10 DAYS IN THAILAND – ITINERARIES FOR EVERY TRAVELLER

Katie

Thailand is an incredible place to explore and we love living here. There are lots of places to visit so we have put together 10 days in Thailand – 3 different itineraries, depending on the type of traveller you are. 

10 Days in Thailand – For the explorer

Grand Palace
Grand palace in Bangkok

2 days in Bangkok

Most visitors will fly into Bangkok and this is a good place to start for those looking to explore the different sides to Thailand – even if you have one day in Bangkok. It is an incredible city with bustling markets, incredible street food, unique restaurants and of course, lots of things to see and do. 

Chatuchak Market

Spend your first day visiting the Grand Palace or Wat Pho then take a river taxi along to Asiatique night market in the evening. If you are visiting on the weekend, make sure you include a trip to Chatuchak market; a place full of souvenirs but also delicious food, beautiful scarves and an assortment of household and beauty goods. 

Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya

On your second day in Bangkok, I would recommend visiting a floating market or taking a day trip to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. If you would prefer to stay local, why not spend the morning taking a khlong longtail boat tour; head to Saphan Taksin Pier and join a group tour or hire a longtail boat and driver yourself. 

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We love exploring Chinatown, so spend the afternoon wandering around the neighbourhood of Chinatown and finish your evening at the famous Khao San Road; a place that has been significantly ‘upgraded’ or ‘tidied up’. There are still affordable bars and great restaurants along the road so it is worth spending the evening down here. 

Alternatively, you could spend your evening watching a Muay Thai fight at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium or explore a night market such as the Rot Fai Market or the Chang Chui Bangkok Plane Night Market. 

River Kwai

1 day in Kanchanaburi

The bridge on the River Kwai is a must-see for anyone interested in Thai history. This can be explored over a few days if you have extra time, as a day trip or you could opt for staying in the area one night. 

Day trips can be arranged before your visit or you can catch a train to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. If you are looking for a memorable experience, why not spend a night on the river itself, staying at one of the bungalows and small resorts dotted along the route. We loved the Floathouse bungalows – a romantic experience for those couples visiting Thailand. 

Besides seeing the River Kwai, you can also visit the JEATH War Museum, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and Erawan National Park. 

3 days in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Next, fly or catch the train up to Chiang Mai. See the sights such as Doi Suthep and the old city temples or visit the night safari or Night Bazaar in the evenings. Spend a day at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary or visit the Doi Inthanon National Park. 

You can easily spend 2 or 3 days jumping from temple to temple and relaxing around Nimmanhaemin Road in the evenings with a few drinks and delicious meals. Shoppers have to head to the Handicraft Highway, officially named San Kamphaeng Road or check out Warorot Market. 

If you have an extra day, why not check out Chiang Mai’s very own Grand Canyon; an old soil quarry which now fills with around forty meters of water and offers stunning views. 

2 days in Pai

Pai Thailand
Pai, Thailand

After sightseeing in Chiang Mai, head over to the relaxed hippie town of Pai. Kan Air offer flights with the route take under 30 minutes from Chiang Mai but most visitors prefer to take a taxi or minivan for the 3-hour journey. 

Pai is breathtaking and is one of the best places to explore in Northern Thailand. First, head to Pai Canyon and enjoy some hiking options and incredible views. Make sure you head to Pai’s walking street for food and market stalls in the evening. 

For day two, I would recommend visiting Pambok Waterfall however Mo Paeng Falls is also a pretty pool to spend a day. Alternatively, if you are looking for a more tranquil way to spend your time, especially during the winter months, head to the Tha Pai Hot Springs and enjoy a warm soak. 

2 days in Chiang Rai

Chiang Dao

You will need to return to Chiang Mai to then take the journey (flight is best) across to Chiang Rai. If you have extra time, try to squeeze in a day trip to Chiang Dao from Chiang Mai. 

Firstly, spend a day exploring the local sights; Chiang Rai Clock Tower, Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park, Wat Klang Wieng and the blue temple 

Then, plan some time away from the city. Visit the tea plantations near Singha Park, spend a night at the indigenous Akha Hill Tribe, try the treetop adventure walks, visit Mae Fah Luang garden and of course see the famous White Temple. 

Make sure you try the regions local food and check out Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar. 

