The Perfect 10 Days in Thailand: 5 Different Itinerary Options for Your Next Adventure

With so much to see and so many places to explore in Thailand, it is difficult to decide on a specific itinerary. If you’re like me, you want to see it all. Whether you’re looking for mountain adventures or epic water sports, Thailand has something for everyone. Use the five guides below to plan the perfect Thailand itinerary for 10 days.

How to get around Thailand in 10 days

In order to get to all the places you want see in Thailand, you’ll need a transportation plan. Below are the five most common forms of transportation in Thailand. It’s important to note that since you’ll only be spending 10 days in Thailand, I will always suggest flying first if it is a viable option for your itinerary.

Flights

There are several airlines that have routes in Thailand. The best part about domestic flights in Southeast Asia is that they are affordable. If there’s an option to fly between two destinations, I will recommend it in order to save you time and give you more wiggle room to explore.

Thailand Itinerary 10 Days - Transportation

Airlines that cater to Thailand include: AirAsia, NokAir, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, and Thai Lion Air.

I always recommend using a combination of Skyscanner and Skiplagged to book flights. This has always provided me with the cheapest and best flight options.

Read next: The Best Website for Cheap Flights: How to Save Thousands on Travel

Mini-bus (van)

Another convenient way to get around Thailand is by mini-bus. These “mini-buses” are actually large sprinter vans that seat up to 15 people. From my experience, these mini-buses have routes all over the country. Book your mini-bus tickets at these Bangkok bus stations: Mo Chit Bus Terminal (caters to routes going to northern Thailand), Ekkamai (caters to routes going to eastern Thailand), and Sai Tai Mai (caters to routes going to southern Thailand).

Bus

Many travelers opt to take the bus all over Thailand. Not only is it cheap, but buses offer journeys to some of the most remote destinations. If you can’t find a flight to a specific location, take the bus. Like mini-buses, book your tickets at the Bangkok bus stations: Ekkamai, Sai Tai Mai, and Mo Chit.

In order to save time and hassle, check bus routes and fares online at CheckMyBus.

Train

There is a wide array of train routes throughout Thailand. If trains are your thing, book a ticket on a sleeper car and wake up in your new destination. The railway station in Bangkok can be found at the Hua Lamphong station.

Motorbike

Motorbikes are an efficient way to get around in Thailand. Skip the motorbike rental in Bangkok for safety reasons but learn how to ride and discover Thailand at your own speed. Motorbike rental typically costs around $5 USD per day.

1. The Northern Route – Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

Thailand Itinerary 10 Days - The Northern Route

Who should take this route?

You’re someone seeking culture, authenticity, delicious food, and art. We’ve also included some incredible hiking trails and unforgettable outdoor experiences in this northern Thailand itinerary.

Bangkok

Must do:
  • JJ Market (3-5 hours) – also known as Chatuchak Weekend Market, this is one of the biggest markets in all of Thailand. With over 15,000 stalls for shopping, eating, and bartering, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
    Pro-tip: JJ Market is only open on the weekends; Friday night until Sunday evening.
  • Wat Arun (2-3 hours) – in my opinion, Wat Arun is the most unique temple in all of Bangkok. With incredible views of the Chao Phraya River and downtown Bangkok, I recommend adding this temple to your bucket list.
  • Sky bar or restaurant (2 hours) – after living in Bangkok for a year, I came to appreciate the incredible skyline of this expansive capital. Enjoy a night sipping on cocktails and snacking on Thai food at one of the many Bangkok sky bars. Our favorite was the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar.
Other suggestions:

Spend a day touring the many malls in Bangkok. These epic multi-storied malls are luxurious, affordable, and beautiful. Some even have ice skating rinks! Our favorites include: Siam Paragon, Central Plaza Grand Rama 9, and Terminal 21. During November and December, many Central World malls have beer gardens outside; I highly recommend grabbing a tower of beer and enjoying the live music.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Take stroll through one of Bangkok’s most famous parks, Lumphini. Rent a paddleboat and cruise the small pond or jog along the running paths. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a monitor lizard!

Looking for night life? It’s no surprise that Bangkok is crawling with bars, clubs, and well.. ping pong shows (don’t ask!). Whether you’re looking to have a few cocktails or dance the night away, be sure to visit Khao San Road, Soi 11, or Soi Cowboy. All three of these streets stay wild all night.

One of the most visited landmarks in Bangkok is the the Grand Palace. Some of the most beautifully decorated temples can be found here. Personally, my favorite part about the Grand Palace was the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles. The dresses and gowns in this museum were unlike anything I had ever seen! However, I must say that if you plan on making time for just one temple in Bangkok, make it Wat Arun.

Amphawa Floating Market, Thailand

For this next suggestion, you’ll want to allot yourself an appropriate amount of time. Getting to the famed Amphawa Floating Market takes about an hour or more from downtown Bangkok, but the effort is worth it. This cultural experience will be a highlight during your trip to Bangkok.

