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The Perfect 10 Days in Thailand Itinerary (4 routes)

Looking for the perfect Thailand Itinerary? You’ve found it! Check out this curated guide to help you make the most of your 10 days in Thailand and fall in love with this gorgeous country!

Thailand is home to gorgeous tropical beaches with glistening white sand, world-class diving destinations, amazing street food, majestic temples, and a strong cultural heritage. It’s no wonder why this country is a sought after destination – there is literally something for everyone!

You’ll find wholesome, family-friendly destinations and a few others known for their vibrant nightlife and wild parties.

I’ve personally visited Thailand 6 times (or maybe 7?) and I’ve been all over. North, the islands, Bangkok. I’ve actually lived in Bangkok for 3 months and Chiang Mai for 5 months – that’s how much I like Thailand!

Whether you’re planning a Thailand itinerary for a short time (a few days or weeks) or for longer (months of backpacking across Thailand), you’ll be surprised at how many new things you’ll discover along the way. And that’s what makes it such an exciting place to visit for travelers, especially those who are into backpacking!

On average, most people spend about 10 days to two weeks in Thailand and if you want to experience the best of what the country can offer, this should give you enough time to visit the must-see sites and to even discover a few hidden gems. And there is much more to Thailand than just Bangkok. It’s recommended that you venture beyond the capital, too!

I put together this suggested itinerary for you to make the most of your 10 days in Thailand. All the suggestions come from personal experience and I hope this post will make your lifes easier at the time of planning your trip.


Day 1-2: Bangkok

Two days in Bangkok should give you enough time to explore the best sights to see and experience the beauty of this city. Therefore, it’s a good place to start your 10-day itinerary in Thailand. To really immerse into the heritage of this vibrant metropolis, it’s important to plan your trip wisely so you make sure you can see as much as possible in 48 hours.

For your first day, skip your hotel breakfast and hit the streets to find the most delicious and authentic Thai food options to start your day.

You can also hit up some of the most famous temples in Bangkok such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Don’t miss out on a chance to see the Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew! And if you’re not templed out yet, there are many other temples in Bangkok worth visiting, too.

➤ The City Highlights Temple and Market Walking Tour is a great way to visit all the temples mentioned above, as well as a local market. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Shopping is another must-do activity in Bangkok as there are plenty of great deals. IconSIAM is one of the best shopping malls in the heart of Bangkok.

Apart from shopping, you can consider visiting the abundant nightlife scene of Bangkok, particularly in Khao San Road. And if you’re visiting on a weekend, don’t miss out on the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s got everything you need from local handicrafts, souvenirs, and all kinds of food!

READ ALSO: The Perfect Bangkok Itinerary for First-Timers


LUXURY: The Peninsula Bangkok
MID-RANGE: Amari Watergate Bangkok
ON A BUDGET: Siam Eco Hostel

Day 3: Day Trip from Bangkok

On your third day in Thailand, you can go on a day trip from Bangkok. There are many notable destinations located just outside of Bangkok that are worth traveling to, especially if you want to experience culture and history.

One of the top day trip destinations from Bangkok is Ayutthaya, an ancient city which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you’ll witness the ancient ruins of temples, palaces, and monasteries. You’ll also find the biggest reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya.

➤ You can visit Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok that includes transportation, entrance to 4 impressive temples, a knowledgeable guide, and lunch at a local restaurant. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Another recommended day trip destination from Bangkok is to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Maeklong Train Market.

From Bangkok, you’ll travel to Maeklong Railway Market, which is centered on the Maeklong Railway track, yes, on the tracks. The sellers clear the sunshade and shop fronts as soon as they hear the train approach! It’s an exhilarating experience.

From there, you’ll be able to explore one of Thailand’s most popular floating markets, Damnoen Saduak. I found the floating market to be pretty touristy, but it’s still quite a unique experience.

➤ You can combine a visit to both the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Maeklong Train Market on this tour from Bangkok, which includes transportation and seasonal fruit tastings. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Day 4-5: Phuket

Phuket is one of the most popular islands in Thailand, particularly for those who want to escape to a tropical paradise.


➤ There are daily flights from Bangkok to Phuket from either one of the two international airports in Bangkok to Phuket International Airport. These flights are offered by airlines such as Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile, and others, and it can take around one hour and 20 minutes.

Going from Bangkok to Phuket by plane is the most convenient option, but also the most expensive.

➤ For a more budget-friendly option, you can take the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then transfer from a bus to get you to Phuket. Unfortunately, there’s no direct train service from Bangkok to Phuket.