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These ten days in Thailand itineraries are designed to allow first-time travellers to Thailand, get a great taste of what Thailand has to offer beyond the beaches. You may wish to add a few extra days heading down to one of the islands or beach resorts near Bangkok such as Hua Hin or Pattaya – see below for beach and island ideas. 

10 days in Thailand – For the adventurer

10 days in Thailand

Thailand offers some amazing adventures for those looking for an adrenaline-filled trip. We have put together the ideal 10 days in Thailand for those adventurers visiting the country. 

4 days in Chiang Mai

First off, head from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand for some incredible experiences. You can experience White water rafting with companies such as 9Adventures or Siam River Adventures or you may opt for the slightly calmer Kayaking trip down the Mao Taeng River. For a more peaceful water experience, you can take a kayaking trip on the Mae Ngat Dam Reservoir. 

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai also offers some amazing trekking experiences such as the Doi Suthep mountain, Mae Tang or Chiang Dao. You can visit the hill tribe villages on your journey whilst taking in stunning scenery and views. This region is also a popular choice for those looking to cycle around the countryside in Thailand. 

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Mountain Biking is also a popular choice for adventurers in Chiang Mai, exploring the windy roads around the countryside or arrange a day trip with the Mountain biking group to experience off-road trails through the nearby national parks. 

For those not quite as brave or for families visiting Chiang Mai, you could also try out the Flight of the Gibbon zip lining and sky bridges course over the forests of Chiang Mai. 

4 days in Phuket 

Phuket

After staying up north, you are going to head down to Phuket next. This is a popular island with many resorts and hotel options but also many types of areas to stay – there are a lot of things to do in Phuket to keep you busy too. For those looking for a bustling, busy area, head to Patpong, for those looking for calmer evenings, head to North and South Patpong or Karon and Kata. Phuket Old Town is ideal for those that love culture and history whilst Bang Tao offers exclusive, high-end and private resorts. 

Diving In Phuket
Kayaking in Phuket

From here, there are many adventure sports to enjoy. You can’t visit Thailand and not try scuba diving. From Phuket, you can experience a one-day tour with up to three dives or, if you have a little more, you can try the overnight liveaboards trips which often include night dives. For those in Thailand for longer, you can even choose to take your PADI course here. 

Step up your scuba diving in Thailand with a trip to Mu Koh Surin National Park, where you can scuba dive with whale sharks. 

Other adventure activities you can try in Phuket include Kiteboarding, snorkelling and surfing as well as bungy jumping from the massive karsts around the island. 

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2 days in Bangkok

Bangkok green lung
Bangkok’s green lung

Spend the last two days in Bangkok. This city is an adventure in itself but it also offers a lot for those looking for thrills. One of the most popular choices is sky diving – Bangkok Sky Diving offers great, affordable packages and are a trusted company. Instructors speak good English as well as Thai and Chinese. 

That is not the end of your adventure though. For cyclists, head to the lung of Bangkok; officially known as Bang Krachao. This bustling jungle not far from the city centre, is the perfect way to escape the city and enjoy cycles or walks along the high footpaths that take you along the tree line. 

Alternatively, you could try out wakeboarding at Taco Lake, about a 40-minute drive away from the city centre or you could take a day trip to the nearby national parks and enjoy a hike through some truly wonderful beauty that you wouldn’t expect so near to Bangkok. 

For those travelling with families, why not check out Ocean World and enjoy a dive with the sharks or check out the thrill rides at Dream World Theme Park. for those into fitness, learn how to fight Thai style with a Muay Thai boxing lesson, available at most gyms but a quick google search will show you the best workshops in your area. 

And that is 10 days in Thailand for adventurers. We hope you have an amazing time and don’t forget to keep reading if you are looking for a few relaxing destinations to include in your trip.

10 days in Thailand – For those looking to relax

Thailand itinerary

Thailand is beautiful, there is no doubt about that. With pristine beaches and high-end resorts for much better prices, there is no wonder so many people visit the islands of Thailand. But, where to start? We have put together a 10-day South Thailand itinerary for those looking to relax in the sun and enjoy some island hopping in Thailand. 

