Central Thailand

The past is never far behind in Central Thailand. Ayuthaya, Siam's former royal capital, is practically an open-air museum, with dozens of enchanting temple ruins peopled by stone Buddhas, while Kanchanaburi's WWII memorials pay tribute to the thousands of lives lost building the Death Railway.

Nature is a major player here too. The jagged mountain ranges that dominate Kanchanaburi's horizons host spectacular waterfalls, deep caves and some of Thailand's few remaining wild tigers. Up in the remote far north, you'll be within touching distance of Myanmar and amidst a vibrant ethnic mix. You can laze away the day lakeside in lovely and lethargic Sangkhlaburi or sleep among the tree tops at Thong Pha Phum National Park.

Lopburi combines both nature and history in its own unique way, as hundreds of monkeys scamper among Khmer-era temples in what was once Siam's second capital.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Central Thailand.

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Incredible ruins you've probably never heard of

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