As mentioned above, Phuket is a top tourist destination in Thailand. It’s best known for its white-sand beaches, luxury resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Best-known as Thailand’s biggest island, it’s big enough to to offer an impressive variety of things to do according to your preferences.

You can go on a cruise at Phang Nga Bay, hop one of its 30 pristine beaches, or explore the night markets, among the other things to do in Phuket.

And speaking of the nightlife scene, if you’re into that, you should head to Bangla Road if you want to experience the best of nightlife in Phuket.

On the other hand, for something cultural, you can also head to South of Phuket to see the giant Buddha image that looks down on Chalong. And no visit to any Thailand destination is complete without checking out the temples, particularly Wat Chalong.

➤ This Phuket City Tour takes you around some of Phuket’s highlights, including the Big Buddha, Karon Viewpoint, and Wat Chalong temple. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

And if you are looking for a relaxing experience by the beach during the day, there are many beach clubs to check out for world-class food, delightful cocktails, and spectacular beaches to lounge in.  

While in Phuket, another very recommended activity is to take a day trip to Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island, or visit an ethical elephant sanctuary.

➤ The Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island Tour takes you canoeing in a sea cave, and you’ll also get to swim and marvel at the impressive James Bond Island, before enjoying a buffet meal. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ With the Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Interactive Tour you’ll get to meet the rescue elephants and follow them as they enjoy their daily routines, learning about them and their history. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


LUXURY: Banyan Tree Phuket
MID-RANGE: Navatara Phuket Hotel
ON A BUDGET: Book a Bed Poshtel

Day 6-7: Phi Phi Island


To get from Phuket to Phi Phi, you have two main options available: ferries and speedboats.

The ferry is the primary method of travel between these two islands, and the ride takes approximately 2 hours. This offers a pretty decent and comfortable ride, but it can get a little crowded, especially during peak season so I’d recommend that you book your ferry tickets in advance to ensure that you can get a seat. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

➤ If you want a faster way to travel from Phuket to Phi Phi, you can opt for a speedboat transfer which is the next most popular transfer option because it’s far more expensive than taking the ferry. With a speedboat, you can basically get a private charter and you’ll be dropped off in front of your resort or hotel. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

This might be an expensive option but can be a good value for your money if you are traveling as a large group, or you’re just looking for more exclusive experience.


The Phi Phi Islands might be small when compared to Phuket or Koh Lanta but they’re still widely regarded among tourists as some of the most beautiful islands in Thailand.

As you approach the islands, you can hear an audible gasp among other tourists – that is simply how breathtaking it is!

READ ALSO: 12 Things to Do in Phi Phi Island Beyond Maya Bay

The islands are known for their partying and fire shows, but there is far more to this island group than that.

One of the things that they’re known for worldwide is their scuba diving and snorkeling sites. This becomes obvious when you see the amount of dive shops on the islands. To enjoy the best that the islands have to offer, a great way to do it is to go on a boat tour that will allow you to snorkel in the top spots, and explore the most beautiful bays and islands.

➤ The Island Hopping and Snorkeling Tour takes you to 8 spectacular spots on the islands, on a full day of sightseeing, swimming, and snorkeling. You’ll also enjoy the sunset on the boat trip back. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ With the Half-Day Private Longtail Boat Charter you’ll glide on the turquoise waters toward the best places for snorkeling, as well as meet the monkeys at Monkey Beach and marvel at the Viking Cave. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You can also climb up the steep viewpoints for one of the most spectacular views of the islands and the surrounding ocean.

And it’s not just your eyes that will be feasting on the islands as Phi Phi is also filled with many culinary delights. You can try Papaya and Restaurant Knock Out which are two of the most notable dining destinations on the island.

One of the most amazing things you can witness on Phi Phi Island at night is the bioluminescent plankton. These tiny organisms get activated by movement, and they light up, causing the surface of the ocean to sparkle. It’s a truly beautiful phenomenon that you can’t miss while on the island!


LUXURY: Zeavola Resort
MID-RANGE: Phi Phi The Beach Resort
ON A BUDGET: Phi Phi Indigo Hotel

Day 8-9: Krabi


To get from Koh Phi Phi to Krabi, you can take the ferry. This is the best way possible to get from one island to another with ease and within a reasonable budget.

The Koh Phi Phi to Krabi ferry route connects these two islands and you’ll find there are currently two ferry companies that service this route: the Andaman Wave Master and Chaokoh Ferry.

Both of these ferry services offer this route 14 times a week, with the average travel time via ferry being from 1 hour and 30 minutes to up to 2 hours. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE


Once you reach Krabi, you’ll find an endless array of opportunities when it comes to things to see and do.

