Thailand is amongst the world’s most visited countries. With an overflow of incredible wonders, it remains a top tourist attraction in Southeast Asia. Looking for the best area to stay in Thailand can be difficult and easy at the same time; complicated because there are so many great wonders and easy because most of them are cheap and adventurous for all.
The best areas to stay in Thailand are categorized depending on what you love. There are islands and beaches for couples, shopping cities, family-friendly sceneries, backpacker resorts, and mountainous regions. The country truly embraces culture, quietness, and crazy nightlife all at the same time.
Home to royal palaces, tropical beaches, giant Buddha sculptures, and crazy party life, there is something in the country for everyone (1). This truly depends on what you love to do. This can be rather intimidating, but as a traveler myself, here are some of the best cities and places for vacation getaways you should consider staying in!
Best Areas to Stay in Thailand for Couples
Koh Lanta is a big (81 km2) island located in Krabi. Off the coast of Thailand, it is known as the most romantic island (1). With coral-filled beaches and rainforests, it is the perfect destination for lovers on their honeymoon or vacation-getaway (1). Some of the activities include snorkeling, sea kayaking, exploring the caves, and Talabeng islands (1).
I mean, it cannot get any cuter than this; Koh Lanta gives you the opportunity to volunteer by cleaning up the beaches and even walking rescued street dogs (1). One of the best hotels on the island is the Eco Lanta Hideaway Beach, a tourist-filled hotel full of wonder and enjoyment (1).
They have Thai-style bungalows and offer intimate and personal interactions (1). Another is the Best Stay Hotel at Lanta, a modern hostel just 300-meters away from Long Beach (1). This hostel offers private rooms and shared rooms of as high as six people; the perfect place for backpackers as well (1).
Best Areas to Stay in Thailand for Backpackers
Pai is a town located in Mae Hong Son Province, in the Northern part of Thailand. It is the perfect place for those looking to explore; you can rent a scooter and visit the waterfalls, caves, hot springs, and walk down the close-by cafes and restaurants (1). You can choose to stay further out of the city or in the center, with the Pai River on the other part of Town (1).
One of the best hotels in Pai is the Deejai Pai Backpackers Hostel, a gorgeous resort on the edge of a rice field and beautiful sunset views (1). Deejai also provides other homely activities from daily yoga classes, a slackline set up, a ping pong table, and a basketball court (1).
Other guesthouses include the Pali love & Baan Chong Phao Resort, which offers an airport shuttle service and amazing BBQ services (1). Additionally, the Pai Village Farm Homestay is located near the bus station and main city. It has a garden, animals, and a beautiful farm life full of quietness and calm beauty (1).
Best Areas to Stay in Thailand that are Family-Friendly
Chiang Mai is a large city located in the Northern region of Thailand. Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom of Thailand from the early 1200s to 1500s, it is home to national treasures, relics, and structures that represent ancient history (1). With hundreds of Buddhist temples, you should embrace yourself for a destination full of Thai culture.
If you are looking for a family-friendly place, then Chiang Mai is definitely the best choice. They have tons of kid-friendly activities such as the Night Safari, Flight of the Gibbon zipline course, and the Art in Paradise museum (1). There are also paintball course centers for kids.
The city is also well-built for someone who attracts artwork, gold, and stones. The place is also crawling with cool cafes and instagrammable attractions, making it the perfect place for digital vloggers (1). Amongst the most visited places are Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang.
While some bigger temples offer entrance fees for tourists, it is not common for all local temples. An essential thing to remember is respect; you are asked to wrap a scarf around exposed shoulders and cover your waist if wearing a skirt or shorts before entering the temple (1).
Besides walkable attractions and temple wonders, Chiang Mai is also home to elephant sanctuaries, bicycle trips, and water rafting day trips, which are wonderful activities for the family (1). They offer accommodation services for both resorts in the mountain region as well as in the main city.
Another city in the northern region of Thailand is Chiang Rai, located near the border of Myanmar and Laos (1). The city is also known as the “mini Chiang Mai” as it is smaller compared to its sister city (1). The most famous attraction of the city is the White Temple called Wat Rong Kuhn. You might have seen a picture of this incredible temple on your Pinterest page. Another favorite is the Blue Temple called Wat Rong Suea Ten, a royal blue wonder (1).
Although the city is quite small, Chiang Rai is close to the center of the city and nearby night markets (1). Some of the best hotels in the region include the Mercy Hotel located near Chiang Mai and the Blue Lagoon Hotel in the center of town (1). This hotel is full of windows, stylish furniture, and hanging plants, all of which can make your vacation more comfortable (1).
Best Areas to Stay in Thailand for Shopping and Modern Day Life
If you are an everyday shopper and have an excitement for living inside the hustle of a loud city, then Bangkok is the perfect area to stay. Whether you choose to live rich or moderately, Bangkok can be fun regardless (1). Most streets are full of cheap food, backpacker hostels, and a transportation system such as the BTS and MRT for everyday traveling.
Bangkok is a huge city with a population of over 8 million meters and 1600 square kilometers. Some of the perfect visits for short-stay include Khao San Road and the Banglamphu area (1). The best Airbnb’s are located in Sabat at Historical Old Town, with a wonderful view of the river and local Thai life (1).
