The astonishing country of Thailand continues to magnet thousands of vacationers and backpackers, and quite rightly so. The country is home to its friendly locals with smiles as golden as the country’s iconic landmarks, including impressive temples, tropical beaches, majestic mountains, and fascinating culture.
This southeast Asian country is a paradise for both adventurers and food lovers. Indeed, there’s so much to love about Thailand. In this blog post, we’ve listed the 12 most iconic Thailand landmarks that you must visit.
1. The Grand Palace
Spectacular, dazzling, and glittering, the famous Grand Palace is no doubt the most famous landmark in Thailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok.
Your travel to the city wouldn’t be complete without visiting this must-see iconic sight. The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and has served as the residence of Thai King, the Royal Court, and the administrative seat of the government.
The massive, famous building continues to have tourists in awe with its overwhelming architecture and intricate structure made with absolute creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people.
The Grand Palace features the famous Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which houses the imposing Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century.
2. Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Spiritual, serene, and one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), is situated at the heart of Bangkok within the grounds of the Grand Palace.
The temple keeps the precious and meticulously carved Emerald Buddha. No one is allowed to come near the Emerald Buddha except HM the King. The statue is covered by a cloak that’s being changed three times a year. Each cloak corresponds to the seasons of the country: summer, winter, and rain.
The temple is known for its elaborately decorated pagodas, statues, and holy buildings. The main attraction is the ordination hall (ubosot), where the Emerald Buddha is enshrined.
Other highlights of the temple include a model of Angkor War and the Balcony.
3. Wat Arun Ratcha Wararam
Wat Arun Ratcha Wararam (or simply, Wat Arun) is one of the significant Buddhist temples in the west part of the country. The name of the temple was derived from Hindu god, Aruna, who’s often personified as the rays of the rising sun.
Wat Arun is one of the most known and visited Thailand landmarks. The temple is also called as The Temple of the Dawn — and for a reason. Visit the temple before dawn, and sight-see the golden sun rises up the horizon and hit the temple with its golden rays.
The main spotlight of the temple is the central prang, encrusted with colorful porcelain. The temple is situated in riverside, and its design is different from the other temples in the country.
Given the stunning architecture and the elaborate craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that Wat Arun is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in the country.
4. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Throned high in the hills above Chiang Mai, the famous monastery of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is overlooking the city. It is one of the most sacred temples in the country.
You can reach the temple by climbing a 306-step staircase flanked by naga. The purpose of the climb is to help devotees accrue Buddhist merit.
Words aren’t enough to describe the fantastic beautiful site of the wat. The temple offers spectacular panoramic views and a serene and peaceful ambiance.
The terrace at the top of the steps is beautified by small shrines, monuments, rock gardens, breadfruit trees, and a statue of the white elephant that carried the Buddha relic to its current resting place.
5. Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun is one of the most iconic Thailand landmarks and is a must-see sight. It is better known as the White Temple and is a privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple.
This iconic temple is owned by Thai painter and architect, Chalermchai Kositpipat, who designed and built it in 1997. The temple is known for its striking structure that looks like it is made of glittering porcelain.
Visiting the White Temple and getting a closer look at its impressive details and structure is an overwhelming magical experience.
6. Khao Yai National Park
Thailand is not wrong for bragging Khao Yai National Park as one of the greatest in the world. Khao Yai is the country’s oldest and most visited National Park.
This National Park was listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex.
Khao Yai was established in 1962 and is the country’s first national park. It is also the third-largest national park in Thailand.
The park covers 2,168 sq. m. including rainforests and grasslands. Enjoy the view of lush greeneries and animals, including barking deer, sambar deer, porcupine, elephant, and civet. The national park also houses over 300 resident and migratory birds. It also has the country’s largest populations of hornbills.
The park is open from 6 am till 6 pm 7 days a week — all year round. Both young and old will enjoy the experience in the National Park.
7. Khao Sok National Park
There’s a lot of reasons to visit the beautiful Khao Sok National Park. Aside from being a famous Thailand landmark, the national park is a great place to step back in time and get mesmerized with its natural beauty.
The park is covered by the oldest rainforest in the world, enormous limestone mountains, deep valleys, captivating lakes, thrilling caves, wild animals, and more!
It’s a great place where nature meets adventure. Snap photos of the gorgeous flor and fauna in Khao Sok. Relax as you breathe in the fresh air that the stunningly beautiful Cheow Larn Lake offers.
8. Khao Phing Kan
Nature never disappoints us. If you want to see stunning and soaring karst towers, then a visit to Khao Phing Kan is a must.
Khao Phing Kan is an island in Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket, Thailand and is part of Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Did you know? The island was featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. Since then, the island (along with Ko Ta Pu) was popularly called James Bond Island.