What Are The Most Popular Tours in Thailand?

Home » Thailand » What Are The Most Popular Tours in Thailand?

This post may contain affiliate links.

Thailand has thousands of tours popular with tourists and taking a tour is a very good way to get to know a country better. There are various types of tour to book, you can take a cooking or food tour, go snorkelling or island hopping, engage in crafts or wildlife, or simply explore interesting places, with the benefit of a local guide. This post gives you the most popular tours in Thailand, and how to book them.

popular tours in Thailand
This photo was taken in Northern Thailand, well off the beaten track. If you want to go here, hire a car, but the popular tourist spots in Thailand are easy to access with inexpensive tours.

As travel bloggers we have access to a lot of data about tours, and how many people book them. This post uses data provided to us from two big international tour companies operating in Thailand. We have taken most of these tours ourselves, or very similar tours, and in this post, we use all of our own photos plus reviews, where we can.

There is one tour in this post that we will never do!

Where we think there is a better tour available, will give you that tour option too!

The most popular tours in Thailand do change over time, the most popular today may not be the most popular in winter and summer, most popular in school holidays, when a lot of people are on vacation, may not be the most popular in winter, and so on.

The information in this post should give you a good idea of which tours people are booking in Thailand.

I find this really interesting, which is why I put this post together to share with you. I may do a few more countries in this way too. If there’s a country you’d like this information for, let me know!

It’s best to book a tour if you have limited time or aren’t confident in getting around Thailand independently. A good guide can teach you so much more, and find hidden gems that a lot of tourists could miss.

Most popular tour in Thailand market tour
The most popular tour in Thailand, to one of the floating markets (Damnoen Saduak) plus the Railway Market, is the most popular.

The most popular tour in Thailand, is a floating market tour from Bangkok. This one. This full-day trip is cheap (under $50) and easy. It includes a longtail boat ride and a trip to Maeklong railway market. We highly recommend Maeklong. I can see why this tour is so popular.

When you open our links to tours, the tour we are referring to will be the first one, top left. That’s just the way we have to do it.

We visited this market, Damnoen Saduak, with a different tour provider, we didn’t take the boat ride as it wasn’t included in the tour price and intense haggling was required with the boat drivers. Booking this tour makes getting on a boat easy.

The fact that Maeklong Railway Market is included in this tour makes it a winner, Maeklong is super cool! See the photo below.

I think this does deserve to be the best, or most popular tour in Thailand, but both Amphawa Floating Market and Tha Kha Floating Market are better, we think, for the atmosphere and Thai food. You can read our posts on those two. I’ll put them in the related posts at the bottom of the page.

The reason Damnoen Saduak is the most popular is probably down to its opening hours.

If you want a full run-down on things to do and places to see in Bangkok, self-guided, click through to that post, it is huge.

Maeklong Railway Market tour from Bangkok
Maeklong Railway Market

There are loads of floating markets in Thailand and several can be visited from Bangkok. Our favourite floating markets near Bangkok are Amphawa and Tha Kha, but neither are really suited to this day trip format.

Damnoen Saduwak, we thought, was too touristy and the food wasn’t nearly as good as elsewhere, but if this is your first time seeing a floating market, it’s a solid choice.

If you’d like to take a long-tail boat ride in Thailand, we recommend doing that in Bangkok, on the river, and into the backstreet klongs (canals). You will see old Bangkok, the residential areas on the waterways. The river is choppy, be ready for that, and keep your mouth shut. You don’t want river water in your mouth, I always wrap a scarf around the kids’ mouths. Arranging a boat trip directly with a driver is possible at most Bangkok piers (if you’re good at negotiating in Thai.) Or just book a boat tour here, (GetYourGuide) this is a private tour for a family or group, but there are lots of other options. There’s this one on Viator, cheaper, shorter, shared, your best budget option if you’re a solo traveller or a couple. If you need to know where to find a boatman and a pier, we have a walking map on our Khao San Rd post.

The third most popular tour in Thailand is also a floating market tour from Bangkok. This one involves a paddleboat ride. It’s this one, again, Damnoen Saduak and Maeklong.

This tour is the second most popular tour in Thailand, which shows how many tourists choose to holiday in Phuket!

