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13 Best Thailand Tours & Bookable Experiences

13 Best Thailand Tours & Bookable Experiences

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

From epic trips to the white-sand beaches of Koh Samui to the exhilarating floating market in Bangkok, here are my recommended tours to book in Thailand this year.

I’ll never forget the first time I landed in Thailand to train Muay Thai in Bangkok and was blown away by the endless possibilities for epic adventure travel.

Since then, I’ve come back to Thailand over five times traveling independently and jumping on dozens of tours, from island day trips in Krabi to spicy street food tours in Chiang Mai. In my opinion, booking tours and experiences is one of the best ways to travel in Thailand since they are affordable and generally very high quality compared to other regions of South East Asia.

In this epic Thailand travel guide, I’ll list the top 13 tours in the entire country. I’ve handpicked many day trips across Thailand, as well as some epic multi-day trips covering a few regions.

An infographic list of the best tours in thailand.
A useful map showing the must-visit places in Thailand.

13 Best Tours in Thailand You Can Book Today

I've spent several months exploring different regions of Thailand, from the northern jungles of Chiang Mai to the tropical southern islands in Krabi.

After all this time, here are my top 13 favorite tours in Thailand based on my experience, traveler reviews, and inclusions.

If you're in a rush, below are my three favorites but read on for the full list!

Phi phi island tours 1 2 1

1. Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour

Spend less time in transit & more time snorkeling among coral gardens and lazing on white sand beaches at the incredible Phi Phi Islands. Visits Maya Bay, Lohsamah, and Monkey Bay.

Wat rong khun tour

2. Chiang Rai Temples Group Tour

A day full of exploration of the incredible nearby Chiang Rai and its mindblowing temples. You'll want to have your camera here!

Damnoen saduak market and maeklong railway market

3. Damnoen Saduak Market & Maeklong Railway Market

Float around the incredible Damnoen Saduak Market tasting delicious Thai treats while taking in the unique surroundings. Get the camera ready at the Maeklong Railway Market.

1. From Krabi: Phi Phi Islands Speedboat Day Tour - My Favorite Boat Tour

If exploring the Phi Phi Islands is on your mind, this Phi Phi Islands tour from Krabi is an ideal option.

Out of the full-day tours of Phi Phi Islands that I've come across, this one has to be the most complete. This 7-and-a-half hour tour not only includes classic destinations such as Maya Bay and Bamboo Island, but also the incredible Pileh Lagoon.

The fact that you also get to visit Phi Phi Don, Monkey Bay, and Viking Bay all on the same tour is pretty mind-blowing. It is a solid option for the adventurers out there, and it certainly ticks all the boxes in a very short space of time.

If these popular Phi Phi Island locations aren't enough to float your boat, this tour has some other impressive options. After finishing your morning at Phi Phi Don, you will be treated to a free buffet lunch which is provided by the tour company.

This serves delicious buffet Thai food at a hotel restaurant, so you can be assured that it is going to be tasty.

You can't go wrong with this Phi Phi Islands tour, and it is one of my favorite tours in Southern Thailand.

Phi phi island tours 1 2 1

2. From Krabi: Hong Islands Day Trip by Speedboat

Hong Islands is one of the most stunning destinations in Southern Thailand, due to its breathtaking views and picturesque beaches.

Stunning limestone cliffs can be seen from every direction, but this isn't the only positive. In my opinion, one of the best beaches in Thailand is on Hong Island, which makes it even more incredible to visit.

This tour features a visit to Hong Island and multiple other hidden island gems nearby. It isn't typically possible to visit these islands without a tour, so you are guaranteed to be in for a treat.

In addition to this, you can book a kayaking session while on the island. Alternatively, you can do what I did and climb to the top of the 360 viewpoint. Once at the top, it offers magical views across the surrounding islands.

When comparing to the Phi Phi Island tour above, I found that the Hong Islands have slightly healthier marine life. However, the water is much greener and when snorkeling in the Phi Phi Islands, I found the water was significantly clearer.

This is perfect for the explorers out there!

Hong island tour by speedboat

3. From Krabi: Emerald Pool, Blue Pool, & Tiger Cave Temple Tour

Your vacation to Krabi deserves a day trip to the Emerald Pool and the Tiger Cave Temple.

