Choose from 178 Fun Things to Do in Thailand
Apart from the beaches, Koh Samui’s distinctive icon is the golden Big Buddha Temple - or Wat Phra Yai - visible above the red-tiled rooftops on the island’s north coast.
The 12 meter (40 foot) Buddha statue is visible from several kilometers away, and even from an airplane if you’re arriving or departing by air.
The temple, shops and restaurants cluster at the base of the statue, and ceremonial stairs lead up to the top for terrific island views.
The Big Buddha Temple is near the airport, on Koh Samui’s north-east coast.
The temple sits on a hill at the end of a causeway at the eastern end of Hat Bang Rak (Big Buddha Beach).
- There is an entrance fee to enter the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
- Most visitors spend at least a half-day exploring the vast, 715-acre (289-hectare) city site.
- If biking, note that traffic lights are missing from some intersections—be sure to look both ways, and always assume cars and trucks have the right of way.
- The ruined temples are still considered sacred. To be respectful, wear long pants or skirts, show no bare shoulders, and always remove shoes before entering a temple building.
In addition, the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre serves as a venue for special exhibits and cultural events. Enquire with the staff about upcoming events like dance or music performances.
Sunbathers can stretch out on pristine beaches and relax in the sand surrounded by scenic tropical hills, while more active sorts can play beach soccer or snorkel in the crystal clear and always warm waters that wash Freedom’s shore.
- If you’re exploring by day, bring sun protection and plenty of water.
- Chao Phraya Express boats can be identified by their orange, green, or yellow flags. Only the orange boat is open every day.
- The Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, which can be identified by its blue flag, is usually less crowded—albeit more expensive—than the express boats.
- Some boats leave every five minutes, while others leave every 25 minutes; be sure to check the timetable of your boat before arriving.
Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar is perhaps the city's most popular must-do attraction. The colorful mix of regular shops and stalls create a unique market buzz.
You’ll find everything for sale here, from ersatz designer brands to embroidered hill tribes textiles, lacquerware, silver jewelry, carvings, silks, ceramics and antiques.
The best range of antiques is on the second floor of the covered market building called the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, to the north of the busy intersection near a narrow cross street.
The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is held in the eastern quarter of the city, on land bordered by the Mae Nam Ping River and its tributary.
The market’s busy heart focuses on the intersection of the streets Th Chang Khlan and Th Loi Kroh, but the stalls extend in every direction over several streets.
The market operates every night from sunset to midnight.
Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks - or Hin Yai/Hin Ta - are rocky outcrops on Lamai Beach. Often photographed and commented on, the rocks bear an uncanny resemblance to male and female genitalia.
The rocks are set on a lovely stretch of beach, and create tranquil rock pools when the tide is in.
Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks - or Hin Yai/Hin Ta - are a little south along the sands of Lamai Beach, on Koh Samui’s southern east coast.
From the road, follow the trail lined with souvenir stalls to the rocks.
A weekend visit to Chatuchak Market is an absolute must-do. The snack stalls at the market's entrance selling deep fried insects give you a taste (quite literally if you are game!) of the unique Thai treats that await you within.
Only open on the weekend, Chatuchak is Bangkok's largest and most fun weekend market. You'll need a full day here to navigate the entire place, which bursts with stalls selling everything from reptiles, puppies, exotic food and souvenirs, to fake designer clothes and real designer furniture.
Browsing at the market is a fantastic cultural experience but can be hot and exhausting. Start your day early and take advantage of the many bars and cafes within the market that are perfectly set up for people watching over a cold beverage.
Western food is available but it pays to be adventurous and try a bargain local lunch at one of the many food stalls.
Chatuchak market is in Chatuchak Park. Mochit BTS (Skytrain) leads directly to Chatuchak’s entrance. Chatuchak also has its own MRT (underground) station of the same name.
Chaweng Beach - or Hat Chaweng - is Koh Samui’s most popular, longest and perhaps most lovely beach.
Clear blue-green sea, palm trees, coral reefs and lively nightlife come together to create a laid-back party atmosphere at Chaweng, the second biggest resort hub on the island.
Drinks are sold on the beach by passing vendors and there are water sports for every taste, from windsurfing to water skiing.
Dive operators run tours from Chaweng Beach, and this is where you’ll find most of the island’s nightclubs and bars. At beachfront restaurants you can dine right on the sand as the sun sets over the sea.
Chaweng Beach is on Koh Samui’s east coast.
Each show contains several fascinating acts, including that of Carmen Miranda, who rides ostriches on the stage while dancing in the bright lights, a very convincing Marilyn Monroe impersonator and the comedic styling of Geisha, who performs in Japanese, but is hilarious in any language.
The controversial nature of the event make perhaps do not make it ideal for family outings, but these highly professional shows bring lots of memorable moments, including from Korean songs of the Wondergirls and the fantastic and overwhelming finale—which we will not give away here.