The last place I suggest visiting in Bangkok is called Asiatique the Riverfront. Although classified as an open-air mall, Asiatique reminds me a lot of a pier in Southern California. Here you’ll find delicious food, restaurants, and even a Ferris wheel.

Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai – the best option

The easiest transportation option between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is by airplane. Prices on tickets are very affordable and the flight is only an hour.

Chiang Mai

Must do:
  • Night Bazaar (3-4 hours)- by far our favorite place to hangout in all of Chiang Mai, the Night Bazaar. Come hungry because you’ll soon stuff your face with all of the northern Thai delicacies. Be sure to get your hands on a bowl of Khao Soi and wash it down with a Singha Beer. Later, when you’re craving dessert, look for the food stand that serves Nutella and Oreo Rotis.

    Bring cash with you on this outing because you’ll soon learn that all of the best deals on clothing and souvenirs are found at the Night Bazaar.
  • Elephant Nature Park (all day) – many tourists come to Thailand looking for the best elephant experience. Book your tour with Elephant Nature Park early because this is the place to be while visiting Chiang Mai. Elephant Nature Park rescues elephants and gives people the chance to understand the exploitation of elephants and how we can help.
  • Cooking class (half-day) – I’m so glad we decided to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai. In general, Thailand boasts some of the most delicious food on the planet. But northern Thailand? That’s where the true magic happens. There are so many options for quality and affordable cooking classes in Chiang Mai, so don’t hesitate to book one. Be sure to learn how to cook Khao Soi, Northern Thailand’s most exquisite dish.
Other suggestions:

Located on the top of Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep towers over all the other temples in the land. Take your motorbike up to the top of this mountain and take in the expansive sights of northern Thailand.

If you’re in the market for finding more temples, look no further than smack dab in the middle of the Old City. Wat Chedi Luang is one of the Chiang Mai’s most popular and elegant temples.

Elephant Nature Park - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

If you’re anything like me, adventure is in your blood. Temples are beautiful, but adventure is what keeps me coming back for more. Take a hike up Thailand’s tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon. Standing at 8,415 feet, this trek will surely get your blood pumping.

This suggestion might be a bit strange (or scary) for some people but hear me out. When we were in Chiang Mai, one of the more unique things to do was get a massage by an ex-felon. Don’t worry, they were all female massage therapists and they never served time for anything exceptionally serious. This massage spa was set up to help them earn money after being incarcerated and reintroduce them into society. Overall, it was a great experience.

Okay, back to adventure! Wanting to cool off from the hot Thai sun? The Hang Dong Rock Quarry is the perfect place to add to your Chiang Mai itinerary. Also known as the Grand Canyon of Chiang Mai, the Hang Dong Rock Quarry is great for swimming, cliff jumping, and kayaking.

Getting from Chiang Mai to Pai – the best option

For us, it was best to ride motorbikes from Chiang Mai to Pai. I do want to point out that motorbiking can be very dangerous, especially on the winding roads from Chiang Mai to Pai. If you are not an experienced motorbike driver, opt to ride the cheap mini-buses. As stated before, the roads are extremely windy; if you are prone to motion-sickness, I would suggest taking a dramamine before you go.

Pai

Must do:
  • Pai Canyon (2-3 hours) – one of the best places to catch a sunset in northern Thailand is Pai Canyon. This is also a great place to explore during the day. Bring your hiking shoes and spend time touring the expansive canyon.
  • Bamboo Bridge (1-2 hours) – Bamboo Bridge is an excellent place to stroll through the rice paddies of Pai. Bring water along as the sun can become very intense during the day.
  • Chedi Phra That Mae Yan (1-2 hours)- whether it’s the endless amount of stairs or the views of Pai, this place is sure to take your breath away. The white Buddha that sits atop Pai is one of the most beautiful statues I’ve ever seen.
Other suggestions:

A great stop on the way to the Bamboo Bridge is Pam Bok Falls. The canyon is home to a simple waterfall and swimming hole. I recommend coming early if you want the avoid crowds.

Pai, Thailand - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

You’ve never been to Pai until you’ve experienced Walking Street; an excellent place to find delicious street food and cheap drinks. There is also a plethora of great restaurants, shops, and cafes that line this street.

One of the best parts about Pai is the vibe. Pai is the ultimate location for relaxation. Hang up a hammock, open a good book, sip on coffee, and relax.

Getting from Pai to Chiang Rai- the best option

The fastest way to get from Pai to Chiang Rai is by renting a motorbike and driving. The drive is stunning and worth the bum ache after a long day of riding.

If you’re not keen on renting a motorbike, you’ll have to make the journey back to Chiang Mai. From there, take the bus or a mini bus up to Chiang Rai.

