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Perfect 3 Weeks in Thailand: 3 Itineraries with Costs 2024

By RitaUpdated Feb. 3, 2024

Three weeks are enough to have a well–rounded exploration of Thailand, from the top highlights to the hidden gems.

Planning a 3–week trip to this Southeast Asian gem could be an exciting endeavor. To make the most of your time, we have thoughtfully crafted three diverse itineraries. Additionally, we'll give the costs associated with a 3–week adventure in Thailand.

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Where to Go in Thailand in 3 Weeks

best places to visit for thailand trip

For first–time Thailand travelers, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and an island are must–visits.

  • Bangkok is the bustling Thai metropolis with historical landmarks like the Grand Palace and the traditional floating market.
  • Chiang Mai, a cultural hub, offers interactions with elephants, the enchanting Sky Lantern Festival, Thai massages, and cooking classes.
  • Thailand boasts picturesque tropical islands/beaches with a wide range of water sports. Phuket, Koh Samui, and Krabi are popular choices.

Beyond these well–known spots, you could also consider Kanchanaburi for wartime sites & a unique floating house to stay in, Chiang Rai for the mysterious Golden Triangle, Sukhothai for a deep dive into history, and Khao Sok National Park for a jungle adventure.

More often than not, those with 3 weeks to spend in Thailand consider multi–country travel to other Southeast Asian countries, like Vietnam and Cambodia. You could take a slow–paced Thailand–Vietnam combo or a diverse exploration of Thailand–Cambodia–Vietnam.

Check more details about how to plan a trip to Thailand.

Itinerary 1: 3–Week In–Depth Exploration of Thailand

A 3–week Thailand itinerary promises you both bucket–list activities and off–the–beaten–path adventures.

If you are visiting Thailand for the first time, you would have plenty of time for a thorough experience of all of the highlights plus vibrant local life, colorful temples, mouthwatering Thai food, interesting interactions with elephants, thrilling jungle adventures, and breathtaking beaches...

The suggested schedule is listed below:

  • Days 1 to Day 5 in central Thailand: Bangkok (3 days) and Kanchanaburi(2 days)
  • Days 6 to Day 11 in northern Thailand: Chiang Rai(2 days) and Chiang Mai (4 days)
  • Days 12 to Day 21 in southern Thailand: Phuket (3 days), Koh Samui(4 days) and Khao Sok National Park (3 days)

Discover more details below.

Days 1–3: Bangkok

the grand palace in Bangkok the Grand Palace in Bangkok

After touching down in Bangkok, Day 2 unfolds with iconic tours to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, spiced up by a thrilling tuk–tuk ride and a breezy longtail boat journey—immersing you in the local buzz.

On Day 3, dive into the vibrant Maeklong Railway Market and the lively Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Capture the vivid chaos with your camera and savor street food delights. At night, you could have a sunset drink/dinner at a rooftop restaurant and enjoy a uniquely–Thai ladyboy show.

Days 4–5: Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi, famed for wartime history and serene landscapes, awaits you. On the Day 4 morning, you would take a 4–hour private transfer to Kanchanaburi. Then you could take a 1–hour train ride along the Death Railway. In the late afternoon, relish a peaceful sunset from your floating house.

On the following day, you would have a scenic walk in the Erawan National Park and the chance to admire its waterfalls.

Day 6: Return to Bangkok and Fly to Chiang Rai

Savor a leisurely morning at your own pace before heading to Bangkok airport for your afternoon flight. Chiang Rai has a laid–back atmosphere and is ideal for those who want off–the–beaten–path experiences. You could have a foodie adventure at its bustling night markets.

Days 7–8: Chiang Rai

The White TempleThe White Temple

Day 7 brings the unveiling of the mysterious Golden Triangle and the enchanting Mekong River through a captivating boat ride. You'll be also amazed by the rural scenery and local markets of the hill tribes.

On the next day, you would see its character–filled temples: the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten), and the Black House (Baan Dam).

In the late afternoon, drive for about 3 hours to Chiang Mai.

Days 9–11: Chiang Mai

Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival

Your first day in Chiang Mai promises a panoramic view from Doi Suthep Mountain, followed by a rickshaw ride through bustling streets and ancient temples. More impressively, visit a local family, pick some vegetables, create Thai dishes with your host, and then taste them together.

