Thailand is a vibrant melting pot of immersive culture, gastronomic delights, and eye-wateringly beautiful landscapes.
As well as being home to some of the world’s most highly regarded spa destinations, Thailand is bursting with things to do and places to see, so it's no surprise that everyone from beach-seeking luxury lovers to bar-hopping backpackers are drawn to its diverse cities, white sand beaches, majestic mountains, and lush jungles.
From Chiang Mai’s ancient wonders to the buzzing metropolis of Bangkok, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to explore Thailand’s must-visit destinations.
Where to Visit in Thailand
Thailand’s largest island is the epitome of tropical grandeur, enchanting its visitors with turquoise waters, ivory beaches, exotic blooms, and jungle-clad hills. Known for its vibrant energy and yet somehow tranquil feel, it has something for everyone - from its rich cultural and Buddhist heritage to iconic nightlife and copious amounts of sun, sea, and serenity.
When you aren’t relaxing at your world-class resort, top activities include island hopping on a sunset yacht cruise, taking a guided trek through the rainforest, snorkelling, or diving over coral reefs, and admiring the island’s varied landscapes from a private helicopter tour.
The colourful and architecturally impressive Phuket Old Town is also well worth exploring, as are the night markets, luxurious beach clubs, and many fabulous restaurants that the island has to offer.
Where to stay in Phuket
From lavish oceanside villas to leading wellness retreats, Phuket is a big hitter in the world of luxury accommodation. However, if you had to choose one standout star, it would likely be Amanpuri, the first resort in the mighty Aman empire.
Stay in a decadent Thai-temple-like pavilion nestled in a private coconut grove overlooking the Andaman Sea. Visit the heavenly Holistic Wellness Centre, dine at one of the four exquisite restaurants, and soak in the sleek midnight-blue infinity pool. Bliss.
Cradled by misty mountains and surrounded by emerald-green jungle, terraced rice fields, and National Parks, Chiang Mai is a slow-paced sanctuary of nature and ancient culture. Revered as the ‘City of Temples’, the Old Town boasts majestic sites like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang, while the nearby Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is exceptionally beautiful.
As evening falls, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Night Bazaar, where traditional Thai music plays, street food sizzles, and the scent of spices fills the air. Beyond the city, verdant landscapes and a rich tapestry of tropical flora and fauna await, inviting exploration along winding jungle trails and past cascading waterfalls.
Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the ethical Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, whilst hiking fans should take a trip to the summit of Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand.
Where to stay in Chiang Mai
Boutique hotel 137 Pillars House, located in Chiang Mai Old Town, and the blissful Villa Mahabhirom, situated in the serene jungle 10 minutes outside the city, are well worth considering.
However, the top choice is the flawless Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, with its captivating blend of Lanna-inspired elegance and contemporary comforts. It offers its luxury guests private villas with garden views and plunge pools, exceptional personalised service, and top-tier amenities that redefine luxury in the heart of northern Thailand.
Koh Samui & The Islands
Thailand’s islands each have their own unique charm. Koh Phangan is renowned for hedonistic full moon parties, Koh Lanta Yai for its secluded beaches and nature reserves, Koh Yao for yoga and wellness retreats, and Koh Tao for unforgettable scuba diving spots.
However, Koh Samui is arguably the best all-rounder for luxury travellers. With its teeming rainforest, crystal-clear waters, and sun-kissed shores, it is a luscious palm-tree lined paradise that evokes a sense of seclusion and tranquillity despite having all the trappings of an ultra-exclusive holiday.
Home to some of the world’s finest beach resorts, restaurants, spas, and luxe beach clubs, Koh Samui really does have it all. As the ultimate indulgent beach break, days here revolve around sun, sea, sand, and pampering.
Where to stay in Koh Samui & The Islands
Banyan Tree Samui enchants with hillside villas featuring private infinity pools and blossoming gardens, creating an intimate haven overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.
Meanwhile, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui exudes beachfront opulence, offering Thai art-adorned villas with panoramic views and plunge pools.
Both have their own private beach, outstanding spa, and divine restaurant offerings that will delight even the most discerning travellers.
No Thailand guide could be complete without the country’s bustling capital, Bangkok. The city has a contagious energy and exudes urban extravagance at every turn, from streets that hum with the sound of tuk-tuks to the countless skyscrapers filling the skyline. The hotel scene is impressive, as are the city’s high-end shopping malls and Michelin-starred dining options, including the sublime street food superstar, Jay Fai.
With cultural and historical sites aplenty, visit the aptly named Grand Palace, the official residence of the Thai royal family, and Wat Pho, one of the most esteemed temples in all of Thailand. A private twilight cruise on the Chao Phraya River is a great way to see the city’s illuminated landmarks.
Come evening, revel in Bangkok’s famous nightlife which unfolds in rooftop bars, hidden speakeasies, and luxurious clubs, creating an electric atmosphere.
Where to stay in Bangkok
The legendary Mandarin Oriental is the grand dame, gracing the Chao Phraya riverbank with timeless elegance and impeccable service. Its historic allure and illustrious guest list, sumptuous spa, and 12 delectable dining options, including Michelin-starred Le Normandie by Alain Roux, make it an ultra-luxurious retreat.
Alternatively, The Siam, with its artful decor and private pool villas beckons with boutique charm, while The Standard captures modern sophistication in the heart of the city, offering colourful, cutting-edge design, cool clubby restaurants, and the highest rooftop bar in Bangkok, Sky Beach.
Private Jet to Thailand with Air Partner
Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui are all serviced by their own international airports, making these diverse destinations easily accessible by private jet. To maximise your Thai adventure, Air Partner can organise a bespoke multi-destination trip, allowing you to experience all of Thailand’s treasures.