Last December, Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, announced the Top Ten Tourist Destinations of the Year 2011, which was held for the first time in order to encourage any provinces to be alert in developing the national tourist attractions.
Ministry of Tourism and Sports spokesperson, Watchara Kannika said that the consideration criteria is based on the figure on the popularity of tourist accessing in places, data of tourists calling to Call Center 1672 of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and data of the private sector and any associations relating to the tourism. The result of Top Ten Tourist Destinations of the Year 2011 is described as follows;
In Bangkok, there are various tourism activities. The outstanding activities are the sightseeing of the Grand Palace and other palaces, important temples, and sacred items. For tourists who travel with family, Bangkok provides amusement parks, zoos, including museums suitable for kids and families. In addition, Bangkok also has the reputation of ďShoppingĒ city. There are many products with the good quality and cheap price in the luxurious department stores, Chatuchak Weekend Market, night bazaars, Khaosarn Road, Patpong, Silom, and Memorial Bridge Market.
Chonburi is a province with the various and outstanding tourism resources, for example, sightseeing and paying respect to Phra Buddha Maha Vajira Uttamophat Satsada, the sculptural image of the Buddha on the cliff, Khao Chee Chan; Sriracha Tiger Zoo, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, and night safari tour; taking a walk at beaches and swimming in the sea; biking; driving and enjoying sceneries on the beachside road. The popular tourist attractions are Bangsaen, Pattaya city, Lan Island, and Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.
Phuket is known as the ďPearl of the AndamanĒ, the tourism city famous throughout the world in the beauty of the scenery and sandy beaches and clear blue waters. It is suitable for relaxing. There are various activities both onshore and offshore available for tourists to enjoy. The outstanding tourist attractions include Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, etc. On the southern part of the sea, there are gorgeous coral reefs for scuba diving.
Ayutthaya is a province notable for its history and culture. As a result, most activities involve to these matters, for example, cruising for sightseeing Thai style house along the riverside, riding an elephant and touring historic sites in the Ayutthaya Heritage Island which has 2 routes, Wat MongKol Borphit Temple-Wat Phra Si Sanphet Temple and outer city route, Maheyong Buddhist Temple. In addition, TAT also holds the activity of ďRiding in a Tricycle and Make Connection by Tuk TukĒ so that tourists have a chance to enjoy the beauty of historic sites in the Ayutthaya Heritage Island by tricycle, which is the main vehicle of the city, or by rickshaw. They can visit historic sites and old communities in the city with the ancient atmosphere.
Kanchanaburi has many tourism activities, such as, rafting and enjoying the beauty of Kwai River, bamboo rafting, riding elephant, kayaking, mountain biking and surveying caves, etc. The popular tourist attractions include the Bridge of the Kwai River, and Erawan National Park.
Chiang Mai is considered to be the center of the Northern region of Thailand, especially tourism. It is famous and well-known to both Thai tourists and foreign tourists. Due to the promptness of tourism attractions in nature, arts and culture, and traditions of Chiang Mai people which are unique and impressive, including the facility of accommodation and tourism services, Chiang Mai can attract over millions of tourists per year. The popular tourist attractions include Doi Inthanon National Park, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, Doi Ang Khang, and Wiang Kum Kam.
Rayong is a province with the various and outstanding tourism resources. There are several famous tourism activities, such as, visiting beaches, crossing to Samed Island by boat, visiting Rayong Aquarium, biking on the Taphong bike route, sightseeing fruit gardens, staying in home stay, experiencing lifestyle of fishermen, catching squid and fish, cruising and watching fireflies in Prasae River, etc.
Songkhla has many interesting tourist attractions in Muang district, for example, Songkhla Lake, Yor Island, the Institute for Southern Thai Studies, Tinsulanonda Bridge, Samila Beach, etc. Moreover, there are many tourism activities, such as, sightseeing architectures, tasting delicious food at Songkhla Old Town, paying respect to the Chedi Phra That Khoo Muang Songkhla on Tang Kuan Mountain, etc.
Nakhonratsima has several and various tourism activities, such as, sightseeing archaeological sites, historical sites, and museums, paying respect to Thao Suranari Monument, rafting in Lam Takhong Dam, riding horse, climbing simulated cliff rock, abseiling, riding ATV, driving Go-Cart, shooting, and playing adventure machines, etc. The famous and important tourist attractions include Phimai Historical Park, Ban Prasat Archaeological Site, Lam Takhong Dam, Dan Kwian Pottery Village, Chokchai Farm, and so on.
Krabi is the land of mountains, beaches, islands, waterfalls, and caves which are beautiful in the top rank of Thailand. Tourists can visit there throughout the year. The popular tourist attractions include Noppharat Thara Beach-Phi Phi Islands National Park, Ao Nang, Thale Waek (Separated Sea), Emerald pool, etc.
This rank, Top Ten Tourist Destinations of the Year 2011, was organized for the first time in 2012. The Department of Tourism and TAT will cooperate and hold this event continuously. 3 domestic offices of TAT will study and collect unique tourist attractions from January to December in order to store the information of popular tourist attractions and promote Thai people to plan the trip throughout the year.