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Why These 3 Cities Are The Most Visited Destinations In Thailand Right Now

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Reports are in and the numbers don't lie. Thailand is one of the most popular places on the planet and rightfully so.

Think about it – have you ever come across someone who had a bad time wandering around one of the most immensely cultural destinations not only in Asia, but the world?

female tourist at palace in bangkok

Most international trips were off-limits just a few years ago and travelers have made up for lost time, especially in Thailand.

Coast to coast, town to town, and island to island, there are so many wondrous places to explore in this fascinating country.

But, there are a select few that crack the top 15 worldwide as the most popular international destinations.

Here is why these 3 cities are the most visited destinations in Thailand right now:

3) Pattaya

aerial view of pattaya thailand

With just under 9.5 million foreign visitors in 2023, the coastal city of Pattaya cracks the top 3 most popular destinations in Thailand.

Although not typically a household name for Asian cities, Pattaya is full of surprises that millions of tourists have discovered.

This former fishing village has transformed into a delightful beach getaway now lined with luxe resorts at dirt-cheap prices.

Compared to Americans' typical favorites, such as Los Cabos, you may feel like you're thrift shopping with the low resort rates here, as many top-notch resorts are under $100 per night.

crowded street at night in pattaya

Beyond the resorts are ample ways to spend your days, such as guided tours of nearby islands, unforgettable elephant sanctuaries, nice beaches, and Thailand's quintessential floating markets – an absolute must, especially for first-timers.

Pattaya does have its own airport, but it's more common to reach from the gargantuan city of Bangkok, just a couple of hours away.

However, there is no need to stay in Bangkok for those with Pattaya in their plans as this relatively laid-back by day comes alive at night.

2) Phuket

temple in phuket

To no surprise, Thailand's iconic beach destination is one of the most popular places to visit. With just under 10 million visitors making their way to some of the country's most prized beaches, Phuket is truly a sight to behold.

Not to bore you like your high school geography teacher, but Phuket is not only a gorgeous island but also a city.

Obviously, it's not only the city worth exploring but the region in its entirety. Otherworldly landscapes abound and may make you feel as if you're in the next Avatar film.

female in bikini on phuket beach

The island is a mix of sun, sand, rainforest, and sea to enjoy nature by day and becomes party central in the city when the sun goes down.

There is something for everyone who visits Phuket, whether it's cultural museums and sites, such as the beautiful temples to peruse or stunning islands to explore with amazing unspoiled beaches.

Foodies can't go wrong anywhere in Thailand, but your meals in Phuket may be one of the highlights of your entire Thailand itinerary.

1) Bangkok

Bangkok more than doubles any other city in Thailand when it comes to foreign tourist numbers. Well over 22 million visitors had a blast in Bangkok last year.

tuk tuk in chinatown bangkok

While The Hangover sequel didn't quite pan out, a real-life version probably wouldn't either, so let's not get any bright ideas here.

But that doesn't mean this one-of-a-kind metropolis can't be a memorable trip with so many awesome sites to see and experiences to have.

The Capital of Thailand is an adventurous traveler's dream for a never-ending playground of food, history, architecture, and incomparable nightlife.

The Chinatown District alone is a never-ending maze of chaos that will fulfill any traveler's sense of wanderlust.

floating market near bangkok

Bangkok can be an excellent stepping stone for newbies to Asia with plentiful sites and ease of navigating or perfectly suited for a well-seasoned traveler on their umpteenth go-around.

There are many ‘musts' to check off in this city, but surely riding a tuk-tuk, wandering local floating and night markets, temple hopping, and trying street food are good starts.

To top it off, Bangkok is notoriously cheap. After airfare, your travel budget tends to stretch much further here, whether it be luxury hotels, Airbnb, or simply getting around the city.

Hence why it's one of digital nomads' favorite stomping grounds.

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