I know that planning a trip to Thailand can be very complicated for those who are going for the first time. There are so many options for destinations, so many islands and beaches that we don’t know where to start. Thinking about that and to make your life easier, I put together a classic itinerary in Thailand for 15 or even 20 days.
Thailand is a fairytale destination, perfect beaches, a lot of culture, spirituality and a unique gastronomy. I lived in Thailand in 2018, which allowed me to get to know this incredible country even better.
However, before entering the itinerary in Thailand, I will bring down some important information and links to facilitate the planning of your trip:
Where to stay in Bangkok
Railay Beach: how to get there and best things to do
How to get there
Bangkok receives flights from the main airlines in the world. From Europe: British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Swiss, KLM, Finnair, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot. And major carries in the Middle East such as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad fly daily to Bangkok.
However, there’re no direct flights from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America to Bangkok. If you are in North America, the fastest way is to fly with connection in Japan (ANA and Japan Airlines), South Korea (Asiana and Korean Air), Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific), Singapore (Singapore Airlines), Taiwan (EVA Air and China Airlines) and mainland China (Air China).
How many days in Thailand
I have to say that the sky is the limit, however, I know that not everyone has a whole month to travel in Thailand. Therefore, I recommend staying at least 15 days or 20 days to enjoy the country calmly. While we are talking about such a long trip, it is worth it to plan to stay a little longer.
When to go
Choosing the best time to visit Thailand is an important aspect of a successful trip. From beautiful sunny days to weeks stuck in the hotel room with torrential rain and even occasional flooding.
For the locals, everything is normal. But for people like us, who spend money dreaming of perfect days in paradise and face the worst possible climate, it is very frustrating.
January, February and March are the best months, the weather is dry and the temperature is acceptable across the country. The sky is clean and blue and the sea color more beautiful than ever. Temperature is around 30 degrees celsius.
At the end of March, April and May are the hottest months. You can easily find temperatures in the range of 40 to 45 degrees. For those who wants to visit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, in the north of the country, the vegetation will be dry and the burning season will begin. Visibility is always reduced and the air is dusty and smoky. I was there at that time and I felt the heavy air, the view of Doi Suthep, the mountain temple was very limited.
June and July it starts to rain in some places, but it is not the beginning of the rainy season. The temperature is about 35 degrees.
August is the beginning of the rainy season. The crossing between Thai islands, such Krabi to Phi-Phi and Phuket, can be interrupted for days.
In September the rains begin to decrease in the north. In Bangkok the rain continues in isolated spots
October no longer rains in the north and in the Bangkok area, it is an excellent time to visit, as the climate is cooler, the sky is clear and the trees will be green and lush.
November is excellent time to visit Thailand, the temperature is pleasant and because the end of the low season, we can find great prices.
The high season begins in December, the weather is excellent throughout the country.
Itinerary in Thailand
- Bangkok: 4 days
- Chiang Mai: 3 days
- Koh Lipe: 2 days
- Krabi: 3 days
- Phi Phi: 3 days
- Bangkok: 4 days
Bangkok: 4 days
Take a day to do the most classic tours in Bangkok, such as visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho Temple, the temple of the Reclining Buddha. Be sure to cross the Chao Phraya River and visit Wat Arun, the temple of dawn. Or take a boat tour that passes through all these sights and many others.
Be sure to visit the famous floating market in Damnoen Saduak and the train market, a street market in Maeklong on the railroad tracks that is constantly interrupted by trains coming and going.
Back in the downtown, visit Wat Traimit, the temple that hosts the Golden Buddha, that’s not one of the largest temples in the city, but it is so beautiful. But what’s the most impressive is the Golden Buddha. Over 3 meters high and made with more than 5 tons of gold. The temple is next to Chinatown, take the opportunity to visit the Chinese quarter in Bangkok.
One of the coolest tips in Bangkok is to enjoy the sunset from the top of the Mahanakhon, the tallest building in Thailand and of course, walk on in glass platform.
Take a day to do the traditional round trip to Ayutthaya, the city that was Thailand’s former capital and a World Heritage Site.
