best day trips from Bangkok

Thailand’s capital needs no introduction, but have you ever dug deeper than beyond the city perimeters?

Positioned in central Thailand, this part of the country is loaded with history relating to Lanna culture and the Ayutthaya era. Plus, it sits just above the coast, so you best believe you’ll have your cake and eat it too on any of these best day trips from Bangkok!

Buddha statues (galore) aside, on one end, there are riches of royal palaces, ancient ruins, essential temples and significant pagodas; then the other side of BKK’s spectrum offers beaches, islands and even … diving!

Choose between day adventures to waterfalls or the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi, explore caves, revive body, mind and soul at hot springs or head off to Khao Yai National Park and stick your head between floating clouds.

Veer to out-of-the-ordinary places like pottery islands and riverside communities; join a river cruise or go on a longtail boat ride through floating markets; run through flower fields or beneath bamboo groves and even go wine-tasting (how romantic).

All so close to the city, this leaves Bangkok as one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.

Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!

1 – Marvel over the Angkor Wat of Bangkok: Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya day trips from Bangkok

Would you believe that around 700 years ago, Ayutthaya was once a thriving empire, home to the capital of the Siam Kingdom, i.e., Thailand?

Walking amid the UNESCO-listed ruins today, it’s hard to imagine this site as a bustling economy, but as you see the ancient remnants and stone carcasses, you’re transported to times yonder in a flash!

Strategically positioned, the city was built as an island amid three converging rivers: Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pa Sak. Arrive in Ayutthaya from the riverside, and there are boat tours doubling as day trips to the famous site.

The old city is officially part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, where the bulk of temples, stupas, monasteries and prangs (reliquary towers) are.

Highlights include:

  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram: a temple constructed in 1630 on the Chao Phraya River
  • Wat Yai Chaimongkhon: a royal monastery with Reclining Buddha
  • Wat Maha That: a royal temple and one of the oldest here
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet: three chedis with the relics of three Ayutthaya Kings
  • Wat Phanan Choeng: housing one of Thailand’s oldest Buddhas

Get dressed in traditional Thai costumes and pose for pictures, and renting out a bicycle to explore Ayutthaya is a must!

Other things to do around Ayutthaya? Hang out in the rice paddies at Rak na Ayutthaya (รักษ์นา อยุธยา), dine on the river at The Wine Ayutthaya, shop local markets and visit the nearby Bang Pa-in Summer Palace (often included as part of guided day tours).

Travel time: 1h12min

Read more: Bangkok boat tours

2 – From sunflower fields to the famous Death Railway, explore Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi day trips from Bangkok

Rainbow flower fields, riverside dining with the jungle surrounding you, WWII history, ornate temples and so many photo opportunities you’ll fill your camera space in minutes; Kanchanaburi is a very special oasis, with an Eden of greenery at your fingertips.

Traveling just two hours outside Bangkok, prepare for a completely different world!

Frolick among rows of sunflowers and cosmos in bloom at Baan Rai Nai Rung; ride a cable car up (or walk the stairs) to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple, i.e., Wat Tham Sua to see the giant golden Buddha; and spot the remains of two Khmer temples at Muang Sing Historical Park.

There are so many Instragrammable cafes you won’t know what to do with yourself like Rakkanna Cafe, set up in the middle of rice paddies and U&ME Cafe with its gigantic hands’ sculpture!

Tour the iconic Death Railway, along with the JEATH War Museum and the real River Kwai Bridge. Another fantastic museum option is the Ban Kao National Museum, where you can study Thailand’s 4,000-year-old Neolithic history.

For a cultural overdose, visit Mallika City and experience a traditional show!

Drive here, or for something extraordinary, enjoy a scenic train ride from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi!

Travel time: 2h23mins

3 – Discover something for everyone inside the exciting Khao Yai National Park

Khao Sok National Park day trips from Bangkok

Brush up on your knowledge of Thai wildlife and flora from an in-person vantage point as you spend the day trekking through lush jungles and waterfalls inside the Khao Yai National Park.

