Aside from the beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise waters, Thailand has so much to offer to travellers. In fact, the vibrant culture, mouth-watering cuisine, awe-inspiring architecture, and natural wonders are unmissable. You’ll soon see why this is a hot destination for all in this 10 day Thailand itinerary.
Our trip plan is designed to give you the best possible experience of Thai culture. As well as leaving time for lots of R&R in this piece of paradise.
At the end of the article, you’ll also find lots of tips and useful bits of information. Including costs, transport, and a basic packing list.
Of course, Thailand is huge, and each area of Thailand has something to offer. In 10-days you’ll barely scratch the surface, so it’s better to stick to 2-3 areas and get the best experience. Rather than trying to cover the whole country!
10 Day Itinerary: What to See and Do in Thailand
Fly into Bangkok
If you’re flying into Thailand from another country you’ll most likely be touching down in Bangkok.
This is the perfect opportunity to explore this vibrant and bustling city. And a perfect way to start off your 10 day Thailand itinerary!
Millions of tourists visit Bangkok every year, and for good reason. No matter how popular the city gets, the origins of a small, port-trading centre still shine through.
Street markets selling delicious noodles and curries, as well as fried insects and very questionable smelling cheesy fruits, make for an exciting shopping experience.
Don’t worry what time your flight gets in, this city never sleeps!
If you’ve had a long flight you’re probably knackered, so spend some time strolling through the street markets of Khao San Road. Take it all in for now, you can explore it properly tomorrow evening!
Try some of the street food and get your first taste of Thai. You’re in for a treat.
Tip: For helpful advice on eating street food safely, visit the street food section at the bottom of the page.
Day 1: The Floating Markets
This is an absolute must for Bangkok even if you have to travel slightly out from the centre. The floating markets truly are a unique experience that you can’t miss.
The Danmoan Saduak markets are the most popular in Bangkok, and despite the ever-growing tourism they still provide a traditional Thai experience.
You can get a bus from the markets for around 50 Baht, then you can expect to pay around 1500 Baht for a boat. If you try and get a group together you might be able to split the costs!
Planning your own trip to the markets can be cheaper if you’re good at bartering. Or, if you will accept paying slightly more, travel agents in the city will arrange the whole trip for you.
Once you arrive, admire the wooden boats overflowing with beautiful fresh fruits, vegetables, freshly cooked noodles and mango and sticky rice.
You’ll also float past lots of small stalls where you can buy hand-crafter ornaments, candles, silk kimono’s and much more.
It’s the perfect place to stock up on presents to take home with you. Prepare to pay extra here though as the floating markets are a massive tourist attraction in Bangkok.
Day 2: Temple Tour
Visiting the temples in Bangkok is an absolute must but it can be hard to know which ones are worth visiting and how to get to them all.
A walking temple tour is a great way to see the top temples and experience Thai culture along the way.
You can book this and have an English guide explain the history along the way. Or, just make the arrangements yourself.
If you’d prefer not to walk, take the tour by TukTuk!
Start your journey at Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The entrance fee is around 500 Baht.
From here, make your way to the Grand Palace, once home to the Kings of Thailand. You’ll often find royal ceremonies happening here and the changing of the guards is pretty fun to watch too! The palace is a beautiful piece of Thai architecture, I strongly recommend visiting. The entrance fee is also around 500 Baht.
After the Grand Palace, make your way to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Also known as What Pho, a recognised UNESCO heritage site.
Last but not least, finish your temple tour at the beautiful Wat Arun temple. Famous for its 70-metre-high tower which can be seen clearly from the river. Entrance fee 100 Baht.
Khoa San Road
After a long day submerging yourself in Thai culture, head back to your accommodation to clean up and relax. Tonight, you’re hitting Khoa San Road!
Khoa San is a huge tourist destination so you’ll find people here from ALL over the world. Whether you love to party hard or not, this famous street is a lot of fun.
