Thailand is one of our favourite places in this world, and it’s easy to say why. This beautiful country of smiles has it all! From charming islands, incredible wildlife and booming cities full of history, we can guarantee, you won’t be disappointed. If it’s your first time visiting Thailand, this is the perfect 10 day Thailand itinerary guide for you. If you are planning to spend 10 days in Thailand, we don’t want to disappoint you. 10 days is definitely not enough time to explore all of it, but it is a great start.
When we were planning our first trip to Thailand we had no idea when to visit or what cities, islands, beaches to see. The only thing we knew that we were flying to Bangkok. That is why I can understand if you are confused and don’t know where to begin. But don’t worry, with this 10 day Thailand itinerary, you will discover true Thai culture, dip into Thai cuisine, explore the best beaches of Krabi and of course wild life.
10 DAY THAILAND ITINERARY
In this post, we will display an exact 10 day itinerary Nico and I have done during our 1st visit in Thailand with some special places and activities we have done on our 2nd visit.
There is just so much to do and so much to see that we are more than convinced that you will want to revisit Thailand. Thailand has many traditions, lively cities, gorgeous islands and beautiful nature. That means you can choose from many activities and experiences in Thailand, which make you come again.
10 DAYS IN THAILAND: BANGKOK – 3 DAYS
If you are planning to spend 10 days in Thailand, you will most likely land in Bangkok. I will never forget when I first saw the movie Hangover Part II. Since back then I have always wanted to go there.
Bangkok is definitely not for everyone. However, even though you are not a city person, you still have to see it. At least once in your life. It is a crazy place, from magnificent temples, canal markets to chaotic streets filled with traffic to extravagant dishes. We do recommend to spend at least 3 days in Bangkok with a day trip to the nearby former capital of Thailand: Ayuthaya.
If you need a ride from the airport to your hotel, make sure to use Grab.
THINGS TO DO IN BANGKOK
Let’s kick of our 10 day Thailand itinerary in the Grand Central Palace. Once the residence of the kings of Thailand, this gorgeous palace dripping in gold is a combination of stunning symmetry, buddha statues and ornaments. You will not miss the towering stupas (chedis) and ceremonial towers (mon dops) rising over Bangkok.
CULTURAL TIP: Make sure you dress accordingly as this is a Buddhist temple. Cover your shoulders, wear long pants or a long skirt. There is option to rent a Sarong at a little cost.
Once you finish admiring Grand Central Palace, you can easily walk to Wat Po. If you want to skip it, please don’t. Wat Po is the biggest temple in Thailand and this is where one of the most famous Reclining Buddhas is located. The Reclining Buddha stretches our for 46 meters and is covered with gold. If this is not enough, then get an on-site massage. Wat Po is a sacred place for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine and massage.
EXTRA TIP: Make sure to get up early take Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Tien to reach Wat Po.
CULTURAL TIP: If you like to learn more in depth about these temples, then make sure to take a professional tour with a knowledgable guide.
CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
If you are into markets and shopping then make sure to stop at Chatuchak market. As the name says, it is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. There you might have the feeling, that everything is buyable. Among many cheesy shops and t-shirts stands, you can find many unique things.
KHAO SAN ROAD – 1 NIGHT IN BANGKOK
Do you guys know the song 1 night in Bangkok? If not, you have to check it out on Youtube. Anyways, we are definitely not party people (not anymore) but you need to see Khao San Road, not during the day, but at night. It’s so much fun. Are you ready to experience true Thai cuisine? You might be shocked at what you will see at the little stands. I would suggest to have a bucket before you try all the little creatures, from little worms, beetles to bigger animals like spiders, scorpions, snakes etc. Hungry?
Let’s go back to the bucket. A bucket is the best way to drink any kind of alcohol with friends. Buckets are literal buckets filled with alcohol and mixed with any type of juices you like.
A DAY TRIP TO AYUTTHAYA
If you are into history and want to learn where Thailand was “founded”, then you need to visit Ayutthaya. It is an hour drive from Bangkok and if you wonder why would you want to go there, hear us out.