Technically, Thailand’s first-ever official national park (opening in 1961) spans four provinces: Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok. (The closest town to Khao Yai is Pak Chong).

Blessed with abundant natural fauna, spot lar gibbons (now endangered), pig-tailed macaques, barking deers, elephants and so much more during a park hike!

Strangely enough, this part of Thailand seems to have an affinity for all things European, and there are quite a few restaurants, accommodations and tourist attractions modeled after places across this continent.

Travel to Italy at Primo Piazza or pretend you’re in the English countryside at Thames Valley. LOTR fans, there’s even a Hobbit House (Baan Suan Noi)!

Get fancy schmancy at PB Valley Khao Yai Winery and go wine tasting … Then, visit Ban Tha Chang Spring for scenes out of a fairytale. More unusual activities include a tour of the Khao Luk Chang Bat Cave.

Traveling with little ones? Pop into The Chocolate Factory Khao Yai, or get your adrenaline pumping at Khao Yai Speedkart.

Travel time: 2h26mins

4 – Swim beneath an elephant-head-shaped waterfall in Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park day trips from Bangkok

It’s time to go chasing (jaw-dropping) waterfalls in Erawan National Park, home to mystical caverns, magical cascades and fairy-like natural pools — and warped in Thai mythology.

This day trip is for serious nature enthusiasts, and if there’s one waterfall adventure you should choose, it would have to be the iconic 1,500-meter-high Erawan Falls!

To reach the main attraction — a seven-tiered waterfall — involves trekking through lush jungle-scapes and stone staircases, but the rewards are tenfold. Designated trails guide you through the forest.

Cool off beneath the powerful spurts, hang out on logs across glassy waters, and grab epic insta-worthy shots wallowing like a mermaid in the milky blue-colored springs.

Don’t be surprised if you spot a monkey peering out from the trees to say hello!

Situated in the Tenasserim Hills in West Thailand (in the Kanchanaburi province), swimming is allowed! Listed across the board as the most beautiful waterfall in the Land of Smiles, the journey is totally worth it!

P.S. Another awesome waterfall in the area is Namtok Sai Yok Noi.

Travel time: 3h10min

5 – Do your shopping on water at the Floating Markets

Floating market of Damnoen Saduak day trips from Bangkok

Something you will only typically experience in Southeast Asia, don’t miss out on discovering the floating markets around Bangkok, including the most famous and largest in the world: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Fill your cup with a taste of complete local living, witnessing vendors selling goods from wooden boats on the water, and cruising between the canals yourselves on an authentic longtail river taxi.

Shop for fresh tropical fruits, classic Thai ingredients and other bits and bobs!

Appearing in movies, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is renowned for its variety of goods and its size — and for its boat noodles. Around the corner is the less-touristy Tha Kha Floating Market if you’re hoping to escape overwhelming crowds.

Amphawa Floating Market is a hotspot for seafood lovers!

No less than 30 kilometers from Bangkok, Bang Nam Pheung is hyper-local and a fab spot to pick up interesting fruits like gac.

Travel tip: If you don’t have time for a day trip to the floating markets, there are a handful on the city outskirts, for example, Taling Chan Floating Market, Bangnoi Floating Market and Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market.

Travel time: Damnoen Saduak -1h25mins; Tha Kha -1h15; Amphawa -1h19min; Bang Nam Phueng – 39 minutes

Hot tip: For those seeking a well-rounded journey through Bangkok’s iconic landmarks, our 3 Days Bangkok Itinerary is your go-to resource.

6 – Transport yourselves to Sri Lanka at Wat Saman Rattanaram

Wat Saman Rattanaram day trips from Bangkok

What’s that bright pink statue blazing above the Bang Pakong River? Why it’s Wat Saman Rattanaram’s 22-meter-long Ganesha statue, of course!

An idyllic location for temple-sightseeing fans; it feels like you’re somewhere in Sri Lanka or India instead of Thailand.

Constructed on a tiny island along the river, the temple complex is a fascinating celebration of multiple religions. However, it mainly focuses on highlighting various Hindu deities.