This island is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, especially since it has its own airport, which makes it even more accessible to tourists. You’ll marvel at the spectacular coastlines, lush hinterland, and many tourist attractions waiting to be discovered.

Railay Beach and Cave is one of the most popular places to visit in Krabi, and is definitely a must-add to your itinerary. This small peninsula has gorgeous white sand beaches, caves, viewpoints, and a lagoon with a limestone cliff on the backdrop. You can even try rock climbing at Railay Beach!

Swimming in the Emerald Pool is another activity you need to add to your bucket list, especially if you are seeking to visit a place known for its outstanding natural beauty. The Emerald Pool belongs to the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, which is a lowland forest known for its rich biodiversity.

➤ The Crystal Pool Jungle Tour enables you to swim in the gorgeous emerald pool, and it includes a visit to the Tiger Temple, to a hot springs waterfall, and an uphill hike for stunning views. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You could also go on a trip to the four islands, Poda, Chicken, Tup, and Mor Island. These are renowned for their astounding beauty and feature turquoise waters, plenty of marine life, and coral reefs for snorkeling.

➤ This 4 Islands Day Trip by Speedboat is a great way to explore them. You’ll snorkel among colorful fish, visit a famous cave, and relax at the beautiful beaches. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The 4 Islands Sunset & Snorkeling Tour includes a BBQ dinner on the beach, as well as snorkeling time, stunning views, and a short swim with the bioluminescent plankton. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Other Krabi attractions you can’t miss if you spend two days in Krabi are the Klong Thom Hot Springs, Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave), and Krabi Town.


LUXURY: The Pavilions Anana Krabi
MID-RANGE: Poonsiri Resort Aonang
ON A BUDGET: K-Bunk Hostel

Day 10: Fly to Bangkok and home

On the tenth and final day of your itinerary, you can make your way back from Krabi to Bangkok where you can take a flight back home.

➤ You can fly from Krabi to Bangkok via Krabi Airport to Suvarnabhumi and the total flight time is 3 hours and 30 minutes with an average ticket price of 1,265 to 4,899 Baht (which varies depending on the season).

➤ It’s worth mentioning that you can also take a bus from Krabi to Bangkok but it will take up to 13 hours of travel time, which is quite a pain if you only have 10 days in Thailand to start with. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE


As already mentioned, Thailand is a country known for its diverse attractions and cultural heritage. Each destination is unique, which is ideal for all kinds of travelers because you can pick out destinations to suit your own preference and budget.

If the Thailand itinerary I put together above doesn’t really suit you, there is no need to worry! There are plenty other destinations or things to do in Thailand to make other alternative itineraries for your 10-day trip.

Below are a few other itinerary ideas that you can choose from, depending on the kind of adventure or experience you’re craving for.

A bit of everything: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket

If you want to experience the highlights of Thailand, then this travel plan is for you. Three of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand are Bangkok – the capital city, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

Each of these destinations are unparalleled, which provides you three different glimpses into what Thailand has to offer. Whether you are into culinary adventure, cultural heritage, or natural beauty, you’re covered in this 10-day sample itinerary in Thailand.

Day 1-3: Bangkok

If you consider yourself an urban junkie, then you’ll feel right at home in Bangkok. This is as urban as you can get when visiting Thailand. The city can be a little gritty but that is part of its appeal.

When staying in Bangkok for 3 days, make sure to ride the tuk-tuk! It’s a fun experience and an inexpensive way to get around the city in very Thai way.

When you are in Bangkok, The Grand Palace isn’t the only attraction to see. In fact, there are so many things to do in Bangkok!

A must-see temple during your 3 days in Bangkok is Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn). If you have the chance of being here, you’ll see how the towering spires of this temple create an impressive silhouette. This temple was constructed during the early part of the 19th century and features a Khmer-style ancient stupa that showcases an ornate floral pattern.

➤ The Private Guide In and Around Bangkok offers a customizable tour that you can adapt to your interests. It’s a great way to discover the best of the city, including a visit to the Wat Arun Temple and the Floating Market. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You can’t complete your time in Bangkok without trying out its many street food delights which are renowned around the world.

The Chinatown Market is another place to go for delicious Chinese food in Bangkok; it’s a great place to go for those budget-conscious travelers who want to sample the best-tasting dishes. In Chinatown specifically, you’ll find delicacies including birds nest soup, Peking duck, and more to satisfy your taste buds.

