Central Thailand delights in its history, leading visitors to iconic cities lost on the plains and temples hidden in Bangkok's suburbs. The geographical centre of Thailand, the region is home to bustling capital city Bangkok, along with a vast collection of beach resort towns and crumbling city ruins. In many ways, this region is Thailand in a nutshell, able to evoke the atmosphere of yesteryear while still offering dreamy coastal bliss and the modern amenities of today. From mountains to markets, stupas to sand, Central Thailand offers a little of everything from the Land of Smiles.
Everything centres on Bangkok, the vibrant capital and transport crossroads for the region. Iconic attractions fill the city, including the famous Koh San Road, the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, plus the mysterious Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew. Take a boat journey to floating markets then contrast this experience with fast-paced business suburbs. Explore the National Museum or see another history at the leafy Dusit Palace. There are hundreds of temples and dozens of districts in Bangkok, and it's hard to visit Central Thailand without seeing some of them.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Area is just one of Central Thailand's regions. The Northern Gulf Coast is home to numerous beach towns, including the ever-popular Hua Hin. The main attractions in the West of Bangkok region are the Bridge Over the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi, majestic Khao Wang Mountain and interesting traditional villages. The Chao Phraya Basin is where Thailand's untouched ancient cities can be found, including spectacular Ayutthaya and the Khmer-style temples of Lopburi.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the largest in Thailand and the main entry point to the country and region. A high-speed railway links the airport with the city. Don Muang Airport is a popular alternative in the north of Bangkok, connected to the city by express buses. Regular buses and small minivan taxis link destinations all across Central Thailand. The roads are in excellent condition, and some visitors opt to take private taxis as the journeys can be surprisingly short. Taking the train is another way to get around with services heading north and south through the region.
Central Thailand is also known as the Central Plains, and the flat landscape is dotted with strange landmarks. Bang Pa-In, seemingly lost on these plains, is a quirky palace that exemplifies the region's mystique.