The reclining pink Ganesha (the deity of authors, scribes and intellectuals and the god of new beginnings) holding a lotus flower in one hand draws in crowds.

A beautifully massive depiction of Brahma (the Hindu god of creation) poses gently, and there are two red and green nagas perched on the riverbank.

Around the complex are more reliefs, sculptures and statues of Ganesha in various shapes and forms, and every corner is decorated with vibrant religious artworks.

Feeling peckish? There’s a local food market selling typical Thai street foods and drinks like fresh coconut water.

Don’t be surprised to hear locals chanting mantras around the Hindu god, and if you’re keen to join in, the phrase “Om Gan Ganpataye Namah” is one example.

Travel time: 1.5 hours

Travel tip: Nakhon Nayok (see #8) is an hour onward from here, so make a day of them both. 

7 – Play a round of golf, chill on the beach & go wine-tasting in Hua Hin

Hua Hin, Thailand

Did you know that Thailand has its very “Riviera,” inspired by places like France and Italy?

Nicknamed by locals as the “Santorini of Thailand,” Hua Hin is a unique destination where blue bays greet you, and most things to do are centered around the ocean — except it doesn’t have that typical Thai island vibe.

The beaches here are great for families, with shallow, calm waters. Build sandcastles, snorkel along the shoreline or catch up on some reading time beneath swaying palm trees.

Hua Hin Beach is the most popular, Suan Son Pradipat Beach is on the south-side and Khao Takiab Beach is overlooked by a glistening Buddha.

But the coastline isn’t the only attraction! Work on your backswing at Black Mountain Golf Club (voted Thailand’s best golf course); get involved in an art workshop at Baan Sillapin Hua Hin Artist Village; learn a new outdoor sport at Black Mountain Wake Park; or make a splash on the rides and slides at Vana Nava Water Jungle!

Any wine connoisseurs in the house? See what Thailand’s bottles are all about at either Monsoon Valley Vineyard or Hua Hin Hills Vineyard.

Located between Phetchaburi and Chumphon, about an hour’s drive from Hua Hin is the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, home to the mystical Phraya Nakhon Cave.

Travel time: 2h50mins

Staying overnight in Hua Hin? Check out the best day trips and tours from Hua Hin!

8 – Walk among towering bamboo and play in waterfalls in Nakhon Nayok

Nakhon Nayok day trips from Bangkok

Welcome to the town of the extraordinaire, where getting a fish pedicure while eating a bowl of noodles on the riverside is totally normal!

Are we in Kyoto or Nakhon Nayok? Wat Chulabhorn Wanaram temple’s bamboo grove will have you thinking otherwise! No need to travel to Japan here …

Home to the majestic nine-tier Sarika Waterfall (Namtok Sarika), cool off in its natural pools positioned at varying levels of the cascade. Another waterfall that’s close by is Wang Takrai Waterfall.

A haven for outdoor activities, get your adrenaline going when cruising down river rafting rapids or tearing up the mud through the jungle on an ATV.

Or, if you prefer the more mellow side of life, hit up one of the nature trails or spend the afternoon drinking green tea at a riverside cafe.

On the cultural and historical front, check out the Royal Military Academy Museum with its golf course, archery activities and parachuting drills; the Khmer Ban Dong Lakhon Archeological Site; and the Wat Tham Sarika (วัดถ้ำสาริกา) temple built inside of a cave!

P.S. Don’t leave this destination without trying its famed mango plums known as ‘maprang.’

Travel time: 1h54mins

9 – Great for sightseeing temples, join life in the slow lane in Ratchaburi

Ratchaburi day trips from Bangkok

Masses of tourists head for Ratchaburi on the daily when visiting its world-famous Floating Market, but there’s a lot more to the province than its iconic shopping waterway.

With the Mekong flowing through parts of the town, it has a traditional-rural feel to it. It’s the perfect introduction to quintessential Thai country-life living.

It’s the type of destination to tickle your cultural fancies, whether talking natural or artificial! Bordering Myanmar, there are especially loads of religious monuments.