Another well-known hotel is the Bodega Khao San Party Hostel, a great party nightlife experience for those wishing to drink a few cocktails and play drinking games with other visitors and locals (1). Another favorite is the Rambuttri Village Plaza- a five-minute walk from Khao San Road and full of air-conditioned rooms and shower facilities (1).
Bangkok is also one of the world’s top shopping cities. Bangkok has a fantastic collection of local and modern-day shopping. From international to Asian fashion brands, you can step out on the street and find items of any cost (2). Bangkok is well-known firstly for its local street shops such as the night markets.
You can find t-shirts as low as 50-100 baht. Alongside clothing, there are also shoes, electronic accessories, jewelry, and stationery. Night markets are also popular for serving fresh fruit and local Thai desserts such as mango with sticky rice or fresh coconuts. One of the biggest outdoor markets in Bangkok is Chatuchak Weekend Market, full of home decor, clothes, and fresh food.
However, if you are looking to shop upper hand, then the malls are the perfect destination. With some of the biggest malls in the world, Bangkok is home to luxury stores and outlets. Some of the bigger malls include Icon Siam, Central World, Siam Paragon, Emquartier, and Emporium.
These include luxury brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton while also offering a variety of affordable international brands such as Zara, Mango, and H&M. Malls are also famous for housing international food brands such as Swensens, Haagen Dazs, Peri Peri, Taco Bell, etc.
Malls are also a big part of student life and enjoyment; they have bowling alleys, cinemas, karaoke centers, and study areas for students. This also makes it a perfect place to stay if you are looking to take an exchange course or summer program in the city. Bangkok includes some of the most prestigious universities from Chulalongkorn, Thammasat, and Mahidol. They all offer international programs in English.
Best Areas to Stay in Thailand for Tropical Beaches
Koh Samui is one example of a popular beach getaway. From swimming in the Namuang Waterfall to hiking around jungles, you can always find a way to spice up your vacation. Close to the island’s northern side is Chaeweng and the second biggest beach, Lamai (1). These locations are perfect for swimming as they have warm, calm waters and are even scuba certified (1).
However, Koh Samui is not only perfect for its beaches. It is also home to the Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai Temple (1). The best hotel in the area is the Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach; this hotel is located at the center of the beach and overlooks an infinity pool and the Gulf of Thailand (1).
Some beautiful places to visit in Koh Samui also include the Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, Bophut Village, Ang Thong Marine Park, Central Festival shopping center, the mummy, and the local night markets (3).
Another beach destination is Phuket- the largest island in the country. It is almost the size of the country of Singapore; if you are looking to explore to the fullest, then this beach is the perfect place to go (1). Phuket is famously known for its Kata Noi Beach, a breathtaking beach for relaxing on the sand under crystalline waters.
One of the best places to stay in Phuket truly depends on what you aim to do. Louder and party areas include central Patong, while calmer and quiet areas like Rawai, Kata Beach, and Nai Yang are better for relaxation (1). On the other hand, Phuket Old Town is the perfect destination for those on a budget (1).
Phuket offers terrific activities, from taking a Jet Ski Tour to 7 islands to canoeing on James Bond Island (4). Additionally, you can watch the Phi Phi sunrise from Phuket or snorkel alongside Phi Phi Don and Khai Nui islands from Phuket. The island is also home to an elephant sanctuary, Bigg Buddha at Wat Chalong, and offers a luxury boat ride to James Bond Island for a sunset dinner (4).
Thailand is home to some of the best places in the world to stay in. You could be a traveler hoping to learn about Thai culture or an adventurous person aiming to scuba dive or jump off a clip. Regardless of what you come to do, you can enjoy your couples, single, or a family-friendly vacation. Overall, the best area to stay depends on what you enjoy as a person.
Thailand is home to a country of many likings. It is separated into different cultures and ways of life. Like any state or country, it prescribes numerous unique settings. The country is home to Northern Mountainous Cities such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and also carries significance as the center of tropical beach resorts, such as Phuket and Koh Samui. Nevertheless, Thailand is even well-known for its rising economy in the capital; Bangkok is prescribed as a luxury shopping and business center, full of wealth and income.
There are “best places” all around; from cheap to costly resorts and activities, you can enjoy your stay in any of the locations in the region. With remote planning of budget and hobbies of liking, Thailand can help you find the best areas to stay in for not only your vacation but for a lifetime.
Check out “The Best Places to Visit in Thailand” for ideas on what to do and where to go in Thailand.
Check out “The Best Places to Live in Thailand” for the pros and cons of where you can live in Thailand.
Check out “The Best Places in Thailand to Retire” if you thinking of seeing out your golden years in Thailand.
1. Cathryn, Clair. Where To Stay In Thailand: The BEST Places In 2021. The Broke Backpacker. [Online] [Cited: December 19, 2021.] www.thebrokebackpacker.com/where-to-stay-in-thailand/.
2. Hauglann, Maria Wulff. 13 Great Places To Go Shopping In Bangkok. Nerd Nomads. [Online] May 28, 2021. https://nerdnomads.com/10-great-places-to-go-shopping-in-bangkok/.
3. Hulme, Kyle. 11 Wonderful Reasons To Visit Koh Samui, Thailand. The Culture Trip. [Online] March 29, 2018. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/11-wonderful-reasons-to-visit-koh-samui-thailand/.
4. Viator. Things to do in Phuket. Viator. [Online] [Cited: December 19, 2021.] https://www.viator.com/Phuket/d349/.