10 Historical Places In Thailand - Updated 2024

| 4 min read
Aditi Roy
Endorsed by a Thailand Local Expert
Aditi Roy

The historical places in Thailand range from religious temples to monuments from its colonial past. Home to some of the most glorious cultural and historical sites in the world, Thailand has something for travelers looking to find a rewarding and memorable experience. Marvel at how religion— most notably Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and Hinduism— continue to influence the culture and traditions of Thailand. In fact, there are 26,000 Buddhist temples in this religious Southeast Asian nation. Apart from temples, there are many ruins, shrines, and historic architecture that you ought to explore. Read on for a list of historical places in Thailand that are bound to expand your horizons and bring you back in time.

1. Grand Palace (from USD 14.2)

This compact morning tour will take you to Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, which are Bangkok’s key attractions. Learn more about the history and significance of Grand Palace complex, Bangkok’s top cultural attraction. After which, you will head to Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand, where you can take a look at the Emerald Buddha. The tour is available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, and shopaholics can look forward to the complimentary Duty Privileges vouchers that can be used at King Power Rangnam once you have completed the tour!

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Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Half Day Walking Tour

Duration: 2hrs30 Min Duration

2. Death Railway (from USD 146.1)

historical places in thailand | death railway

This private tour is perfect for those looking to find out more about the Japanese Occupation of Thailand during World War II. Your first stop would be Kanchanaburi, established in the late 18th century by King Rama I, which served as a defensive outpost against attacks from Burma. Then, head towards the interactive Burmese Railway Museum, that presents the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway which was built in 1943. Next, pay your respects at the War Cemetery and visit the memorial built for 6,000 allied prisoners of war. Then, take a scenic train ride on the notorious Death Railway, constructed by prisoners of war during the Japanese Occupation. Have a lunch break at a restaurant before exploring the local community of Pak Preak. You also have the chance to meet a member of the underground V Organization from the days of Japanese occupation before traveling back to Bangkok.

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From Bangkok: Death Railway & River Kwai Bridge Private Tour

Duration: 8.0 hour

90 reviews

3. Phimai Historical Park

Phimai (III)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Supanut Arunoprayote used under CC BY 4.0

If you are headed to Phimai, you have to check out the famous Phimai Historical Park and its Khmer temples. One must-visit at this naturally fortified site would be the Mahayana Buddhist temple which dates back to the 8th century. The majority of the buildings were erected since the late 11th century by Khmer king Jayavarman VIamong, and they remain amongst the best-preserved ruins in Thailand. Known for its grandeur and intricate details, the carvings in Phimai Historical Park feature many Hindu deities and design elements.

Phimai Historical Park

Address: Ananthachinda Rd, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Phimai, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30110, Thailand

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 3.25 USD

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4. Phanom Rung

Phanom Rung Wikimedia Commons
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Benh LIEU SONG used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Check out Phanom Rung, a historical park in Buriram. The key archaeological attraction would be the Hindu Khmer Empire temple, which sits atop an extinct volcano just right above sea level. Feast your eyes on Khmer architecture, which features red stone and sandstone that date all the way back to the 15th century.

Phanom Rung

Address: Tambon Ta Pek, Amphoe Chaloem Phra Kiat, Buriram Province

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 3.25 USD

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5. Phu Phra Bat Historical Park

Phu Phra Bat is another historical park that you ought to check out which is located in Ban Phue District of the Udon Thani Province. The highlight of this park would be the unique rock formations. They are so sacred that religious shrines have been constructed around them, some of which also feature prehistoric paintings. You are likely to be able to witness monks carrying out their prayer rituals as well!

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park

Address: Mueang Phan, Ban Phue District, Udon Thani 41160, Thailand

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 3.25 USD

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6. Ayutthaya (from USD 45.65)

If you are looking for an educational tour about the rich history of Buddhism, you are in luck! This tour covers three of the most important temples in Ayutthaya, namely Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Lokayasutharam. Head over to Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and take a motorboat ride around the city while marveling at the ancient ruins and structures. Then, proceed to have a delicious lunch at Ayutthaya Floating Market and watch a cultural show before heading back with your newfound knowledge about Thailand!

Tip from tour guide

Ayutthaya Ayutthaya Ayutthaya

Some not-to-be-missed temples in Ayutthaya are Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon and Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan. Make a stop in either to see traditional Thai culture.

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Ayutthaya Day Trip

7. Wat Pho (from USD 59.0)

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit three of the most famous temples in Bangkok with your very own private tour guide and vehicle. The reclining Buddha at Wat Pho is the largest Buddha in Bangkok while the Golden Buddha in Wat Traimit is made of solid gold. Wat Benchamabophit is a majestic Marble Temple, made entirely of Italian marble. Beyond a personalized experience, you can even choose between a morning or afternoon departure from your hotel.

Tip from tour guide

Video of Wat Pho shared by Bangkok tour guide, Thitikarn (a.k.a Bonnie).

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Bangkok 3-Temple Private Tour with Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Duration: 3 hours

299 reviews

8. Wiang Kum Kam (from USD 37.0)

wiang kum kam
Source: www.viator.com

Wiang Kum Kam is an archaeological site filled with artifacts that range from pottery to Buddhist sculptures, earthenware molds, and architectural plans. To make things more exciting, you can check out this well-maintained collection in a horse-drawn carriage on a half-day tour from Chiang Dao. You are bound to learn more about the former Thai capital and its contributions to Chiang Mai. Rest assured that the entrance fees and round-trip transportation from your hotel will be included in the package.

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Half Day Wiang Kum Kam by Horse-Carriage

9. Thailand National Museum (from USD 341.0)

thailand national museum
Source: www.viator.com

Fancy a full-day history tour in the three important museums in Thailand, namely the National Museum, Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, and Bangkok’s Museum of Contemporary Art? You will enjoy a personalized introduction to Thailand’s history, royal family, and modern art, and experience the exhibits with an understanding of Thai history and culture. This nine-and-a-half-hour tour includes entrance fees, lunch at a restaurant, as well as round-trip transport from your hotel, making it a bang for your buck.

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Full-Day Thai History Tour from Bangkok

10. Chiang Saen (from USD 129.0)

Take in the cultural and historical sights of the Chiang Rai region of Thailand on this private day tour to Chiang Saen, the former capital city of the Lanna Kingdom. You will then explore the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. The final stop would be Mae Sai, the home to hill tribe villages, where you can meet the villagers. Enjoy undivided attention from a private guide and be rest assured that lunch as well as hotel pick-up and drop-off will be included for your convenience.

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Chiang Saen, Golden Triangle, Hill Tribes on Private Day Tour

Duration: 8 hours

Explore the rich historical and cultural landscapes of Thailand today

We hope that this selection of historical places in Thailand has given you inspiration while planning your itinerary, especially if you are looking to broaden your horizons with regards to the culture and past of this Southeast Asian nation. From archaeological sites to temples and war memorials, there is something for everyone with an appreciation of history and a thirst for knowledge.

Tip from Trip101 local expert



Wat Inthakin

Here is a photo of Wat Inthakin Sadue Muang, also known as Wat Inthakin. It is one of the many ancient temples in Chiang Mai - a city in Thailand that is most famous for its stunning prehistoric temples, or 'Wats' as they are called in Thai.

This one is among the little visited temples by tourists, but it is significant to the locals. Its name means "temple of the city navel" - this is extremely befitting since this 700-year-old temple is built in the very center of town.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


This article has been endorsed by Thailand local expert Aditi Roy

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