Thanland…..what can I say? It’s one of my favourite countries in the world. From the temples of Chiang Mai to the beaches of Kho Phi Phi – it’s got it all! If you’re looking for a 10 days in Thailand Itinerary we have 3 amazing options for you. First is Bangkok and the North with options to visit Chaing Mai, Chiang Rai and/or Pai.
10 Days Thailand Itinerary Option 1 – Bangkok and the North
Start in the Capital, Bangkok (3-4 Days)
The first place you need to visit while in Bangkok is the Grand Palace! The palace is an architectures dream and is quite incredible. Wandering around the grounds of the palace allow you to appreciate the beautiful design. Although a little overpriced at 500THB per entry, the Royal Palace is a grand symbol of Thai Monarchism.
Bangkok has temples located practically everywhere around the city. My favourite was Wat Pho – the Temple of the reclining Buddha. This temple was quite different from the other temples which seem to all be the same and become quite repetitive. The architecture and building designs were quite obscure, and the change was well needed.
Next, head across the river to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and get stellar views of the city from atop the temple. It’s my favourite temple in the city because of the view!
During your stay, you cannot say you’ve been to Thailand without visiting Kaoh San Road! Dubbed, as ‘The backpacker capital of the world’, this road has everything that you could ever want to see. You’ll find endless bars, hundreds of market stalls, incredible street food and much more. The best thing is, the market is open all day and all night!
Insiders tip for you: Be sure to visit Brick Bar, the hidden-away Thai ska bar where only locals go.
You will see the main sites and temples of Bangkok in 3 days if you rush it, but if you can extend your stay to two weeks you can easily add another 2-3 days in the capital to include Lumphini Park, Chinatown and the Siam shopping malls.
For a more detailed breakdown on this section of the journey visit my article on a Bangkok Itinerary 4 days.
Chiang Mai (3 days)
Wat Prathap Doi Suthep has to be one of the best temples or religious buildings that we have ever seen. Honestly, we cannot stress just how amazing this temple was—made up of many gold buildings and amazing paintings throughout the entire site.
A little tip, don’t pay for the lift to the top from the bottom. Advertised that there’s a lot of stairs, but it’s not worth paying for the elevator. During the night time, we decided to check out Chiang Mai’s night market, which was surprisingly much better than we anticipated. Stalls, food, and entertainment everywhere really made the market have an excellent atmosphere for everyone to get involved.
As you’re so close to the jungle, you may as well do an excellent jungle trekking tour! You can do a three-day one as it takes you to some secluded and exciting places! You can also do homestays and visit tribal villages. As you can imagine, this is a unique and surreal experience. However, do make sure the money stays with the villagers as many are exploited.
A very random, but an excellent little piece of information which will change your taste buds forever! While in Chiang Mai make sure you visit a restaurant called ‘SP Chicken’. Recommended by my guide Jason, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Forget Nandos! If you want proper chicken, this is the place to go!
If you are looking for a more detailed breakdown of Chiang Mai check out this Chiang Mai Itinerary.
Pai OR Chiang Rai (3 days)
On a 10 day Itinerary you won’t have time to see both Pai and Chiang Rai so you will need to decide between the two. If you love temples over scenery go for Chiang Rai. If it’s stunning scenery, spas and relaxation you are looking for head to Pai. If you can extend to a full 2 week itinerary it is possible to include both.
There is an old travellers tale of how “All roads lead to Pai”. Pai is not too far away from Chiang Mai – and the two of them fit in the same trip!
As soon as you arrive hire some motorbikes and get exploring as there are so man amazing sites Pai has to offer. Start your day off by seeing some incredible waterfalls around dotted around the mountains.
One of the funniest experience I had was when I visited the hot springs. My friends and I were not aware that there were two different types of hot spring; one for people to bathe in, and one in which you can boil an egg. To our demise, we sat in the wrong one for way too long. What is supposed to be a relaxing and soothing activity turned out to be quite painful – a mistake we only learned about when we got back to the hostel and don’t want you to repeat!
