January 2, 2024
BANGKOK – Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya were among the top 20 most visited cities in the world this year, according to a report by the payment-processing corporation Mastercard.
Thailand’s capital topped the ranking with 22.78 million international visitors. Following Bangkok are Paris (19.10 million visitors) and London (19.09 million visitors).
Phuket ranked 14th with 9.89 million visitors, while Pattaya ranked 15th with 9.44 million visitors.
Bangkok maintained its top position in the ranking for another year, thanks to its vibrant street life, ornate shrines and vibrant food scene.
“Enjoy the usual city comforts of mega-malls and modern spaces before turning towards its collection of golden temples and shrines,” the report summarised.
“Follow your nose to Bangkok’s countless street markets stuffed with spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavors, then hop on a boat to reach their floating markets.”
Even though Phuket has dropped from 12th to 14th this year, it won kudos for its beach bliss and karst islands, encompassing two national parks and many islands to attract visitors.
“The range of beaches is spectacular, from party-central Patong to luxurious Surin and Ao Bang Thao,” the report gushed.
“Meanwhile, stunning coral reefs invite scuba divers and snorkeling groups to explore the glittering waters of the Similan Islands.”
Phuket Town also offers museums, cooking classes, Chinese shrines, and wildlife sanctuaries to keep things fresh, it added.
Advancing three places to 15th this year, Pattaya won kudos for its endless beach fun and a party-themed central area.
“There are stunning temples and shrines, but Pattaya is known for its seaside resorts,” the report highlighted.
“Sign up for a harried tour of the city before settling in along the coast for more sun and relaxation. This is a city that embraces hedonist attitudes to the max.”