➤ The Bangkok by Night Tour takes you on an exhilarating Tuk-Tuk drive around the city to explore temples, markets, and sample food in Chinatown. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Bangkok Food Tour was exclusively designed by a chef, and it takes 8 people on a delicious journey through Chinatown to sample the most iconic street food. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Finally, hitting up one of Bangkok’s rooftop bars is something you won’t want to miss if you spend three days here. This is the best place to hang out once the sun has set, to enjoy one or two of your favorite cocktails with an overlooking view of the bustle of downtown in a distant hum.


LUXURY: The Peninsula Bangkok
MID-RANGE: Amari Watergate Bangkok
ON A BUDGET: Siam Eco Hostel

Day 4-5: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is another famous city that offers a great escape from Bangkok. This tourist destination is visited by 2 million tourists per year! You’ll notice that Chiang Mai has a more relaxed vibe than that of Bangkok, maybe partially because of its mountain setting.

Many of those who have visited Chiang Mai consider it a cultural hub where you’ll find more temples to explore.


➤ To get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you can book a flight via any of the following airlines: Bangkok Airways, Thai Lion Air, Thai Vietjet Air, and Thai AirAsia. The average flight time for a non-stop flight of this route is 1 hour and 15 minutes. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

➤ You can also take the bus from Bangkok Bus Terminal in Chatuchak to Chiang Mai. However, it will take up to 17 hours and you’ll have to transfer to another bus when you reach Loei Bus Terminal, so it’s not ideal if you’re short with time. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

READ ALSO: How to Get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Info + Prices)


As you can imagine, there is so much culture, arts, and history that can be explored in Chiang Mai that its large population of artists and creative types is no surprise. The majority of the attractions in Chiang Mai are centered within the old city which forms a perfect square with a moat surrounding it.

Within the small streets and shortcut alleys in the old city, you will stumble upon many quaint cafes and coffee shops to stop by and take a break from walking.

Just like Bangkok, food will be an integral part of your trip to Chiang Mai. The most affordable way to sample that is through street food, which is abundant in the night markets. You can go to Chiang Mai Gate and you’ll find plenty of food carts and stalls with a huge selection of local and international delicacies. Some of the must-visit night markets in Chiang Mai are the Night Bazaar, Warorot Market, and the Saturday and Sunday Night Markets.

➤ To learn more about Thai and Akha cuisine, you can join a Cooking Class that will walk you step by step in creating traditional dishes which you’ll then enjoy. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ You can otherwise go on an Evening Local Street Food Tour to discover the bustling markets, sample the authentic food (at least 8 dishes!), and learn how to order so you can visit again and again! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

For a deeply cultural experience, you can hike up the hill tribe villages of Chiang Mai for half a day or one full day.

➤This 4-hour Tour from Chiang Mai takes you to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, as well as up the mountain where you’ll visit the Hmong hill tribe village and enjoy panoramic views. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Another option is to go on a DIY temple tour of Chiang Mai, where you can visit Doi Suthep, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, and other really beautiful temples. These should 100% be in your Chiang Mai itinerary.

➤ If planning the tour seems like too much work, join the Best City Tour View Points, which includes access to the three temples mentioned above, as well as a visit to Tha Phae Gate. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You can also take some time to relax with a massage – there are so many great spas for all budgets. Here you can find my recommendations for the best massage in Chiang Mai.


LUXURY: The Inside House
MID-RANGE: POR Thapae Gate
ON A BUDGET: Stay Here Hostel

Day 6-7: Phuket

From Chiang Mai, you can head somewhere more tropical – to the island of Phuket. As one of the main tourist destinations in Thailand, you’ll be spoiled for options on activities to entertain yourself. But first, you need to know how to get from Chiang Mai to Phuket. You have two options: by bus or plane.


➤ A few years ago, traveling from Chiang Mai to Phuket via bus would have been an arduous journey due to the lack of direct bus services but that has changed because a new bus company has opened a direct bus route between these two destinations which simplifies it a lot.

The travel time is nearly 24 hours, so choose this option only if you have extra time (or if you are on an extremely tight budget). ➥ BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

➤ On the other hand, you can book a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket which of course is much faster. Once you arrive at Phuket International Airport, you can transfer to a shuttle or metered taxi to get to Phuket Town or your hotel. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


To give you an idea of Phuket’s popularity as a tourist destination, the island gets an average of 35,000 tourist visits daily. Good thing is that the island is large enough to accommodate that many holidaymakers and to offer a wide range of tourist opportunities.

You can start off by visiting Kata Noi Beach which is a small beach with breathtaking scenery. This is a great spot to go to for a leisurely swim or a nice walk on its fine white sand.

