Thailand Itinerary | The Ultimate Backpacking Thailand Itinerary

Thailand Itinerary | The Ultimate Backpacking Thailand Itinerary

Looking for the ultimate Thailand backpacker itinerary? Well, I hope this is it! This isn’t just one single itinerary for Thailand, oh no. I’ve actually created Thailand travel routs for a 1 month,3 weeks, 2 weeks, 10 days, 7 days, and more in this epic blog post.

So here is how you can use this blog post to help you plan your Thailand vacation itinerary. 

If you know how long you plan on going for then use the links in the table of contents below to skip right ahead to this section. If you want to learn more about the place I’m suggesting you go then check out the info on each place in the 1 month Thailand itinerary, as that has it all.

I’ve also included maps of my Thailand travel routes and lots of links to further reading of my other Thailand content. If you are planning a trip to Thailand then this page is a great place to begin, oh, and don’t forget to check out my Thailand packing list!

As if that weren’t enough I’ve even created some downloadable Thailand travel itineraries you can access by popping your email into the box below.

Highlights (aka things you need to make sure you include in your Thailand vacation itinerary)

This is a shortlist of the best things to do in Thailand that you really don’t want to miss on your Thailand backpacking trip. You can also read this post about my top 10 adventures to have in Thailand if you need some more inspo. And if you are into yoga then read this and this.

  1. Get a massage at the Women’s Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners
  2. Visit the ruins of Ayutthaya
  3. Light up a lantern at the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival
  4. Visit the floating markets of Bangkok
  5. Go island-hopping

backpacking Thailand itinerary

Thailand Travel Route (Thailand route planner)

Looking for the perfect Thailand travel route? In my opinion, there are 2 great routes, depending on your personal preference. I have mapped out both Thailand backpacking routes for you on a map so you can visually see each one. The best thing to do is to create your own. You actually don’t need a fancy Thailand route planner… Just google maps!

Thailand Backpacking Route #1

  • Bangkok
  • Ayutthaya
  • Chiang Mai
  • Pai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Bangkok
  • Koh Chang

 

Traveling across Thailand in a slow fashion allows you to fully immerse yourself with Thailand’s beauty. Once you reach Northern Thailand, you can take the overnight train back to Bangkok. From Bangkok, visit the small island of Koh Chang by the border of Cambodia – it’s a must-see and the Thailand travel itinerary I did! 

Thailand Trip Itinerary Travel Route #2

  • Bangkok
  • Surat Thani
  • Koh Phangan
  • Koh Samui
  • Koh Tao
  • Krabi
  • Phuket
  • Phi Phi Islands
  • Koh Lipe
  • Koh Lanta
  • Bangkok

 

If you’re more interested in a Thailand backpacking route that covers the Southern parts of Thailand, I’d recommend you take the ferry from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and from there, visit the most beautiful islands one by one. You can even walk to three of the islands on foot that are connected by a long string of sand. On your way back, you can use the same route or, if you’re in a hurry, catch a flight back to Bangkok.

1 Month in Thailand itinerary

Thailand best itinerary

For this 1 month Thailand itinerary, I’d recommend you take in order to see as much of the country as possible of course feel free to stay longer at the places you love and cut short your time in places you don’t. If it is your first time visiting Thailand then use this Thailand 4 week itinerary as a guide so you can make a loose plan of how you will spend your time in Thailand. I have listed the places and how many days to stay, but below you will find a bit more information about each place, I have linked to relevant articles where possible so you can do a little extra research to help you plan your one month in Thailand itinerary. This really is the best of Thailand itinerary, so if you have the time go to all of these places.

