Why Thailand is Such an Amazing Place to Visit
Thailand has become one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world, attracting millions of tourists every year. Known as the “Land of Smiles,” Thailand boasts of a unique culture, breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, vibrant nightlife, affordable prices, and friendly locals.
The country offers a diverse range of experiences, from exploring ancient temples in Bangkok to relaxing on palm-lined beaches in Phuket.
According to recent data, Thailand welcomed over 38 million international visitors in 2023, making it one of the top ten most visited countries in the world.
Visitors to Thailand can indulge in a variety of activities, such as trekking in the lush jungles, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, or experiencing the bustling night markets. Furthermore, the country’s affordability makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.
So without further delay, here are the Best Places to Visit in Thailand.
The 21 Best Places to Visit in Thailand
A visit to Bangkok, Thailand offers a plethora of attractions and experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests.
Start by exploring the city’s cultural landmarks, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Wat Arun. These ancient temples boast intricate architecture and stunning artwork that offer a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history and culture.
Next, immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant food scene by visiting the numerous street food stalls and markets, including the Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can sample delicious Thai dishes and snacks. For a unique activity, take a boat ride on the canals to see Bangkok from a different perspective.
Lastly, don’t miss out on the city’s lively nightlife scene and rooftop bars that offer stunning views of the city skyline.
Overall, Bangkok should be included in any itinerary to Thailand for its unique blend of ancient culture, delicious food, and vibrant energy that will leave visitors with unforgettable memories.
Here is a complete list of the Best Things to do in Bangkok.
2. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is a must-visit destination for travelers who want to experience the country’s rich culture and history while enjoying beautiful mountainous landscapes.
Visitors can also explore the Old City, which is full of historical landmarks, and experience the vibrant night markets, such as the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
Chiang Mai is also known for its excellent cuisine and coffee shops, making it a popular destination for digital nomads. The city’s rich culture and slower pace of life make it a perfect escape from the bustling capital city of Bangkok.
Chiang Mai’s popularity among travelers can be attributed to its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. It is definitely a place that should be on every traveler’s itinerary.
I compiled a list of the Best Things to do in Chiang Mai.
3. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, just off the country’s east coast.
It is the second-largest island after Phuket and boasts stunning palm-fringed sandy beaches, blue seas, stylish beach bars and restaurants, coconut groves, and dense rainforest. The renowned Samui elephant sanctuary is also located here, making it a perfect destination for animal lovers.
One of the reasons why Koh Samui is one of the best places to visit in Thailand in 2023 is its unique blend of luxury and affordability. While the island attracts a wealthy clientele who come to enjoy the beaches and 5-star hotels, and luxury spas, budget travelers can also find plenty of beachside bungalows at much more affordable prices. This means that whether you are a luxury traveler or a budget traveler, Koh Samui has something to offer you.
Koh Samui has three main towns: Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, and Bophut, each with its own vibe and activities.
- Chaweng Beach is the most popular and lively beach on the island, with a wide range of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
- Lamai Beach is quieter and more relaxed, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
- Bophut, on the other hand, is a charming fishing village that offers a glimpse into the island’s cultural heritage.
Apart from its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, Koh Samui also has plenty of tourist attractions to explore. The Big Buddha Temple and Na Muang waterfall are two major tourist attractions that you can discover on a day trip. The island’s dense rainforest also offers plenty of opportunities for trekking and hiking.
In conclusion, Koh Samui is one of the best places to visit in Thailand because of its unique blend of luxury and affordability, stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and cultural attractions.
Whether you are a luxury traveler or a budget traveler, Koh Samui has something to offer you. With its convenient location and wide range of activities and attractions, it’s a destination that should definitely be on your travel list.
For all the details, read my Complete List of Things to Do in Koh Samui.
Krabi is one of the oldest provinces in Thailand and a must-visit destination for travelers. Located in southern Thailand, Krabi is home to stunning beaches, islands, and limestone formations. The best time to visit Krabi is from November to April when the weather is dry and pleasant.
Here are some top attractions, things to do, and places to eat in Krabi:
- Ao Nang Beach and Railey Beach are two of the most beautiful beaches in the country and offer plenty of things to do, including kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing.
- Tiger Cave Temple is an iconic wonder made of caves nestled in the jungle, offering incredible views of the Andaman Sea.
- Khao Khanab Nam Mountains are picturesque peaks with caves where many human skeletons have been found.
- Krabi Hot Springs is a fantastic place for a dip, with thermal spring water filling natural bathtubs carved out of rock.
For a complete list, also read my article on the Best Beaches in Thailand.
Things to do:
- Take an evening stroll along the Krabi Riverside to Thara Park to catch cool sea breezes and watch the boat traffic.
- Board a boat for an island hopping tour to Koh Phi Phi islands or James Bond Island.
- Experience the calmness of sandy beaches and adrenaline-pumping activities around stunning limestone cliffs and dense mangroves all in one trip.
Places to eat:
- Krua Thara is a popular seafood restaurant located on the riverfront that serves delicious Thai cuisine.
- Lae Lay Grill is a restaurant located on a cliff overlooking the Andaman Sea that serves fresh seafood and Thai cuisine.
- Rent a scooter or hire a taxi to get around the city.
- Pack sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent for outdoor activities.
- Be respectful when visiting temples, and dress appropriately.
In conclusion, Krabi is a must-visit destination in Thailand for its beautiful beaches, stunning limestone formations, and cultural significance. Whether you want to relax on the beach, go on an adventure, or experience typical Thai life, Krabi has it all.
With delicious food, friendly locals, and plenty of activities to do, Krabi should be on your list of places to visit in Thailand.
For more details, check out Epic Things to Do in Krabi.
