Daytrips & Getaways
There is always plenty to do in Bangkok, but the size and noise and constant activity can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are plenty of accessible destinations for day or weekend trips for those who want to escape, not to mention longer excursions around the country and region.
Take advantage of several floating markets within an hour of the city centre. More information can be found here.
A bit further out of town is the former capital of Bangkok, the grand compound of Ayutthaya, now known as a sacred city and tourist site. The UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 1350 and is home to archeological ruins from the Thai and Khmer traditions that can be explored. Admire hundreds of pristinely-kept artifacts, Buddha statues, and preserved temples. Certain areas feel eerily abandoned, like they could have been recently used, while other spaces in disrepair are obviously only to be admired now. Most visitors from Bangkok take the daily bus (or car, if possible), which is less than 80 km away.
Some of the most popular getaways from Bangkok are beach-related. This is unsurprising, given that the beaches in the country are some of the best known in the world for fantastic views and crystal clear water.
Pattaya is known as a popular beach resort destination, only about two hours from Bangkok. Although it is known for its sex tourism, Pattaya is also a family-friendly destination for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing getaway. As for the beaches, there are miles of them, so no shortage whatsoever. Lined with hotels, it’s easy to find a room on booking sites such as Kayak.com or Booking.com. While the beach is the main attraction, some choose to explore the area, which is home to several temples and museums. There is even a vineyard in Pattaya, called Silverlake Winery Pattaya.
For those with a car, it is easy to get even a bit further away, though the following locations are still accessible by private bus or airplane. Koh Samui, and its slightly more low key neighbor Koh Samet attract thousands each year for beach lounging. Koh Samui is known for its party atmosphere, while Koh Samet is a bit more low key, particularly on one side of the island that is free of anything but hotels and beach.
Search on Kayak.com for a variety of low-cost carriers, which also make it possible to get to various further points in the country and region for a short getaway. In addition to Phuket, one of Thailand’s best known beaches, fares from Bangkok to various destinations in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and others, can be quite affordable.