Isan and Phuket named in TIME’s Greatest Places of 2023


Two locations in Thailand are among 50 “extraordinary destinations to explore” around the world, according to TIME magazine.

Bangkok, 22 March, 2023 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that TIME magazine’s list of ‘The World’s Greatest Places Of 2023’ – which it describes as being 50 extraordinary destinations to explore – includes two destinations in Thailand – Isan (the Northeast) and Phuket.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “To have not just one but two Thai inclusions in this prestigious compilation of worldwide destinations to visit is a wonderful honour, and something Thailand can be very proud of. Thailand is indeed ready to welcome tourists from all over the world through the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign.”

The TIME list makes particular mention of Isan’s diverse and delicious culinary offerings, before also saying: “Those who venture to this off-the-beaten-path region of Thailand teeming with rice fields are rewarded with national parks and Khmer temple ruins, and now: Michelin-recommended restaurants. It’s not just restaurants and night markets that are drawing a new crowd of visitors though. Last year marked the 60th anniversary of Thailand’s first national park, Khao Yai, which sits largely in Isan’s Nakhon Ratchasima province and is home to elephants, gibbons, and Asian black bears.”

Of Phuket, the list says: “Thailand’s most visited region – the famed beaches of Phuket – just upped its family appeal with the grand opening of Carnival Magic, a culturally-focused theme park last September. Voluntourism initiatives continue to be a priority on the island. The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, for example, invites visitors to help feed the animals and provides education about elephant communication and behaviour. Although the island is best known for its eponymous city, Phuket is drawing more visitors to its uncrowded countryside with an impressive landscape of modern luxury lodges.”

The full list of The World’s Greatest Places Of 2023 can be viewed at


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.