Another spectacular beach to consider visiting is Nai Harn Beach which you’ll find to the south of Phuket Island and discover that its beauty is relatively untouched.

For those seeking more great views, you can head to the Karon View Point. This viewpoint site looks out over the Andaman Sea and you can also spot three west coast beaches from there.

➤ With the Phuket City Tour you’ll get to visit Phuket’s highlights, including Karon View Point, the Big Buddha, and spectacular beaches, as you learn about the city from your expert guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Nearby Phuket is the popular James Bond Island, made world-renowned for appearing in a Bond movie. This spectacular island is a must-visit in Thailand, offering great photo opportunities as well as crystal-clear waters to go for a swim or kayak around. The best way to explore it is by going on a boat trip.

➤ You can join the James Bond Island Excursion, which takes you on a longtail boat to the island and includes a visit to the Monkey Cave. You’ll also get to kayak around karst islands and enjoy a hearty lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The James Bond Island Luxury Sunset Cruise is ideal for party animals, as it provides a yacht with a full bar, day beds, a dance floor and a DJ. You’ll also get to swim and kayak around the beautiful bays and caves that surround the island. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


LUXURY: Banyan Tree Phuket
MID-RANGE: Navatara Phuket Hotel
ON A BUDGET: Book a Bed Poshtel

Day 8: Day Trip to Phi Phi Island

From Phuket, you can visit Phi Phi Islands on a day trip. As one of the most popular destinations in Thailand, you simply can’t skip the chance to visit these islands.

➤ This Phi Phi Island day trip from Phuket is ideal if you’re into the idea of getting to hop on a luxury speedboat to visit Phi Phi Island, Bamboo Island, and Maiton Island. You’ll have one full day to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing at these wonderful natural formations. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Day 9: Day Trip to James Bond Island and Phang Nga

The James Bond Island is another world-class destination in Thailand that is coveted by tourists from all over the world. It’s a famous island in Phang Nga Bay that got its name because it was used as a film location for the James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

The towering limestone cliffs that stand out from the emerald green waters are the highlight of this island. You’ll see the many activities you can enjoy on the island including kayaking, sailing, and island hopping.

➤ From Phuket, you can go on a James Bond Island Excursion via longtail boat in which you’ll also visit the Monkey Cave, the mangrove forest of Ao Phang Nga National Park, and the fishing village of Pan Yee Island. You’ll also explore the smaller islands via kayak or canoe, accompanied by guides available to assist you for your own safety. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Day 10: Fly Out to Bangkok and Home

On your tenth and final day, you can head back from Phuket to Bangkok where you can take your flight back home. You can book a flight from Phuket to Bangkok to save time as it will only take 1 hour and 15 minutes for a non-stop flight. Traveling via plane is, as least time-wise, the most convenient option.

Bangkok + The other islands (Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan)

A visit to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without checking out the many tropical islands that provide most tourists with a picture of what the country is about. From world-class diving destinations, pristine white sand beaches, and tropical and luxury resorts, you’ll find everything you need in this 10-day itinerary in Thailand.

Day 1-3: Bangkok

As with most itineraries in Thailand, this one starts off in Bangkok. This vibrant metropolis is one of the most bustling cities in Southeast Asia and it’s a good place to start your 10 days in Thailand because it gives you a sense of something familiar, especially if you live in the city. But there are plenty of things to see and do in Bangkok to give you an authentic Thai experience that you’re craving.

Here is where you’ll find some of the most important temples in the country, which play a vital role in Thailand’s culture and history. While the Emerald Buddha and the Wat Arun temples are among the most popular, there are over 20 spectacular temples in Bangkok that you can visit!

➤ The Temples & Longtail Boat Tour is a full-day excursion around Bangkok, in which you’ll get to visit several impressive temples. You’ll also sample some street food and enjoy a boat ride along the canals. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ You can otherwise go on a Private Tour to visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun temples with a professional guide. You’ll also explore some local markets and enjoy a boat ride. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

From Bangkok you can also take a day trip to the Floating Market, where you’ll pass by vendors as you glide on the water and get to buy anything from fresh produce to handicrafts. Another great excursion from the city is to Ayutthaya, which used to be a prosperous trading center back in the day. It’s home to palaces, monasteries, and Buddhist temples that are really worth the visit.

When it comes to nightlife in Bangkok, you should first and foremost head out to Soi Rambuttri, also known as Khao San Road. This area is filled with hostels, nightclubs, and bars these days but there are some parts of Khao San Road that are beautifully preserved to give you a glimpse of what Bangkok was like before the skyscrapers were built.