Uncover a Buddha statue inside of a cave at Khao Ngu Stone Park; investigate Wat Mahathat Worawihan (enshrining Buddha relics) and marvel at the silver temple known as Wat Pho Rattanaram (also called Wat Poe Khu).

Watch a traditional puppet show at Wat Khanon Nang Yai Museum.

Try something different and rejuvenate tired muscles at Bo Khlueng Hot Stream (ธารน้ำร้อนบ่อคลึง), where waters reach up to 60 degrees Celsius, and on the way here is the multi-tiered Khao Chon Waterfall (น้ำตกเก้าชั้น).

Fun fact: Ratchaburi is famous for its ceramic dragon jars with engravings of fiery scenes. Visit Ong Ritsilp Factory (โรงโอ่งฤทธิ์ศิลป์) or create your own with เรื่องของโอ่ง Pottery Legend.

Travel time: 1h49mins

10 – Craving a bit of TLSea? Hit up the beaches in Pattaya

Pattaya, Thailand

A destination favored by locals for a weekend oceanic getaway, there’s loads of things to do in Pattaya. Work on your tan at Pattaya or Jomtien Beach, feast on seafood or go snorkeling in less than 2.5 hours!

Part of the Chonburi Province, it straddles the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Catch a short boat ride over to pristine Koh Larn Island (also known as Coral Island) for a playground of watersports and activities.  

It’s a perfect amalgamation of things to do, catering to all types of travelers’ needs, whether you’re on a family vacay, a romantic trip for two, or even solo adventures.

Plus, there are so many themed playgrounds both outdoors and inside it’s hard to choose: Ramayana Water Park, Mini Siam, Harbor Land Pattaya and Legend Siam.

Kids especially love the Underwater World Pattaya aquarium, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and Pattaya Sheep Farm.

Get your thrills on bungee jumping 240 meters from the top of the Pattaya Park Tower, or go ziplining instead at Tarzan Adventure Pattaya.

Take some time out among the botanicals at the stunning 202-hectare Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, and make sure to keep time for the mesmerizing Sanctuary of Truth!

Travel time: 2h12mins

11 – Walk among 116 monuments, from Thai junk boats to mystical Mount Meru at Ancient City (Muang Boran)

Ancient City day trips from Bangkok

If you aren’t able to visit some sites on your Thailand Bucket List during this vacation (or you weren’t born in the right century), not to fear when the Ancient City is near!

Established in 1963 (and opening to the public in 1971), this open-air museum is incredible, and it truly feels as if you’re traveling through multiple worlds, eras, cities and islands.

Divided into various zones that span different periods, it houses replicas of important temples, palaces, and sculptures and displays actual remains and real artifacts from some of the destinations (now kept here for safekeeping and preservation).

Witness the best of Lanna architecture in the ‘Northern Region’ zone (where places like Chiang Mai are situated). The ‘Northeastern Region’ zone (known as Isaan) is jam-packed with cultural and religious monuments!

Honing in on Thai civilization chronicling the Ayutthaya history, the ‘Central Region’ features buildings and landmarks from the Siam Kingdom. The ‘Southern Region’ showcases the different religions and cultures hailing from Thailand’s tropical areas.

The Suvarnabhumi zone (meaning “Golden Land”) celebrates ancient myths, folklore and ideologies, and it’s a fascinating part of the park!

Travel time: 57 minutes

12 – Discover a pottery island: Ko Kret

Ko Kret day trips from Bangkok

From a former shipping canal created during the Ayutthaya era to a manmade island perfect for temple-hopping, history buffs and interesting cultural workshops, Ko Kret is right around the corner.

Thanks to its proximity to Bangkok, there’s no need to rush through the day. Join an authentic coffee-making workshop, or visit the Pa Tum Pottery Factory.

On that note, the island is famous for producing Thai-style pottery, with many shops selling all sorts of handmade glazed ceramics.

Young Thais love this artificial islet, arriving just to snap pics at its uber-pretty cafes.

