Even though Thailand is only about the size of Texas, the country is chock full of noteworthy cities travellers are eager to include on their Thailand itinerary. Planning the perfect trip that tailors to the typical tourist’s length of stay can be difficult, however, so we went ahead and did the legwork for you. Here, a guide on how to spend 10 days in Thailand, featuring the best of Bangkok, the Andaman Sea, and Northern Thailand.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 1-2: Bangkok
Bangkok is a thriving city that is equipped with everything one needs to stay busy for the first two days of their trip to Thailand. Prepare for chaos as you take to the busy sois (streets) of one of the craziest yet most fun cities in the world: one equipped with too many top sights and excursions to choose from. Visitors can indulge in some much needed retail therapy at a high-end mall like Siam Paragon or weave in and out of the capital’s most vibrant and cool markets, including the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Channel your creativity and check out a gallery like the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Learn more about the historic capital at a museum.
Explore stunning temples in the city, including Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew, or dine and watch the sun go down over the mighty Chao Phraya River. Then, end one of your two nights in the capital at a rooftop bar. The next night, take on the city’s immense nightlife if you are not feeling too jet-lagged, with everything from dance clubs to jazz bars and more to choose from.
For those of you travelling through the capital, be sure to stay with us at Mad Monkey Hostel Bangkok! We are but a short walk to the infamous Khao San Road and our friendly staff is at the ready to help you plan your trip, should you need any assistance.
After a few days in the City of Angels, it is time to hop on a flight to venture to the pearl of the Andaman: Phuket.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 3-4: Phuket
There are a few ways in which you can get to Phuket. If you are following a 10 day Thailand itinerary, however, it is best to fly. Visitors will likely arrive at the Phuket International Airport from Bangkok. The island is the largest one in Thailand and has plenty of things to see and do to prove it. Admire the stunning Sino-Portuguese architecture in Phuket Town. Go on a fun dive at the King Cruiser Wreck or explore other memorable dive sites spotting the surrounding sea.
Grab a swimsuit and take to one of the gorgeous beaches to get your tan on, including Freedom and Kata Beach. Rent a motorbike and zip through the island’s stunning jungle terrain found on either side of the well-paved roads here. There are also a number of breathtaking waterfalls in the area as well as an abundance of religious structures worth visiting including Wat Chalong, the Big Buddha, and the Jui Tui Shrine.
This region’s cuisine is known for its mouthwatering seafood options and being incredibly spicy in flavour. Surprisingly affordable restaurants line the coastline where tourists can dine on the delicious southern Thai cuisine with the ocean acting as their dining backdrop. Find out for yourself what makes this region’s menus so sought after. Night owls should take on Bang La Road, the seedy stretch of street where many of visitors either have memorable nights or nights they simply cannot remember. Try not to indulge in too many liquor-ridden buckets, however, as we must rise early to travel to the next fantastic stop on our 10 day Thailand itinerary.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 5: Koh Phi Phi
Bid farewell to the pearl of the Andaman and say hello to Koh Phi Phi. Ferries are at the ready to take visitors from Phuket to the stunning Koh Phi Phi islands, the next stop on our itinerary. The tropical vibes on Koh Phi Phi will provide visitors with a much-needed beach paradise. With only a day to spend here before heading to our next location, it is best to take the earliest ferry to get to the island.
Sublime beaches and incredible viewpoints eagerly await visitors’ arrival. Arguably the best thing to do on the island is snorkel. Long-tail boats take visitors out on day trips, or you can rent snorkelling gear and a kayak and take to the crystal-clear water solo to catch a glimpse of reef sharks, hard and soft coral, and other underwater wildlife. Maya Bay is one of the best spots to snorkel on the island. This is where Leonardo DiCaprio starred in the film, The Beach, making the bay one of the most visited spots in the country.
After a day of exploring under the sea, it is time to get back on land to have a seafood dinner. Choose from one of the many international or Thai restaurants that pepper the island before heading out for a night filled with fire shows and buckets of booze. We suggest heading to Slinky Beach Bar, a venue that puts on some of the best and most exciting of fire shows on the island.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 6: Krabi
The next morning, visitors will make the two-hour journey to Krabi, a seaside city with plenty of things to see and do. Krabi is renowned for the limestone cliffs that protrude drastically from the sea’s surface. These natural wonders make for a perfect backdrop on the Andaman Sea. Visitors will be equipped with picturesque views no matter what beach they find themselves on.
