Asia Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park Khao Sok National Park Phuket Thailand

The Best Places to Visit in Thailand in July

Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is one of the best countries to visit in July, and I’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in Thailand in July.

Table of Contents

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    Thailand in July Weather

    bamboo rafts in Khao Sok National Park, one of the best places to visit in Thailand in July

    Though November through March are arguably the best months to visit Thailand, the country is warm year-round, and the “green season”, which runs from May through October, offers lush landscapes, lower prices on accommodations and flights, and fewer crowds.

    Plus, any rainfall is usually over quickly, and Thailand is otherwise bathed in sunshine this time of year. This makes July the perfect time to visit some of Thailand’s top attractions!

    A Broad Recommendation: Since July is in the middle of Thailand’s rainy season, be sure to pack a rain jacket and to wear waterproof shoes.

    The Best Places to Visit in Thailand in July

    Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai

    From the incredible temples of Chiang Mai to the stunning underground caves of Khao Sok National Park and the pristine, soft white beaches of Phuket, this country has something for everyone.

    Not to mention that Thailand is known as “The Land of Smiles”. It’s home to some of the most hospitable people in the world, in addition to its breathtaking scenery, interesting culture, delicious food, and exciting nightlife, and is generally affordable to visit.

    Here are the four places we visited in Thailand in July and absolutely loved.

    Chiang Mai

    Wat Chiang Man is one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Chiang Mai, which means “new city” in Thai, is the largest of the cities in northern Thailand, the capital of the Chiang Mai province and the second largest city in Thailand.

    The city sits 435 miles north of Bangkok in a mountainous region called the Thai highlands and is brimming with gorgeous temples, lush greenery, interesting museums and rich culture. It’s also renowned as a center of Thai handicrafts, like silverwork, wood carving, pottery and more.

    Some of the top things to do in Chiang Mai include visiting Wat Chedi Luang, which was once home to one of the most important religious relics in Thailand—the Emerald Buddha, Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, and the Tha Phae Gate, which is part of the wall that once acted as a fortress in the 13th century.

    If you’re feeling adventurous, the hike up Monk’s Trail to Doi Suthep is incredible. After a 6-mile trek, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular, 360 degree views of the mountains and Chiang Mai below. You’re also able to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a magnificent Buddhist temple draped in gold, which sits atop the mountain and is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in Thailand.

    Zip around in a tuk-tuk to get around the city, get some reasonably-priced Thai massages and check out the night markets while you’re there too. All that to say, Chiang Mai is certainly one of the best places to travel in Thailand!

    The Elephant Nature Park

    two beautiful elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, one of the best places to visit in Thailand in July

    One of our favorite moments from our Southeast Asia trip was spending a full day interacting with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park. Not only was this an amazing experience, but with all of the work the park does in the community and the opportunities they provide, I can’t recommend this place enough! 

    Located just outside the city of Chiang Mai, the Elephant Nature Park serves as an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center, as well as a refuge for other animals like dogs, cats and buffalo. In addition to providing excellent animal care, the park also helps with rain forest restoration, cultural preservation, and the education of visitors—wow!

    There are several ways to visit the Elephant Nature Park, including a single day visit, which is what we did. During your visit, you’ll get the opportunity to feed and interact with the elephants, watch them bathe, and learn a lot about these incredible creatures, as you make your way around the park.

    Around midday, you’ll be served a vegetarian buffet, which is included in your visit, and have time to explore the cat rescue area and to learn about volunteering opportunities. Your visit ends with a stop at the gift shop.

    Note that transportation to and from your hotel in Chiang Mai is also included when you book directly through the Elephant Nature Park.

    Khao Sok National Park

    Cheow Larn Lake in Khao Sok National Park is one of the best places to visit in Thailand in July

    If you love off-the-beaten-path travel (like me!), Khao Sok National Park should be at the top of your Thailand bucket list!

    About 3 hours north of Phuket, Khao Sok is home to Cheow Larn Lake and one of the oldest rainforests in the world. In fact, its rainforest is believed to be older and more diverse than the Amazon. Khao Sok is also home to nearly 50 species of mammals, more than 300 species of birds, and countless species of bats, reptiles and insects. 

    To fully experience what the park has to offer, we recommend staying overnight in a Khao Sok National Park floating bungalow. The 2-day, 1-night Superior Group Tour through Khao Sok Lake, a local tour operator that uses 100% local drivers, guides and chefs, is a great option.

    During your visit, you’ll take several longtail boat rides out on Cheow Larn Lake, hike through the rainforest to a 10,000-year-old cave, enjoy a few home-cooked, traditional southern Thai meals, kayak around the camp, and possibly spot some monkeys, elephants and other animals along the way.

    You’ll be spoiled for views too! The lake is surrounded by breathtaking limestone rocks, and the national park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand. All meals and transportation to and from closeby airports and hotels are also included in your stay.