Lounge over the water on nets at Rongsi Studio (with plenty photo ops), enjoy a traditional tea set at Homm TeaHouse and feast on classic Thai dishes next to the river at Yok Yen Kuen Bok restaurant.

The main temple you see here is known as the Phra Chedi Mutao, modeled in the Mon-style. There are quite a few Mon-related sites around the island (like Wat Poramai Yikawat temple and museum), as most of the community are descendants of the Mon hill tribe.

Travel time: 30 minutes

13 – Meet aliens and take a peek inside a Giant’s House at Dream World (in the Thanyaburi district)

Dream World day trips from Bangkok

Insane photo spots featuring fairytale scenes and buildings from around the globe … Grand shows and parades … And fantabulous rides on land and slides through water, the hours easily slip away at Dream World amusement park.

Ride the cable car across nearly half the park and sweep in the bird-eye views, or enjoy a scenic train ride instead!

Snap pics in front of the Seven Wonders of The World (in down-sized versions), get lost in a world of fantasy movies inside Photopia, find Cupid inside the Love Garden and let your imaginations run wild in the Crazy Zone.

Discover attractions for all ages: hold onto your stomachs on Tornado, fly on the Sky Coaster, float along the Grand Canyon, escape ghosts inside the Haunted Mansion, and try to survive on the Vikings ship.

Test your driving skills on the Go Kart track and build snowmen at Snow Town (where temperatures are below -10 degrees Celsius!).

Skip the lines and get your Dream World tickets here! 

Travel time: 42 minutes

Hot tip: Check out theme parks in Bangkok

14 – Cruise around Koh Larn island in a glass-bottom kayak and snorkel

Koh Larn day trips from Bangkok

It’s time to get your snorkel on (yup, you did read that correctly) in Koh Larn, otherwise known as Coral Island, but also spelled Ko Lan.

Before getting your hopes up, for the best snorkeling, skip the beaches and explore the ocean around Koh Larn during a snorkel boat tour.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun in the sun down on its shores!

  • Tien Beach is sought-after for its calm aqua-blue water.
  • Go parasailing at Tawaen Beach.
  • Nual Beach is great for families.
  • Ta Yai Beach, nestled on the north side, is the smallest and quietest, away from the crowds.
  • Tong Lang gets busy but not as much as Koh Larn’s main beach, Samae Beach.

Get your fix of watersports from sea kayaking to SUPing, parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat rides, canoeing, sea walking and fishing! Let’s not forget the fresh seafood restaurant options! Yum!

One of the easiest ways to enjoy this little slice of heaven is with scheduled day trips to Coral Island and Pattaya. To get to Koh Larn, travel from Bangkok to Pattaya and catch a 45-minute ferry to the island.

Travel time: 2.5 hours

15 – Arrive in the middle of a market by train at Maeklong Railway Market (Hoop Rom Market)

Maeklong Railway market day trips from Bangkok

How many times have you gone shopping alongside a running train track in the midst of mountains?

Unless you’ve traveled to Hanoi before (minus the hills), the Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most unique day trips from Bangkok!

The atmosphere is electric, and the mix of people or the approaching train is chaotic in the best way possible.

Makeshift tables spill over with goods; vendors offer the freshest produce on floor fabrics; permanent stores sell souvenirs, and bright Thai handicrafts hang from tin roofs.

Arriving here by the train that runs through the market is unparalleled, disembarking in the business of it all! Your windows are so close to the shoppers and sellers; it’s pretty insane!

(Catch the train from Wongwian Yai Station in Bangkok.)

Shop for second-hand and new books, jewelry, trinkets, hippy clothes, elephant pants and strings of lucky birds. Cafes sell coffee from window counters, and it’s an epic destination for street food!

The real trick is trying to photograph the perfect shot without a million hands in front of you after the same thing — good luck!