This is probably why we didn’t like Phuket much, it’s a beach holiday destination with some lovely resort hotels, and that’s not what we’re looking for in Thailand.

This tour takes you from Phuket to the famous islands nearby, Maya Bay, Phi Phi and heart-shaped Bamboo Island. This is the tour for you if you love the book or the movie “The Beach.” Which I do. Check out the tour here. on GetYourGuide and a similar one here on Viator.

If you haven’t read “The Beach” read it! It’s much better than the movie. Grab it here on Amazon. While you have Amazon open, buy one of these water bottles for your trip too, they’re our favourite.

Have I been to these islands? No, I haven’t, I’ve explored other places nearby, like James Bond Island, (the photo above is mine) but never Maya Bay, it has been closed every time we were nearby, they were letting the coral regenerate I believe. But it re-opened, so grab your chance. You can visit from Phuket or Krabi (Au Nang).

Phuket’s most popular tour involving elephants is in 35th place in the “most popular in Thailand” charts. It’s this one.

Can I ask a favour? Please can you save this image to Pinterest if you use that platform? It helps us a lot. If you’d like to see all of our Thailand pins, go here (opens in a new tab so you won’t lose your place.) Bonus points if you share a few and subscribe!

This is the third most popular tour in the whole of Thailand and the most popular in Chiang Mai. It involves elephants and rafting.

Chiang Mai is a big city in Northern Thailand and it’s very popular with long-term travellers and backpackers. The sleeper train ride to Chiang Mai from Bangkok is a bit of a must-do. Book that here on 12GoAsia, if you don’t have time, fly. You can book that using the 12Go link too. 12Go are very useful in Thailand.

The 8th most popular tour in Thailand is also from Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park.

The Mahanakhon Skywalk is relatively new and involves heights and glass floors. So, obviously, we haven’t been. I’m scared of heights. It’s in Bangkok but you need to book an admission slot here.

We will not be doing this tour, ever, if you do, take a photo for us to use on this page! You probably know how well I do with those horrible suspension bridges in Nepal.

I have no idea why this is so popular!

Most popular tours Krabi Thailand
A blustery day in Krabi. There are loads of islands out there and these make for popular tours.

The 9th most popular tour is from another of Thailand’s beach vacation hot spots, Krabi. This boat tour is similar to those available from Phuket as there are a whole bunch of islands off the coast of both. Krabi is to the north of them, Phuket to the south.

Both Krabi and Phuket have their own airports, so they’re perfect for holidaymakers.

We have been to Krabi, again, we didn’t like it as much as other parts of Thailand. We were there during the monsoon so this boat trip was not going to be a lot of fun, we skipped it.

But we did like this family hotel!

If you want a full post on things to do in Krabi, it’s here.

I’d love to see Phi Phi Island, I’m a big fan of the book “The Beach” but at that time Phi Phi was closed to tourists. I’ll try to go this year when I set off to travel solo.

Muay Thai classes Thailand
Kickboxing classes in Thailand

I’ve never been to a Muay Thai (Thai boxing or kickboxing) match, but my husband, Chef, has. He said it was very intense and very crowded. He didn’t think I would have liked it, but he loved it.

This activity will take you to see a match at a stadium in Bangkok.

The kids and their dad (above) have had a few Thai boxing classes but beyond that, I have no interest so this is one I’ll happily sit out.

Obviously, a lot of people like Muay Thai to make it so popular!

cooking class in Thailand
Cooking class in Thailand

The most popular cooking class is way down the list, it’s the 20th most popular tour and it’s in Chiang Mai, a city famous for cooking schools. This class combines cooking with a farm visit, which sounds fun!

We haven’t done this particular cooking tour but we’ve done loads, all over the world, 2 in Chiang Mai. We think they’re the best thing yoi can do in just about any country. Take home some new skills.

If you’re heading to Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand, you need our Northern Thailand guide, we rented a car for this trip and that worked well. We think the north is a much better place to visit than any of the holiday islands in the south. But that’s just us.

We here at World Travel Family love food and cooking, we go to a lot of cooking classes, in part, because it’s so great for the kids. We highly recommend cooking classes while you travel. The most popular one is this one.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

Leave a comment