Chiang Rai

Must do:
  • White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) (2 hours)– one of the most famous temples in all of Thailand sits 13 kilometers south of Chiang Rai’s city center. Wat Rong Khun is intricately decorated and beautifully adorned with a mix of modern and contemporary art. Arrive immediately at 8am if you want to avoid the massive crowds.
  • Night Bazaar (3 hours) a slightly less crowded night bazaar than the one in Chiang Mai, the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar is the perfect place to buy souvenirs and indulge in the local cuisine.
  • Mountain Trekking (half day – full day)- there are many great trekking options in Chiang Rai, most of which can be booked through tours. If you want to trek through remote hill tribes and villages, book a tour through a company. If you want to go trekking on your own, check out Lam Nam Kok National Park. Here you’ll find awesome jungle trekking and heaps of off-the-beaten-path waterfalls.
Other suggestions:

Since there are so many temples in Thailand, it’s difficult to remember each one specifically. However, Wat Rong Seur Ten in Chiang Mai, is one unlikely to be forgotten. Also known as the Blue Temple, Wat Rong Seur Ten is absolutely breathtaking in appearance.

Wat Rong Khun, The White Temple
Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple)

End your adventure in Chiang Rai at the Pong Phra Soet Hot Springs. Opt for a private pool and a relaxing massage at this popular “hot spot”.

Getting from Chiang Rai to Phu Chi Fa – the best option

Check out our post below on transportation from Chiang Rai to Phu Chi Fa.

Phu Chi Fa

There aren’t a wide selection of. activity options in Phu Chi Fa because people come here for one thing: watching the sleepy sun arise over the foggy Laotian valley below.

Phu Chi Fa at Sunrise

During our trip to Phu Chi Fa, we also came to the lookout point for sunset. This was one of the best sunsets I’ve ever experienced. The way the sun illuminated the rolling hills was magnificent. This is an experienced that should not be missed during your 10 day Thailand trip.

For more on Phu Chi Fa, check out our blog post: How to Explore Phu Chi Fa for Sunrise: Thailand’s Best Secret

2. Off the Beaten Path Route – Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

Thailand Itineray 10 Days - Off the Beaten Path Route

Who should take this route?

You’re someone looking to escape the crowds and find the hidden gems that make this country unforgettable. In this off-the-beaten-path 10 day Thailand itinerary, you’ll experience paradise beaches, exceptional hiking trails, and friendly locals.

Bangkok

Must do:
  • JJ Market (3-5 hours) – also known as Chatuchak Weekend Market, this is one of the biggest markets in all of Thailand. With over 15,000 stalls for shopping, eating, and bartering, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
    Pro-tip: JJ Market is only open on the weekends- Friday night until Sunday evening.
  • Wat Arun (2-3 hours) – in my opinion, Wat Arun is the most unique temple in all of Bangkok. With incredible views of the Chao Praya River and downtown Bangkok, I recommend adding this temple to your bucket list.
  • Sky bar or restaurant (2 hours) – after living in Bangkok for a year, I came to appreciate the incredible skyline of this expansive capital. Enjoy a night sipping on cocktails and snacking on Thai food at one of the many Bangkok sky bars. Our favorite was the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
Bangkok, Thailand weekend market

For more suggestions of things to do in Bangkok, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Bangkok to Koh Kood – the best option

From Bangkok, fly to Trat. When you arrive in Trat, take a boat from the pier over to Koh Kood.

Koh Kood

Must do:
  • Khlong Chao Waterfall (2-3 hours) – an exciting adventure, especially during rainy season, Khlong Chao Waterfall includes stunning cascading water and a swimming hole. If you are visiting during dry season, this experience might not hold the same value as the waterfall dries up.
  • Nang Yai Beach (half day – full day) – quite possibly the most beautiful beach in all of Thailand calls Koh Kood home. A large accusation? Once you see the sugar sand, azure waters, and picture-perfect palm trees on this beach, you’ll understand.
  • Snorkel Ko Raet (full day) – another island just off the coast of Koh Kood is Ko Raet. Popularly known for it’s astounding diving sites, I would highly recommend adding this activity to your list of things to do.
Other suggestions:

Along with Khlong Chao Waterfall, there is a handful of other waterfalls hidden on this island oasis. To find all of these gems, rent a motorbike and explore the island on two wheels.

Koh Chang, Thailand

One of the most difficult things to find in Thailand is a clean beach. The plastic and trash epidemic that has slaughtered many of Thailand’s most magnificent beaches continues to wreak havoc. Luckily, the beaches on Koh Kood are well maintained and remain clean. Along with Nang Yai, spend time at the main beach, Klong Chao Beach.

As with any island in Thailand, renting kayaks is always a good idea. Since this island is one of Thailand’s best hidden gems, there is so much to see and explore along the coastline. Spend a day kayaking around this palm tree infested atoll.

Getting from Koh Kood to Chiang Mai – the best option

You’ll need to make a stop in Bangkok but the quickest way to get from Koh Kood to Chiang Mai is by flying. Bangkok Airways seems to be the airline that manages this route.

Chiang Mai

Must do:
  • Night Bazaar (3-4 hours)- by far our favorite place to hangout in all of Chiang Mai, the Night Bazaar. Come hungry because you’ll soon stuff your face with all of the northern Thai delicacies. Be sure to get your hands on a bowl of Khao Soi and wash it down with a Singha Beer. Later, when you’re craving dessert, look for the food stand that serves Nutella and Oreo Rotis.

