Travel News

6 best Thailand holiday destinations 2024 and where to stay

Simon Calder’s Travel

With culture-stacked cities, world-famous beaches and jungle interiors, Thailand’s unique landscape begs to be explored. Home to some of the best yoga retreats, beach bars and Buddhist temples in the continent, it’s no wonder that history-rich Thai towns have become such tourist hot spots.

Whether passing through on a budget world tour or relaxing on a family holiday, there’s something for everyone on the traditional shores of Thailand. Take a cooking class to get familiar with the local cuisine, go on a boat trip to scuba dive in lively reefs or take a tuk-tuk to share in the street food of the bustling night markets with good-natured locals.

With so much to discover in the tropical climate, where you stay depends on what you want to take from your trip to southeast Asia. Think glamorous sky bars in Bangkok’s destination hotels, a beach paradise in Koh Samui and under-the-radar eco-resorts on the River Kwai.

Here’s The Independent’s selection of stays to inspire your next holiday to Thailand.

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Chiang Mai

The hostel is just 825m from the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
The hostel is just 825m from the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (Mapping Hostel)

Best for: Budget breaks

Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand and the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, has retained its ancient authenticity and traditional values. Hundreds of terracotta Buddhist temples dot this cultural hub that is set between lush mountains, jungles and rice fields.

The city is also a culinary hotspot. Chiang Mai has several Michelin-listed restaurants, such as Ginger Farm Kitchen. Alternatively, try market cheap eats including pad Thai orsai oua – a ground pork sausage marinated with lime leaves.

Where to stay

Mapping Hostel

Thrifty travellers rejoice: bargain beds are plenty, including the riverbank bungalows of the Mapping Hostel (from just £4 a night). Make a weekend of it to experience the bustling Sunday night market of The Pae Walking Street, just over a mile away. A snack bar, luggage storage and free Wi-Fi cover the basics, while private rooms include air conditioning and garden views. Set opposite a temple, Mapping Hostel is an incredible break from the often-tumultuous backpacking tours of Thailand.