These are both some of the most popular tourist destinations in Krabi, so it would be a shame to miss them. This one can get popular, but luckily the tour leaves quite early. I spoke to our tour guide and he mentioned that they do this because the best time to visit is during the early morning when the site opens to avoid crowds.

This day tour cuts right to the chase with the Emerald Pool being the first stop on the list. You are allowed to swim inside this pool, and there isn't a much better way to experience its cleansing waters.

After finishing your dip in the Emerald Pool, it is time to stop for some local Thai cuisine at a restaurant. Once you have finished eating, you will journey to both relaxing hot springs and the Tiger Cave Temple.

An additional benefit of taking this tour is that it is with a small group. I found this beneficial when I was on this tour as we didn't spend a lot of time waiting for people.

Emerald blue pool in krabi

4. From Railay: Beginner's Half-Day Rock Climbing Tour

Have you ever tried rock climbing before? Better yet, have you ever tried rock climbing in Thailand before?

What makes this tour unique is the fact that you can climb directly on the cliffs of Railay Beach. This is one of Thailand's insanely pristine beaches known for its fascinating limestone caves and turquoise waters.

The cliffs at Railay Beach are both high and naturally perfect for rock climbing.

Of course, this can mean a lot of fun with the right safety precautions, and this tour comes with an expert instructor who will guide you every step of the way. The fact that the tour consists of a small group also helps with the safety element.

Personal attention is vital when climbing, and this tour provides that and much more. It includes free climbing safety gear, bottled water, and hotel pickup and drop-off.

If you are a fan of sports and aren't afraid of heights, this is bound to be a highlight of your trip to Thailand!

Rock climbing at railay beach, thailand

5. From Phuket: Maya, Phi Phi, and Bamboo Island

This speedboat tour covers a large number of destinations like the one I mentioned at the beginning. However, this one is from Phuket and not Krabi.

What makes this one of the best tours in and of Thailand, is a fitting combination of locations all rolled into one with a buffet lunch included.

You can visit Pileh Lagoon, which is one of Southern Thailand's uninhabited national parks. In addition to this, Maya Bay is where a young Leonardo DiCaprio filmed The Beach in the year 2000. This has made the bay one of the most popular places in Thailand today!

The destinations are what make this tour epic, and for roughly 2,000 Thai Baht per person, it is worth the price.

Speed boats at pileh lagoon

6. From Koh Samui: Coral & Pig Island Small-Group Tour

It isn't often that you get to go to a tropical island filled with wild pigs!

Yes, that's right.

This island is known as Koh Madsum, and it features wild pigs who roam around its sands. Feel free to take a selfie with these pigs as you want, before heading to Koh Tean for lunch.

This tour offers some unique and interesting options.

Instead of taking the boat they typically provide, you can choose to do the tour in a luxurious long-tail boat. These are traditional in Thailand, and they will give you the full local experience while touring Thailand's tropical islands.

This is one of the best tours in Thailand for its uniqueness.

Coral & pig island longtail boat small-group tour, koh samui

7. From Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip

The culture of Thailand is what has made it the country it is today, and Ayutthaya is a staple piece of the country's local culture.

This is reflected in both its ancient Buddhist temples, and the ancient ruins they have left behind. Wat Phra Mahathat is the oldest temple in Ayutthaya and is a perfect example of how temples used to be in the old capital.

While on this tour, you will visit Ayutthaya Floating Market (which isn't actually a floating market), and three popular temples in Ayutthaya.

The tour covers the ancient city in great detail, it is unmissably one of the best tours in Thailand for temple exploration.

Ayutthaya & ayothaya floating market day trip

Top Tip: The wet season in this area runs from May through to October. This can make visiting the sites difficult due to flooding and heavy rain.

8. From Bangkok: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market

The city of Bangkok contains two extremely popular markets, and these are known as Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.

Not only are these both local markets with fascinating sights to see, but they bring a welcoming introduction to local culture.

You will start this tour by visiting the Maeklong Railway Market. This market is positioned directly next to the railway tracks in the area, which makes for some captivating sights. I made sure to keep my tour guide in sight however found myself drifting off in different directions snapping shots on my camera of people making and selling unique food dishes.