Phuket, located in southern Thailand, is the country’s largest island and a leading tourist destination. With its beautiful beaches, luxurious spas, and vibrant nightlife, it’s no wonder why Phuket is a must-visit destination for travelers to Thailand.
Here are the Top Things to do in Phuket:
- Patong Beach: This popular beach is the main draw with its white sands, blue lagoons, and water sports. It’s also home to resorts, hotels, shops, and restaurants.
- Phang Nga Bay: A memorable place to visit with its beautiful caves, aquatic grottoes, and limestone islands.
- Wat Chalong: The largest temple in Phuket and home to a stupa thought to hold a fragment of the Buddha’s skeleton.
- Local Cuisine: Phuket is known for its delicious seafood, particularly the spicy and sour Tom Yam Goong soup.
- Island Hopping: Take a long-tail boat tour to other islands in the area to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive.
Phuket is also a place for ultimate relaxation and pampering with its numerous options that range from massage tents on the beach to world-class spas in breathtaking settings.
Fun and adventure are to be found everywhere, from aquariums and seashell museums to national parks featuring whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, scuba diving, jungle trekking, and more.
In summary, Phuket is a beautiful island that offers a variety of attractions for travelers to Thailand. From its stunning beaches and cultural landmarks to its delicious cuisine and adventurous activities, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, Phuket is a must-visit destination that should be on every traveler’s list.
Here is a complete List of the Best Things to do in Phuket.
Hair Tools Travel Bag
6. Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is a tropical island gem located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its wild Full Moon Party and stunning natural beauty. This relatively less-developed island is a must-visit destination for every traveler seeking adventure and relaxation.
Here are the top attractions and activities to do on the island:
- Experience the famous Full Moon Party, a monthly event that draws fun-seekers and backpackers to the peninsula of Haad Rin for a night of crazy adventures.
- Visit the picturesque beaches of Koh Phangan, which offer a surreal ambiance of palm trees, turquoise blue sea, and huge round rocks.
- Explore the lush waterfalls and dense jungle in the hinterland, which offer spectacular views and a chance to connect with nature.
- Take a scooter tour across the island, visiting magnificent viewpoints and enjoying spectacular sunsets.
- Visit the island’s many temples, which are well worth seeing and offer a glimpse into the local culture.
Koh Phangan’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and endless activities make it a must-visit destination for every traveler.
Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, this tropical paradise has everything you need to make unforgettable memories. With its white-sand beaches, rolling hills, and lush jungles, Koh Phangan is a unique island that offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
From its world-class scuba diving to its excellent marketplace and delicious seafood, you’ll find something to love about this island. Koh Phangan should definitely be on every traveler’s itinerary, and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the best places to visit in Thailand.
Helpful Article: Awesome things to do in Koh Phangan.
7. Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son is a hidden gem located in the northwestern part of Thailand, surrounded by mountains and lush greenery. This remote paradise is one of the best places to visit in Thailand in 2023. There are many things to do in Mae Hong Son that make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Thailand.
- Visit the Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu temple
The Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu temple is one of the most popular attractions in Mae Hong Son. This temple is located on a hill and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and town.
The temple is also home to two white chedis that contain the ashes of the first king of Mae Hong Son, and his queen.
- Trek in the Mae Hong Son Loop
Trekking in Mae Hong Son is definitely one of the best things to do in Thailand. The Mae Hong Son Loop is the best motorcycle adventure in the country and takes visitors on a multi-day excursion through the mountains, rivers, and tiny villages of the region.
The terrain and landscape are so perfect that visitors will never want to leave. This is a great opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Thailand and get off the beaten path.
- Experience local hill tribe cultures
Mae Hong Son is home to many local hill tribe cultures that are unique to the region. Visitors can learn about the traditional way of life of these tribes and experience their customs and traditions. The Karen Long Neck Tribe is one of the most popular tribes to visit, known for their distinctive neck rings.
In conclusion, Mae Hong Son is a hidden gem in northwestern Thailand that offers visitors a unique and authentic travel experience. From exploring the quaint town of Pai to trekking in the Mae Hong Son Loop, there are many things to do in Mae Hong Son that make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Thailand.
The natural beauty of the region, combined with the local hill tribe cultures and peaceful atmosphere, make Mae Hong Son a great addition to any traveler’s itinerary.
Here is a Detailed Itinerary on the Mae Hong Son Loop.
8. Similan Islands
If you’re looking for a true paradise in Thailand, the Similan Islands are a must-visit destination. This archipelago of 11 small islands, located around 120 km from Phuket in the Andaman Sea, is part of a protected National Park focusing on the conservation and protection of wildlife.
The Similan Islands offer visitors pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and a diverse marine life that includes giant purple starfish, pink brain coral, flocks of parrotfish, families of clownfish playing in anemones, and even the possibility of whale sharks and manta rays.
The islands are a snorkeler’s and diver’s dream, with the water being particularly crystalline and populated by many fish and corals.
The best time to visit is between November and April, and visitors can explore the islands on a day trip or on a live-aboard dive boat trip from Phuket or Khao Lak.
The Similan Islands are a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a remote and beautiful destination in Thailand.
Pai, Thailand is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for a relaxed and laidback atmosphere surrounded by natural beauty. Nestled between the mountains of Mae Hong Son, this small town is a 3-hour drive north of Ching Mail and one of the most popular places in Thailand.
Here are some of the top things to do and see in Pai:
- Visit the Mo Paeng Waterfalls or the Pambok Waterfall for a refreshing swim in crystal-clear waters.
- Take a day trip to the Pai Canyon and marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Explore the Tham Lod Caves and witness the natural beauty of the underground world.
- Soak your body in naturally warm water at the Sai Ngam hot springs or the Tha Pai hot springs.