You can make a day trip and head to the Railay Peninsula. It is here you can either take to the limestone cliffs to rock climb, snorkel the surrounding coastline, or climb to one of the stunning viewpoints. There is also a fantastic national park in Krabi: Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam, meaning ‘Two Water Canal.’ Mangrove trees creep into the amazingly clear water, and the park is a serene destination for those wanting to see more than just beaches.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 7-8: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a day-trip superstar. There is not an excursion or activity not made available in this amazing city. Animal lovers will want to make the journey to Elephant Nature Park to interact with the country’s national animal in a humane and ethical way. Adventurous travellers may instead opt to go white water rafting on the waterways found just outside the city. Those looking for something a bit more chill will want to check out Huay Tung Tao, a lake well-known by locals but not so much by tourists. You could spend an entire afternoon sipping on a local beer and enjoying the views here.
Self-proclaimed foodies should participate in a cooking class while visiting and learn all about the country’s world-famous cuisine. Speaking of food, the city is also a haven for vegans and vegetarians. There is seemingly a meat-free dining option around every soi (street). Those with this dietary need will simply have a heydey at the sheer variety of restaurants they have to choose from, each one seemingly more delicious than the last. The faux meat at these restaurants is sure to please even the most avid of a carnivore, as well.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 9: Chiang Rai
Arguably quainter than Chiang Mai is Chiang Rai, the city’s northern neighbour. Though there are fewer things to see and do, visitors to Thailand should try to, at the very least, squeeze a day trip to Chiang Rai in their itinerary before departing the Land of Smiles for good. The city is home to the infamous yet stunning Golden Triangle, where the Mekong River is the only thing separating Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. It is also home to Wat Rong Khun, otherwise known as the White Temple. The temple is almost entirely white, symbolizing the purity of Buddha, and is one of the most stunning religious structures in the entire country. It was built by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a renowned Thai artist who is from Chiang Rai, as well.
Thailand Itinerary — Day 10: Go home
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Visitors can either depart from the Chiang Rai International Airport or venture back to Chiang Mai and leave from the Chiang Mai International Airport, where flights are usually cheaper, more frequent, and reach more destinations. Night buses and trains are also available from Chiang Mai back to other cities including Bangkok, where the majority of flyers will venture back home from.
When to visit Thailand
Visitors who have any flexibility as to when it is they can travel to Thailand should do so during the months of November to February. This time of the year is known as the high season. The Land of Smiles can suffocate visitors with its intense heat, and this is the cooler of the two principal seasons (not including the monsoon season). Tourists can have an amazing trip regardless of the month they travel to the country. The high season, also known as the cool season, is surely the best time to visit, however.
The top 10 Thai phrases you need to know before visiting
Before visiting the Kingdom, be sure to have a few helpful Thai phrases under your belt to help you better navigate the country. Here are the top ten more useful ones you should know. While you are at it, we recommend checking out these Thai phrases you need to know if you’re visiting Thailand!
|Thank you||Khòp koon|
|Excuse me||Khŏte hôte|
|Do you speak English||Pôot paa-săa ang-grìt dâi măi|
|I do not understand||Mâi kâo jai|
|My name is ___||Pŏm/chán chuu ___|
|How are you||Sà-bai-dee măi|
|I am fine||Sà-bai-dee|
|Where is ___||___ Yòo tee năi|
|Have you eaten yet||Gin kâao lɛ́ɛo rʉ́-yang|
More information about travelling in Thailand
Did you love this article about travelling in Thailand? Do you want even more information for your Thailand Itinerary? Then check out these awesome articles we have rounded up to help to make your trip planning process a flawless one! We only recommend blogs and websites that we use ourselves, as well.
- Thailand Vacation: Tips and Essentials to Help You Plan the Perfect Vacation in Thailand by Greg Rodgers for TripSavvy
- How to Plan the Perfect Thailand Itinerary by Kelly Iverson for Culture Trip
- An Awesome 2-Week Thailand Itinerary (For First-Timers) for Geeky Explorer
- 2 Weeks in Thailand: A Detailed Thailand Itinerary and Trip Planner by Laurence Norah for Finding the Universe
- Thailand Itinerary for 2 to 4 Weeks (North & South Highlights) for Indie Traveller