    • Where to stay: Floating bungalow booked through Khao Sok Lake
    • How long to stay: 2-3 days


    Karon Beach on Phuket Island, another one of the best places to visit in Thailand in July

    The last leg of our Thailand (and full Southeast Asia) trip was spent on Karon Beach in Phuket, i.e. the “Pearl of the Andaman”, and one of the best places in Thailand to vacation. Located off the west coast of mainland Thailand, Phuket province consists of the island of Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, as well as 32 smaller islands off its coast.

    Karon Beach is one of the longest beaches on Phuket and is popular with families and couples. There’s lots to do on Karon Beach, like windsurfing, kayaking, banana boat rides, water skiing, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, parasailing, etc. And, this area is the most ideal snorkeling and diving spot on the island. 

    There are a lot of other attractions in Phuket, Thailand, as it’s a popular place to visit in Thailand. These include the Big Buddha (one of the top recommended places to visit in Thailand), Wat Chalong, Karon Viewpoint, Bang Pae Waterfall, and a day trip to Phi Phi Island. Though we spent our two days on Karon Beach relaxing and reading books on the beach, these activities also sound like a lot of fun!

    Other Things to Do in Thailand

    Wat Pha Lat, a temple nestled among the trees on the popular Monk's Trail in Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai, The Elephant Nature Park, Khao Sok National Park, and Phuket are all some of the best places to visit in Thailand in July.

    That being said, there are also some lesser known spots in Thailand, like Tarutao National Marine Park, Lampang, Isan, Phayao, and the Thi Lor Su Waterfall, that may be worth adding to your Thailand summer itinerary, especially if you’re looking for things to do in Thailand off the beaten path.

    Tips for Traveling to Thailand

    Candace and Sara at the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai, one of the best places to visit in Thailand

    Ready to explore some of the best places to visit in Thailand? Here are some things you should keep in mind to prepare for your trip.

    Before you go, check the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs website for any travel advisories, cautions, vaccinations, visa/document requirements, etc.

    Thailand’s currency is the Thai Baht (THB). We were able to withdraw Baht from local ATMs, but at times, we had trouble finding ones that would accept U.S. bank cards. If you’re from the United States, bring some USD with you as well, as some hotels will let you do a currency exchange.

    Thailand’s culture is conservative, so you’ll want to dress appropriately. I wore a lot of long dresses and lightweight joggers during my stay in Thailand (and in Asia in general). Carry a lightweight scarf to cover your shoulders inside temples and wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as you’ll have to remove those inside of temples as well.

    Some things you’ll want to be sure to pack include an international travel adapter, medicine and feminine products (some places in Thailand don’t have ones that we’re accustomed to in the U.S.), TSA-approved luggage locks (if you do the overnight stay in Khao Sok National Park, you may have to leave your larger luggage behind for the night), a cross-body purse or money belt, a rain jacket, comfortable walking shoes, waterproof hiking sandals, and a drawstring backpack for excursions.

    Note that some restrooms aren’t fully stocked with toilet paper or soap. You’ll want to carry around tissues and hand sanitizer, in addition to water, snacks, bug spray, tip money, lip balm, sunblock, a scarf, and sunglasses each day.

    Don’t drink the water or brush your teeth with it. You’ll need to purchase water bottles throughout your trip.

    Download the Grab app, which is similar to Lyft or Uber, to get around Thailand; it’s reasonably priced and reliable in our experience.

    Tipping is always at your discretion, but we tipped with these guidelines in mind:

    • Driver used for an entire day or excursion: 50-100 Baht
    • Guide used for an entire day or excursion: 300-600 Baht
    • Restaurants: a 10% service charge is typically already included, but if it’s not, add a 5-10% tip
    • Massages: 100 Baht for each 30 minutes

    There you have it! Now, you’re ready to explore some of the best places to visit in Thailand. Enjoy!

    XOXO Sara at Travel A-Broads

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    4 months ago

    Lovely guide on Thailand! I visited in January and absolutely loved it – for sure need to go back

    4 months ago

    Thank you for this wonderful guide! A tip from my side would also be to visit the island of Koh Samui and the island of Koh Phangan. Both are recommended for a trip to Thailand in July.

    warm regards, Martina

    4 months ago

    Sara, this absolutely captivating! Your vivid descriptions and personal experiences, especially at the Elephant Nature Park, have ignited my wanderlust!! 🙂 🙂

    4 months ago

    Great guide! Visiting Thailand, especially Chiang Mai and Phuket, have long been my list. Saving your guide for later travels!

    Jennifer Record
    Jennifer Record
    4 months ago

    Elephant Nature Park would be my FIRST stop!!! all the outdoor spots…

    4 months ago

    There’s so many places I want to explore! I think my top pick though is Khao Sok National Park. It looks so picturesque. Thanks for sharing your top recommendations in Thailand.