How to Plan a 1 to 2 Week Trip to Thailand

How to Plan a 1 to 2 Week Trip to Thailand

By Chris QuanUpdated May. 14, 2021

Though Thailand is not a large country like the United States or China, it is still not entirely easy for many foreign travelers to plan a holiday here.

If you are stressed about planning your trip, our guides can give you itinerary suggestions for a 1 to 2 week trip of your choice.

thailand floating marketThailand

Popular Destinations in Thailand

Thailand's tropical scenery may not be as showy as the Maldives, it's Buddhist culture may not be as profound as India's, and the folk customs may not be as pure as Myanmar's, but Thailand is indeed the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

This is because the country offers a superposition of these three characteristics and the integration of eastern and western culture.

bangkokBangkok

The following places are popular destinations among travelers. Take a look to get some inspiration.

  • Bangkok: Bangkok is Thailand’s economic, politic, cultural, and transportation center. It is also known as “The Capital of Buddhism”.
  • Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai is the second-largest city in Thailand. Its climate is cooler than Bangkok.
  • Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai contains the famous Golden Triangle and a lot of natural scenery.
  • Ayutthaya: It was the capital of Thailand's Ayutthaya Kingdom and holds its historical ruins.
  • Kanchanaburi: Kanchanaburi is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. The Death Railway over the River Kwai is the biggest attraction.
  • Sukhothai: It was the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom during Siam's golden age. Exploring the historical ruins in the area is the main highlight.
  • Phuket: Phuket is the largest island in Thailand with various beaches and water activities.
  • Koh Samui: The romantic vibe in Koh Samui makes it great for a honeymoon.
  • Krabi: Compared to Phuket and Koh Samui, Krabi is quieter and good for relaxation. It also offers some adventurous activities.

How to Arrange Your Itinerary in Thailand

Usually, Bangkok is your best choice for entry and exit. Ideally, your Thailand trip should include two or three cities and one island.

We will list the time required to fully experience these popular destinations below.

  • Bangkok: 3 days
  • Chiang Mai: 3 days
  • Chiang Rai: 1 day
  • Ayutthaya:  1 day
  • Kanchanaburi: 1 day
  • Sukhothai: 1 day
  • Phuket: 3 days
  • Koh Samui: 3 days
  • Krabi: 3 days

 

The classic itinerary for a first-time trip to Thailand usually combines Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

If you are interested in island hopping, you can add more beautiful islands and beaches to your itinerary.

If you are fond of Thailand’s historical sites and temples, you will enjoy exploring North Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai).

1-Week Itinerary in Thailand

All our itineraries are flexible, so take a look and let us know what changes you want to make! We hope you can deeply enjoy and explore each city and make unforgettable memories along the way.

For a 1-week itinerary, you can choose to visit North Thailand including the cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai.

Or you can choose a beach holiday starting from Bangkok or a visit to Central Thailand including Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, and Khao Yai.

the grand palaceThe Grand Palace

1-Week North Thailand Itinerary

This itinerary will help you understand the different charms of cities in North Thailand.

  • Day 1-Day 2: Arrival + Bangkok
  • Day 3: Bangkok to Chiang Rai
  • Day 4-Day 6: Chiang Mai
  • Day 7: Departure

In Bangkok

Visit temples: Bangkok has many famous temples and palaces, like Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of Dawn. Visiting these temples and palaces in the morning can help you avoid the heat and crowds.

Visit floating markets: Floating markets are a beautiful part of Thai culture. The vendors in these markets move round in boats carrying fruits, vegetables, and snacks through the narrow waterways.

floating market in bangkokVisit floating markets

Walk around Chinatown: Chinatown is one of the busiest districts in Bangkok with a history of 200 years. Discover its sophisticated flavors, rich ethnic traditions, and scrumptious cuisine.

Cruise along the Chao Phraya River: In the evening, it is a great experience to have dinner on a boat while floating on the Chao Phraya River to appreciate Bangkok’s wonderful nighttime views.

In Chiang Rai

Nature is the biggest feature of Chiang Rai. Here you will find the famous Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.

Here you will learn about the history of the area and visit a museum that  will give you an insight into the historical opium trade in the region.

In Chiang Mai

Visit temples: Chiang Mai has many special temples such as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang.

Visit an elephant sanctuary: Chiang Mai is the best place to take part in a friendly elephant program. When visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary, travelers can spend time with the elephants and bathe them, feed them, and play with them.

elephant sanctuary in chiang maiChiang Mai is the best place to see elephants in Thailand.

Join a Thai cooking class: You will visit a local family and learn cooking some of the best home-cooked Thai dishes from the host.

1-Week Beach Holiday Itinerary

  • Day 1-3: Bangkok
  • Day 4-6: Phuket
  • Day 7: Departure

In Bangkok, you will immerse yourself in Thai culture and the city’s charm by visiting temples and local markets, trying local forms of transport, and tasting authentic Thai food.