    Bring cash with you on this outing because you’ll soon learn that all of the best deals on clothing and souvenirs are found at the Night Bazaar.
  • Elephant Nature Park (all day) – many tourists come to Thailand looking for the best elephant experience. Book your tour with Elephant Nature Park early because this is the place to be while visiting Chiang Mai. Elephant Nature Park rescues elephants and gives people the chance to understand the exploitation of elephants and how we can change this.
  • Cooking class (half-day) – I’m so glad we decided to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai. In general, Thailand boasts some of the most delicious food on the planet. But northern Thailand? That’s where the true magic happens. There are so many options for quality and affordable cooking classes in Chiang Mai, so don’t hesitate to book one. Be sure to learn how to cook Khao Soi, Northern Thailand’s most exquisite dish.
Chiang Mai - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

For more suggestions of things to do in Chiang Mai, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Chiang Mai to Chiang Dao – the best option

Chiang Dao is just an hour north of Chiang Mai. It’s best to rent your own motorbike and drive up to Chiang Dao. If you don’t have experience riding, you can also take the bus!

Chiang Dao

Must do:
  • Chiang Dao Cave (2-3 hours) – this is an incredibly cool experience to add to your Thailand bucket list. The caves of Chiang Dao have epic rock formations and stalactites. You can explore this cave independently or go with a guide. I suggest hiring a guide so you can find the hidden areas of the cave.
  • Sri Sungwan Waterfalls (2-3 hours) – climb all over the falls of Sri Sungwan or bathe in the calming pools below. This waterfall is relatively unknown to tourists so you’ll likely have the area to yourself.
  • Pha Daeng National Park (half day – full day) – something that seems to be quite lacking in Thailand are hiking trails. This doesn’t hold true for Pha Daeng National Park. Escape to the mountains of northern Thailand and take in the beauty of nature.
  • Doi Chiang Dao (full day) – speaking of hiking, get the best summit experience on Doi Chiang Dao. At 7,136 feet and a prominence of over 4,000 feet, this mountain isn’t just a walk in the park. It is possible to summit alone, however, it is much safer to hire a local guide.

Other suggestions:

Let’s keep this trekking vibe going, shall we? Make your way up 400+ stairs to this serene temple, Wat Tham Pha Plong. The panorama view from the top is something that should not be missed during your 10 day Thailand trip.

Chiang Dao - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

To end the day, soak in the warm waters of Pong Arng Hot Springs. Although this isn’t the most exciting venture in Chiang Dao, it is always nice to unwind after a long day of mountain exploration.

Getting from Chiang Dao to Mae Hong Son – the best option

Bangkok Airways offers nonstop flights from Chiang Do to Mae Hong Son.

Mae Hong Son

Must do:
  • Jong Kham Lake (1-2 hours) – enclosed by temples and mountains, Jong Kham Lake is a tranquil place to walk or lounge. Located within the city center, this lake is hard to miss.
  • Jungle trekking (full day) – Mae Hong Son snuggles up next to Namtok Mae Surin National Park. Delve deep into this national park with jungle treks and waterfall visits.
  • Tham Lod Caves (full day) – situated between Mae Hong Son and Pai, you’ll find Tham Lod Caves. Three caves make up this unparalleled landmark that you’ll be exploring by bamboo raft.
  • Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu (1-3 hours) – spend an evening walking up to this temple at the top of Mae Hong Son. Not only will you be blown away by the intricate details of this temple, but you’ll also experience a dazzling sunset over this northern Thailand province.
Other suggestions:

Mae Song Hon hugs the Burmese border on the province’s west side. An off the beaten path village to add to your Mae Hong Son itinerary is the town of Mae Aw. This is a small Chinese village that features a lake and delicious tea.

Mae Song Hon, Thailand itinerary

Another way to enjoy Jong Kham Lake, is by visiting the temple, Wat Chong Kham. The best time to stop here is at night when they turn the lights on. The magical temple reflects off the water of Jong Kham Lake; an extraordinary sight.

Spend your evening at the Mae Hong Son Night Market. Although this market doesn’t really compare to the night bazaars in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, this is a great way to experience Mae Hong Son.

3. The Island Route – Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

Thailand Itinerary 10 Days - The Island Route

Who should take this route?

You’re a beach lover and water sports enthusiast. Island hopping is right up your alley.

Bangkok

Must do:
  • JJ Market (3-5 hours) – also known as Chatuchak Weekend Market, this is one of the biggest markets in all of Thailand. With over 15,000 stalls for shopping, eating, and bartering, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
    Pro-tip: JJ Market is only open on the weekends- Friday night until Sunday evening.
  • Wat Arun (2-3 hours) – in my opinion, Wat Arun is the most unique temple in all of Bangkok. With incredible views of the Chao Praya River and downtown Bangkok, I recommend adding this temple to your bucket list.
  • Sky bar or restaurant (2 hours) – after living in Bangkok for a year, I came to appreciate the incredible skyline of this expansive capital. Enjoy a night sipping on cocktails and snacking on Thai food at one of the many Bangkok sky bars. Our favorite was the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
Bangkok - 10 Day Thailand Itinerary

For more suggestions of things to do in Bangkok, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Bangkok to Krabi – the best option

There are several flight options for this route.

