There is little doubt that Bangkok is one of the most beautiful and exotic cities in the world. Every year, millions of tourists visit the remarkable sights and experience the vibrant energy that only Bangkok has to offer.

For those who have experienced much of Bangkok or want to see what lies outside the city limits, there is a remarkable world that offers its own beauty, history, and people. For those who want to expand their visit to what lies outside of Bangkok, here are just a few of the many places you can visit that is within a short driving distance of the city.

Ayutthaya

The rich history of Thailand comes back to life when you visit the remarkable former capital of the country. The ruins of Ayutthaya are one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region. Although you can reach the city in just a few hours, it is recommended that you stay for at least a couple days to absorb the size and scale of the city’s remains.

There are many ancient stone temples and palaces to see along with the everyday dwellings of the people that once populated this incredible city. Ayutthaya can be seen by walking, but you will cover more ground and see just as much if you ride one of the many rental bicycles available.

Hua Hin

If you are looking for white sand beaches amid an upscale setting, then Hua Hin is waiting for you. A popular destination on weekends, Hua Hin is a short drive from Bangkok. It’s also home to many ex-pats who find the beaches and lifestyle quite attractive.

If you go, the weekdays are less hectic which means you can enjoy the beaches and sights even more. The town is loaded with attractions, excellent seafood, and beautiful weather for most of the year.

Kanchanaburi

Home to the Erawan National Park which contains a remarkable seven-tier waterfall, Kanchanaburi is a wondrous sight for those who love the natural beauty of Thailand. However, the town is most famous for being the location of a bridge built during World War II by allied prisoners of war. As part of the Burmese railway, this became known as the bridge over the River Quai which in turn created one of the most famous movies ever produced.

While the bridge is long gone, the natural beauty and remarkable culture that is part of Kanchanaburi makes it the perfect attraction. The waterfall alone is well worth the two to three-hour trip from Bangkok. But you can also find wonder in the many hidden caves, beautiful villages, and deep green jungles that makes this a must-see location.

Khao Yai

This is a longer trip that most other listed here. Khao Yai is about four to five hours by bus from Bangkok, although a rental car will get you there a little faster. While it’s a longer trip, this national park which is the third largest in Thailand is well worth it.

Khao Yai is one of the largest remaining monsoon forests in the world. And you can find many different animals living here which include bears, leopards, otters, barking deer, gibbons, and elephants. And, you might get to see the park’s one and only crocodile.

But the park mostly contains over 300 species of birds which brings birdwatchers from around the world to see. These migratory birds are a beautiful sight and when combined with the natural wonders of the park make it the place for nature lovers to visit.

Koh Samet

Just three hours from Bangkok is the beautiful setting of Koh Samet. If Phuket is too far away, then Koh Samet is an excellent alternative. The incredible turquoise waters that can be seen from the pristine white sand beaches are like another world.

But the world of Koh Samet also includes plenty of outdoor activities including a wide range of watersports. Plus, an active nightlife that is perfect for relaxing once the sun goes down. It is all these attractions and convenient location near Bangkok that make Koh Samet one of the most popular places to visit on the weekends. So, if you decide to go be sure to book your trip in advance and stay for the weekdays if you want to avoid the big crowds.

Pattaya

Although most people are familiar with Bangkok, many are not aware that the nearby city of Pattaya is the capital of Thailand. If you are looking for an active nightlife combined with exciting outdoor activities such as skydiving, snorkeling, scuba diving, and bungee jumping, then you have found the right place.

Pattaya is most famous for its “Walking Street”, a street that is lined with bars and clubs that stays active long into the night. But if you want activities for your family, then you can visit the many kid-themed amusement parks and cultural attractions as part of a tour. Pattaya is for families as well as active seekers of the nightlife.

Phetchaburi

A couple hours from Bangkok by train or bus, Phetchaburi is a mixture of beautiful temples, shophouses, and palaces set amid the mountains in the jungle. But there are also beautiful beaches, incredible food, and a rich history that is part of this region.

What makes this location a great getaway is that it has yet to be discovered by most tourists. This means that you can avoid many of the crowds while still becoming immersed into Thai culture and the natural beauty that surrounds the area. One big natural attraction is the Cave Shrine of Tham Khao Luang. A sight that is well-worth visiting along with the other natural attractions in the area.

Bangkok is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. But there is more waiting for you in the surrounding communities that you should see. What is listed here is just a fraction of the many sights and experiences that await when you extend your visit to outside the city limits. You will discover another world that offers its own beauty and excitement for you to see and treasure.