Next, you will visit the floating market known as Damnoen Saudak. Here, you will tour the floating market by boat, and feel free to purchase some of the goods offered by locals. However, I always ask my tour guides about the price that you should pay for such items before making any 'overpriced' deals on these tours.

This tour is one of those true culture trips making it one of the best tours in Thailand.

Damnoen saduak market and maeklong railway market

9. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Day Trip

There is a fair share of Northern Thailand day trips out there. However, you really can't go wrong with this one from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park.

This tour highlights Thailand's fascinating culture, reflected in visits to the Grand Pagoda Nabhapolbhumisiri, and the Doi Inthanon National Park.

What is probably the most stunning element of the tour is the trip to Sobhad Village. This village is in one of the more rural areas of Chiang Mai, featuring one of Thailand's special hill tribes, known as the Karen Tribe.

Here, you will learn more about the local community and have a real up close and personal experience with the locals. I was able to capture some great portrait shots showcasing the stretched necks of the Karen Tribe during this tour however in saying it is important to ask before photographing anyone in the village.

From chiang mai doi inthanon national park day trip

10. From Chiang Mai: Chiang Rai Temples

Chiang Rai is home to a phenomenal Buddhist Temple called Wat Rong Khun.

This amazing temple is known as an architectural masterpiece, and the delicate designs of its statues and exterior are beyond sacred. I must mention that it is important to dress modestly or bring a scarf to cover when visiting the temples throughout the day. I witnessed many tourists with shorts and t-shirts who then needed to pay extra to buy a sarong to cover themselves when I visited.

After seeing the white temple, it is time to journey to Wat Rong Suea Ten, also known as the Blue Temple which was built in 2016 and sits on 6 acres of land. Seeing this with your own eyes will put you into a state of amazement. Remember that wearing shoes within the Blue Temple is prohibited.

Alternatively, if you book this as a private tour you can choose to skip seeing the Blue Temple, you are able to see the Golden Triangle which borders Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. This is a pleasant alternative option for those interested, and it is a perfect place for those history lovers out there.

This is one of the best temple day tours you can do from Chiang Mai in my opinion as it is flexible to suit desired locations.

Wat rong khun tour

11. From Chiang Mai: Elephant Nature Park

Seeing elephants in Thailand is on everyone's Thai bucket list, especially those coming to Northern Thailand and Chiang Mai. However, it is important to find an ethical sanctuary that does not promote riding, touching, or tricks.

For this reason, I would say the trip to the Elephant Nature Park is a must when visiting Chiang Mai. These animals truly are gentle giants, and the team at the park does its best to give these elephants the best life possible after years of abuse or slavery.

While at the Elephant Sanctuary, you will get to learn about the elephants and their hardships and see the positive change they've undergone during their time at the park.

They'll be free-roaming so this allows for an up-close experience. Be on the lookout for Chaba a cheeky young female who loves to run around.

Location: Elephant Nature Park

Tip: Most of the elephants here have sight issues due to years of work under the sun or even abuse so it is important to never stand behind them.

Elephant throwing mud at elephant nature park in chiang mai.

Top Tip: Elephants have been an important part of Thailand's culture for thousands of years. In recent times tourism for riding elephants has risen, and with that comes cruelty. In irresponsible sanctuaries, elephants get whipped, picked, and even worse tortured for people to ride them. It is important to do your research before visiting any elephant parks in order to make an educated decision about which one to visit.

12. Chiang Mai Street Food Tour

The city of Chiang Mai is packed with food stalls at every turn. That is especially the case with their bustling night markets. The food found here is some of my favorite in the whole country, especially the creamy coconut Khao Soi.

You will start this food tour with a local guide who will take you to two separate local night markets. Both of these night markets contain mouthwatering and flavorful Thai dishes.

In my opinion, the best aspect of this tour is that it is a small group tour. This gives you a great opportunity to ask your guide as many questions as you want. It also gives you more time to move around and try different dishes without having to wait for a large group.

Overall, this is one of the best food tours in Chiang Mai and I highly recommend taking this if you want to immerse your tastebud in delicious Thai food.

My Favorite Multi-Day Tour

Have more time to explore Thailand? Want to meet other travelers and learn more about the beautiful Thai culture and important landmarks from a local guide?