Krabi

Must do:
  • Ao Nang Beach (full-day) – Ao Nang Beach seems to stretch for miles along the coast of western Thailand. A quieter beach than the others in Krabi, Ao Nang is the perfect place to unwind and watch the sunset. Since this is where many of the long tail boats pick up passengers, I recommend walking down the beach to find a remote spot.
  • Railay Beach & Caves (full-day) – the most well-known beach in Krabi, and one of the most well-known beaches in all of Thailand, is Railay Beach. Here you can enjoy swimming, cave exploration, kayaking, and so much more. We spent several days roaming around the beaches of Railay Bay, but for us, a couple days wasn’t enough.
  • Tiger Cave Temple (2-3 hours) – the views from Tiger Cave Temple are some of the best in all of Krabi. Climbing the stairs to this unique temple is difficult but upon reaching the top, you’ll quickly understand why people make the trek.
Other suggestions:

Krabi is our favorite beach destination in Thailand because it offers so many different options for things to do. Rent kayaks and tour the limestone cliff islands that pop-up at random in the Andaman Sea.

Thailand Itinerary, Island Route

Get away from the beaches of Krabi for a day to experience the Klong Thom Hot Springs. Renting a motorbike or hiring a driver will be necessary to find these saltwater hot pools.

An uncommon adventure in Krabi is the Khao Khanab Nam Mountain Caves. Although this place isn’t brimming with excitement, it’s a good place to stop on your way to other activities in the area.

Our favorite place to eat in Krabi was a local restaurant called Boat Noodle. This restaurant was affordable and enjoyable. We found all of our favorite Thai dishes here and we couldn’t recommend them more. If you’re in Krabi, definitely eat at Boat Noodle.

Since there are so many islands surrounding Krabi, a trip to this beach paradise would be incomplete without an island hopping excursion. There are plenty of affordable tours that leave from Ao Nang Beach daily. A few of the islands you’ll get to explore include: Koh Gai and Koh Poda.

Krabi, Thailand

I’ve saved the most epic experience in Krabi for last. Have you ever heard of deep water soloing? Me neither. That was until I went to Krabi, Thailand. Deep water soloing involves rock climbing without any ropes. When a climber falls, they fall from the limestone cliffs into the deep ocean water below. This is any climbers dream come true. You can book tours through several different companies in Ao Nang, Railay, or online.

Getting from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi – the best option

There are several boats that leave from Krabi each day for Koh Phi Phi. The easiest way to catch one of these boats is from Ao Nang Beach.

Koh Phi Phi

Must do:
  • Kayaking (half day) – Koh Phi Phi is one of the best places in Thailand to explore by kayak. The island is small enough to cover a lot of ground and the many hidden coves make it all the more exciting. Rent a kayak from Loh Dalam Bay and head out for a day of fun in the sun.
  • Phi Phi Viewpoint (1-2 hours) – a trip to Koh Phi Phi would be incomplete without a hike to the viewpoint. This popular viewpoint is the best place to overlook the island and watch the sunset. There are several different viewpoints on this trek, but I highly suggest going all the way to the top (viewpoint 3).
  • Nui Beach (half day) – for the best beach on Koh Phi Phi, look no further than Nui Beach, a hidden gem oasis on a busy island. Since this beach is difficult to get to on foot, it would be wise to take a boat over to this beach for a half day excursion.
Other suggestions:

For such a small island, Koh Phi Phi packs a big punch. There are so many different places to explore and so many activities to participate in. If you want a bit of adventure, sign up for a cliff jumping excursion. I didn’t do this while we were on the island, but I saw a cliff-jumping group at the same beach we were at and it looked amazing! I was only slightly jealous…

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand Itinerary

Alternatively, spend your time relaxing on the many beaches of Koh Phi Phi. A few of the more popular beaches include Monkey Beach and Phak Nam Bay. Both unique in their own way and both suitable for swimming.

Getting from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Samui – the best option

Take the ferry back to Krabi. From there, fly with Bangkok Airways directly to Koh Samui.

Koh Samui

Must do:
  • Maenam Beach (half day – full day) – if you’re looking for a beach on Koh Samui that isn’t overly crowded or overly exploited, Maenam Beach is the answer. With a few nice beach restaurants and white sand, it’s easy to spend a day lounging next to the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Chaweng Beach (half day – full day) – a lively stretch of coastline, Chaweng Beach will most likely be crawling with tourists when you arrive. But don’t let the number of people discourage you. This is one of the best beaches on Koh Samui, perfect for strolling or swimming.
  • Overlap Stone (2 hours) – to be frank, Koh Samui is no hidden gem among Thai islands. As one of the most visited destinations in Thailand, it can be hard to get away from the crowds. We found that Overlap Stone, a unique rock formation in Koh Samui’s interior, was a wonderful place to escape the flocks of people.
Other suggestions:

Namuang Waterfall consists of two waterfalls in the middle of Koh Samui. I suggest forgoing the first waterfall and hiking up to the second. Here you can find a natural pool for swimming and a beautiful waterfall. Definitely wear walking shoes and take caution on your trek out to the falls.