1 Month Thailand Itinerary (Thailand best itinerary)

  • Bangkok (2 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Chiang Mai (3 nights)
  • Doi Inthanon National Park (1 day)
  • Chiang Rai (1 day)
  • Pai (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (2 nights)
  • Koh Chang (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (1 night)
  • Surat Thani (1 day)
  • Koh Phangan (1 night)
  • Koh Samui (2 night)
  • Koh Tao (2 night)
  • Koh Phangan (1 night)
  • Krabi (2 nights)
  • Phuket (2 nights)
  • Phi Phi Islands (2 nights)
  • Koh Lanta (1 day)
  • Koh Lipe (1 day)
  • Bangkok (2 nights)

Bangkok (2 nights)

Thailand tour itinerary

No Thailand 1 month itinerary is going to start anywhere other than Bangkok right? For your first 2 nights in Bangkok (many more will follow, don’t worry!), I’d advise you to take it easy: visit Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Grand Palace, take a walk along Lumpini Park, eat out in Chinatown or simply get a Thai massage! Seriously,it’s going to take you a little time to relax and adjust to the Thai way of life and your first time in Bangkok can be like a slap to the face. Follow this advice if it’s your first time visiting Bangkok.  Read this if you are looking for a Bangkok itinerary

Ayutthaya (1 day)

best of Thailand itinerary

To get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, take a train or a minivan to the royal city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya and just let its beauty leave you totally speechless.

Chiang Mai (3 nights)

best of Thailand itinerary Chiang Mai Thailand - 3 week Thailand ItineraryYou can take a train from Ayutthaya directly to Chiang Mai, “the rose of the North”. Train #7 offers the fastest service and is scheduled to complete the journey from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai in about 10 hours. Chiang Mai offers various day and night time activities, so I’d recommend you to spend at least 3 nights there if you can. I took the night train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai and it was a great experience. 

Doi Inthanon National Park (1 day)

backpack Thailand itineraryDoi Inthanon is the highest mountain and one of the most popular national parks in Thailand. To travel to Doi Inthanon from Chiang Mai, your safest bet is to take a songthaew (a funky mixture of a pick-up truck and a taxi) that you can share with other visitors.

Chiang Rai (1 day)

Chiang Rai

To reach Chiang Rai, take a bus from Chiang Mai. What not to miss once you’re there: go temple-hopping and visit the famous White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten) and Black House (Baan Dam Museum), and gaze upon Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos at once at the Golden Triangle.

Pai (2 nights)

If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a minivan from Chiang Mai to Pai, Northern Thailand’s “hippie village”- Route 1095 has more than 750 twists and turns (762, to be precise), so get ready for some unpleasant stomach turns while traveling through the mountains. Once in Pai, enjoy the beautiful nature, visit the small craft shops or stroll along the walking street at night, making friends, and eating local delicacies.

Bangkok (2 nights)

From Pai, take a van/bus back to Chiang Mai and from there, take the overnight train back to Bangkok. For your second time in Bangkok I recommend you go a little deeper with your Bangkok itinerary: visit the Dragon Temple and the Jim Thompson House, cruise the Chao Phraya river, ride the Sky Train and enjoy the vivid nightlife Bangkok has to offer.

Koh Chang (2 nights)

backpacking itinerary ThailandThe small but picturesque island of Koh Chang is right between the border of Thailand and Cambodia. To get there, you can either hire a minivan or take the bus, which is probably the cheapest and most economical way to travel to Koh Chang from Bangkok.

Bangkok (1 night)

As this time you’re spending only one night in Bangkok, go check out the infamous Khao San Road and buy your own copy of Alexander Garland’s book “The Beach” or try a piece of the fried scorpion if you’re feeling brave enough to experiment with the local street food!

Surat Thani (1 day)

backpacking itinerary ThailandSurat Thani is the perfect gateway to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. To reach Surat Thani from Bangkok, you can either fly or take the bus and then the ferry.

Koh Phangan (1 night)

 the best itinerary for Thailand

From Surat Thani, take the ferry to Koh Phangan. Once in Koh Phangan, you can stroll along the beautiful beaches and if you’re feeling motivated, get some work done at one of the many co-working spaces around the island.

Koh Samui (2 nights)

 the best itinerary for Thailand

Koh Samui’s Wat Phra Yai is one of the island’s most visited attractions. Held every Monday and Friday between 5 pm-11 pm, Fisherman’s Village Night Market is not to be missed either.

Koh Tao (2 nights)

 best Thailand itinerary

Complete your journey with a trip to the famous Koh Nang Yuan, the only place in the world where 3 islands are connected by one strip of beach. You can also take a trip to the nearby Ang Thong National Park and don’t forget to explore all the beautiful beaches around Koh Tao!

