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3 Best Thailand Itineraries for 12 Days 2024

By RitaUpdated Feb. 3, 2024

12 days are adequate for a full Thailand experience at a relaxing tour pace, covering Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and one island. Feeling adventurous? There would be time to step onto the less-trodden paths of Chiang Rai, Khao Yai National Park, and Kanchanaburi.

To make the most of your time, we've thoughtfully crafted three targeted itineraries for 1) diverse experiences, 2) families, and 3) couples that promise not just sightseeing but a genuine connection with the soul of Thailand…

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Itinerary 1: 12-Day Thailand Wonders Tour with Krabi Islands

If you're looking for diverse experiences in Thailand, don't miss this itinerary.

This well-rounded tour features chaotic yet welcoming city life in Bangkok, adventures in the jungle forests of Khao Yai National Park, cultural experiences in Chiang Mai and less-crowded beach time in Krabi.

Brief itinerary: Bangkok – Khao Yai – Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Krabi

  • Days 1-2: Bangkok
  • Days 3-4: Khao Yai National Park
  • Day 5: Bangkok
  • Days 6-9: Chiang Mai
  • Days 10-12: Krabi
thailand map

Explore our popular itinerary below or share your interests, and we'll gladly create a personalized dream trip just for you.

Day 1: Bangkok Arrival

Upon arrival in Bangkok, your private guide and driver would pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. You'll have some free time to acclimatize yourselves and get over the jet lag.

Day 2: Bangkok City Highlights Tour

Highlights of Bangkok

Discover the iconic attractions of Bangkok with your local expert. In the morning, you could listen to the monks' chanting in the Wat Pho, and take a tuk-tuk ride to the Grand Palace.

In the afternoon, you would take a longtail boat ride to Wat Arun, one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Afterward, wander around Chinatown for exotic Thai foods and lovely souvenirs.

Day 3: Bangkok to Khao Yai; Hike in the Jungle and Spot Wild Animals

Spot wild elephants in Khao Yai

Today, you'll take a 2-hour private transfer to Khao Yai National Park in the morning. Upon reaching the park, your adventure kicks off with a trekking tour. You'll have opportunities to spot wildlife and marvel at the stunning Haew Narok Waterfall.

As night falls, get ready for a captivating night safari tour. Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the dark jungle and gain insight into the nocturnal habits of wild animals.

Day 4: More Adventures in Khao Yai; Return to Bangkok

The Haew Suwat Waterfall

A highlight of today is set to be a scenic trek to the Haew Suwat Waterfall. Along the way, keep an eye out for crocodiles, monitor lizards, and Chinese water dragons.

After this exciting sightseeing adventure, return to Bangkok and transfer to your hotel.

Day 5: Morning Market Tour

The bustling Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

In Bangkok, dive into the authentic local life through its vibrant markets. Begin at the Maeklong Railway Market, where vendors swiftly pack and unpack goods as trains pass by. Then, visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market for a boat ride along could als, where vendors sell fruits and food directly from their boats.

After the sightseeing adventures, treat yourself to a Thai spa session, savor a sunset drink at a rooftop bar, and catch a cultural show for a perfect end to the day.

Day 6: Chiang Mai Arrival

After breakfast, fly to Chiang Mai and enjoy a free afternoon. Immerse yourself in the charm of the city, stroll through its vibrant markets, or simply relax and absorb the unique atmosphere of this cultural gem.

Day 7: Experience the Local Lifestyle and Street Food

Doi Suthep mountain

This morning, take a leisurely stroll through the local flower market and get a glimpse of locals' daily life.

Afterward, venture to Doi Suthep Mountain to capture panoramic views and explore the sacred Wat Phra That at its summit.

In the afternoon, hop onto a rickshaw for a delightful Chiang Mai city tour and treat your taste buds to a foodie adventure. Indulge in mouth-watering dishes such as noodle soup, fresh fruits, and delectable Thai desserts.

Day 8: A Memorable Elephant Care Experience

Chiang Mai Elepant Sanctuary

Get ready for an unforgettable day filled with close interactions with elephants with a half-day elephant sanctuary program.

Start by delving into fascinating insights about these incredible creatures. Then, engage in hands-on experiences, from leisurely walks with elephants to cooking their favorite treats, feeding them, and even bathing these gentle giants.

Day 9: Chiang Mai to Krabi

Fly to Krabi for a blissful beach getaway! The untouched tropical beaches of Krabi are the perfect destination for laid-back couples and families.

Days 10-11: Enjoy Your Time in Krabi

Krabi is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, offering an array of exhilarating activities. Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing underwater world through snorkeling and scuba diving, where you would encounter breathtaking coral reefs and vibrant marine life. For those seeking a thrill, test your mettle at rock climbing or set off on an island-hopping adventure to the stunning Phi Phi Islands.

Day 12: Krabi to Bangkok for Departure

Bid farewell to the tropical paradise of Krabi and diverse Thailand, and fly home!