After emerging very red from the spring, we travelled to Pai canyon where we saw spectacular views of the countryside and its mountain ranges. Pai has some beautiful views, and if the waterfalls don’t win you over then the views from Pai canyon will!
Some of the drives you will take around Pai are mesmerising. One of my favourite things by far was driving around on my motorbike! Pai has some remarkable countryside and jungle areas, and it’s by far the best way to go and see it.
Chiang Rai is home to some of the most amazing temples in Thailand including the white temple and the Blue temple.
10 Days in Thailand Option 2 – Bangkok & the Beach
As mentioned earlier, when visiting Bangkok, the best places to visit are the temples and the palace. The temples allow you to experience Bangkok well. I can’t stress enough how important it is to also go to Koh Sarn Road as it is THE place to be while in Bangkok!
As for visiting the beach, Phuket is a great shout. Known for its golden sandy beaches (as most of Thailand is), Phuket gives you the full beach experience.
Freedom Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Phuket. It’s known for being the best stretch of sand on the island. Due to this, it has a small entrance fee, but it does give you some brilliant views and privacy.
Phuket is also a prime location for surfing and diving. Many beginner surfers come to Phuket to learn how to surf.
Phuket also has some other significant areas which are a must when you come to Phuket. One of my favourite things is going and visiting the Big Buddha. Not only is it just a spectacular design, but at the top, it gives some incredible views of Phuket’s national parks.
In the night time, go and check out Bangla Road. The area is full of restaurants, bars, strip clubs and much more!
Thailand Itinerary 10 Days Option 3 – The South
Koh Phi Phi (2-3 days)
Starting the southern trip in Koh Phi Phi will make it easy for you. Best place to stay in Phi Phi is Blanco’s Hostel as it’s located right on the beach! Here most of the parties happen, and this will give you the chance to meet some great people.
Besides the partying, Koh Phi Phi offers a lot of water activities such as jet-skiing, diving and snorkelling. But my favourite activity has got to be going up to the viewpoint at sunset. Here, you’ll get to witness a magical evening. The views of the mountains, sea and beach in the foreground make for an incredible picture opportunity!
Krabi (3 days)
Krabi will be the next place on your list after you’ve finished partying up in Koh Phi Phi. The best place to stay on the island without any doubt is the Slumber Party Hostel. The hostel will make sure you’re always heading to the right clubs and bars.
Beyond drinking, the hostel also does a lot of different tours like it’s “Island Awesomeness Tour.” Here you will get to visit all the best things the islands have to offer and meet some great people along the way. If you want to find out more about staying in Krabi, then click the article here.
Koh Samui (2-3 days)
From Krabi, your best bet will be to fly to Koh Samui. Although the flights are never cheap, it’s the quickest way to travel. If you want a nice, quiet and clean hostel, then Casa Luna is a great shout.
During your stay, rent a bike, and you’ll be able to drive to some impressive waterfalls if you don’t mind doing some trekking the head over to the Na Muang Waterfall 2.
Quick Tip: Don’t fall for the truck scam. There is an option to take a truck to the waterfall. The people who run the operation claim it takes 30 minutes. But this is not the case!! They charge you 100baht to take you 2minutes down the road and then you have to climb for 30minutes.
Other things you can do in Koh Samui include: visiting the towering Big Buddha, the temple of Wat Plai Laem, the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, Secret Buddha Garden, and the mummified monk found at the temple of Wat Khunaram.
Koh Tao (1-2 days)
Finally if time allows, on your last couple of days head over to Koh Tao and get your divers license! Stay at Taco Divers hostel, and you’ll meet other diving fanatics who will explain all their cool diving stories.
I have visited Koh Tao a couple of times and always enjoyed it so much. If you do like the idea of diving, it’s the cheapest place to get your diving license other than Honduras.
Hopefully, Jason still works there – you can ask him about SP Chicken!