Once one of the world's leading capitals, Ayuthaya's myriad temples and palaces glittered from miles away. Today the dozens of ruins offer a tantalising glimpse into what was once a glorious city. The most famous sites have been partially restored so it is easy to imagine how they must have looked in their prime, while others remain fully functioning temples.
Surin Islands Marine National Park
The five gorgeous islands that make up the Surin Islands Marine National Park sit 60km offshore, just 5km from the Thailand–Myanmar marine border. Healthy rainforest, pockets of white-sand beach in sheltered bays and rocky headlands that jut into the ocean characterise these granite-outcrop islands.
Once the domain of backpackers and sea gypsies, Lanta hasn't just gentrified, it's morphed almost completely from a luscious southern Thai backwater into a midrange getaway for French, German and Swedish package tourists who come for her divine beaches (though the northern coast is alarmingly eroded) and nearby dive spots, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Ko Ha.
Erawan National Park
Famed for its impressive seven-tiered waterfall, Erawan National Park is an extremely popular weekend spot for locals. The Erawan waterfall gets its name as the top level is said to resemble Erawan, the three-headed elephant of Hindu mythology. Walking to the first three tiers is easy, but after that good walking shoes and some endurance are needed to complete the 1.5km hike.