Thailand! The land of 1,000 smiles- and that is the truth. That Thai smile can be found almost everywhere you look, and the landscape just radiates a smiling gold!
Let me start by mentioning that two weeks is not nearly enough time to see Thailand. There is SO much to see and do here. It simply can not be rushed! The more time, the better. And honestly, if you’re from the states, you will SAVE MONEY by being in Thailand, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of penny-pinching.
Anyhow, if you only have two weeks to spend- you can still see plenty!
Heres a suggested itinerary!
Day 1: Land in Bangkok.
Bangkok is the HUB of SE Asia. Probably will find the cheapest flights if you start and end your trip here. Don Mueang Int’l Airport is very busy, and theres about a 1 hour wait to get a taxi upon landing, but its worth the $$ you’ll save by flying into this airport.
Once you make it out of the airport, I’m sure you’ll be relieved to arrive at your hotel! Speaking of hotels….Buddy Lodge is a great choice! It’s not too expensive (not the cheapest option, but a good middle!) and it has a rooftop pool- totally worth it!
Check it out here:
Bangkok is HOT. We were there in December-January and definitely appreciated coming back to that pool in the afternoon after sightseeing in the morning as early as possible. It’s also right on Khao San Road… so if you don’t mind noise and being in the center of all the action, this is a good pick. If not…avoid Khao San Road at all costs! But if you can bear it for a day or two- it’s nearby a lot of great sights to visit in Bangkok.
Day 2: Check out The Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha), and Wat Arun.
Grab a tuk-tuk (TIP: walk about 5 minutes away from Khao San Road…find a Tuk-Tuk driver who does NOT have signs in his hands and is not on or near Khao San Road, this is to avoid scams. Be very weary.) Also suggest going as early as you possibly can to beat the crowds and the heat.
I suggest checking out the Emerald Buddha, The Grand Palace and Wat Pho. They are all close by and a tuk tuk can get you there easily from Khao San Road, under 10 minutes! Make sure to dress accordingly. (Women no shorts, pants with holes, or shoulders showing. Men no shorts, no shoulders showing. This is strictly enforced- especially if you are a woman)
After exploring these three, grab lunch and maybe head back to the Buddy Lodge and check out the rooftop pool. Afternoon is a great time for this!
After dinner and whatnot, catch the sunset at Eagle Nest Bar. It has a stunning view of Wat Arun- especially at sunset. Get there a bit early to grab a good table. The drinks here are a bit expensive, but the view is really worth it.
Day 3: Leave Bangkok for Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a quick flight over from Bangkok, and flights are cheap if you book ahead. Chiang Mai is a MUST. I recommend staying in the Old City at an AirBnB. We stayed here and adored it
It right across from a hotel so pick up for any excursions was super easy! Its also very clean, beautifully located and the host was is a delightful local willing to talk and offer suggestions.
Once you get here, just explore. Go for a long walk and check out all Old City Chiang Mai has to offer. I guarantee you’ll run into some temples and yummy restaurants.
Day 4: Explore Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is so charming. It quickly became one of my favorite places to visit! It’s a bit cheaper then the southern parts of Thailand, and also a bit slower paced which is nice after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. We stayed in the old city, which I, again, highly recommend. It’s full of temples, restaurants and charm. It’s great to explore on foot which is what I recommend doing, no doubt. Just walk around, get lost, end up somewhere you didn’t plan on going. Eat! And after walking around and tiring yourself- definitely get a massage. Can’t beat the price and its a fantastic way to relax after wandering and exploring.
Make sure to try the Mango Sticky Rice!
Day 5: Zip Line with “Flight of the Gibbon“
This you can book online a day or two in advance. They’ll arrange pick up and take you from Chiang Mai on a one hour drive into the lush rainforest of Mae Kampong Village. Flight of the Gibbon is one of the most reputable and well known zip lining companies in Thailand. We had a blast. It is run by locals, and they even include an amazing traditional Thai lunch afterwards. It can be a little pricey, but worth for a safe and exhilarating experience! They’ll get you back by around 2 in the afternoon, plenty of time to rest and see more of Chiang Mai.
Day 6: Elephant Sanctuary
Not only is this place amazing to visit, but its an ethical tourism project. The sanctuary saves/rescues elephants that used to be used for riding (NOT recommended)
Day 7: Head to Krabi
Krabi is a great place to go if you want to get a taste of the islands and beaches of Thailand. We stayed at Phu Phi Maan Resort and loved it. Book below:
We found flights from Chiang Mai to Krabi for about $60-$70… check out my post, 10 Quick Tips for Traveling Cheap for some suggestions on finding flight deals!
Day 8: Do some Island Hopping!
Krabi is a great base for visiting some of the smaller islands of Thailand. If you head to Aonang Beach, there’s a booth you can buy tickets from that will allow you a ride on one of the Long-Tail boats that can take you to surrounding islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Poda, and Koh Hong.
Day 9: Take another day to relax on the beach.
Rest days are important. Soak up some sun rays, explore places to eat, have a cold beverage and take it easy! Rest up for tomorrow, you’ll need lots of energy to climb the 1,237 steps up to Tiger Cave Temple!
That being said-
Day 10: Visit the Tiger Cave Temple, Wat Tham Suea.
This is quite possibly one of the most meditative, challenging, inspiring and breathtaking experiences you can have in Krabi. Tiger Cave Temple is build into the mountains of Krabi. You’ll climb 1,237 very steep steps. And you’ll be tempted to turn around and head back down– but don’t. Stick it out and make it to the top. Get there early so you can climb alone, before the tour busses get there. See more on My Tiger Cave Temple Experience here. Dont forget your water! And a snack to enjoy at the top!
Day 11:Spend a day at Railay Beach
Again, you’ll have to take the long tail boats to get here but- its only a 10 minute ride at most and who doesn’t love riding on the long-tail boats?!
Make a day just for Railay Beach. You can eat off the food-boats (YUM), buy drinks, swim, rock climb, and soak in the beauty of Thailand.
Day 12: Head to Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta is about 2 hours away from Krabi town and is a small island with quiet, beautiful beaches. Plenty of certified diving schools here too, if you’d like to see the beautiful coral and marine life.
Day 13: Head back to Bangkok
Treat yourself and stay a night at the Okura Prestige in Bangkok. I recommend heading back here so you can fly out of BKK, for the cheapest deals on flights! Take a dip in the infinity pool and take lots of pictures 😉
Click here to book your stay at Okura Prestige Bangkok
Day 14: Enjoy your day at the Okura Prestige Bangkok
Soak it all in before you head back home!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to Thailand, if your trip was different or similar to mine, and if you enjoyed any of my suggestions!
Thank you for reading!