Bangkok makes a great base for those who want to explore Central Thailand.
With everything from UNESCO-listed ruins to floating markets and national parks within 3 hours drive, Bangkok offers an array of day trips to discover from the less-known sites to the popular attractions of Central Thailand.
Here are some of the top suggested day trips from Bangkok. They’re no more than 3 hours away from Central Bangkok which is perfect for quick day trips throughout your visit.
Visit the historic sites of World War II or hit the trail to the beautiful emerald lagoon.
- Where: 150 km to the west of Bangkok (3 hours driving)
- Best for: History explorer, Nature lover, Thrillseeker
With its World War II history, Kanchanaburi has some historical landmarks such as Death Railway, the bridge over the River Kwai, war museums, and the cemeteries. Just like Bangkok has Chao Phraya River, Kanchanaburi has Kwai River that crosses through the heart of the province. Getting on a cruise or a jet ski is a great way to explore Kanchanaburi area. For those who want to fully experience its culture and history of Kanchanaburi with no hassle, booking a tour is most recommended. You can simply join a tour or book a private taxi tour.
Besides its rich history, Kanchanaburi is also famous for its beautiful Erawan National Park. Erawan Waterfall is the star attraction of the park with its emerald lagoon that you can swim and chill out. The scenery of the park will give you a nice break from the bustling Bangkok. You can take a join-in tour to Erawan Waterfall & River Kwai in 1 day at an affordable price as well!
2. Damnoen Saduak / Samut Songkhram (Maeklong, Amphawa)
Where you can meet the scenery of Thailand’s local life.
- Where: 90 km to the southwest of Bangkok (2 hours driving)
- Best for: Local culture explorer
There is no better way to experience the local culture than going to its traditional market. Not too far away from Bangkok, Damnoen Saduak & Samut Songkhram (Maeklong & Amphawa) are home to some of the best floating markets and railway market.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the biggest and most famous floating market in Thailand. It is truly a photographers’ dream here.
Maeklong Railway Market is called “the most dangerous market” in the world as the trains pass by really close to the vendors.
Amphawa Floating Market is another popular floating market near Bangkok with fewer tourists. In the evening, you can get on a long tail motorboat to roam around the canal. If you are lucky, you will catch some beautiful fireflies lighting up in the sky.
The best way to explore this area is through a day trip. Click each tour for more information.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market + Erawan Waterfall + River Kwai 1 Day Tour
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Join-in Tour (+ Maeklong Railway Market)
- Maeklong Railway Market & Amphawa Floating Market Join-in Tour
- Floating & Railway Markets 1 Day Private Tour
3. Samut Prakan
The haven for museum lovers offering countless Instagram-worthy photo spots.
- Where: 25 km to the south of Bangkok (30 minutes driving)
- Best for: History explorer, Culture explorer
If you are an enthusiastic museum-goer, Samut Prakan is a perfect day trip destination for you. Samut Prakan is a home to 2 majestic museums.
Ancient City (Mueang Boran) is the largest outdoor museum in the world. Its ground reflects the actual shape of Thai territory and you can see the replicas of Thailand’s famous temples and palaces. This is a great way to explore the scaled-down version of Thailand in a day!
The Erawan Museum offers peaceful, yet majestic atmosphere with its 3-headed elephant (Erawan) sculpture on top of its main building, which took almost a decade to construct. You can browse the inside of the elephant sculpture which consists of 3 floors in Hindu themes. It is more like a temple rather than a museum as there are many Buddha statues and places you can pray. There’s a garden to stroll outside the museum where you can take some Instagram worthy photos.
Explore through the ancient ruins and once mighty temples.
- Where: 80 km to the north of Bangkok (1 hour and 30 minutes driving)
- Bang Pa-In Palace (Summer palace for Ayutthayan Kings)
- Wat Mahathat (A temple with a Khmer-style prang and rows of headless Buddhas)
- Wat Phra Si Sanphet (The largest temple in Ayutthaya with a row of restored chedis)
- Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit (A temple that houses a large bronze cast Buddha statue)
- Best for: History explorer
Ayutthaya, the old capital of Thailand, has long been a popular day-trip destination from Bangkok. The historic city of Ayutthaya, which was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, offers visitors a glimpse of the glorious but tragic history of Ayutthaya Kingdom.
There are many temples and royal palaces destroyed by the Burmese in Ayutthaya. Some of them are restored and some are still ruined which remind people the sad history of Siamese Kingdom. You can also spot the famous banyan tree that has grown around a Buddha’s head. This is an iconic landmark of Ayutthaya today.
Visitors can either take a bus or train from Bangkok and then take a tuk-tuk to explore Ayutthaya. This can be your option but booking a tour will save you from the hassles and you will end up enjoying more of it! Click each tour option for more information.
- Ayutthaya & Bang Pa-In Palace Join-in Tour from Bangkok (+Lunch)
- Ayutthaya Tour by Grand Pearl Cruise from Bangkok (+Lunch Buffet)
- Ayutthaya 1 Day Private Taxi Tour – from Bangkok
If you want to know more about Ayutthaya day trip, also read: Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok
5. Khao Yai National Park
Indulge in the breathtaking nature of Khao Yai and explore the small Europe of Thailand.
- Where: 120 km to the southwest of Bangkok (2 hours driving)
- Best for: Nature lover, Culture explorer, Foodie traveler
Khao Yai National Park is the first and the second largest national park in Thailand. In 2005, Khao Yai National Park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
More than 70 percent of the Khao Yai National Park consists of tropical rainforest. And there are high chances that you might encounter a wide variety of wildlife in the park.
Also, don’t miss out on the stunning landscapes along with the trails including the waterfalls!
Khao Yai has so much more to offer than just its national park. In fact, there are many fantastic attractions such as PB Valley Khao Yai Winery, Primo Piazza, and Farm Chokchai. The easiest and most convenient way to explore this area is to book a private taxi tour. Due to lack of transportation, it is highly recommended to have your own personal driver for a day or even more!
If you want to know more about Khao Yai attractions, also read: Khao Yai Attractions & Travel Tips
For more travel tips and ideas for your next trip to Thailand, make sure you visit Trazy.com, Asia’s #1 Travel Shop!