Koh Samui, Thailand - Itinerary 10 days

This landmark in Koh Samui might be a bit silly for some people, others may find it intriguing. Either way, a visit to this island would be incomplete without stopping at Hin Ta and Hin Yai. Also known as Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s Rock, you’ll notice a strange and very strong resemblance to the female and male genitalia.

Seeking a bit of adventure? With it’s dense jungle interior, a fun activity on Koh Samui is ziplining. There are several companies that will take you through the treetops, but we recommend Canopy Adventures Thailand.

A must-visit while on Koh Samui, the Big Buddha lounges atop Koh Samui, the perfect place for sunset views. Please note that if you decide to visit the Big Buddha, you must be conservatively dressed.

Any golfers out there? There are at least three pristine golf courses on Koh Samui (that I know of).

Getting from Koh Samui to Angthong National Park – the best option

Boat tours leave daily from Koh Samui to Angthong National Park.

Angthong National Park

Must do:
  • Snorkeling (all day) – with over 40 islands in Angthong National Marine Park, it isn’t surprising that the snorkeling here is phenomenal. There are hoards of snorkeling tours that bring you to different sites around this national park to see the beautiful coral reefs teeming with fish.
  • Koh Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint (1-2 hours) – in my opinion, the viewpoint on Koh Wua Ta Lap island is the best viewpoint in all of Thailand. This location illustrates the surrounding views of the national park and numerous islets dotting the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Emerald Lake (1-3 hours) – also known as the Blue Lagoon, Emerald Lake is located on the island, Ko Mae Ko in Angthong National Park. Another viewpoint trek, this lake is a fantastic sight to add to your bucket list.
Other suggestions:

Typical of any Thai island, kayaking is a great way to see the sights and islands of this national park.

Angthong National Park - Thailand 10 Days

Lovely beaches adorn the shores of many Angthong National Park islands. Ask your tour guide to bring you to deserted beaches for a quiet and unique island experience.

Getting from Angthong National Park to Koh Tao – the best option

Head back to Koh Samui after a long day of touring Angthong National Park. From Koh Samui, take a boat over to the island of Koh Tao.

Koh Tao

Must do:
  • Diving (multi-day) – a trip to Koh Tao would be incomplete without a diving adventure. Koh Tao is one of the best places in the world to receive your PADI certification. Whether you’re new to the sport of diving or a seasoned veteran, Koh Tao has something for everyone.
  • Snorkeling (half day – full day) – unsurprisingly, Koh Tao is also the perfect place to snorkel. A bit cheaper than diving, snorkeling is a great way to see marine life in the Gulf of Thailand.
  • John Suwan Viewpoint (1-3 hours) – lace up your hikers and head up to John Suwan Viewpoint. This viewpoint manifests sweeping views of the island, including Shark Bay and Freedom Bay.
Koh Tao, Thailand Island Hopping

Read next: 17 Thailand Island Hopping Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List

4. A Bit of Everything Route – Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

Thailand Itinerary 10 Days - A Bit of Everything Route

Who should take this route?

You want a little of everything: northern Thailand, central Thailand, and southern Thailand. With this route, you’ll experience big-city life, the cultural charm of the north, and the desired beaches of the south.

Bangkok

Must do:
  • JJ Market (3-5 hours) – also known as Chatuchak Weekend Market, this is one of the biggest markets in all of Thailand. With over 15,000 stalls for shopping, eating, and bartering, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
    Pro-tip: JJ Market is only open on the weekends- Friday night until Sunday evening.
  • Wat Arun (2-3 hours) – in my opinion, Wat Arun is the most unique temple in all of Bangkok. With incredible views of the Chao Praya River and downtown Bangkok, I recommend adding this temple to your bucket list.
  • Sky bar or restaurant (2 hours) – after living in Bangkok for a year, I came to appreciate the incredible skyline of this expansive capital. Enjoy a night sipping on cocktails and snacking on Thai food at one of the many Bangkok sky bars. Our favorite was the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
Rooftop in Bangkok

For more suggestions of things to do in Bangkok, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Bangkok to Chiang Mai – the best option

Flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai are frequent and affordable.

Chiang Mai

Must do:
  • Night Bazaar (3-4 hours)- by far our favorite place to hangout in all of Chiang Mai, the Night Bazaar. Come hungry because you’ll soon stuff your face with all of the northern Thai delicacies. Be sure to get your hands on a bowl of Khao Soi and wash it down with a Singha Beer. Later, when you’re craving dessert, look for the food stand that serves Nutella and Oreo Rotis.