Ayutthaya used to be one of the worlds’ top capitals and the capital of the Siamese kingdom for 400 years. It is Thailand’s first capital and it used to be a very important city. At the centre of Ayutthaya City is Ayutthaya Historical Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can wander around my different locations, go up to ancient temples, admire stupas (chedi) and search for headless Buddhas. It is a true glimpse into the glory of the past.
HOW TO GET TO AYUTTHAYA
Make sure you start early in the morning. You can go there yourself by boat, train or even bus. We organised a shared taxi ride which was super affordable. However, there are many wonderful tours combining Ayuthaya and the floating markets.
WHAT TO DO IN AYUTTHYA
Can you imagine there were around 400 temples? Nowadays you can still admire dozens of them which were restored. You can start with probably the most famous temple of Ayutthaya: Wat Mahathat. Here you’ll find the buddha head that is overgrown by roots. Another temple worthwhile a visit is Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon which is known for a large reclining buddha statue in saffron robes. Finally, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet which is one of the holiest temples in Thailand.
OUR TIP: Make sure to hire bikes as it is the best way to explore Ayutthaya.
We stayed for sunset, just be aware that most of the temples close at sunset. However, we were allowed to watch sunset from one of the temples. It was absolutely beautiful.
AYODHA FLOATING MARKET
If you do not want to stay for the sunset, you can leave in the afternoon and stop at the famous Bangkok canals. Check for day tours. For no more than 40€ a guide will take you to Ayutthaya and floating market.
WHERE TO STAY IN BANGKOK
As you can imagine, there are millions of options in Bangkok.
Budget: Yor Yak Hostel offers comfortable dormitory rooms with complimentary breakfast and has a very stylish setting.
Middle Range: U-need Guesthouse95 is very nice and affordable hotel just 1 km from Khao San Road shared lounge, along with free WiFi with breakfast included.
Luxury: Villa De Khaosan by Chillax features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and shared lounge in Bangkok.
KOH CHANG ISLANDS
If you only would like to spent your 10 days in Thailand in the area of Bangkok without taking any flights then this is for you.
In the world of over 1431 islands in Thailand, let me introduce you to Koh Chang Islands. Koh Chang islands are a group of 3 tropical paradise islands: Koh Chang, Koh Kood and Koh Mak. We visited them on our second visit in Thailand and we fell in love. They are so far our favorite Thai islands out there and this is where we spent Christmas in 2017. You can easily spend indefinite days on the Koh Chang islands, but we would recommend at least 1 week. You can just rent a scooter (except of Koh Mak) and find your slice of paradise.
Koh Chang is the biggest island among these 3. If you would like to try something knew, why not do a discovery scuba dive. Check this cool 1-day beginner’s scuba diving program certification to discover beautiful reefs and tropical fish.
The smallest of the 3 islands, Koh Mak covers only 16 square kilometers. There are barely any roads and the only means of transport is by foot or boat. There are few restaurants by the beach and there is only 1 small shop with very basic things. No ATM as well. We recommend to hire a kayak and enjoy your time.
We don’t really have a favorite island out of these 3, but we really enjoyed our time on Koh Kood Island. Make sure to rent a scooter (always wear a helmet) and drive around. It is the best way to explore Thai islands in general. There are many beaches, resorts, great authentic Thai restaurants, a scuba diving shop and you can hire snorkelling gear, kayaks or a paddle boards.
SEE MORE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO KOH KOOD ISLAND WITH BEST BEACHES AND THINGS TO DO
CHIANG MAI 2 – 3 DAYS
Once you experience the craziness of Bangkok, you are ready for destination number 2. Chiang Mai is our favorite city in Thailand. We been there already 2 times and we are always happy to go back. There is so much to see, the atmosphere of Chiang Mai is more pleasant than in Bangkok. That is why, once you are in Thailand, Chiang Mai needs to be in your 10 day itinerary for sure.
THINGS TO DO IN CHIANG MAI
Now you are probably stressing out, that 10 days in Thailand is not enough. Don’t worry, after our 3 days in Chiang Mai, we had the feeling that we truly experienced Thailand. You can easily spend 2 days wondering around and exploring Chiang Mai.
The temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (often refered to as Doi Suthep only) is located a bit of outside of Chiang Mai. From here you will have an incredible view on the city. Walk around the impressive temple which was built during the 13th century.