- Rent a scooter and go hiking in the wilderness, visit local temples, and explore the landscape.
- Stroll through the night market in the quaint town center and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
Pai is unique from other destinations in Thailand because of its hippie-like culture, picturesque valley, and laidback atmosphere.
Its small-scale development and scenic location among rice fields and jungle-clad mountains make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and backpackers looking to relax and unwind.
With numerous guesthouses, restaurants, souvenir shops, and bars, Pai has something to offer for every type of traveler.
If you are planning a visit, make sure to read and bookmark the Top 17 Unique Things to Do in Pai.
10. Hua Hin
Hua Hin is a stunning beach city in Thailand that should be on every traveler’s itinerary. Located about three hours away from Bangkok, it is a popular resort destination along the Gulf of Thailand.
The area was developed in the early 1920s when the Thai royal family had a palace built there. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including water parks, golf courses, night markets, and temples.
Hua Hin’s beaches are diverse, with quiet white sand beaches, amazing restaurants, and even a pine tree-lined beach. Visitors can also explore the largest national park in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan, and the Phraya Nakhon Cave.
The city boasts upscale shopping, dining, and championship golf, as well as traditional markets. Hua Hin is also home to the Hua Hin Train Station, which is wonderfully Instagrammable because of its unusual Victorian-Thai style.
The area has many accommodations, including the five-star Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa. Hua Hin is easy to get to, with frequent trips by buses, trains, and mini-vans from Bangkok.
In conclusion, Hua Hin is a must-visit destination in Thailand for its stunning beaches, diverse attractions, and friendly Thai people.
11. Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is a must-visit destination in northern Thailand that promises an unforgettable experience.
This mountainous city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and is home to ancient temples, tribal villages, and cultural attractions. Chiang Rai is part of the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet, making it an excellent base for exploring this region.
- The top attractions in Chiang Rai include the famous White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, which is a stunning, ornate temple that stands out for its unique aesthetics and should not be missed.
- The Black House, or Baan Dam Museum, is a collection of buildings created by artist Thawan Duchanee and offers a fascinating insight into Thai culture.
- The Blue Temple, or Wat Rong Suea Ten, is another architectural wonder with its blue and gold color scheme.
Apart from these temples, Chiang Rai offers plenty of opportunities for adventure and exploration. Hiking trails abound in the surrounding mountains, and the nearby Tree Top Adventure Park is a fantastic spot for adrenaline junkies. You can also visit the northernmost point of the country, which is only a short drive from the city and offers stunning views of the border with Myanmar.
When it comes to culture and cuisine, Chiang Rai is a melting pot of different ethnicities, and this diversity is reflected in the local food. Some must-try dishes include Khao Soi, a northern Thai noodle soup, and Sai Ua, a spicy pork sausage. The city also has frequent festivals that showcase traditional music, dance, and food, making it an excellent place to immerse yourself in Thai culture.
Chiang Rai should be on your travel itinerary for 2023 because it offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and adventure. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everyone in Chiang Rai. The city is often overlooked in favor of its more famous sister town, Chiang Mai, but it deserves a lot more love.
In summary, Chiang Rai is a hidden gem in northern Thailand that promises a memorable travel experience. From the stunning temples to the breathtaking hiking trails, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in this city.
For a complete list of activities, make sure to read my Free and Cheap Things to Do in Chiang Rai.
12. Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers in Thailand. This hidden gem is one of the oldest rainforests in the world and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Visitors can explore cascading waterfalls, hidden caves, and groves of wild fruit trees, as well as spot some of the world’s largest mammals, including elephants and tigers. The park’s stunning limestone cliffs and picturesque Cheow Lan Lake are also not to be missed.
For those looking for adventure, there are plenty of activities available such as ziplining, kayaking, and tubing on the Sok River.
Additionally, visitors can take a boat tour of the lake to see floating villages, traditional fishing boats, and dramatic cliffs and rock formations.
Accommodation options include floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake, which are immensely popular, and there are also camping and guesthouse options available.
The best time to visit Khao Sok National Park is between November and April, when the weather is dry and the temperature is cooler. However, visitors should be prepared for rain at any time of the year. Hiking is one of the most popular activities, although there are only two maintained trails.
In conclusion, Khao Sok National Park is a must-visit destination in Thailand for nature lovers seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery. Its unique features, such as the largest virgin rainforest in Southern Thailand, diverse wildlife, stunning limestone cliffs, and picturesque Cheow Lan Lake, make it one of the best places to visit in Thailand in 2023.
The park’s well-maintained trails and accommodation options, including floating bungalows, provide visitors with a comfortable and unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for a beach getaway with plenty of activities and attractions, look no further than Pattaya, Thailand. This former fishing village has transformed into a bustling coastal city that offers something for everyone.
Whether you’re into beaches, nightlife, cultural sites, or outdoor activities, Pattaya has it all. Some of the top attractions and activities include:
- the pedestrian-friendly Pattaya Walking Street,
- beautiful beaches,
- the stunning Sanctuary of Truth,
- the Floating Market,
- and the Nong Noon Garden.
Other must-visit spots include the Chanthaburi Sapphire Mines, Cabaret Shows, and Flight of the Gibbon.
Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with family, Pattaya is the perfect destination to make unforgettable memories.
Here is a complete list of The Best Things to Do in Pattaya.
14. Koh Tao
Koh Tao is a small island located in the Chumphon Archipelago in the southeastern part of Thailand. This picturesque island has become a popular destination for tourists seeking a serene tropical getaway.
The island is known for its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush greenery, which create a perfect setting for relaxation and adventure.
Koh Tao is a premier destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, offering some of the best and cheapest diving spots in the world. The calm, warm waters surrounding the island provide excellent visibility and an abundance of vibrant marine life, making it the ideal location for novice divers to gain confidence and master their skills.