    Bring cash with you on this outing because you’ll soon learn that all of the best deals on clothing and souvenirs are found at the Night Bazaar.
  • Elephant Nature Park (all day) – many tourists come to Thailand looking for the best elephant experience. Book your tour with Elephant Nature Park early because this is the place to be while visiting Chiang Mai. Elephant Nature Park rescues elephants and gives people the chance to understand the exploitation of elephants and how we can change this.
  • Cooking class (half-day) – I’m so glad we decided to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai. In general, Thailand boasts some of the most delicious food on the planet. But northern Thailand? That’s where the true magic happens. There are so many options for quality and affordable cooking classes in Chiang Mai, so don’t hesitate to book one. Be sure to learn how to cook Khao Soi, Northern Thailand’s most exquisite dish.
Chiang Mai, Bangkok

For more suggestions of things to do in Chiang Mai, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui – the best option

Bangkok Airways is coming in clutch again with a non-stop flight from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui.

Koh Samui

Must do:
  • Maenam Beach (half day – full day) – if you’re looking for a beach on Koh Samui that isn’t overly crowded or overly exploited, Maenam Beach is the answer. With a few nice beach restaurants and white sand, it’s easy to spend a day lounging next to the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Chaweng Beach (half day – full day) – a lively stretch of coastline, Chaweng Beach will most likely be crawling with tourists when you arrive. But don’t let the number of people discourage you. This is one of the best beaches on Koh Samui, perfect for strolling or swimming.
  • Overlap Stone (2 hours) – to be frank, Koh Samui is no hidden gem among Thai islands. As one of the most visited destinations in Thailand, it can be hard to get away from the crowds. We found that Overlap Stone, a unique rock formation in Koh Samui’s interior, was a wonderful place to escape the flocks of people.
Koh Samui Luxury Resort - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

For more suggestions of things to do in Koh Samui, check out the description under itinerary #3 above.

Getting from Koh Samui to Angthong National Park – the best option

Boat tours leave daily from Koh Samui to Angthong National Park.

Angthong National Park

Must do:
  • Snorkeling (all day) – with over 40 islands in Angthong National Marine Park, it isn’t surprising that the snorkeling here is phenomenal. There are hoards of snorkeling tours that bring you to different sites around this national park to see the beautiful reefs teeming with fish.
  • Koh Wua Ta Lap Viewpoint (1-2 hours) – in my opinion, the viewpoint on Koh Wua Ta Lap island is the best viewpoint in all of Thailand. This location illustrates the surrounding views of the national park and numerous islets dotting the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Emerald Lake (1-3 hours) – also known as the Blue Lagoon, Emerald Lake is located on the island, Ko Mae Ko in Angthong National Park. Another viewpoint trek, this lake is a fantastic sight to add to your bucket list.
Emerald Lake - Thailand 10 Days

For more suggestions of things to do in Angthong National Park, check out the description under itinerary #3 above.

Getting from Angthong National Park to Koh Phangan – the best option

Take your tour boat back to Koh Samui after a day of adventuring. From Koh Samui, jump on a boat over to the island of Koh Phangan.

Koh Phangan

Must do:
  • Khao Ra (2-3 hours) – climb to the highest point on Koh Phangan, Khao Ra. You’ll be rewarded with the best views of the island and Gulf of Thailand.
  • Thong Sala Night Market (2-4 hours) – rent a motorbike and explore Koh Phangan on two wheels. You won’t want to miss the renowned Thong Sala Night Market. Spend an evening having dinner and scouring the stalls full of clothes and souvenirs.
  • Bottle Beach (half day – full day) – this secluded beach is the best on Koh Phangan. You can get here on foot or by boat, however, taking a boat is MUCH easier. If you’re up for an challenging adventure, go by foot.
Koh Phangan - Thailand Itinerary 10 Days
Other suggestions:

If you’ve heard of Koh Phangan, you’ve probably heard of the notorious Full Moon Parties. I haven’t personally experienced a Full Moon Party, however, I have many friends that have. The parties on Koh Phangan are well-known around the world and can get pretty rowdy. So, if you’re looking for night life, the Full Moon Party might be right up your alley.

Missing the Full Moon Party? No problem. Celebrate the Half Moon Party instead!

5. Central Thailand Route – Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

Thailand Itinerary 10 Days - the Central Thailand Route

Who should take this route?

You’re into nature and history. With this route, you’ll find solace in the beautiful waterfalls and trekking trails of central Thailand while also learning more about the history of Siam, the Burmese Railway, and ancient Thailand.

Bangkok

Must do:
  • JJ Market (3-5 hours) – also known as Chatuchak Weekend Market, this is one of the biggest markets in all of Thailand. With over 15,000 stalls for shopping, eating, and bartering, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.
    Pro-tip: JJ Market is only open on the weekends- Friday night until Sunday evening.
  • Wat Arun (2-3 hours) – in my opinion, Wat Arun is the most unique temple in all of Bangkok. With incredible views of the Chao Praya River and downtown Bangkok, I recommend adding this temple to your bucket list.
  • Sky bar or restaurant (2 hours) – after living in Bangkok for a year, I came to appreciate the incredible skyline of this expansive capital. Enjoy a night sipping on cocktails and snacking on Thai food at one of the many Bangkok sky bars. Our favorite was the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
Bangkok - Thailand Itinerary

For more suggestions of things to do in Bangkok, check out the description under itinerary #1 above.