Restaurants, bars, clubs, street food, and shops are dotted all along the street. You’ll find affordable restaurants, drinks deal’s and lots of interesting Thai delicacies to try down this street.
Spend the night strolling through the market and talking to people from all over the world!
Day 3: Travel to Ko Samui/ Fisherman’s Village
Getting to Ko Samui
As unique and fun as Bangkok is, it’s pretty hectic and really doesn’t show the true beauty of Thailand. 1 ½ – 2 days in Bangkok is more than enough to see the important stuff. I’d strongly recommend heading towards the islands as soon as possible.
Getting the bus and ferry from Bangkok to Ko Samui is the cheapest form of transport. But expect the journey to take about 12 hours.
To avoid wasting one of your 10 days in Thailand, you can also fly which will take just over an hour. Although a lot more convenient, please bear in mind flying will be more expensive.
Ko Samui is without a doubt one of the most beautiful areas of Thailand, and the beauty of Samui is that there truly is something for everyone.
Whether you’re happy sitting on the beautiful beaches all day or want to explore the island, Samui has it all.
Spend your first day settling in to your accommodation after the long journey from Bangkok. Walk along your nearest beach and dip your toes in the water. Then track down a beach hut to have your dinner and watch the sunset over the water. Bliss.
If you’re not quite ready to turn in for the night, Fisherman’s village is a great place to spend the evenings for shopping, eating, and drinking.
Expect the beach to be taken over by trendy restaurants and small shops which attract tourists from all over Samui.
If you didn’t get a chance to pick up any presents at the floating markets, here’s your second chance. You’re destined to find something here.
Day 4: Maenam Beach
Compared to most of the other islands in Thailand, Ko Samui is a pretty big island. Having said this though, you could probably still drive around the whole island in about an hour.
I’d definitely recommend spending your first full day relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches there is to offer here.
Which beach you choose is largely dependent on where you’re staying on the island. But also how busy you want things to be.
Maenam beach has a perfect balance of seclusion, and peace and quiet, alongside a variety of great restaurants and bars for you to try out.
This area is also a fantastic area to stay if you’re struggling to find accommodation. You’ll find a huge variety of accommodation here, ranging from budget beach huts to 5-star resorts. It’s fit for everyone.
Spend your day relaxing on the 5km beach. Find a hammock to relax in and have lunch or a picnic underneath the palm trees. Then head to the restaurants and bars in the evening before heading home for the day.
Day 5: Ang Thong National Marine Park
The Ang Thong National Marine Park is actually a separate group of islands to Samui. But they’re so close that you can literally see them from the island.
There’s loads of tours to Ang Thong from Samui, most including kayaking, snorkelling, and many more water activities.
You’ll find jungle, white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, towering mountains, and of course exotic sea life and wildlife. This island is honestly the definition of a picture-perfect paradise.
What’s even better is that this bundle of islands is completely protected, due to its national park status. So, despite the ever-growing tourists, it still remains as beautiful as ever.
Since it’s a protected group of islands, you can only get here on a government approved boat from either Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, or Ko Tao. But it’s easy enough to book.
I’d recommend spending the whole day here, exploring the island and the rich wildlife. Hike up to the highest points of the island to admire the view. Or enjoy swimming and kayaking around the islands.
You can choose to get a boat back at the end of the day or even spend the night on the beach in a tent!
Day 6: Travel to Phi Phi
As much as I’d recommend staying in Ko Samui for longer, a 10 day Thailand itinerary doesn’t allow that luxury!
You can’t travel all the way to Thailand and miss out on the Phi Phi experience. These are without a doubt the most popular islands in Thailand and for good reason.
The main island is so small that there aren’t any cars. As soon as your boat pulls into this paradise, you’ll see why it’s so popular. The tropical fish (including sword fish) swim close to the boats. The locals pull carts of fruit and veg through the small, windy streets. And sweet beech huts dot the shore.