1 day in Phuket

Phuket Old Town
Phuket Old Town

Phuket is a great place to start because the international airport is easy to get to and there are loads of direct flights from Bangkok and other Asian cities, every day. If you book in advance, you can get super cheap flights from Bangkok too. 

Start in Phuket and choose an area to explore. If you are looking for partying then head to Patpong, if you want to start your time off well and truly relaxed, visit Kata or, if you want to explore a bit of Thailand culture, stay in Phuket Old Town. 

Either way, spend your first day getting to see Phuket, try some local dishes and get cash out – a lot of islands don’t have ATMs readily available. 

3 days in Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta

From Phuket, catch a ferry over to Koh Lanta. The journey takes around two hours but the trip is worth it. Koh Lanta is a fantastic place for couples and families – expect pristine beaches, stunning national parks and crystal clear water as far as the eye can see. Try Kayaking with the Talabeng Kayaking group, exploring the caves and karsts from your kayak or opt for snorkelling trips around the island. 

Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta

Make sure you find time to visit the caves, many of which are barely touched. You can also visit a sustainably built teahouse in the heart of the jungle or explore the old town of Koh Lanta with its enchanting streets that really give you a taste of old Thailand. 

Of course, take some time to hop from beach to beach – Bamboo Bay, Kantiang Bay, Long Beach and Khlong Nin Beach are picture-perfect. 

Koh Lanta

Tip – You can choose the ferry option which stops over for a night in Koh Phi Phi – it isn’t as beautiful as it once was but there are some great bars and parties for those looking to have a busy evening or try one of the restaurants and head to Koh Lanta the following morning

4 days in Krabi

Krabi
Ao Nang Beach
Railay Beach
Railay Beach

Whether you are staying in Ao Nang Beach or Railay beach, unwinding in Krabi is heaven. Choose a resort or hotel, enjoy local foods, take in the sun and truly relax. For those looking for a little more to do than relaxing in the sun, you can watch Muay Thai fights in the evening, try rock climbing or take advantage of the water sport activities in the area. 

If you choose to stay on Railay Beach, head over to Pranang Cave, also known as princess cave and check our the nearby Phra Nang Beach – simply stunning. Railay beach is the place to be if you are looking for those perfect, endless beaches. 

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2 days in Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe
crystal clear waters of Koh Lipe

From Krabi, you can catch a direct ferry which runs once a day or you can take the ferry via Koh Jum Beach. Koh Lipe is secluded and quiet but also tiny. Two days is more than enough time to explore the island and take some time to unwind. Visit Bioluminescent Plankton Tour or try scuba diving in the beautiful surrounding waters. 

Try to find time to hike up to Koh Lipe Viewpoint – the view is unforgettable and is a must when in Koh Lipe. 

And that is a complete island hopping Thailand itinerary in 10 days.

We love Thailand and ten days is not enough to explore it all but we hope these itineraries have given you a little help planning your ideal trip around the country.

Let us know where you are heading to Thailand in the comments below!

10 days in Thailand
10 days in Thailand
10 days in Thailand
Showing 26 comments
  • Avatar
    Danik
    Reply

    Great plans here and has given me some food for thought as I never been to Thailand. I do have a young family with me so I am going to delay this trip for a few years as I want to mix it up with beach and exploring. I have always been interested in the temples of Chang Mai and going to an elephant sanctuary (not to ride them) but the beaches of Phuket and Krabi has always interested me. Not sure on Bangkok but I think it needs to be hit. 🙂

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Thailand is a great place for family, keep an eye out, we will be posting soon about things to do in Thailand with children 🙂 The beaches are beautiful – Koh Lanta is great for families and yes, the luscious greenery of Northern Thailand is a must!

  • Avatar
    Erica
    Reply

    What a great post! I love that you included multiple different itineraries for different travel styles. I think I would combine aspects of both the explorer itinerary and the adventurer itinerary. They both look amazing. I think I would want to visit both Pai and Phuket. I’ve always imagined Thailand to be overcrowded with tourists and is one of the reasons I’ve avoided going there, but your post makes me want to go. Especially since it includes some of the less popular destinations.

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Hi Erica, thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, we love living in Bangkok but it can get very crowded. It is always worth escaping the crowds and visiting the quieter spots – if you are staying near Bangkok, you can get a bus over to Hua Hin for a beautiful beach with enough going on to keep you busy too.