Getting from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi – the best option

Buses and mini-buses leave from the terminal several times each day. The ride to Kanchanaburi is approximately 2.5 hours and you’ll pay a measly $2-3 USD for your journey.

Kanchanaburi

Must do:
  • Erawan Waterfalls (half day – full day) – by far my favorite adventure in all of Thailand. Including a trip to Erawan Waterfalls in your 10 day Thailand itinerary will result in a very happy traveler. Erawan Waterfalls are a cluster of seven turquoise falls located just north of Kanchanaburi. Take a motorbike up to the falls and spend an entire day swimming in this unbelievable oasis.
  • The River Kwai Bridge (1 hour) – the River Kwai Bridge is a notable landmark in the center of Kanchanaburi. The significance of this bridges dates back to WWII when prisoners of war were forced to construct a railway system from Burma to Thailand. Over 100,000 civilians perished during the construction.
  • Death Railway Museum (2 hours) – in order to fully grasp the tragedy that struck this area of Thailand during WWII, make a stop at the Death Railway Museum. We found this museum to be enlightening and somber.
    Note: this is not to be confused with the JEATH Railway Museum. Although both museums focus on the tragedies of the Burma Railway, the Death Railway Museum is much more organized and authentic.
Other suggestions:

Kanchanaburi hides many waterfalls in the surrounding jungles. A few waterfalls to add to your itinerary include: Sai Yok Noi Waterfall and Pha Sawan Waterfall.

Erawan Waterfalls - Thailand

Soak in the geothermal Hin Dat Hot Springs located approximately an hour and a half north of Kanchanaburi. Although this place is unknown to most foreign tourists, the local Thai people come in large groups. Get here early in order to relax without a person in sight.

When we visited Kanchanaburi, we took a river rafting tour. This was a great experience that allowed us to submerge ourselves in the jungles of western Thailand. Our guides also let us jump into the river for a swim.

Adjacent to Erawan National Park, you’ll find Sai Yok National Park. Sai Yok boasts several waterfalls and brilliant caves for the public to explore.

Getting from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya – the best option

Take a mini bus from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya; a simple journey.

Ayutthaya

Must do:
  • Wat Chaiwatthanaram (2-3 hours) – previously the capital of Siam, Ayutthaya is brimming with Buddhist temple ruins. The most famous and extravagant of these temples is Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Arrive here early to avoid crowds and have this place all to yourself.
  • Wat Lokaya Sutha (1-2 hours) – here’s a unique landmark to see while visiting Ayutthaya. Wat Lokaya Sutha, also known as the Reclining Buddha, is a temple that displays a very large and relaxed Buddha.
  • Chao Sam Phraya National Museum (2 hours) – start your tour through Ayutthaya at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. You will learn background information about the history of Ayutthaya, which is very helpful when visiting all of the city’s ruins.
Ayutthaya, Thailand - 10 day itinerary
Other suggestions:

There are so many temples and ruins to discover in Ayutthaya. Fill your day with temple hopping and be sure to add our favorite temple to your itinerary: Chedi Phukhao Thong.

Getting from Ayutthaya to Khao Yai National Park – the best option

Since Ayutthaya is so close in proximity to Bangkok, the easiest way to get from Ayutthaya to Khao Yai National Park is by going back to Bangkok and catching the bus.

Khao Yai National Park

Must do:
  • Nong Pak Chi (2 hours) – my favorite part about our trip to Khao Yai National Park was catching a sunrise at Nong Pak Chi Wildlife Observation Tower. We were hopeful to see elephants and other wildlife roaming around at dawn, but unfortunately we weren’t so lucky. Although we didn’t see any elephants, we didn’t leave empty handed. The sunrise here was one of the most memorable sunrises I have ever seen.
  • Haew Suwat Waterfall (1-2 hour) – a great excursion for mid-afternoon in Khao Yai National Park is Haew Suwat Waterfall. Although there are many waterfalls in the national park, we enjoyed this waterfall the most.
  • Night Safari (2-4 hours) – spotting wild elephants in Khao Yai National Park isn’t uncommon, but it isn’t extremely common either. Your best bet for seeing wild elephants is by taking a night safari with a local guide. Our friends took a night safari and they were able to spot a mother elephant and her baby.. SO LUCKY!
Other suggestions:

Waterfalls dot the land at Khao Yai National Park. A few waterfalls to add to your list of things to do include: Haew Narok Waterfall and Nang Rong Waterfall.

Khao Yai National Park

Like most national parks, Khao Yai National Park is adorned with many hiking trails. These trails vary in distance and difficulty, meaning you can tailor your hike to fit your needs and conditions.

The Wrap-Up: Thailand Itinerary 10 Days

We hope these guides helped you plan out your itinerary for the perfect 10 days in Thailand. Thailand is brimming with adventures around every corner and offers something unique for every traveller.

Read next: 4 Disgusting Places in Thailand to Avoid

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