Itinerary 2: 12-Day Thailand Family Holiday

Looking for a family escape in Thailand? Look no further than this itinerary.

Your family could explore vibrant Bangkok, experience a one-of-a-kind stay in a floating house in Kanchanaburi, dive into rich hands-on experiences in Chiang Mai and unwind on the serene beaches of Koh Samui.

Brief itinerary: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - Chiang Mai - Koh Samui

  • 2 nights in Bangkok
  • 2 nights in Kanchanaburi
  • 4 nights in Chiang Mai
  • 3 nights in Koh Samui
Vietnam Map

You could check out the following carefully crafted itinerary for inspiration, or click Create My Trip to customize your ideal trip based on your preferences.

Day 1: Bangkok Arrival

Your private guide and driver would welcome your family to Thailand at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 2: City Exploration and Bangkok's Top Attractions

If you're into history and temples, the day's exploration activities are tailor-made for you.

You would discover the medieval charms of Bangkok and its historical treasures: Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of Dawn. For an added touch of excitement, opt for unique modes of public transport such as a public taxi boat, a long-tail boat, and a Thai tuk-tuk.

Day 3: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi—Local Markets & the Bridge over the River Kwai

Immerse yourself in the unique charm of local markets situated along train tracks and rivers: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market. Watch as your kids become curious about the vendors, providing plenty of photo opportunities.

Next, embark on a scenic 2-hour ride to Kanchanaburi. You would visit the famous Bridge over the River Kwai to enjoy the river views and listen to the story behind it. As the day winds down, hop aboard a motorized long-tailed boat to travel to your floating hotel—The Float House River Kwai.

Day 4: A Day Tour to Visit Erawan Falls

Erawan Falls

Today, you would explore the family-friendly Erawan National Park. Enjoy a leisurely trek through the lush forest for picturesque views, take a refreshing swim at the Erawan Falls, and keep an eye out for playful wild monkeys.

Day 5: Kanchanaburi to Bangkok Airport, Fly to Chiang Mai

Transfer back to Bangkok and take an afternoon flight to Chiang Mai. Dive into the lively night markets or indulge in a relaxing Thai massage for the perfect end to your day.

Day 6: Chiang Mai City Life Experience and Mt. Doi Suthep

Visit the sacred temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Your Chiang Mai trip would start with a morning flower market visit, where you could sample local food and see the beautiful flowers.

Continue your exploration of Doi Suthep mountain to visit the sacred Wat Phra That temple and climb up to savor the panoramic view.

In the afternoon, return to the old town to visit the Wat Suan Dok and take a rickshaw ride around its charm-filled alleys.

Day 7: Have a Close Encounter with Elephants in the Jungle

Have a close encounter with elephant

If your kids are animal enthusiasts, a half-day elephant-caring experience at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary would be a treat for your family.

During the program, you could interact with elephants personally and closely. Following an introduction to their habits, you would wear traditional Karen clothing, prepare herbal medicine balls, feed the elephants, and then accompany them for a walk to the river. Cap off the experience with the chance to bathe and brush these gentle giants.

If a half-day program doesn't fulfill your dreams, you could also choose a day program. Ask us to arrange a photographer to catch your unforgettable moments.

Day 8: A Special Thai Lantern Making-and-Releasing Experience


Use the morning to relax and unwind. In the afternoon, you and your family could make lanterns together at a peaceful and secluded restaurant overlooking the Ping River and create unforgettable moments.

After the activity, you and your family could enjoy dinner with a sunset over the river. When the night falls, release your floating lanterns too symbolize your best wishes.

Day 9: Chiang Mai to Koh Samui

In the morning, fly to Koh Samui and transfer to your beachfront hotels. Koh Samui is an ideal choice if your family seeks pristine scenery in a tranquil atmosphere.

If you're keen on water activities and a lively atmosphere, your family could go to Phuket.

Days 10-11: Enjoy Your Time in Koh Samui

koh samui

During your free time in Koh Samui, you could bask in the sun, enjoy water sports like swimming and kiteboarding, and join a cooking class.

Day 12: Koh Samui to Bangkok for Departure

Take a morning flight back to Bangkok and connect with your international departure flight.

Itinerary 3: 12-Day Romantic Getaway to Thailand

This 12-day Thailand tour highlights traditional Thai festival customs and special activities tailor-made for couples.

Embark on a romantic journey capturing moments with sky lanterns, interacting with elephants, and enjoying the tranquility of the Golden Triangle. Add an exclusive touch with a private cooking class and a trip to Racha Yai Island on a private longtail boat.

Brief itinerary: Bangkok – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai – Phuket

  • 2 nights in Bangkok
  • 2 nights in Chiang Rai
  • 3 nights in Chiang Mai
  • 4 nights in Phuket
map of essence of thailand tour

Check out the following highlights of the itinerary for inspiration.