Koh Phangan (1 night)

On your second day in Koh Phangan, visit Srithanu, Koh Phangan’s “hippie district” and Haad Rin beach where you can catch the Half Moon Festival if you’re lucky. The festival takes place every 2 weeks, one week before and one week after the infamous Full Moon Party. Depending on your arrival, I’d suggest you visit the Halfmoon Festival instead as it’s a little less crowded and more of a spiritual experience than the Full Moon Party, in my opinion.

Krabi (2 nights)

itinerary for Thailand tripKrabi is only a short ferry ride from Koh Phangan, and is very much worth a visit if you’re a huge nature lover: in Krabi, you can take a dip in Krabi Hot Springs and visit the famous emerald and blue pools of the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. Ao Nang, Krabi’s vibrant tourist center can serve as your base camp for exploring the entire region.

Phuket (2 nights)

 Thailand backpacker itineraryYou can take the ferry or a shared minivan from Krabi to Phuket. In Phuket, you can visit the iconic sculpture of the Big Buddha, the Phuket FantaSea theme park, or get yourself lost in the famous nightlife of the island, starting your journey on Pa Tong beach, also known as the main tourist resort of the island.

Phi Phi Islands (2 nights)

itinerary for Thailand tripHop on a ferry to travel to Koh Phi Phi from Phuket, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by nature at its best: blue sky, crystal-clear waters, and cliffs all around you, 24/7. Try some of the local eateries serving delicious fresh seafood, you won’t regret it. Note that the famous Maya Bay in Phi Phi is currently closed for the public, so you won’t be able to visit there.

Koh Lanta (1 day)

3 week itinerary Thailand Take the ferry from Phi Phi – Ton Sai to Koh Lanta where you can dive, walk rescued dogs at the Lanta Animal Welfare, or take a walk around the old town that was originally founded by sea gypsies.

Koh Lipe (1 day)

14 day Thailand itineraryOnce again, you’ll be able to travel by taking a ferry between Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe. Then, once you’re ready to wave goodbye to the island life, you can take a relatively cheap direct flight from Koh Lipe all the way back to Bangkok, ending your Thailand trip in a full circle.

Bangkok (2 nights)

End your Thailand 1 month itinerary with a wild night out in Bangkok! Mingle with other travelers and have a drink or two in one of the city’s rooftop bars – I highly recommend the one on top of the Marriott Hotel, the view is just spectacular from there. 

3 week Thailand itinerary

 4 day trip to Thailand

I actually wrote a whole separate post covering how I spent my 3 weeks in Thailand, you can read that here. This 3 week Thailand itinerary differed a little bit, so pick which one you prefer. I’ve done handy downloads for all of my best Thailand itineraries so you can download and keep the route that works best for you. I’ve gone into depth about each place in the 4 weeks in Thailand route, so I won’t repeat myself again. 

Thailand 3 week Itinerary:

  • Bangkok (2 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Chiang Mai (4 nights)
  • Doi Inthanon National Park (1 day)
  • Chiang Rai (1 day)
  • Pai (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (2 nights)
  • Koh Phangan (2 nights)
  • Koh Samui (1 night)
  • Koh Tao (1 night)
  • Koh Phangan (1 night)
  • Krabi (2 nights)
  • Phuket (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (2 nights)

Best Thailand itinerary 14 days

Best Thailand itinerary 14 days

Only got a 2 week holiday to Thailand? No sweat, it’s not a lot of time, but if you plan well you can cover a lot of ground. In this Thailand 14 day itinerary, I’ve tried to add-in as many of the ‘not to be missed’ things to see and do in Thailand. Without you feeling too rushed, or like you’re just sat on a bus for your whole two weeks in Thailand. 

Of course, this 14-day itinerary Thailand is covering the north and the south. So if you want to limit your travel time and maximize your chill time. Then maybe either plan to see the north of Thailand or the south. If you like beaches and the heat, pick the south Thailand Itinerary. If you prefer the mountains, temples, and the cooler weather then choose the north Thailand Itinerary. 

The most important thing, of course, is to make sure you have the most amount of fun during your 2 weeks backpacking Thailand.