Travel time: 1h8mins

Read more: Best Bangkok tours

16 – Stand in awe over the pink dragon spiral temple in Nakhon Pathom

Dragon Tower Temple, Nakhon Pathom day trips from Bangkok

Ever heard of the famous “bamboo tattoo temple?” Or perhaps you’ve seen that image of a gigantic naga dragon circling the entirety of a pastel pink tower, ahem, we mean, temple?

Welcome to weird and wonderful Nakhon Pathom, a perfect combination of age-old Thai culture and history, mixed in with some odd modern additions.

Get a new spiritual chop at the Wat Bang Phra where Buddhist monks bamboo poke the tattoos themselves (and the design is specifically chosen for you).

Dating as far back as the third century, explore the world’s largest and oldest chedi at Phra Pathom Chedi. Discover how royalty once lived at the restored Sanam Chandra Palace (built between 1902 and 1911). There are five buildings to investigate, as well as a Ganesha shrine.

Got an affinity for vintage automobiles and planes? Visit the Jesada Technik Museum! Or, say hello to (a replica of) Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk at Hangar Cafe!

Sit front row for a cultural show at Sampran Riverside and learn more on the ethnology of Thailand (in wax form) at the Thai Human Imagery Museum.

Boat ride through lotus ponds and shop the Wat Lampaya Floating Market (Nakhon Pathom Floating Market).

Travel time: 53 minutes

17- Go whale watching and see other natural phenomena in Phetchaburi

Phetchaburi day trips from Bangkok

Fun fact: Bryde’s whales are one of the more uncommon whale species to see out and about. However, in places such as South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil … and the Gulf of Thailand, these extraordinary creatures are often spotted gliding underwater or breaching mid-air if you’re lucky!

Positioned on the north of the Malay Peninsula, with the Gulf of Thailand to the east, the Phetchaburi province is one of the few places for a whale-watching excursion!

Apart from the once-in-a-lifetime experience, other things to do in Phetchaburi are a perfect amalgamation of mountains and the ocean.

Sticking to Mother Nature’s finest, deep dive into the heart of Thailand’s biggest national park: Kaeng Krachan National Park!

Boasting rich biodiversity, there are plenty of stunning hikes inside the UNESCO-listed rainforest, and it forms part of the Tenasserim Range. Hunt down Pala-U Waterfall and head to the top of Panoenthung Scenic Point for breathtaking views!

Not far from the park is the mesmerizing Tham Khao Luang cave, where streaks of sunlight through its ceiling draw in influencers!

Learn about salt production at the Petchaburi Salt Farms, or get salty at the beaches, ending the day with a mouth-watering seafood lunch.

Travel time. 2.5 hours

18 – Mentioned by Marco Polo, history buffs fall in love with Lopburi

Lopburi day trips from Bangkok

A landscape of ancient ruins, you can spend hours walking around Lopburi town, where relics and remnants are scattered in between houses, alleys and roadsides, and its most famous residents are … monkeys!

Well, that’s typically the case at Phra Prang Sam Yot (also called Phra Prang Sam Yod), where local crab-eating macaque monkeys live around the temple grounds.

Considered one of the most notable spiritual sites around, it’s usually included in temple-hopping day trips or with Ayutthaya.

This 13th-century sanctuary forms part of the Lopburi Heritage Walk, along with 12th-century Khmer-rooted Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (once the main temple in Lopburi) and King Narai’s Palace i.e. Phra Narai Ratchaniwet (ruler during the Ayutthaya period).

Other fascinating ruins that make up the walk are what’s left of Ban Wichayen (Wichayen House) — the former residence of a foreign diplomat circa the 17th century — and Wat Sao Paulo (Church of St. Paul).

With historic sites and complexes aside, get your whimsical on running between giant sunflowers! There are three places where the brightly-colored sunshine florals grow, blooming between November and February.

Travel time: 2h45mins

19 – Visit the animal farms in family-friendly Suan Phueng

Suan Phueng day trips from Bangkok

Are you vacationing in Bangkok with the little ones? A wonderful destination for families; visit an alpaca farm, a Swiss-themed rendition and a waterpark in Suan Phueng!