OUR TIP: Make sure to catch a Songthaew. They are open red vans/ trucks and function like a bus and are very affordable. You can catch them from Huay Kaew Road.
VISIT AN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
There are many “sanctuaries”, so before you book, check for reviews and details to avoid any places which are mistreating elephants. For instance you can book an ethical tour in Lanna kingdom sanctuary where you can give the elephants a bath and learn all about the program to protect and rescue them.
SAD FACT: There used to be a lot of wild elephants running around Thailand. Poaching, elephant circuses are serious threats to elephants and now there are only 3.000 to 4.000 elephants left.
THE YE PENG FESTIVAL
If you happen to travel to Thailand in November, then you are in luck. Ye Peng is one of the most fascinating festivals. “Yee” means two and “Peng” stands for full moon day. This indicates the exact night of the festival: the second full moon of the Lanna calendar.
OUR TIP: The festival usually happens on the last week of November, please check the exact dates online. In 2018, when we visited, it started on November 21st.
On our second visit we digged in even more into Thai culture and did our first cooking course ever. If you want to take at least once a cooking class in your life, then you definitely should learn how to create Thai dishes. Thai food is my absolute favorite and most people we’ve meet agreed that it’s yummy. Who doesn’t know the famous tom yam, tom kha or pad thai? There are many cooking courses, but we absolutely recommend Sammy’s cooking courses.
WHITE TEMPLE (WAT RONG KHUN)
If you still don’t have enough of temples in Thailand, and crave for some more, then this one should be in your 10 day itinerary. It is located a 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai located in a city called Chiang Rai, there are many day tours going to the White Temple. This full day tour will take you to the White Temple, Golden Triangle and Wat Phra That Chedi Luang.
CHANG KHLAN ROAD
The Chang Khlan Road is a very famous night bazar which is open every day. Here you can find anything and everything. Prepare some change and bring your bargaining skills to get the best deals.
WHERE TO STAY IN CHIANG MAI
BUDGET: We stayed for the second time in a place called Sunshine House. Its a great hotel for budget travelers. It has a great location, clean rooms and private bathrooms.
MIDDLE RANGE: Rainforest ChiangMai Hotel has affordable nice rooms, 2 outdoor pools and free breakfast.
LUXURY: Gordnuea Boutique House has an excellent location, beautiful rooms with breakfast and is located only 300m from the Sunday Walking Street and 500m from Chiang Mai Gate.
Now that you experienced a slice of Thai culture, played with elephants, visited many ancient temples, it is time to relax.
KRABI REGION 4 – 5 Days
If you like to enjoy great island hopping and explore wonderful beaches, then this for you. Our 10 day Thailand itinerary covers some of the best beaches which can be found in Krabi region. If you are reading till now, you probably have realised that 10 days in Thailand is not enough to explore all the islands.
Krabi has many beautiful islands and beaches and they are more or less easy to reach.
This is a detailed guide on Krabi Region with all your travel tips on beaches, islands and island hopping tours: THE 12 MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN KRABI
HOW TO GET TO KRABI
You can easily fly to Krabi from Chiang Mai or Bangkok. Ever since an airport near Krabi town was opened, tourism boomed.
Make sure to book an early flight so you can enjoy most of your day on the beach.
BEST BEACHES AND ISLANDS OF KRABI
You can do many boat tours and island hopping trips in Krabi. Ao Nang beach is in general a good base for you to stay. You can arrange a full day boat tour from Ao Nang (with a pick up at your hotel), during which you go to Ao Phra Nang Beach, Railay Beach and several islands in Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park or Than Bok Khorani National Park.
AO PHRA NANG BEACH
Ao Phra Nang Beach is a very beautiful place, but be aware that it might be very busy. Make sure to stop at the very peculiar Princess Cave. You will find out what we mean once you have seen it.
One of the most famous beaches in Thailand is Railay Beach. Railay is of the most busiest beaches in Thailand, so if you don’t like many people around, you might skip it during your 10 day itinerary. However, this beach is surrounded by beautiful rocks and everywhere you can see the iconic Thai boats.