The adventure continues with an exciting visit to an elephant sanctuary. During the program, you would walk elephants, feed them, and bathe them in their natural environment. If you like, pay some extra for a photographer to capture the memorable moments

On Day 11, enjoy a free day after an energetic week's travel. You could pamper yourself with a private spa, explore the old town, and engage in friendly chats with locals. If you're traveling in November, be sure to build in a day to join in the Sky Lantern Festival, releasing your sky lanterns to symbolize your best wishes.

Day 12–14: Phuket

maya baymaya bay

In the morning, you would fly to Phuket and start your relaxing beach time. You could choose an adult–only beach resort or a special tree house nested in the jungle.

On Day 13, get ready for an exhilarating adventure to the Phi Phi Islands. Hop on a private speed boat, immerse yourself in snorkeling/kayaking/ swimming in the Maya Bay, and explore the wonders of Monkey Beach, Bamboo Island and Viking Cave.

On Day 14, you would have a free leisure day. Or if you want more adventures, consider the jungle zip–lining experience and Muay Thai training classes.

Day 15–17: Khao Sok National Park

On Day 15 morning, Elephant Hills would pick you up and transfer you to Khao Sok National Park. Three hours later, you would take a jungle couldoe trip down the Sok River and encounter the elephants. Conclude your day with an overnight stay in a luxury tented camp at one of the Elephant Hills camps.

On Day 16, your adventures would mainly comprise a longtail boat ride across Cheow Larn Lake and a jungle hike in the world's oldest rainforest. At night, you would change into the rainforest floating house at an Elephant Hills camp.

On Day 17, start the day with wildlife spotting on a guided couldoe safari in the little channels and side arms of Cheow Larn Lake. After lunch, transfer to Koh Samui.

elephant hill-activity-longtail-boat rideelephant hill–activity–longtail–boat ride

Days 18–21: Koh Samui

Koh Samui is all about pristine beaches, wellness, and luxury. Before you leave, treat your loved one(s) to yoga retreats, private spas, or simply chill in a beach villa for some quality time together.

Koh Samui

Itinerary 2: 21–Day Thailand and Vietnam Adventure Tour

In this 3–week tour, you would travel to the 2 most popular destinations in Southeast Asia: Thailand and Vietnam. Tailored for adventurous couples, the itinerary strikes a perfect balance between history, cultural immersion, and natural wonders.

Over three weeks, you would explore the rich history of the dynasties of northern Thailand and the local culture of Vietnam via a less–crowded route. Besides that, indulge in outdoor fun with activities like hiking in Doi Inthanon National Park and exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Halong Bay.

Brief itinerary:

  • Days 1–11 in Thailand: Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Sukhothai – Lampang – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai
  • Days 12–21 in Vietnam: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hue – Hoi An – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City
Southeast Asia Tour Map

Check out more details below.

Days 1–2 in Bangkok

  • Days 1–2 in Bangkok (arrival and a classic city tour with iconic temples and the Palace)

Upon arrival in Bangkok, you would discover landmarks like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun alongside your local expert on Day 2.

Days 3 to 7: Private Road Trip from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai

  • Day 3: Transfer to Ayutthaya, exploring majestic Ayutthaya Historical Park and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace.
  • Day 4: Ayutthaya to Sukhothai — Stop at Lopburi to discover Phra Prang Sam Yot and Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park.
  • Day 5: Sukhothai to Lampang — a morning cycling tour in Sukhothai Historical Park and an afternoon Lampang city tour by horse-drawn carriage
  • Day 6: Lampang to Chiang Rai — a morning visit to Wat Phutthabat Sutthawat in Lampang and a night market tour in Chiang Rai
  • Day 7: Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai — a guided city tour of must-see temples in Chiang Rai and a transfer to Chiang Mai
Pedaling in Sukhothai Historical Park

Embark on a 5–day road trip from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai on Day 3, immersing yourself in rural scenery.

The first stop is Ayutthaya, the Ancient Siam capital. Wander in the royal summer retreat, Bang Pa–In Summer Palace and unveil the story behind the ancient temples and Buddhas in the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Then bike through the medieval ruins of a UNESCO World Heritage site in Sukhothai. Soak up the sights and sounds of Lampang's historic streets on a horse-drawn carriage. Continue the journey to Chiang Rai, where vibrant night markets and colorful temples await.

Lampang's horse carriage

Days 8–11 in Chiang Mai

  • Days 8–10: Chiang Mai tour (a day exploration of the city, a day tour to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, a day hiking tour to Doi Inthanon National Park)
  • Day 11: Depart from Chiang Mai and fly to Hanoi

The last 4 days in Thailand are dedicated to exploring Chiang Mai, Thailand's mountainous cultural capital. In addition to the city tour and elephant sanctuary, you would take a scenic hike to the Doi Inthanon National Park. You are flexible to choose a half–hour light hike or a 3–hour trekking.