Then, you will spend your leisurely holiday in beautiful Phuket. There you will enjoy your free days by snorkeling, getting a massage, swimming, bathing on the beach, taking a speedboat to a nearby island like Koh Phi Phi, or just relaxing in your resort.

phuketPhuket

1-Week Central Thailand Itinerary

  • Day 1-2: Bangkok
  • Day 3: Kanchanaburi
  • Day 4: Ayutthaya
  • Day 5-6: Khao Yai
  • Day 7: Departure

Central Thailand combines historic sights and stunning landscapes.

The Death Railway in Kanchanaburi travels over the original wooden viaduct that was an important part of World War II.

These tracks were built by prisoners of war and are features in the movie Bridge Over the River Kwai. To truly experience the journey, you will board the train and take an hour’s ride through the area.

Ayutthaya is an ancient capital of Thailand that ruled the surrounding area for around 400 years. Here you will visit the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace which is used by the Thai royal family still today.

death railway in kanchanaburiThe Death Railway in Kanchanaburi

Khao Yai is the third-largest national park in Thailand. Here, you will hike in the jungle in search of elephants and other wild animals and take in the stunning Haew Suwat Waterfall.

10-Day Itinerary in Thailand

Overall, we think a 10-day itinerary is much better for travelers than a week-itinerary. With 10 days, you will have more flexible with time and will be able to visit more places.  

A Classic 10-Day Itinerary

  • Day 1-2: Bangkok
  • Day 3: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - Bangkok
  • Day 4-6: Chiang Mai
  • Day 7-9: Phuket
  • Day 10: Departure

In this itinerary, travelers will do a Bangkok city tour and a side trip to Kanchanaburi. This side trip will help you learn more about Bangkok’s culture.

In Chiang Mai, there are two things that you cannot miss. The first is spending time elephants and the other is taking a Thai cooking class.

thai cooking classThai cooking class

In the Phuket, you will enjoy your time relaxing on the beach. During your three days here, you can explore the island by yourself by biking, kayaking, or walking. There are also many quiet islands near Phuket waiting for you to discover.

12-Day Itinerary in Thailand

This 12-day itinerary is the best option for a family trip. It allows your family to fully enjoy the holiday without hurrying the activities and experience.

  • Day 1-2: Bangkok
  • Day 3: Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - Bangkok
  • Day 4: Erawan National Park
  • Day 5: Ayutthaya
  • Day 6-8: Chiang Mai
  • Day 9-11: Koh Samui
  • Day 12: Departure

This itinerary is a good combination of culture, local people, exciting activities, great food, and stunning scenery.

Visit the Grand Palace, a floating market, a railway market, and ancient canals in Bangkok.

Then board a train that will carry you over the original wooden viaduct of the River Kwai and learn about why it is called the Death Railway.

Then head to Erawan National Park where you can trek in the forest, splash around in the water, and spot some wild monkeys.

Explore the historical ruins at Ayutthaya, which oversaw a splendid time in the history of the Thai Kingdom.

Have a friendly interaction with elephants in Chiang Mai where your kids will learn how to ethically take care of animals.

Ayutthaya Historic ParkAyutthaya Historic Park

Then make a floating lantern together with your family and release it when finished. This activity will create wonderful family time and help you learn about a Thai tradition festival - Loy Krathong.

Discover the charming Koh Samui where you can introduce your kids to island paradise and enjoy a great vacation at the same time during this family-friendly trip.

2-Week Itinerary in Thailand

This 2-week itinerary covers vibrant Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khao Sok National Park, and the tropical island of Koh Samui. This tour is highly recommended for newlyweds and couples.

  • Day 1-3: Bangkok
  • Day 4-6: Chiang Mai
  • Day 7: Fly to Phuket
  • Day 8-10: Khao Sok
  • Day 11-13: Koh Samui
  • Day 14: Departure

Start your trip by admiring the magnificent palaces of Bangkok and learning about Buddhist culture. In the evening, enjoy a meal on a boat while you cruise along the canal to take in the night view of the city.

Spend three days exploring Chiang Mai with a day trip to Doi Inthanon, temple visiting, and a Thai cooking class. This will give you an idea of the charm of this northern city and a look into the differences between it and Bangkok.

Next, visit Khao Sok National Park where you can meet the elephants and explore a lake surrounded by limestone mountains in a local long-tail boat.

Khao SokKhao Sok

For the last three days, you can lay in the warm sunshine and enjoy your time in romantic Koh Samui.

Tour Thailand Your Way with Us

We welcome the chance to help you design your perfect trip to Thailand. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you in selecting destinations, accommodations and activities that best suit your requirements.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
  • No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.

Thailand Lantern Festival

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