Read more: Where to stay in Bangkok
Chiang Mai: 3 days
After Bangkok, head to Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand for three full days. Meet the tribe of Kayan women, with their long necks adorned with golden rings.
Be sure to visit Doi Suthep, the mountain temple of Chiang Mai, as well as the small temples located in the middle of the ancient city. At night, the good thing is the Chiang Mai night market.
In November, Chiang Mai hosts the beautiful Lantern Festival, the Yi Peng. There is no fixed date, but it is always on the twelfth full moon of the year, which usually happens after November 15.
Yi Peng marks the end of the rainy season, the famous monsoons. When the Thai people celebrate Buddha and give thanks for the rains that irrigated the plantations. On occasion they offer flowers, candles and incense, placed in small boats called krathongs, which are released into rivers and lakes.
Inside the Lantern Festival happens Loy Kratong, better known as the Festival of Lights. That famous footage of hundreds (maybe thousands) of balloons rising in the sky and lighting up the night is Loy Kratong. One of the most beautiful things you’ll see in Thailand.
And if you want to know a little more about Buddhism and Thai culture, I have a great tip for you. Monk Chat is a very interesting program that was created in Chiang Mai to connect monks with visitors.
The idea is a chat with young monks, who study English and are interested in improving the language with visitors interested in learning more about the precepts of Buddhism and Thai culture.
Koh Lipe: 2 days
Start your journey on Thai beaches on the right foot! Koh Lipe is in southern Thailand, in the Strait of Malacca in the Andaman Sea. It is close to Langkawi in Malaysia, it is only 40 kilometers from the neighboring country and 60 kilometers from the Thai coast. Lipe is the last inhabited Thai island, however, even with this feeling of isolation, the island offers amenities like any other island in the country.
The island is known as the “Maldives of Thailand” because of its transparent waters and white sandy beaches.
Lipe is small, in 2 days you’ll know the whole island by walkt! The hard thing is to leave after knowing this little piece of paradise.
Krabi: 3 days
Go straight to Railay Beach in Krabi and make the beach your base in the city. A small peninsula surrounded by the turquoise blue sea of Thailand and accessible only by boat. Railay Beach in Thailand is a little piece of paradise, with its beautiful beaches and unique atmosphere.
Everything you need to know about Railay Beach, including what to do and where to stay, is found right here.
In 3 days in Krabi or Railay you will be able to take several tours exploring the most beautiful islands in the region, such as AoNang, AoNammao, Taming Island, Chicken Island and many, many more. See in this link how to do these tours.
Phi Phi Island: 3 dias
Um dos lugares mais famosos da Tailândia, localizado no meio do Mar de Andaman, essa pequena ilha faz parte do imaginário de muita gente.
Koh Phi Phi é um pequeno e efervescente arquipélago no meio do Mar de Andaman. É o ponto de partida para conhecer algumas das mais belas ilhas e praias da Tailândia. O lugar é popular, com visitantes de todos os cantos do mundo em busca de paisagens idílicas e diversão noturna. Sim, existe vida noturna agitada com bares e festas na praia, não é exatamente um lugar calminho para curtir o silêncio e o som do mar. Mas existem opções para todos os tipos de viajantes.
How to do the itinerary in Thailand
From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the best way is by plane. There is the possibility to go by train, however it takes more than 12 hours. While the plane takes just over 1 hour. There are several low-cost airlines in Thailand and the ticket price is very affortable.
From Bangkok to Koh Lipe, I recommend traveling with NokAir, which has a very cool service called Fly & Ferry, where they sell the air ticket combined with the car transfer to the pier and the boat trip to Koh Lipe. This same service is sold to several islands. It is certainly the best way to get to Koh Lipe.
From Koh Lipe to Krabi you can take the trip by plane – taking the opposite route from your arrival – or by boat. The boats make the trip between the two locations between 4 am and 4:30 am. In high season, speed boats connect Koh Lipe to Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi, Koh Lanta and Trang. All times can be consulted on this website.
From Krabi to Phi Phi it is the same thing: by boat traveling with the Phuket Ferry.
You can finish your tour around Phuket, the city doesn’t have beautiful beaches, but it has interesting places and a great international airport.