Meet the fluffy mammals in person at Alpaca Hill, as well as ducks, prairie dogs and flamingos; pet the sheep at Swiss Valley with extra activities like pony rides, archery and mini golf available; and make waves at The Resort Water Park.

Dine in the middle of a stream, go on wagon rides, feed the animals and join a pottery lesson at The Scenery Vintage Farm.

Spot swans swimming gracefully by at Veneto Suanphueng (เวเนโต้ สวนผึ้ง), drive an automobile peddle boat on the lake, trick your eye at the 4D gallery and hang out with the animals at its petting zoo.

A former mine has been converted into the Khao Ngu Stone Park. Sail between the rock formations or meander along a snake-shaped boardwalk built across the lake.

Get crafty at a candle-making factory doubling as a cafe (Baan Hom Tien) — and on that note, in the country for unusually-themed eateries, feel like you’re in Chile at Moai Coffee with its Polynesian monolithic statues (known as moai).

Travel time: 2h33mins

20 – Go on a Michelin food hunting expedition in Nonthaburi

Nonthaburi day trips from Bangkok
credit to Dhabkwan

Just a short half-hour drive from Bangkok, arrive in Nonthaburi for the authentic food and culture! (Plus, it’s literally around the corner from the city, but it feels worlds away).

Serving up plates of classic Royal Thai food (the term for cuisine from Central Thailand), one-Michelin-star Suan Thip is set around a pond in the middle of riverside gardens (open from 11 AM to 9 PM).

More options with the Michelin seal of approval in Nonthaburi include Dhabkwan (in a teak teahouse), Kaeng Pa (Loong Sa-Nga) for Thai curry fans, Banya (translating to ‘grandmother’s house, it’s all about home cooking), Chai Phochana for seafood, and third-generation run Pae Bronze Pot Porridge 38 Years.

Treat yourself to pancakes (with a view) in a jungle of tropical banana trees at Bananoffee Cafe. If you’re in Nonthaburi in the late afternoon, stay for the quirky Owl Market.

Add the Museum of Nonthaburi (พิพิธภัณฑ์จังหวัดนนทบุรี), Wat Chomphuwek and Wat Sangkhathan Buddhist temples and the Tooney Toy Museum to your sightseeing lists for this city!

Travel time: 30 minutes

Travel tip: Enjoy a longtail boat tour to Thonburi and Thonburi along Bangkok’s canals  

21 – See the Grand Canyon of Thailand in Chonburi

Chonburi day trips from Bangkok

From zipline adventures to wine-tasting expeditions, stone quarries and glistening beaches, Chonburi is perfect for a day outdoors!

Many locals favor Pattaya, but Chonburi is, in fact, the closest seaside town to the Thai capital!

Situated south of Bangkok, it’s part of the Gulf of Thailand on the eastern side, and with a 45-minute drive from its city center, reach the coastline. From here, boat across to islands like Koh Sichang and Coral Island.

Or, stay closer to the shoreline at its beaches, like Bang Saen Beach.

Chon Buri’s Snow Mountain is dubbed the “Grand Canyon,” and another unique tourist attraction in the area is Thailand’s most extensive butterfly garden, Saithip Butterfly Garden (which has a Bee Museum and Orchid Farm, too).

If you consider yourself a foodie, the Nong Mon Market is a must! Not anything fancy and very local vibes, it’s a treasure trove of quintessential traditional street foods, like sticky rice served in bamboo shoots, dried fish snacks, Thai arabica coffee and deep-fried seafood dim sum.

Travel time: 1h50mins

22 – Meet the country’s biggest Buddha at Ang Thong

Ang Thong day trips from Bangkok

Mark off how many golden Buddha statues you can see around Ang Thong, from reclining figurines to sitting giants!

One of the main reasons why masses of tourists flock to the “gold basin” is to catch sight of Thailand’s largest Buddha statue, 92 meters tall, located inside Wat Muang temple.

But it’s not the only Siddhartha in town … Wat Khun Inthapramun houses the longest Buddha statue in Thailand: the 50-meter-long reclining Buddha. At Wat Siroi, you’ll see a massive statue of Buddha in a seated position.