  • Avatar
    Elizabeth
    Reply

    I like the way you set up this post with different Thailand itineraries for different types of travelers. They all sound fun, but I think I would lean towards the adventure itinerary. I would definitely want to go kayaking in Thailand. I’ve never done kiteboarding, that would be fun to try in Phuket.

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your comment. Yes, we love a bit of a mixture but we hope this itinerary can help people plan their time in Thailand! Kayaking through the caves and around the karsts of the southern islands is beautiful.

  • Avatar
    Linnea
    Reply

    Great guide! I love all your options for different types of Thailand trips! I went a couple years ago and I loved it! Krabi and Chiang Mai were my favorite spots, but I would love to visit Chiang Rai too! Great guide! Definitely saving for a future trip back there!

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Thank you, we love exploring Thailand, it has so much to offer! We are heading to Krabi soon and can’t wait!

  • Avatar
    Lisa
    Reply

    Great itineraries. We love Thailand but need to get back to explore more. Thanks for the extra ideas of places to visit.

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Thank you! That is so kind of you!

  • Avatar
    Jen Ambrose
    Reply

    Thailand is a place we just keep going back to – and there’s still so much I haven’t seen there (namely Koh Lipe, which has always been on my list!).

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Yes you must see Koh Lipe – it is still barely so beautiful with crystal clear waters

  • Avatar
    Denise & Ryne
    Reply

    Wonderful article! Really loved the way you wrote this in different parts! We’ll be going to Thailand soon and hope our budget allows for all the cool things to do there 🙂 What was your favorite activity?

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Thanks so much! We live in Bangkok and love visiting the different areas of Thailand! For me, the beaches are my favourite! I work here full time so when it is the holidays, I have to head to a beach and relax! But Pai is stunning so would highly recommend it.

  • Avatar
    Kavita Favelle
    Reply

    We spent 3 weeks in Thailand a couple of years ago, and it was wonderful to have that long, but I appreciate not everyone can spend so long on a single trip. I love that you’ve suggested three different itineraries for different travelling styles. For me, the first itinerary for explorers is the one that appeals the most, we loved the places you’ve listed, though we didn’t get to Pai, we did visit a remote hill tribe up in the mountains!

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      How amazing! We are hoping to visit some of the more remote areas in Northern Thailand! Thanks for your kind words!

  • Avatar
    Jackie
    Reply

    This is an incredibly useful guide, especially with your insights as locals. Thailand is a land of many wonders! I am torn between the “Explore” and the “Relax” itineraries…so maybe I’ll just have to plan a 20 day trip? I’m all for an extended trip… Thank you for sharing these inspirational ideas. It makes me want to hop on a plane to Thailand tomorrow!

  • Avatar
    Lisa
    Reply

    It’s been a very long time since I went to Thailand, so this is a very helpful itinerary. I’m most taken by Pai, since I love indulging in some wellness when I travel and the hot springs sound wonderful. I also like that it has a hippy and laid-back vibe; my kind of place!

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Yeah Pai is such a lovely place to just chill out and unwind! A unique little village in Thailand for sure!

  • Avatar
    Helena
    Reply

    I definitely want to see the best of adventure and relaxation in Thailand, I’ve never been but would love to tine day! thanks for sharing!

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      Yeah Thailand is such a wonderful place to relax!

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Prince
    Reply

    I LOVE this idea!! Places speak different things to different types of travelers – so true! Also, I’m a bit of each, but the markets appeal to me as does the landscape. So lovely! I’d probably pick and choose a bit of each itinerary. Great ideas!

  • Avatar
    Clarice
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this very detailed itinerary. It is very helpful for first-time visitors like me. Since I consider myself more as an explorer, I am looking forward to spending a few days in Chiang Mai.

  • Avatar
    Shreya Saha
    Reply

    I loved how you have given different types of itineraries – one for explorer, one for adventurer, and one for the one who is going to just relax by the beaches. I have stayed in Thailand for the last 5 years and I have been to all those places. My favorites are Pai, Chiang Mai, Koh Lipe and Koh Lanta. You have got them covered in your itineraries and I really love them.

    • Katie
      Katie
      Reply

      That is great! So happy to hear you love those places! Any other recommendations? We live in Bangkok and love exploring Thailand!

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