In fact, there is a high number of travelers who choose to stay in this area to have quick access to the infamous street and its many attractions.

For a different kind of nightlife, you can spend your time exploring the attractions at Asiatique: The Riverfront. This attraction combines two of the most famous experiences in Bangkok: the night market and a shopping mall.

Or, perhaps, you’ll want to enjoy an authentic Thai massage – a bucket list item for many.

READ ALSO: How to Spend 3 Days in Bangkok


LUXURY: The Peninsula Bangkok
MID-RANGE: Amari Watergate Bangkok

ON A BUDGET: Siam Eco Hostel

Day 4-10: Head to the Islands

For the rest of your time in Thailand, you can explore one of the many gorgeous tropical islands that are famous worldwide. Among these islands are Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan. You can choose to visit any two of these islands so you’ll have the opportunity to truly enjoy what each island can offer.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an island that needs no introduction. While some might be turned off by the huge influx of tourism, there is so much natural beauty and a good mix of what Thailand can offer that makes it worth braving the huge amount of tourists. In fact, it has earned the reputation for being home to some of the best beaches within the Gulf of Thailand.

When in Koh Samui, Angthong National Marine Park should be at the top of your list of day trips from Koh Samui. We’re talking about a pristine archipelago made up of 42 islands that are famous for their white sand beaches, thick rainforest jungles, fertile mangroves, fresh waterfalls, hidden coves, and towering limestone cliffs.

➤ With this Semi-Private Sunset Cruise Tour you’ll set sail in a luxurious yacht to explore the islands of the National Marine Park. You’ll also get to snorkel and climb to the Emerald Lake. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You’ll find also a famous Big Buddha statue in Koh Samui, which measures 12 meters high and is at the northern coast of Koh Samui.

For a cultural experience in Koh Samui, head to Bophut’s Fisherman’s Village or the Secret Buddha Garden. You can also explore the island’s magnificent waterfalls and immerse in the rugged nature it boasts, which is often overlooked in favor of the pristine beaches but equally gorgeous! See, there are plenty of things to do in Koh Samui!

➤ The Wild Jungle Safari Tour is a half-day adventure that takes you to some of Koh Samui’s hidden gems, including Buddha Magic Garden, the Namuang Waterfalls, and the Mummified Monk. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

READ ALSO: 4 Days in Koh Samui: The Ideal Itinerary


ULTRA-LUXURY: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
LUXURY: Santiburi Koh Samui
MID-RANGE: The Rock Samui
ON A BUDGET: Long N Joy Samui

Koh Tao

Koh Tao is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, which is known for its tropical coral reefs, unique marine species, dive shops, beaches, and nightspots. Like Koh Samui, this island has a good mix of things to see and do for all kinds of travelers, and all age groups.

READ ALSO: 13 Best Things to Do in Koh Tao

One of the highlights of your visit to the island of Koh Tao is Koh Nang Yuan. This island is about 100 meters off the shore and is connected to the main island via a beautiful strip of sand.

This creates unique scenery, especially when viewed from a hill so take this chance to take a photo of the gorgeous island from above, something for which many tourists come to the island. The island offers an easy day hike experience where you’ll be rewarded with stunning and memorable views.

➤ You can also join a Snorkel Tour to Koh Nang Yuan to meet the marine life that inhabits the coral reef. You’ll also hike to a viewpoint for amazing views, and visit secluded bays and coves. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You can’t go to Koh Tao without going on a scuba dive trip (or going snorkeling) because the island is rich in coral reef and marine species.

Scuba Diving in Koh Tao is a full day activity that teaches you the basics of the sport, so you can then enjoy two dives in the magnificent coral reefs with an expert instructor. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ If you’re serious about scuba diving, you can take the Open Water Course to learn, in 3 days, all that’s necessary to become a certified diver. You’ll then be able dive in all the amazing spots in Thailand! ➥ BOOK IT HERE

You won’t have trouble finding a dive shop that will get you on a diving boat and see the beauty of the island underwater. You can also hire a private boat charter to explore the best dive sites that Koh Tao has to offer.

Other fun things to try in Koh Tao include rock climbing at a few of the hilly islands or try stand-up paddling in Sairee Beach.


LUXURY: Phandara Luxury Pool Villas
MID-RANGE: The Tarna Align Resort
ON A BUDGET: Field-D House

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan’s claim to fame might have been the Full Moon Parties but there’s more to the island than that! In southeastern Thailand, 12 km north of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is a true tropical paradise filled with palm-fringed white sand beaches, coconut tree groves, and a hilly hinterland with thick forests.