Additionally, Koh Tao is home to numerous professional dive centers offering PADI certification courses at competitive prices, making it the most affordable and accessible place in the country for scuba diving enthusiasts.
Apart from diving, Koh Tao offers a diverse range of activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and yoga, as well as mouthwatering Thai cuisine and bustling nightlife.
Must-see beaches on the island include:
- Sairee Beach,
- Sai Nuan Beach,
- and Tanote Bay Beach.
Popular viewpoints include:
- John-Suwan Viewpoint
- and Mango Viewpoint.
Visitors can also explore the Mae Haad Pier, which serves as a hub for transportation to other islands and offers a bustling market with local street food and souvenirs.
One unique feature of the island is its turtle conservation efforts, with several organizations working to protect and preserve the island’s sea turtle population. Visitors can learn more about these efforts at the Koh Tao Turtle Conservation Center.
Overall, Koh Tao is an ideal destination for travelers seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation in a stunning tropical setting. Its natural beauty, thrilling activities, and welcoming atmosphere make it stand out from other Thai islands.
15. Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park is one of the most significant tourist destinations in Thailand, attracting visitors with its breathtaking landscapes and stunning natural beauty.
The park is home to the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon, which stands at 2,565 meters above sea level. The park’s lush rain, mixed, and pine forests are perfect for nature lovers.
The park offers numerous attractions, including waterfalls, hiking trails, and two chedis. The top attractions in the park include the stunning Wachirathan Waterfall and the cascades of Mae Ya Waterfall.
The Kew Mae Pan trail is one of the best hikes in the park, offering spectacular views of the sea of clouds.
Doi Inthanon National Park is a must-visit destination in Thailand, offering a unique experience that visitors will never forget.
16. Koh Chang
Koh Chang is a stunning island located off the southeastern coast of Thailand, near the border with Cambodia. It is the second largest Thai island, covered mostly by rainforest, and is one of the best places to visit in Thailand for anyone who loves jungle trekking, wildlife, and stunning waterfalls. The island also boasts a variety of breathtaking beaches and a mountainous terrain that makes it a favorite for adventurous hikers.
One of the top attractions on Koh Chang is White Sand Beach, located on the island’s northwestern corner. This is the longest beach in Koh Chang, and it offers soft, sandy shores lined with resorts and hotels.
The central section of the beach is particularly popular among tourists, as it is perfect for lazing on the beach in luxury. Another popular beach is Hat Tha Nam, located on the island’s southwest coast. This beach attracts travelers looking for fun on a budget, and it offers everything from rustic bungalows to luxurious resorts.
In addition to its stunning beaches, Koh Chang boasts a variety of waterfalls that are well worth the visit. One of the most popular waterfalls on the island is Klong Plu Waterfall. This waterfall is located within a national park and offers visitors a chance to swim in its refreshing pool.
Another popular waterfall is Than Mayom Waterfall, which is actually a series of waterfalls that are connected by a trail. Visitors can hike through the lush jungle to reach the falls and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pools beneath them.
Aside from its natural attractions, Koh Chang also boasts a vibrant nightlife and local cuisine. Visitors can enjoy a variety of bars and nightclubs, as well as delicious Thai cuisine that includes fresh seafood and tropical fruits. The island also has a rich cultural history, with influences from both Thai and Cambodian cultures.
The best time to visit Koh Chang is from November to March when the weather is dry and cool. This is also the peak season for tourists, so visitors should expect larger crowds during this time. However, for those who prefer more privacy, late May to late October is a great time to visit, as the rainforest is lush and full of life during this time.
In summary, Koh Chang is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Thailand. With its pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls, and lush rainforests, the island offers a variety of natural attractions that will leave visitors in awe.
Its vibrant nightlife and local cuisine also make it a great place to experience the culture of Thailand. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax on the beach, Koh Chang has something for everyone.
In Phang-nga, Thailand, there are a plethora of must-visit destinations and experiences that cater to outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Here are the top attractions and activities to do in Phang-nga:
- Mu Ko Surin National Park: A protected area that is one of the best diving sites in Thailand, visitors can go snorkeling or hiking to explore the natural beauty of southern Thailand.
- Ao Phang-Nga National Park: Famous for its caves, emerald green waters, and the picturesque James Bond Island, this national park is a must-visit destination for those seeking adventure and stunning scenery.
- Beaches: Phang-nga is home to several beaches, including Surin Beach, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand.
Phang-nga is a must-visit destination in Thailand because it offers a unique combination of natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation. Visitors can explore protected areas and national parks and relax on stunning beaches. Whether you are seeking adventure or a peaceful getaway, Phang-nga has something for everyone.
Here is a complete list of the Best Things to Do in Phang Nga.
18. Hat Yai
Hat Yai is one of the best places to visit in Thailand, yet it is often overlooked in favor of more popular destinations like Bangkok and Pattaya.
Located in the southern part of Thailand near the Malaysian border, Hat Yai is the largest city in Songkhla province. It is known for its diverse population, which includes the highest proportion of Malay-Muslim and Chinese-Thai people in the country.
Visitors can enjoy a range of attractions and activities in Hat Yai, from shopping in its many markets and malls to exploring its unique temples and natural wonders.
Some of the top things to do in Hat Yai include:
- Visiting the Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol temple,
- Admiring the towering statue of Phra Buddha Mongkol Maharaj in Hat Yai Municipal Park,
- And exploring the Thale Noi Waterbird Park.
Other must-visit attractions include the ASEAN Night Bazaar, Santisuk Market, and Namtok Ton Nga Chang waterfall.