Day 1: Bangkok Arrival

Your romantic journey begins in Bangkok, the metropolis of Thailand. After a private transfer to your hotel, take the time to relax and acclimate to any jet lag. Explore the vibrant streets with captivating skylines, indulge in authentic Thai cuisine, and catch an exotic night show.

Day 2: A Guided Day Tour to Bangkok's Top Attractions

The magnificent Wat Pho

In the morning, explore the history-filled Wat Pho temple and step into the majestic Grand Palace to hear the stories of the Thai royal family. Enjoy a longtail boat ride along ancient could als, appreciating riverside temples and local life, with a stop at the iconic Wat Arun temple.

In the afternoon, take a lively tuk-tuk ride to Chinatown. Wander along Yaowarat Road, savoring local delicacies and experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling district.

Day 3: Bangkok Market Tour, Fly to Chiang Rai

Maeklong Railway Market

Before your flight to Chiang Rai, relish a truly unique experience at the Maeklong Railway Market, where vendors swiftly fold their stalls as the train approaches. Dive into the lively ambiance of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Watch as vendors sell fresh produce and local delicacies from their boats. It's a vibrant and picturesque scene that adds an extra layer of charm to your Thailand adventure.

Day 4: A Day Tour to the Golden Triangle and a Hill Tribe Village

boat trip in the golden triangle

Take a cruise to see the mysterious Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet. Enjoy the picturesque Mekong River, stop at the historical ruins in Chiang Saen and discover the hill tribes in Chiang Khong.

Day 5: The Amazing Temples of Chiang Rai, Private Transfer to Chiang Mai

The White TempleThe White Temple

Appreciate the artistic wonders of Chiang Rai with visits to the enchanting White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), the surreal Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten), and the captivating 'Black House' (Baan Dam Museum).

Following this visual feast, you'll journey to the culturally rich city of Chiang Mai. The private transfer takes about 3 hours.

Day 6: Elephant Rescue Park Half-Day Experience

After a 1½-hour drive, arrive at the Elephant Rescue Park and commence your half-day elephant care program.

Receive insights from experts about elephant behavior, change into traditional Karen clothing, and engage in heartwarming interactions, including hugging and bathing these gentle giants. After a simple lunch, return to the downtown area.

Day 7: Chiang Mai City Life Experience and Mt. Doi Suthep

If you like, get up early to partake in the morning almsgiving activities and experience this thousand-year-old ritual. Hop on a rickshaw, traverse through the alleys in the old town, and stop at Wat Suan Dok.

In the afternoon, uncover Chiang Mai's icon: Doi Suthep Mountain. Take a pleasant walk up to the top of this mountain and visit its most-sacred temple — Wat Phra That. If the weather permits, capture sunset photos and listen to the evening chanting for peace.

Day 8: Cooking Class and Sky Lantern Festival (Elite Ticket)

Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival

In the morning, you would visit a local family, pick up some vegetables and herbs from their gardens and then cook a typical Thai dish together with your host. Enjoy a delightful lunch with your host featuring the dishes you've created.

Around 4 pm, you would celebrate the Sky Lantern Festival with the Elite Ticket privileges. You would have a dedicated buffet dinner, and a professional photographer to capture your moment of releasing sky lanterns.

Tips: the festival is usually celebrated in November. If your schedule doesn't align with it, contact us to personalize your itinerary with any other romantic experience of your choice, even a Thai wedding.

Day 9: Chiang Mai to Phuket

Savor a leisurely morning at your own pace before catching a flight to Phuket, where sandy beaches await you and your end-of-trip relaxation.

Day 10: Private Longtail Boat to Racha Yai Island

Whether you're celebrating a milestone or just want some private intimate hours, taking a private longtail boat to idyllic Racha Yai Island is perfect.

Depart from Chalong Pier and immerse yourself in exclusive beach experiences, complete with thrilling water activities like SUP, snorkeling, and swimming. Hop on a shuttle bus to discover a picturesque surfing-friendly beach on Racha Island. As the day concludes with a breathtaking sunset at Chalong Pier, relish the romance and luxury, followed by a private transfer back to your hotel.

Day 11: Free day in Phuket

Phi Phi islandsPhi Phi islands

On your schedule-free day in Phuket, simply indulge in water activities or a spa day, try ziplining for adventure, and discover cultural sites like the Big Buddha.

Day 12: Phuket to Bangkok for Departure

As your unforgettable journey comes to a close, bid farewell to the sun-kissed shores of Phuket and head back to bustling Bangkok for your next destination.

Want a more personalized itinerary? Simply contact us and you'll get a reply within 24 hours.

The Cost of a 12-Day Thailand Tour

Traveling to Thailand is usually affordable. A premium tour just costs about US$ 200- 250 per person per day. If you are traveling with your child(ren) who are under 10, you could have a children's discount of 30% to 50%.

Travel with us, and you'll enjoy our customized activities just for you, stay at quality hotels at the best agent rate and explore Thailand with our highly-rated guides and drivers.

Here are two best-selling customizable tours for yet more inspiration:

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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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