Central Thailand is the country’s central plains region and is the cultural hinterland and rice bowl of Thailand, filled with a colourful history. The flowing Chao Phraya River and its fertile central plains once irrigated ancient kingdoms, and supported frontiers throughout World War II. Its rice crops still feed the nation and the central plains give rise to the natural beauty of several sites established in the national park system. There are a huge variety of day trips you can take from Bangkok. You will never be short of things to do.
Tourist attractions in Bangkok are focused on temples, shopping and markets, street food and nightlife. Bangkok’s street life is lively with something always happening somewhere. One night in Bangkok is not enough to take in the exotic anthropology of this oriental city.
What to do in central Thailand beyond Bangkok? For an authentic Thai shopping experience, visit the famous weekend Amphawa Floating Market. About 50 km from Bangkok, this vibrant trade market operates on the Mae Khlong River canal network. Have fun bartering with local vendors directly from their long-tail wooden boats for handicrafts, fresh seafood, vegetables, and lots more.
Visitors will be amazed by the rich ancient history to be discovered in the 13th century Ayutthaya world heritage site and 11th century Lopburi with its Khmer influences, which can be easily reached from Bangkok.
Moving forward to the 20th century, travellers can retrace the steps of POWs in the infamous labour camps of WWII in Kanchanaburi with the “Bridge over the River Kwai” Death bridge, World War II museums and cemeteries.
The national park system has several parks with cascading waterfalls and abundant native flora and fauna. Make time to visit Sai Yok and Erawan National Parks along with Khao Laem Lake.
Nakhon Pathom is considered to be the oldest city in Thailand with the nation’s largest pagoda and stupa that were built in 1853 during the reign of King Rama IV. Nonthaburi is the second largest city of Thailand, on the outskirts of Bangkok and Petchaburi is another city best known for Khao Wang mountain and its access to national parks.
If beaches are what you’re looking for, the coastal towns of laidback Hua Hin or the action-packed Pattaya with its crazy nightlife are your best options.
There are also a few monuments and sites in this central region that you can see for free or at a very low cost.