With its rich culture, diverse population, and numerous attractions, Hat Yai is a must-see place in Thailand that should not be missed.
Here is a complete list of Awesome Things to Do in Hat Yai.
Kanchanaburi is a significant resort town located in western Thailand, known for its ancient rainforests, waterfalls, and limestone caves. It played an important role in World War II, being a stop on the Death Railway, which was built by forced laborers during the war.
Today, Kanchanaburi is a popular tourist destination, offering visitors stylish resorts, national parks, and waterfalls.
The top attraction in the town is the iron railroad bridge, famously portrayed in the Academy Award-winning movie, “Bridge over the River Kwai,” and several museums and war cemeteries present information about the city and its bridge during the Japanese occupation.
Other popular activities include visiting the Erawan Waterfall, exploring limestone caves in the expansive rainforest, and staying at superb-rated hotels such as Natee The Riverfront Hotel Kanchanaburi.
Overall, Kanchanaburi is a must-visit destination for those interested in history, nature, and culture.
Rayong is a hidden gem amongst the must-visit destinations in Thailand. Located on the eastern coast of Thailand, Rayong is known for its pristine beaches, national parks, and unique local markets.
The town is less crowded than other popular destinations in Thailand, making it perfect for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing vacation.
Here are some of the top attractions, activities, and experiences in Rayong:
- Mae Ramphueng Beach: This long and sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. There are also many restaurants serving fresh seafood and other local dishes.
- Khao Chamao-Khao Wong National Park: This national park is home to stunning waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails. Visitors can trek through the lush rainforest, swim in the natural pools, or go on a camping adventure.
- Wat Pa Pradu: This ancient temple dates back to the Ayutthaya period and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the area while admiring the stunning temple.
- Ban Phe Market: This lively local market is a great place to try authentic Thai street food, shop for souvenirs, and experience the local culture. Visitors can find everything from fresh produce and seafood to handmade crafts and clothing.
- Water sports: Rayong is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can go snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and even take a boat tour to explore the nearby islands.
- Rayong Aquarium: This aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, and colorful tropical fish. Visitors can learn about the different species and even participate in feeding sessions.
In conclusion, Rayong is a must-visit destination for those looking for a peaceful and authentic Thai experience. With its beautiful beaches, national parks, temples, and local markets, there is something for everyone in Rayong.
Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore the rainforest, or try some delicious street food, Rayong has it all. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem, and include it in your Thailand itinerary for 2023.
21. Ban Chiang
Ban Chiang is an archaeological site located in the Udon Thani Province of northeastern Thailand. The site was discovered in 1966 and is known for its significant historical value, as it contains evidence of early Bronze Age civilization.
Ban Chiang is believed to have been inhabited as early as 2100 BCE and is considered one of the most important prehistoric settlements in Southeast Asia.
Notable attractions at Ban Chiang include the Ban Chiang National Museum, which displays artifacts and pottery from the Bronze Age, and the Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, where visitors can see the excavation pits and learn about the history of the site.
Other notable attractions include the Wat Pho Si Nai temple and the Red Lotus Sea, a beautiful lake filled with red lotus flowers.
Overall, Ban Chiang is a must-visit destination for travelers to Thailand who are interested in history and culture.
Tips for getting the most out of your trip to Thailand
1. Research the different regions of Thailand
Before planning a trip to Thailand, it is important to research the different regions of the country. Thailand is divided into five geographical and cultural regions, each with its own unique attractions.
- Northern Thailand is a cultural hub with Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, and hill tribes as popular destinations.
- Central Thailand is home to the capital city of Bangkok, historical areas, and lowlands.
- Isaan, also known as the great northeastern region, offers adventure enthusiasts backcountry Thailand, Khmer ruins, and delicious food.
- Eastern Thailand is famous for its beaches and islands, such as Koh Samet and Koh Chang, while Pattaya, with its infamous walking street, falls in this region.
- Southern Thailand is characterized by lush rainforests, pristine coastlines, and numerous islands, with Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao as famous beach spots.
By researching these regions, travelers can plan their itinerary accordingly and make the most out of their trip to Thailand.
2. Consider the different types of accommodation options available
To get the most out of your trip to Thailand, it’s essential to consider the different types of accommodation options available. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for luxury, Thailand has it all. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice for your stay:
- Research different types of accommodation, including hotels, hostels, and resorts, and compare prices and amenities.
- Use booking websites like Agoda and Booking.com to find the best deals and a wide selection of independent and boutique hotels.
- If you’re backpacking, consider staying in a hostel, which can offer fantastic quality at a lower price point.
- Book ahead to secure the best deals and beds, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Consider a mix of different types of accommodation to experience a variety of lodging options and get a well-rounded view of Thailand’s hospitality industry.
By considering all your options, you can find the perfect accommodation for your budget and preferences, which will allow you to have the best possible experience in Thailand.
3. Research the local culture and customs
To make the most out of your trip to Thailand, it’s important to research the local culture and customs. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Learn some basic Thai phrases: Learning some basic Thai phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture. It can also help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable. For example, learning to say “hello” (sawatdee kha/khap) and “thank you” (khob khun kha/khap) can make a big difference.
- Dress appropriately: When visiting Buddhist temples and Royal Palaces in Thailand, you have to dress appropriately. You should wear long pants and shirts that cover your shoulders. It’s also important to dress appropriately in other situations. For example, wearing revealing clothing is frowned upon in Thai culture, especially in more conservative areas.
- Respect local customs: Thailand has many customs and traditions that may be unfamiliar to visitors. For example, removing your shoes before entering a home or temple is a sign of respect. It’s important to be aware of these customs and to follow them to show respect for the local culture.