Sang Kra Tai Temple (now engulfed by vines) and Wat Thanon are two extra sites worth exploring.

Luring in travelers with its cultural facets, why not partake in a traditional Thai workshop?

Learn the art of bamboo-basket weaving at Bang Chao Cha Community, make your own percussion instrument at the Tambon Ekkarat Drum-Making Village and get accustomed to handcrafted Thai-style colorful clay dolls at Ban Bang Sadet Court Doll Center.

Travel time: 1h52mins

23 – Hang out in the sun on Koh Samet, a gorgeous uncrowded island oasis

Koh Samet day trips from Bangkok

To reach the closest island to Bangkok remotely resembling your classic ‘deserted-away-from-the-world-Thai-jungle-vibes,’ all you need to do is travel to Rayong (about two hours away), then catch a 30-minute ferry over Koh Samet!

(Regular Thailand travelers, you’ll catch our drift!)

Sitting in the Gulf of Thailand on the eastern side, Koh Samet surprisingly isn’t on everyone’s radar, but that means it’s retained a relaxing atmosphere and is a superb option for a family beach outing in heaven.


  • Ao Wong Duan (Duean) Beach, also called Full Moon Beach
  • Ao Prao Beach
  • Ao Pakarang Beach
  • Ao Hin Khok Beach
  • Haad Sai Kaew – Diamond Beach

If you’ve always dreamed of riding a scooter, Koh Samet is the perfect place to cruise around on a moped or join a scooter tour.

Enjoy a beach massage, feel the thrill of jet skiing or try something new like parasailing!

Travel time: 3 hours

Where to next?

Thanks to Bangkok’s central positioning, it’s easy to explore the rest of Thailand from here! But some of its not-to-miss destinations are located a little further away than what’s convenient for a day trip.

If you’ve opted to make Bangkok basecamp for your vacay in the Land of Smiles, but are keen on a weekend away or a two-day trip close enough (without an entire day on the road/sea), check out these other incredible places to visit in Thailand.

Wake up on the edge of a mountain, drinking your morning coffee with your head in a sea of floating clouds in Khao Kho (5.5 to 6 hours away from Bangkok). The temperatures are fresh year-long, and its unique dining options with jaw-dropping settings make this paradise a must!

Nothing like a typical southern Thai isle, eastern Koh Chang has its own unique allure. Expect deep-green jungle surroundings (the towns in between) and wild coastlines with plenty of hippy vibes! With car and ferry rides, it takes about six hours to reach from Bangkok.

If there’s one other place you have to experience that’s not Bangkok or Phuket, it’s gotta be Chiang Mai! Catch a direct one-hour flight from the capital here (or drive nine). Check out the things to do in Chiang Mai, and feel as if you’ve discovered another side of Thailand altogether in this green oasis!

Final thoughts

Year after year, Thailand’s capital clocks in the Top 3 of the World’s Most Visited Cities — it’s no shock, with such an outpouring of things to do in Bangkok!

Just as much as there is to explore within its perimeters, there’s just as much magic to uncover outside of the city, as you can see with these best day trips from Bangkok! For your next vacation, consider one of these epic daytime adventures #leavenoregrets.

Have you visited this part of Thailand before? What are some of your favorite Bangkok memories? Share with us in the comments; we love hearing from you, dear reader (said in Julie Andrews voice).

As always, happy travels in the Land of Smiles!

“I live to travel, and travel to live.” With gypsy blood running through her veins, Shannon is a freelance travel writer who has lived on five continents and counting, and is endlessly inspired by new cultures, countries and landscapes. Inscribing words onto paper, since she could talk, she lives and breathes delicious words and stories. Hailing from sunny South Africa, she has an affinity for Southeast Asia and all things spiritual, and is also a qualified Reiki practitioner. When not with her head buried in storytelling (or books) or watching sunrises in new lands, you’ll find her in the kitchen or with a paintbrush in hand. Shannon has written for major travel publications such as TripCanvas.