OUR TIP: Arrange a private tour, which will allow you to leave earlier and enjoy places without too many people. If you don’t fancy a private tour then this is for you: Full day trip to all 4 islands for 30€.
HAD NOPPHARATTHARA – MU KOH PHI PHI NATIONAL PARK
You also have to see the islands Koh Poda and Tup or Chicken Island which are part of the Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. There is a difference in pricing for tourists and locals. In January 2018 we paid 400 Baht per person.
KOH HONG ISLANDS
For your second island hopping trip starting in Ao Nang you can visit the islands of the Mu Ko Hong group located in Than Bok Khorani National Park. There are all together 13 small islands and Ko Hong (Room Island) is the largest island among them. Check some affordable tours here.
PHUKET AND KOH PHI PHI
If you like more mainstream places, Phuket is your choice. We personally didn’t like Phuket, as it is really touristy and the main beach at Phuket is not what it used be (according to Thailand veterans). However, there are many accommodations and many restaurants and bars to choose from. You can easily fly to Phuket from Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
OUR TIP: Rent a scooter and drive around to reach the more remote and peaceful beaches on Phuket.
From Phuket you can go for a day trip to Ko Phi Phi and visit Maya Bay. Be aware that Maya Bay is closed at the moment due to clean up and to let marine life recover. It will be reopened once marine life recovers.
WHERE TO STAY IN AO NANG
BUDGET: We stayed a bit outside of Ao Nang Beach in a beautiful place called Rangsiman Resort with a pool, free breakfast and fast wifi. Not to mention, the hosts, who are such wonderful people.
MIDDLE RANGE: Haleeva Sunshine Aonang offers colourful accommodation surrounded by tropical gardens.
LUXURY: Resort Maleedee Bay is a 10-minute drive from Chao Fa Pier with an outdoor pool and breakfast.
MORE THAI ISLANDS WHICH ARE EASY TO REACH
If you want to spend your 10 days in Thailand lying on the beach, then do not fear, you can. There is another group of islands in Thailand, which are very popular and where it’s easy to spend 10 days. Thus, if you don’t want to go to Krabi, then Koh Tao, Koh Samui and/or Koh Phangan might be for you.
Would you like to learn scuba diving? Koh Tao is a true getaway to diving and this is where many travelers get their PADI (or SSI) certification. I have done my diving course in Koh Tao with Scuba Shack and I can’t recommend them enough. However, if you don’t want to dive, you can just chill on the beach and you can also go for a trip to the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint.
Koh Samui is a very popular destination especially among honeymoon makers. It is a beautiful island and if you think you might get bored, don’t worry. You can do a full day to the Angthong Marine Park, which consists of a pristine archipelago with 42 limestone islands. Don’t forget your hiking shoes and snorkeling mask. If you are tired of beaches, then there is Wat Phra Yai temple which is famous for its giant Buddha. Again, just rent a scooter and explore the island on your own.
If you are into party, then this island is for you. Koh Phangan is home to the famous full moon parties which were first introduced in 1983.
OUR TIP: If you want to get some sleep, make sure to not book a hotel near the beach. It gets loud and it’s here where the parties happen.
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT THAILAND
Is Thailand easy to travel?
Absolutely! It is so much fun to travel around Thailand. Thailand is tourism wise very developed and you will find connections to almost every place you can possible imagine.
Is Thailand dangerous for tourists?
NO! We have never heard of any crime whatsoever. We always felt very safe when traveling in Thailand. The only thing which we would recommend is to be careful when exchanging money, booking tours and buying souvenirs. Sometimes locals might charge you more than they should.
What is the best month to go to Thailand?
You need to know that Thailand doesn’t have just one climate zone. Thailand is huge and the climate varies throughout different regions. However, the best time to travel in Thailand is between November and the beginning of April.
Can I drink the water in Thailand?
Absolutely not, don’t drink TAP WATER in Thailand. Tap water in Thailand is not safe. It’s better to use a reusable bottle with an integrated filter. This way you’ll stay healthy and reduce plastic use.
We had a really awesome time in Thailand, even if we were only there for 10 days, we saw a lot of places and I am sure you will have fun as well. Hit us up if you have questions in the comment section.
Did you enjoy our 10 day Thailand itinerary? Let us know if you have any questions.
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