Chiang Mai Elepant Sanctuary

Days 12–14 in Northern Vietnam(Hanoi & Halong Bay)

  • Day 12: Hanoi city tour, including a walking and cyclo tour of the Old Quarter, Temple of Literature, and a private water puppet show at a local family's home
  • Days 13–14: Halong Bay cruise

In Hanoi, you could immerse yourself in the local life of the Old Quarter. Take a leisurely cyclo ride and wander through its bustling streets, savoring local delicacies along the way. For a deeper cultural experience, visit the Temple of Literature and enjoy a private water puppet show in a local house. If you like, create your own show with your loved one(s).

Follow this with a mesmerizing two–day cruise through the stunning Halong Bay. Capture the stunning karst seascape, which is particularly vibrant during sunrises and sunsets, and swim and kayak in the crystal-clear water.

Days 15–17 in Central Vietnam(Hue & Hoi An)

  • Day 15: Hue city highlights — including the Imperial Citadel, Emperor Tu Duc's tomb, and a boat ride for a performance of traditional Hue music
  • Day 16: Drive from Hue to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass and enjoy an evening food walking tour.
  • Day 17: Hoi An — a fishing life experience and a cooking class

Next, fly to the central region. In Hue, take a guided tour of the Imperial Citadel and Emperor Tu Duc's Tomb, and conclude your day with a night cruise with a folk song performance. Then drive towards Hoi An, via Han Van Pass.

In Hoi An, take an evening foodie tour in the ancient town, experience fishing life via a basket boat ride and casting nets, and cook Vietnamese dishes in the serene countryside.

Days 18–21 in Northern Vietnam(the Mekong Delta & Ho Chi Minh City)

  • Day 18: Hoi An – The Mekong Delta — Transfer from Hoi An to Da Nang and fly to Can Tho for the Mekong Delta.
  • Day 19: The Mekong Delta — Ho Chi Minh — Cai Rang Floating Market, a leisurely sampan ride in Cai Be, and a transfer to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Days 20–21: Ho Chi Minh City tour with the Cu Chi Tunnels and city landmarks

The last leg of your trip takes you to the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City. Fly to could Tho to see the disappearing Cai Rang Floating Market and take a leisurely sampan ride through picturesque couldals.

Then drive to Ho Chi Minh City for the war sites like the Cu Chi Tunnels and French–colonial sights, including the Saigon Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. A coffee break with a brief language lesson is also a great way to see the daily life of a Saigonese person.

This itinerary didn't include any beach time, but if you would like some tailored in, don't hesitate to contact us with your ideas for a dream tour of Southeast Asia.

Itinerary 3: 3–Week Best of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam Tour

This itinerary promises the multiple facets of Southeast Asia in one trip at a comfortable pace.

Here is the brief itinerary for your inspiration.

  • Days 1–9 in Vietnam: Hanoi (2 days), Halong Bay cruise (2 days), Hoi An (2 days), Ho Chi Minh City (1 day), Mekong Cruise (2 days),
  • Days 10–12 in Cambodia: Siem Reap (3 days)
  • Days 13–21 in Thailand: Bangkok (2 days), Chiang Mai (2 days), Khao Sok National Park (3 days), Phuket (2 days)
India tour map

Apart from the iconic highlights in Thailand and Vietnam, you would travel deep into the Mekong Delta aboard a private charter sampan in Vietnam and extend to Cambodia for the splendid wonder of Angkor Wat.

To unveil the beauty of Angkor Wat, you could take a walking tour with a Khmer scholar, bike to the less-known temples, and take a sunset balloon ride for a panoramic view of the temple complex. Besides, you could drive an ATV bike for idyllic sunsets in the rural area.

If you're interested in this itinerary, see our 3–Week Best of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam Couples Tour.

The Cost of a 3–Week Thailand Tour

If you're looking for a premium journey without breaking the bank, Thailand is an ideal destination.

You would likely pay US$200–250 per person per day for private transfers, private guides, local experiences, 4/5–star hotels and internal flights. The peak price usually comes with the best time (the dry season, from November to April), while you could enjoy low–season benefits (fewer crowds and lower costs) from May to October.

Elevate your travel experience with us — where premium meets personalized perfection. Skip the planning hassle and let your 1:1 expert tailor-make your dream journey. Explore Thailand authentically with private guides, private drivers, meaningful local interactions, and our exclusive activities.

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Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

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