While the moon parties might have gotten the island kind of a bad rap, it remains as one of the major tourist attractions on the island. There are different parties held throughout various times of the year such as Full Moon Party, Half Moon Party, and Black Moon Party.

For a totally different way to enjoy the island, you can go for a snorkel or dive at the island since there’s really no shortage of snorkeling and scuba diving sites on this island and it’s a unique opportunity to see the beauty of the underwater marine life.

If you prefer a leisurely swim at the island’s gorgeous beaches, beach hopping is another fun activity to try. From Haad Nam Tok to Haad Rin, you’ll find all kinds of beaches and all sizes to suit your taste.

Apart from its beaches, the island is also abundant in waterfalls and they are worth trekking for so you can go fresh water swimming – perfect to cool off from the Thailand heat.

➤ The One Day Road Trip Around Koh Phangan offers you the chance to discover the island’s highlights in a day filled with adventures. You’ll swim in a natural pool, go to the beach, snorkel, and immerse in the tropical landscape, enjoying plenty of photo opportunities. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


LUXURY: Kupu Kupu Phangan Beach Villas & Spa by L’Occitaine
MID-RANGE: Varivana Resort Koh Phangan
ON A BUDGET: Maehaad Garden Inn

Bangkok & The North of Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pai)

A lot of tourists who visit Thailand head straight to Bangkok or the south where you’ll find an abundance of its beaches and tropical destinations but in the past few years, the northern Thailand provinces are getting more tourist attention.

This is no surprise, as Northern Thailand is filled with a staggering array of amazing destinations that offer mountainous landscapes, cool regions, small villages, and natural habitats for animals.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or the crazed parties and the beach life of the tropical islands, you might want to check out this 10-day itinerary to Northern Thailand.

Day 1-3: Bangkok

Bangkok is a city that is vibrant and buzzing all day, or year. It’s no wonder that every Thailand itinerary starts off here. The city offers a wide range of things to see and do to fill your 3-day itinerary in the city.

READ ALSO: 41 Top Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand

I already mentioned the most famous attractions in Bangkok in the other itineraries on this page, but here are the few essential tours you should consider booking:

➤ The City Highlights Tour is a great introduction to Bangkok, as it takes you to its most important landmarks. The Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and bustling local markets are among the sites you’ll visit. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Markets, Temples, and Food Night Tour enables you to witness Bangkok after dark, as you ride a Tuk-Tuk through Chinatown, sample traditional street food, and visit some famous temples and markets. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Damnoen Saduak Market can be customized as a private or group tour, and takes you to the most popular floating market by paddleboat. You’ll also visit the vibrant (and thrilling!) Railway Market. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Here are a few other ideas that are more offthe-beaten-path.

If you happen to visit Bangkok during the time of the Songkran Festival, don’t miss out on the festivities that are held throughout the city at this time of the year. This festival (also known as the Thai New Year) is observed every 13th to 15th of April.

This festival is marked by the tradition of sprinkling water to all the participants, which is based on a Buddhist belief that it will help to wash away sins and bad luck. During this time of the year, Bangkok’s streets are crowded and there are lots of events and free concerts that you can attend.

The Erawan Shrine is another must-see attraction in Bangkok, so make time for it while you are in the city. This shrine was constructed in the 1950s after construction workers at a nearby site felt that the spirits were unhappy and that they needed protection. 

Other notable tourist destinations in Bangkok city to explore on your 3-day Bangkok itinerary are the Vimanmek Mansion, Jim Thompson House, and the Bangkok Puppet Show. If you can, I’d recommend that you use this opportunity to watch a live Muay Thai fight, as well.


LUXURY: The Peninsula Bangkok
MID-RANGE: Amari Watergate Bangkok
ON A BUDGET: Siam Eco Hostel

Day 4-5: Chiang Mai


You have a few options when it comes to getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You can fly (you can often find flights for as little as 20 or 30 USD), you can take the train (overnight trains exist too), or you can take the bus if you’re on a budget. ➥ BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

I wrote a full post about this topic, so check out the detailed info there.

READ MORE: How to Get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai


No discussion of the best places to visit in Northern Thailand would be complete without Chiang Mai. This is the capital of Northern Thailand and has plenty of interesting destinations for all kinds of travelers.

Although it isn’t one of the biggest cities in Thailand, it’s recognized as the cultural heart of the country. The best part is that it offers three things that tourists love: good food, great prices, and friendly locals!