Most people stay in Phi Phi for a few short days and then travel elsewhere, and that’s exactly what we would recommend.
I’d really recommend spending your first evening in Phi Phi just walking through the windy roads. Get your bearings and find a lively bar to hang out in! Phi Phi comes alive at night, and there’s loads of fun bars where you can find a group to play games with. Or even just sit at a bar and chat to the other tourists!
If you’re staying in a hostel, ask the people at the desk where the best bars and restaurants are!
- Full/ Half Moon Party
If you’re in Phi Phi at the time of a full or half moon party, definitely try to make an appearance. They’re really good fun even if you’re not a massive party lover.
Day 7: Phi Phi Boat Trip
Phi Phi is made up of 6 islands and if I suggest doing one thing I’d really recommend getting a day boat trip around the islands.
You’ll get to snorkel in the blue lagoon and spy the famous Maya Bay. Explore the islands with a guided tour. Enjoy lunch on one of the beaches. Then take an evening swim in the lagoon, watching the glow in the dark kelp follow your movements under water.
There’s plenty of different boat trips on offer so just go with the one that appeals to you the most! Boat trips can be booked through hotels and hostels. Or by the docks where the boats come and go every day.
Normally, if you’re booking excursions, you’ll need to let the company know by a certain time the day before. So, make sure you book as soon as you arrive.
Day 8: Phi Phi View Point and Monkey Beach – Travel to Phuket
The Phi Phi viewpoint offers one of the best views in Thailand. I have to warn you though, it’s an absolute killer of a hike.
The flights of stairs will completely knacker you out. But the view of the entire island is well worth the effort.
The best time to climb up to the view point is at sunrise. Aside from the beautiful time of day, it’ll be a lot cooler and quieter.
After taking a LOT of photo’s at the top, head back down for breakfast. Find a café or 7/11 and buy some lunch to take to the beach.
You’ll find lots of wooden shacks on the beach where you can hire kayaks, sup boards, jet ski’s etc. I’d really recommend getting a kayak out (prices start from 100 Baht per hour) and kayaking to Monkey Beach.
Monkey beach isn’t far from the main island of Phi Phi at all. You can kayak there within about 20-30 minutes. There’s a lot of rocks as you pull into the beach, so I’d definitely recommend wearing beach shoes so you don’t cut your feet.
Drag the kayaks onto the beach and make sure they don’t float out whilst you’re exploring the island.
As soon as you get onto the beach you’ll start seeing the monkeys, they’re definitely not shy! They’ll come over to you almost immediately and will head straight to the kayaks as soon as you abandon them.
Make sure you don’t leave any food in the dry sacks…
There’s a jungle pathway that you can walk along that leads further into the island. If you want to see more monkeys then head that way.
- Travel to Phuket
Phuket is around 2 hours away from Phi Phi by ferry and regular ferries leave the islands throughout the day. You can buy ferry tickets at the docs or even via your hostel/hotel staff.
I’d definitely say a day in Phuket is more than enough.
Aim to catch an evening ferry from Phi Phi then head to your accommodation to check in. If you’ve booked an excursion the next day such as the elephant sanctuary, you’ll be picked up quite early. So get some rest!
Day 9: Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
The elephant jungle sanctuary is one of the only sanctuaries I would recommend visiting in Thailand.
This is for one reason… They treat the elephants really well.
There are so-called ’sanctuaries’ all over Thailand. But the majority of them allow you to ride the elephants etc., so I’d really discourage you from visiting.
The jungle sanctuary however, is by far the most ethical sanctuary in Thailand. And a fantastic day out from start to finish!
You can choose from either a morning or afternoon visit, and you’ll be picked up straight from your accommodation. You’ll then drive for around an hour through beaches and rural Thai areas.
You’ll be greeted by an English-speaking guide who will tell you a bit about the elephants. Then you’ll help feed the elephants their breakfast/lunch of bananas and sugar cane.