My 14 day Thailand itinerary

  • Bangkok (1 night)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Chiang Mai (3 nights)
  • Doi Inthanon National Park (1 day)
  • Chiang Rai (1 day)
  • Pai (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (1 nights)
  • Koh Phangan (1 night)
  • Koh Samui (1 day)
  • Koh Tao (1 day)
  • Koh Phangan (1 night)
  • Krabi (2 nights)
  • Phuket (2 nights)
  • Bangkok (1 night)

 

10-day itinerary Thailand

10 days in Thailand itinerary

I’m not going to sugar coat it. 10 days in Thailand is not enough time. You will hardly scratch the surface of this beautiful country in that time. But if you only have 10 days, then this is how I would use my time if I wanted t see as much as I could of Thailand in that time. This 10 day itinerary isn’t going to allow you to see everything in Thailand, but it will help you to maximize your time.

If you want to cut down your travel time then consider flying from Chiang Mai (after Pai)  to Krabi or Phuket and then reverse the last part of the Thailand 10 days itinerary so you start in Phuket and end in Koh Phanang and from there make your way back to Bangkok. 

Alternatively, you could focus on spending your 10 day trip to Thailand either exploring north Thailand, or south Thailand. That way you could spend a bit longer in each place and not have to take so many long bus journeys!

Thailand Itinerary 10 days starting in Bangkok:

  • Bangkok (3 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Chiang Mai (2 nights)
  • Doi Inthanon National Park (1 day)
  • Chiang Rai (1 day)
  • Pai (1 night)
  • Koh Phangan (2 nights)
  • Koh Samui (1 day)
  • Koh Tao (1 day)
  • Krabi (1 night)
  • Phuket (1 nights)

 

Thailand 7 day itinerary

Thailand itinerary 1 week

Looking for a 1 week itinerary Thailand? You got it. If you only have 7 days in Thailand, it might be worth doing a 7 day Thailand tour with a company. That way you don’t have the added stress of traveling from place to place (which can add time and stress to your vacation time. I’m not always a fan of group tours, but sometimes, especially if you are pushed for time, it can be worth it.

On this 7 days in Thailand itinerary, I’ve tried to cram in as much as I can, without you feeling burned out. I have just focused on spending the time you have in the northern part of Thailand because although the beaches are amazing, the north of Thailand is so rich in culture, you really shouldn’t;t miss it! The beach can wait!

That said, if you aren’t interested in spending your 7 day trip to Thailand in the north then take a read of this beach hopping in Thailand post. I’ve put together a southern Thailand 7 days itinerary in there that will suit you better.  

If you are tourn and wondering what to do in Thailand for a week then I’d personally recommend exploring the north of Thailand, temples, temples, mountains, outdoor activities, Bangkok, food!!! 

Start and end your 7 day Thailand itinerary in Bangkok, as that’s where most flights will enter. Travel by night train from Ayuttaya to save time. 

7 day itinerary Thailand:

  • Bangkok (4 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Chiang Mai (3 nights)
  • Chiang Rai (1 day)
  • Pai (1 day)

5 days in Thailand itinerary

Thailand Travel Guide 5 day Thailand itinerary

Looking for a Thailand 5 days itinerary? Ok so in 5 days you won’t get to see a lot of Thailand, but you can see a lot of Bangkok! I did a whole Bangkok itinerary you can read here. Aside from spending time exploring Bangkok on my 5 day trip to Thailand, you will also have time to check out Ayutthaya and you will even have time to visit Koh Chang if you are feeling the need to hit up the beach!

5 day Thailand Itinerary

  • Bangkok (2 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)
  • Koh Chang (2 nights)

 

Thailand itinerary 4 days

Koh Lanta Thailand Thailand itinerary 4 days

What you want an itinerary for a 4 day trip to Thailand! Nope, what you really need is to just chill in Bangkok for 4 days and read my Bangkok itinerary for ideas of what you can do during your 4 days in Thailand. So yeah on my 4 day Thailand itinerary I would advise you base yourself in Bangkok for the full 4 days and just do a day trip to Ayutthaya, you can even take a taxi from Bangkok to Ayutthaya and get the driver to drive you around to all the temples then back to Bangkok if your budget will allow!

Thailand 4 days itinerary

  • Bangkok (4 nights)
  • Ayutthaya (1 day)

 

 

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

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