The Old City is one of the best places to explore in Chiang Mai as it’s surrounded by a defensive wall with brick ramparts, as well as giant gates. If you don’t mind the crowd, the weekend and night markets are definitely a must-do while in Chiang Mai, as well as getting a massage in Chiang Mai.

➤ The Highlights & Hidden Gems With Locals is a private tour that takes you around Chiang Mai’s highlights, including a visit to the Old City, bustling markets, and temples. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

There is much more to Chiang Mai than just the Old City! It’s actually a haven for natural attractions including the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park which is a forested park home to Chiang Mai’s most famous temple – Doi Suthep – and many waterfalls.

➤ With the 4-Hour Wat Umong and Doi Suthep Evening Tour you’ll enjoy the sunset from the Doi Suthep mountain, and get to visit the Wat Umong temple and underground tunnels. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

For more natural and outdoor adventures, head to the Elephant Nature Park, Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, and the Chiang Mai Zoo.

READ ALSO: A Chiang Mai Itinerary for First Timers


LUXURY: The Inside House
MID-RANGE: POR Thapae Gate
ON A BUDGET: Stay Here Hostel

Day 6: Day Trip to Chiang Rai

When you are in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is one of the advisable day trip destinations. Before naming Chiang Mai as the new capital, Chiang Rai served as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in Northern Thailand and although it might not be as popular as the former as a touristic destination, it’s getting its fair share of visitors, too.

It is its association with Tai ethnic culture what makes it a distinctive destination, especially among tourists who want to experience something new.

When talking about Chiang Rai, the image of the White Temple often comes to mind. The White Temple, also known as Wat Rong Khun, is a privately-owned art exhibit that is designed to look like a Buddhist temple. It’s the brainchild of visual artist and painter Chalermchai Kositpipat, who used an unconventional approach to temple architecture while also using Buddhist symbolism in its creation.

➤ If you want to visit the White Temple on a day trip from Chiang Mai, you can book this White Temple and Golden Triangle Tour. You’ll get to explore the famous site and also see where Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos meet. A boat trip and a visit to hot springs are included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

If you plan on spending more time in Chiang Rai, there are a few things to see and do. You can find more impressive architecture at the Chiang Rai Clock Tower, or learn about the hill tribe villages at the Hill Tribes Museum and Education Centre.

You can even get a more overarching introduction to the past and history of Chiang Rai at the Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park or check out another temple in the form of Wat Klang Wieng.

Day 7-8: Pai


➤ To get from Chiang Mai to Pai, you can do so via bus. There are hourly bus routes that will get you to Pai starting at sunrise with the last trip departing at 4 PM.

➤ You can also ride an air-conditioned minivan that will get you to Pai within 3 hours. The ticket cost of an air-conditioned van is around 160 Baht. Tickets sell out fast so make sure you buy in advance. ➥ BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

➤ You can also rent a car to drive yourself to Pai, which will take around 2 hours and 45 minutes via Route 1095.


Pai is one of the lesser-known destinations in Northern Thailand, which is often overshadowed by more popular destinations like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. This town is part of the Mae Hong Soon Province and it sits on a valley along the banks of the Pai River so it’s often chosen by tourists who are seeking out its hot springs, gorges, waterfalls, and paddy fields.

The Pai Canyon is known as Thailand’s version of the Grand Canyon. This canyon covers a massive area with fun hiking opportunities and breathtaking views!

If you have lots of time, you can easily spend hours climbing through this canyon and exploring its vast landscape. You can reward yourself with a gorgeous view of the sunset later on in the day which is really magical in this place.

Other beautiful natural destinations in Pai include the Mo Paeng Falls and Pambok Waterfall.

If you prefer a different kind of walking experience, you can explore Pai’s walking street at night where there are plenty of market stalls and food vendors to stop by and get the chance of sampling local treats or delights.


LUXURY: Reverie Siam
MID-RANGE: Pai Cherkaew Boutique House

Day 9: Drive Back to Chiang Mai

If you decided to spend a night in Pai, which is actually a great idea, you can spend the next day driving back to Chiang Mai.

Once back in Chiang Mai, you can use this time as an opportunity to squeeze in a few more things you want to tick off your bucket list before heading home.

Day 10: Fly Back to Bangkok and Home

For your final day in Thailand, you must take a flight back from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and there are many airlines that service flights with this route with an average flight time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you book ahead of time, you can get flights for a cheap price! It’s also the most convenient and fastest option available.

There are also several trains that travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok but it can take up to 15 hours. ➥ BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

From Bangkok, you can take a flight at either Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang Airport to any onward destination.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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