Thailand is a vibrant and diverse country with four main regions to explore.

From the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the laid-back beaches of southern Thailand, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure.

Whether you’re considering living in Thailand or just planning a visit, getting to know more about each region can help you decide where to stay.

Let’s take a look at the four main regions of Thailand – Southern Thailand, Isaan, Central Thailand, and Northern Thailand.

Southern Thailand

Southern Thailand consists of many islands and mainland provinces along the Kra Isthmus. Known for its stunning beaches, this region’s clear waters, and beautiful islands make it worth a trip.

It is also home to some of the best national parks in Southeast Asia. The two most popular spots are Phuket and Koh Samui but there are many other spots worth exploring such as Khao Sok and Koh Tao.

The main downside of this region is that it can be expensive due to its popularity among tourists.

The four regions of Thailand - Isaan
Isaan is full of amazing landscapes, people and food

Isaan

Isaan, otherwise known as Northeastern Thailand, borders Laos and Cambodia. This region is known for its fun-loving locals, exciting cuisine, stunning temples, and lush countryside.

Our favorite places in Isaan are Loei, Nakhon Phanom and ‘The Big Four’ cities: Korat, Khon Khaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani.

Isaan has become increasingly popular among expats due to its affordable cost of living compared to other parts of Thailand.

Isaan people speak Laos, however, Thai is the lingua franca of the region. English is less commonly spoken here as tourists are uncommon.

The downside is that it can be very hot during the summer months with high levels of humidity.

Central Thailand

Central Thailand includes provinces such as Kanchanaburi, Nonthaburi and Ayutthaya – all within easy reach of Bangkok.

This area offers a great mix of city life, historical sites, rural villages and traditional festivals.

On top of that, they have some great beaches nearby perfect for a weekend getaway. The only downside here is that it can be crowded in certain areas, more expensive and prone to pollution.

The four regions of Thailand - Northern Thailand
The ruins of many ancient kingdoms remain in Northern Thailand

Northern Thailand

Northern Thai provinces offer incredibly diverse landscapes. From the dramatic mountain views of Chiang Mai, huge mountains in Mae Hong Son province or low-lying areas around Chiang Rai province – there’s something for everyone here!

There are plenty of activities on offer too – from trekking trips through lush jungles; visiting ancient hill tribes with their timeless cultures & traditions; exploring fascinating Buddhist temples & ruins dating back centuries; visiting famous night markets & street food stalls …the list goes on.

Plus the cost of living up north is cheaper than in other parts so it is very attractive to those looking for value for money, especially if you’re looking to retire.

The only downside here would be the absence of beaches. In our opinion, Northern Thailand is the best place to start your journey, especially if you’re thinking of living in Thailand long term.

What Regions Do You Want to Stay In?

When deciding where you want to stay in Thailand there are so many amazing options available across the country’s four distinct regions.

Southern Thailand offers spectacular beach vibes while Isaan has abundant culture & cuisine waiting for exploration; Central Thailand has a great mix of urban & rural settings while Northern Thailand offers incredible diversity.

With careful research & exploration, you’ll soon find out which part suits your preferences best – good luck finding your perfect spot in paradise!

Are you still not sure where is best for you? Get in touch and we’d be happy to help you decide.

Want to move to Thailand?

If you’re interested in moving to Thailand but are unsure about a few things – visas, banking, safety, scams, dating, accommodation and more.

Check out our premium Thailand guide: The Need to Know of Moving to Thailand

Get the guide