjoy a relaxing, traditional Thai massage.


Kanchanaburi is another easy day trip from Bangkok.  Located in the west of Thailand, approx. 123 km from Bangkok, this city has great historical significance.  Take a day or two to travel to Kanchanaburi and visit famous sites like the Bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass, and the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.  All three attractions give travelers deep insight into the environment and experiences gone through by allied prisoners of war in Kanchanaburi during the Second World War.


Bridge over the River Kwai

The Bridge over the River Kwai is an infamous historical site from World War II.  During the war, the Japanese forced Allied prisoners of war to build a railway through Thailand under terrible conditions.  The railway stretched all the way to Burma and was used to transport supplies to the Japanese army.  The bridge was immortalized in the famous 1957 film and is still a humbling site for travelers to visit today.

Hellfire Pass

Hellfire Pass is a railway cutting made by the Allied prisoners of war during World War II.  The prisoners of war, as well as many Thai and Burmese civilians, were used as forced labor to cut stone for six weeks in order to complete this pass that allowed for the Japanese to send supplies to their army throughout southeast Asia.  Throughout the building of the entire Burma Railway, it is estimated that over 100,000 civilians and prisoners of war died due to the inhumane working conditions.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is the main prisoner of war cemetery for victims of Japanese imprisonment in Southeast Asia during World War II.  Most deaths occurred while working on the Burma Railway.  There are nearly 7,000 POWs buried in the cemetery – a small testament to the many killed during this time period.


Ayutthaya is an ancient Thai city just outside of Bangkok.  Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was the second capital of Thailand (then referred to as Siam), the first being Sukhothai.  In its heyday, due to its prime, central location between the surrounding countries, Ayutthaya was arguably the trade capital of the world.  Merchants travelled far and wide to reach this haven.  Then, in 1767, the burmese invaded the amazing city and burned it to the ground leaving behind only a few ruins to give travelers an idea of what the monumentally impressive city must have once looked like.  Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, Ayutthaya is easily visited on a day tour from Bangkok.


Ayutthaya Historical Park

Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO world hertitage site that covers the entire area of ruins that once made up the beautiful capital city of Thailand.  Within the site, one can visit numerous temples and learn how the city worked during the height of its power.

Wat Chaiwattanarm

Wat Chaiwattanarm is one of Ayutthaya’s best known temples.  When the city was in the height of its power, Wat Chaiwattanarm was a very important royal temple and was used to perform religious rites and cremations of members of the royal family.  Resembling the world-famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia, this Khmer temple is a must-see for all visitors to Ayutthaya.

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat is another famous ruin within the Ayutthaya Historical Park.  The temple served as the symbolic center where the Buddha’s relics were enshrined and was also home to the leader of the Thai Buddhist monks.  This particular temple is also famous for an image of the head of the Buddha embedded in the trunk of a tree with roots growing all around the Buddha’s face.

Activities in central Thailand

Cooking Lessons

The food is different in every region of Thailand.  While visitors are in the central plains, it is a great idea to attend a cooking class.  Learn about the local cuisines from world-class chefs who will take you around the nearby markets to pick your cooking ingredients.  All in all, cooking lessons are a uniquely authentic experience and something all visitors to Thailand should do!

Thai Dance Performance

Enjoy an evening watching a traditional and beautiful Thai dance.  Thai dance is considered to be the main dramatic art in Thailand and is truly a spectacle.  From the beautiful costumes to the dancers themselves, it is an experience not to be missed.

Thai Massage

Need a break from the heat? Need a break from the bustling crowds of tourists and the busy streets? Central Thailand is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a traditional Thai massage.  Wat Pho in Bangkok is particularly well known for their massage school and will leave you in very capable hands!

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