Instead of booking day trips, why not plan your Thailand vacation with a multi-day tour? Below is my favorite currently as it's one of the most unique in the country.

13. From Chiang Mai: 11-Day Tuk Tuk Tour in Northern Thailand

Our best tours in Thailand list wouldn't quite be complete without this whacky tuk-tuk tour.

It is important to mention that this is much more expensive than the other options on this list. However, this tour covers a large portion of the entire area of Northern Thailand.

I haven't come across many day tours that include Pai as a destination, which is honestly a shame. Pai is essentially a mountain village surrounded by a gorgeous rainforest atmosphere and offers many things to do. I spent 2 weeks exploring Pai and I was in awe of what it had to offer. From breathtaking landscapes to epic waterfall adventures.

Along with all of the above, you'll visit Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son, and Doi Inthanon.

By booking this tour you're going to create some unforgettable memories!

11 day tuk tuk adventure around northern thailand

Things to Know About Booking Tours in Thailand

As a whole Thailand boasts some incredible and unique tours. This is due to its vast range of landscapes which sets it apart from other destinations in the world.

Thailand offers visitors an opportunity to explore tropical islands, picturesque views over mountainous landscapes, breathtaking temples situated in major cities, and floating markets boasting delicious traditional food.

Due to the vast differences in landscapes and wonders, it is, of course, necessary that the tours provided cater to a variety of different needs. There is a range of private and group tours throughout Thailand that are perfect for families, friends, and solo travelers.

Some even allow you to customize the locations for the day which I found to be a game changer in Chiang Mai as I was able to visit some lesser-known locations without needing to rent my own vehicle or motorbike.

While I do a lot of independent travel around the world, I must note that I often book tours, especially in Thailand as they provide a time-efficient and cost-effective way of seeing the best sites for an unbeatable price.

Walking the 1237 steps of the tiger cave temple in thailand

My Tour Selection Process

  • Tour Criteria: I prioritize tours that offer cultural immersion, visits to essential landmarks, and adventurous exploration opportunities throughout Thailand.
  • My Experience: After taking many tours and traveling around Thailand extensively I have hand-picked tours that offer the best value for your time & money.
  • Top Reviews: All tours on this list have earned a high customer rating of at least 4/5 stars on popular booking sites such as GetYourGuide & Viator. I have included the links to book each on the site with the best price.
  • Local Insights: After visiting Thailand multiple times over the past five years, I have worked with many local tour operators, learning local tips like optimal times to avoid crowds, hidden gems, & the best months to visit.

Read more about how I review & select tours & experiences.

Years Traveling
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler since 2018. Each tour in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

FAQs About Tours in Thailand

When is the best time to visit Thailand?

Although Northern Thailand and Southern Thailand are slightly different in terms of weather. I would personally say the best time to visit the country is from November until early April. During the dry season in the country, the average temperature can range from 20°C to 30°C. The benefit of coming during this time is that it is perfect for outdoor activities.

Are there any other tours in Thailand you would recommend?

I would say these tours cover a large portion of places to visit in Thailand. However, each location has many tour options available that would simply make this list too long. I've written blog posts based on tours in specific locations. These include Phi Phi Islands, Krabi, and Chiang Mai to help with selecting a tour that suits your needs.

What should I wear on a temple tour?

When visiting temples you should wear modest clothing which covers the shoulders and knees. A sarong or scarf can be used to cover up.

Do I need to book tours in advance?

Depending on the time of year that you're visiting it is recommended to book in order to secure a spot. During the busy season, tours sell out quickly.

Packing List for Your Thailand Adventures

We all know the feeling of forgetting something once you've already boarded the bus or boat on your day tour. Here's a handy image you can save of the essentials to pack for a day trip in Thailand.

Thailand tour packing list

Looking for a Place to Stay in Thailand?

I have a range of blog posts covering the best places to stay whilst visiting Thailand that you can check out below.

Railay beach west, thailand

Places to Stay in Thailand

If you're planning a trip to Thailand and need help with deciding the best places to stay– I have you covered.

Did you enjoy this guide on the best tours in Thailand? If you did, feel free to check out more of our tour guides covering the different areas in Thailand!

Pinterest pin to the best tours in thailand.
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.