- Attend cultural events: Attending cultural events is a great way to learn more about Thai culture and customs. Festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) and Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights) are great opportunities to experience local traditions and customs.
- Take a cooking class: Thai cuisine is a big part of the country’s culture. The same way we say, “How are you?”, Thai people greet each other by asking, “Have you eaten yet?” Taking a cooking class can not only teach you how to make delicious Thai dishes but also give you insight into the ingredients and cooking methods used in Thai cuisine.
- Visit local markets: Visiting local markets can give you a glimpse into everyday life in Thailand. You can see what locals eat, buy, and sell, and even try some local street food.
By researching the local culture and customs in Thailand, you can have a more meaningful and respectful trip. It’s important to be open-minded and willing to learn about the local way of life.
4. Explore the different landscapes
Thailand is a country of diverse landscapes, from pristine beaches to towering mountains and dense jungles. While popular tourist spots like Bangkok and Phuket offer plenty of excitement and adventure, it’s important to venture beyond these areas to truly experience the beauty of Thailand’s natural surroundings.
Here are some of the top destinations for exploring Thailand’s diverse landscapes:
- Chiang Mai: Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is known for its mountainous terrain and lush forests. Visitors can explore the city’s ancient temples and bustling night markets or venture into the surrounding hills for hiking and trekking. One popular activity is visiting hill tribe villages to learn about traditional ways of life and experience the region’s unique cultural heritage.
- Krabi: Situated in southern Thailand, Krabi is home to stunning limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and white sandy beaches. Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to explore the vibrant marine life or take a boat tour to see the towering cliffs and hidden lagoons. Rock climbing is also a popular activity, with many routes available for both beginners and experienced climbers.
- Khao Yai National Park: Located just a few hours from Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park is a lush jungle paradise with waterfalls, wildlife, and scenic hiking trails. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails and see a variety of wildlife, including elephants, gibbons, and hornbills. There are also several waterfalls to discover, including the impressive Haew Narok waterfall, which cascades over 150 meters.
Each of these destinations offers a unique experience and a chance to explore Thailand’s diverse landscapes. Chiang Mai’s mountainous terrain and cultural heritage, Krabi’s stunning cliffs and beaches, and Khao Yai’s lush jungle and waterfalls all provide a glimpse into the natural beauty and cultural richness of Thailand.
When planning your trip to Thailand, be sure to consider adding some of these destinations to your itinerary. By exploring beyond the typical tourist spots, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s diverse geography and rich cultural heritage.
5. Consider what activities you would like to do
When planning a trip to Thailand, it’s essential to consider the various activities available to make the most out of your stay. There are plenty of options to choose from, including adventurous nature activities, relaxing hot springs, visiting historical sites, and exploring local villages.
You can also enjoy the country’s beautiful beaches, go trekking in the mountains, attend a full-moon party, or try some local food.
With so many activities to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests and budget. Make sure to plan your itinerary well to make the most out of your trip to Thailand.
6. Research the weather conditions
To get the most out of your trip to Thailand, it is important to research the weather conditions before you go. Thailand experiences different weather patterns across the country, so it’s important to know what to expect depending on where you plan to visit.
The rainy season is from May to October on the west coast and September to December on the east coast, but even during this time, it won’t rain all the time.
The best time to visit Thailand is during the dry season, which runs from November to April, although this is also the peak tourist season. If you are looking for smaller crowds and lower prices, consider visiting during the shoulder season in April.
By checking the weather conditions and planning accordingly, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Thailand.
7. Look into the visa requirements
To visit Thailand, some travelers are required to obtain a visa. The type of visa required depends on the purpose and length of the stay.
Tourists from most countries, including the US, Canada, EU, and the UK can obtain a 30-day visa-free entry upon arrival at the airport, with the option to extend for 30 more days at one of the local immigration offices.
However, if you plan to stay longer than the allowed visa-free period or engage in any kind of work, including volunteering, you will need to apply for a visa in advance.
The most common visa types are the tourist visa, which allows for stays of up to 60 days, and the non-immigrant visa, which allows for stays of up to 90 days.
Each country is different, so be sure to check entry requirements in advance and apply for a visa if needed.
8. Plan your budget carefully
When planning a trip to Thailand, it is important to budget carefully to ensure that you have enough funds to cover all of your expenses. Here are some tips to help you plan your budget carefully:
- Research and compare prices for flights, accommodations, and activities beforehand. Use websites like Skyscanner and Booking.com to find the best deals.
- Consider traveling during the shoulder season to save money on flights and accommodations. The shoulder season in Thailand is from May to October.
- Eat like a local to save money on food. Street food is cheap and delicious in Thailand, and you can also find affordable restaurants if you do some research beforehand.
- Use local transportation, such as tuk-tuks and buses, instead of taxis to save money on transportation.
- Plan your itinerary ahead of time to avoid overspending on activities and tours.
By following these tips, you can plan your budget carefully and make the most of your trip to Thailand without breaking the bank.
If you are looking for more cost-friendly tips, check out my article on Traveling Thailand on a Budget.
9. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance
It’s important to have travel insurance for a stress-free trip to Thailand. With the right coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected in case of any unexpected events or emergencies.
Besides health emergencies, some insurances also cover travel interruptions, lost luggage, and damage to costly electronics during your trip.
Don’t leave your travel insurance to chance – take the time to research and choose the best option for you.
10. Make sure you have the appropriate safety precautions
Thailand is a beautiful and welcoming country that attracts millions of tourists every year. It’s one of the safest countries in the world, so safety should not be a concern for most travelers. Still, you should use common sense to keep yourself out of trouble.
Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Wear sunscreen: Thailand is close to the Equator, and the sun can be very strong. Always wear sunscreen with a higher SPF level than you normally do to avoid a bad sunburn.