The rest of your visit will be spent joining the elephants in a mud spa and pool!
To top this off, you can enjoy the delicious, home-made Thai buffet before being driven back to your accommodation.
There’s plenty of photo opportunities and facilities to shower off after the mud spa too so don’t worry about this!
Evening in Phuket
If you want to get one last night of Thailand’s night scene, head to Bangla road for cabaret shows, live music, and clubs and bars.
Day 10: Travel Back to Bangkok
There’s numerous ways to travel back to Bangkok from Phuket. A flight from Phuket is the best option, and will take just under an hour and a half. However, this is the most expensive option.
You can also take a bus and train but this will take around 12 hours at least.
The best time to visit Thailand
Tourists can visit all year round, but the best time to visit Thailand is the dry season. Which is between November and April. If you want to visit during the monsoon season though, the rain falls in torrential short bursts then clears for the rest of the day. So, in most cases it’s fine to visit during the monsoon season too.
Currency and General Finance Information
Aside from the beautiful beaches and friendly locals, one of the main reasons tourists are attracted to Thailand is because it’s one of the cheapest countries to travel to.
You can pretty much travel Thailand on any budget. Whether you want a £/$3 a night hostel, or luxury apartment on the beach, Thailand has it all.
If you’re backpacking cheaply, you can easily live off £/$25-£30 a day for food and accommodation. Although, the south in particular is becoming a lot more popular. I’d say £/$35-40 is a more accurate estimate these days and will leave you some extra spends for excursion money.
If you have the extra money to treat yourself to a nice beach hut and some special excursions throughout your trip, I’d say a good amount of money to take with you for 10 days in Thailand is around £/$700. This should cover all food, excursions, and accommodation included. Then you have some emergency funds too and extra to perhaps pay for an internal flight or two.
10 Day Thailand Itinerary Packing List
No matter how long you stay in Thailand, you’ll end up needing the same things. Try to stick to the below items as then you’ll have enough space in your backpack to bring back lots of purchases too!
- 4-5 vest tops
- 4-5 smart/casual tops for evening
- 2-3 pairs of shorts
- 2 skirts
- 2 dresses
- Sports pants for treks and long travel days
- Cardigan/thin jumper
- Thin pack-a-mac
- Beech shoes
- One pair of light, canvas trainers
- One pair of sandals
- Flip flops
- Large waterproof backpack with zip away straps
- Security belt to wear underneath your clothes
- Re-usable water bottle
- Security padlock
- Microfiber towel
- Beach towel (you can buy these all over Thailand as well)
- International power adapter
- Travel pillow
- Portable charger
- Toothbrush/tooth paste
- Bar of soap
- Make-up – keep it minimal
- Mosquito repellent
- Hand sanitiser
- First aid kit
- Travel wash
- Plasters (especially blister plasters)
- Pain killers
It’s really important that you make an appointment with your doctors to arrange travel vaccinations. Do this with lots of time to spare as most vaccinations have to be spaced out over a few weeks.
Travel insurance is an absolute must here as well. It may be expensive but it’s well worth it especially if you’re hiking and taking part in water sports etc.
Eating Safely in Thailand
The best advice I was given for eating street food, is to avoid deep fried foods. In a lot of cases, street vendors get their oil second-hand.
This means that the oil they use has been passed through hotel kitchens, small restaurants, and then down to the street vendors.
Another good piece of advice is to look for the busy street vendors! The locals will know which are the safest, so follow their lead.
Also, try to avoid eating salads or vegetables that have been washed in tap water. The water isn’t properly sanitised, so avoid drinking and eating anything (including ice) that has been touched by water and not boiled off.
Have a look at the World Nomads website for more advice on eating and drinking safely in Thailand, as well as really useful advice regarding vaccinations and common diseases in Thailand.
One of the founders of People of the Planet. Psychology graduate, digital marketer, and lover of travel and exploring new places!
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