- Check with locals before swimming: There are plenty of deserted beaches in Thailand, but sometimes there is no one in the water for a reason. Check with locals before swimming to avoid rip currents, sea urchins, jellyfish, and sharp coral reefs.
- Keep your belongings secure: While Thailand is very safe, petty theft can occur. Keep your belongings secure, and avoid wearing lots of flashy jewelry or expensive items.
- Be cautious of scams: Although not common, scams targeting tourists can be a problem in Thailand. Be firm with taxi drivers and take photos of any rental items before use to avoid being charged for damages you didn’t cause. If someone approaches you speaking good English near any major attraction, like the Royal Palace, telling you it’s closed, ignore them and continue on your way.
- Use general street smarts: When staying in hostels, Airbnb’s, or with Worldpackers hosts, make sure to read reviews and feel comfortable with your accommodation. Bring a luggage lock and stow your valuables safely. Make photocopies of your passport and keep the real thing locked up. Never leave your real passport with any person or rental agency as collateral, leave cash in its stead.
- Be cautious while partying: If you decide to experience the party scene, be extra cautious about your own safety. Never leave a drink unattended, buy your own drinks, and never drive under the influence. Know the way back to your accommodation and avoid getting too intoxicated.
Remember, bad things can happen anywhere, but with general common sense and universal safety knowledge, you can have a perfectly safe trip while traveling to Thailand.
Always be aware of your surroundings, take the right precautions, and have a wonderful time exploring the Land of Smiles.
What tourist attractions can be found in Thailand?
Thailand is a land of magnificent tourist attractions, offering a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the top tourist attractions that you must visit on your trip to Thailand:
- Temples: Thailand is home to numerous temples, including Wat Pho, Wat Tramit, and Wat Benchamabophit, where visitors can witness the splendor of traditional Thai architecture and pay homage to the sacred Buddhist sites.
- Beaches: With its world-renowned beaches, Thailand is a paradise for beach lovers. Some of the best beaches can be found on Koh Tao, Koh Lipe, and Phi Phi Island, offering crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning sunsets.
- Full Moon Party: For those looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is a must-visit. Dance under the moonlight with thousands of fellow travelers and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
- Night Bazaars: These bustling night markets are a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of local handicrafts, souvenirs, and street food. The vibrant atmosphere and colorful lights make it a must-visit destination in Thailand.
- Ayutthaya: This ancient city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to numerous temples and ruins, including the famous Wat Mahathat and Wat Chai Watthanaram, showcasing the grandeur of ancient Thai architecture and history.
- Floating Markets: For a unique and authentic Thai experience, visit the floating markets, such as Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa, where vendors sell fresh produce and local handicrafts from their boats.
These are just some of the top tourist attractions that Thailand has to offer. With a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, Thailand is a must-visit destination for any traveler.
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What activities can I do while visiting Thailand?
Thailand offers a wide variety of activities for tourists to enjoy. One can have a solid day as a tourist by visiting the Grand Palace, taking a quick river tour to the floating market, and eating some street food at Khao San Road in the evening before going to watch a ladyboy cabaret.
For those looking to get off the beaten path, there are super-exotic things to do, such as visiting Mae Hong Son Province or swimming with elephants at sanctuaries found around the country.
The Thai Burma Railway is another once-in-a-lifetime experience most visitors won’t get to in their travels. Walking is a great way to exercise, save money while traveling, and see all the little bits of culture around you in a big city like Bangkok or Chiang Mai or on a small island like Koh Phi Phi.
Thailand is also home to some of the most beautiful temples in the world, such as Wat Pho, the birthplace of traditional Thai medicine and healing, and Wat Tramit, where a three-meter-tall gold statue of Buddha weighing over 12,000 lbs can be found.
In conclusion, Thailand has a variety of activities that everyone can enjoy.
Related Article: Complete Thailand Packing List.
What are the best beaches to visit in Thailand?
Thailand is a tropical paradise with a picturesque coastline, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. Here is a concise guide on the best beaches to visit in Thailand:
- Railay Beach: Located in Krabi, Railay Beach features four stunning stretches of sand with luxury resorts, soft sand, and jaw-dropping views of limestone cliffs. It is a popular destination for rock climbing, walking paths, and coral reefs.
- Patong Beach: Located in Phuket, Patong Beach is known for its vibrant nightlife and water sports activities, including scuba diving, parasailing, and jet skiing. It is a bustling beach destination with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Koh Phi Phi: This T-shaped island is popular among backpackers and offers a relaxing and peaceful location with great nightlife. It is known for its pristine blue waters, colorful corals, and white sand beaches.
- Hua Hin Beach: Located in the town of Hua Hin, this beach is a popular destination for families and couples. It is known for its calm waters, horse riding, and kite surfing.
- Lamai Beach: Located on the island of Koh Samui, Lamai Beach is a quieter alternative to the bustling Chaweng Beach. It is known for its crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, and stunning sunsets. Visitors can enjoy water sports activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling, and explore nearby attractions like Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks.
When planning a trip to Thailand, it is important to consider the best time to visit and to plan ahead, especially during peak tourist seasons. With its stunning beaches and tropical climate, Thailand is a must-visit destination for beach lovers.
What is the best time of the year to visit Thailand?
Thailand is a tropical island that can be visited all year round, but the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for.
The dry season, which typically runs from November through April, is the most popular time to visit. During this time, the weather is generally cooler and less humid, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, this is also peak tourist season, and popular destinations can be crowded.
The rainy season, which runs from May until October, is considered the off-season, but it can be a great time to visit if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly and less crowded experience. It usually only rains in the afternoon, so you can still enjoy some sunshine.
Additionally, there are plenty of festivals, such as the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival in October or November, that are worth experiencing.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what you want to get out of your trip to Thailand.
Here is the best 2 Week Thailand Itinerary.
What types of accommodations are available in Thailand?
In Thailand, there are various types of accommodations available for all budget ranges. Here are some of the most popular options:
- Bohemian bamboo huts: affordable and unique options for backpackers and budget travelers.
- 5-star luxury resorts: high-end accommodations with top-notch amenities and services.
- Independent and boutique hotels: smaller hotels with a unique character and charm, often found on booking sites like Agoda and Booking.com.
- Hostels: a great option for budget travelers and backpackers, with excellent quality and facilities in Thailand.
- Booking on arrival: it’s possible to wing it and look for places when you arrive, but booking ahead is recommended for the best deals and beds.
Overall, Thailand offers a wide range of accommodations that cater to different budgets and preferences.
What wildlife can I see in Thailand?
Thailand boasts a diverse range of wildlife, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. The country is home to several national parks, such as Khao Laem and Khao Yai, where visitors can witness a variety of animals in their natural habitats.
Some of the unique animals found in Thailand include elephants, monkeys, gibbons, bats, tigers, pig-tailed macaques, white-handed gibbons, giant squirrels, great hornbills, sambar deer, barking deer, golden jackals, leopard cats, and Asiatic black bears.
Elephants are the national animal of Thailand and can be seen in several national parks. It is important to respect the natural habitats of these animals and avoid any activities that may harm them.
Thailand’s wildlife is a treasure that should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
How can I get around in Thailand?
Thailand is a country that offers a wide range of transportation options for travelers. From walking in busy cities to flying between islands, there are many ways to get around and explore this beautiful country.
Taxis and tuk-tuks are abundant in cities and can be a convenient way to get around, but be sure to negotiate the price before getting in. Buses and trains are affordable and offer a chance to see the countryside, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable at times.
Motorbikes are a popular option for those looking for more freedom and flexibility, but be sure to wear a helmet and have proper insurance. Grab is the Uber of Thailand and offers great prices, so be sure to download the app and set it up before you land. Bolt also has great prices for ridesharing.
It’s important to choose safe and reliable transportation options and to be aware of scams targeting tourists. With a little bit of planning and research, getting around Thailand can be a fun and memorable part of your trip.
What is the best way to experience the culture in Thailand?
One of the best ways to experience Thai culture is to visit historical sites and temples.
- Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, and Ayutthaya are great places to start for those interested in culture, history, and temples. These sites offer a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history and showcase the country’s architectural and artistic beauty.
- Another way to immerse oneself in Thai culture is to try the local cuisine. Thai food is famous for its bold flavors, spices, and use of fresh ingredients. A cooking class is a great way to learn about the ingredients and techniques used in Thai cooking.
- Lastly, attending cultural events such as a Muay Thai Boxing Match or a Ladyboy Cabaret show can provide a unique insight into Thai culture and entertainment.
By combining these experiences, travelers can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Thai culture.
What are the must-see historical sites in Thailand?
Thailand is a treasure trove of historical sites that offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Here are some must-see historical sites that you should not miss when visiting Thailand:
- Sukhothai Historical Park – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the ruins of Sukhothai, the former capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom. Renting a bicycle is the best way to explore the sprawling 30 sq. miles park, which is made up of royal palaces, moats, city gates, and Buddhist temples. The Central Zone is the best-conserved part of the park, with ruins situated in a picturesque environment between small lakes, bridges, and islands. Visit the main temple, Wat Mahathat, with its giant Buddha figures, and other iconic temples such as Wat Sa Si, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Chang Lom, and Wat Si Chum.
- Wat Pho – This birthplace of traditional Thai medicine and healing is home to the famed reclining Buddha, a three-meter-tall gold statue that weighs over 12,000 lbs. Pay homage to the glorifying temples and be mesmerized by the architecture of this peaceful place.
- Wat Tramit – This temple is home to a 10-foot-tall gold Buddha statue and is one of the largest in the world. It is a symbol of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Buddhist art and architecture.
- Wat Benchamabophit – This is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, known for its stunning architecture and exquisite craftsmanship. It is also known as the Marble Temple and is made entirely of Italian marble. It is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
- Si Satchanalai Historic City – This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located near Sukhothai. It was once a flourishing city and is home to many ancient ruins and temples. It is a great place to explore the history and culture of Thailand.
- Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park – This park is located in the north of Thailand and is home to many ancient ruins and temples. It is a great place to explore the rich cultural heritage of Thailand and to learn about its history.
- Ayutthaya Historical Park – This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located near Bangkok. It was once the capital of Thailand and is home to many ancient ruins and temples. It is a great place to explore the history and culture of the country and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Thai history.
- The Grand Palace – This is one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok and is a must-visit for anyone visiting the city. It was once the residence of the Kings of Thailand and is now home to many important government offices. The palace complex is made up of several buildings, including the Emerald Buddha Temple, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha statue.
- Chiang Mai Old City – This is the historic center of the city of Chiang Mai and is surrounded by a moat and ancient city walls. It is home to many ancient temples and is a great place to explore the history and culture of northern Thailand.
- Kanchanaburi – This is a town located in western Thailand that is known for its beautiful natural scenery and historical sites. It is home to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, which was built by prisoners of war during World War II. It is also home to many other historical sites, including the Death Railway and the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum.
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The 21 Best Places to Visit in Thailand
You will also enjoy reading my Top Thailand Travel Tips.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Thailand has something for everyone. With its rich culture, stunning scenery, and friendly locals, Thailand is a must-visit destination.
So start planning your trip today, and don’t forget to add these 21 amazing places to your list! If you have any suggestions for hidden gems I missed, let me know in the comments below!
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