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 shimmering gold. Spending two weeks in Thailand feels barely long enough- the only regret I have is not staying long enough!
There is SO much to see & do here, and two weeks in Thailand will allow you just enough time to get a taste of all it has to offer. The more time, the better of course (as with most destinations).
With two weeks you’ll be able to explore the north (chiang mai has my heart), and still have enough time to go south and see the islands. Trust me, it is well worth it.
Plus, with being such a budget friendly destination- you’ll be able to see and do more than one would expect with two weeks in Thailand.
Need some info on how to plan a trip on a budget? Check out my post for some quick and easy tips!
Sparkling, turquoise beaches; lush, emerald greenery; the best mango smoothies and watermelon juice you’ve ever had; $10 massages and a plethora of glittering, colorful temples… Thailand truly is a dream destination. And to think you can live your best life of luxury on a minimal budget just tops it right off.
That being said, the best deals on international flights to Thailand that I’ve seen are flying into Bangkok. It’s not called the hub or South East Asia for no reason!
For obvious reasons, we chose to start our 2 weeks in Thailand there in Bangkok.
Two Weeks in Thailand: The Itinerary
Day 1: Land in Bangkok.
Landing in Bangkok was a bit of an… awakening. “But..what do you mean there was a one hour wait for a taxi?”
True biz. Since Don Mueang Int’l Airport is so busy, the taxi service is super regulated which I suppose is a good thing since they have set rates they have to abide by and can’t overcharge people leaving the airport. However, this means you’ll have to wait in line to get a taxi. It’s worth it for the cheap airfare though!
We made it out of the airport and to our hotel for about 300-350 baht, which is about $10 USD. Not bad at all!
We made the bold choice to stay at Buddy Hotel- right on Khao San Road. Yes, backpacker central. Everything we wanted to see in Bangkok is super close to Khao San Road, so we figured we would deal with the busyness in order to maximize on our 2 days there.
Check it out here:
Bangkok is HOT. We were there in December-January and definitely appreciated coming back to that rooftop pool in the afternoon after sightseeing in the morning.
Keep in mind this is a very noisy and busy area to stay in- so if you can bear that for a few days you’ll be at the heart of the action and can easily get to Bangkok’s famous temples and attractions.
Since the first day you’ll likely be jet lagged and all that post flight goodness, I suggest grabbing some Pad Thai from JoJo’s Pad Thai stand on Khao San Road, then maybe even hit the pool!
Day 2: Check out The Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun
Day two, aka your first real day in Bangkok! There is plenty to see, however, you may want a day to take it easy and recover from jet lag, or if you’re like me, you might wake up extra early (due to jet lag, haha) and be ready to take on the world. I try to stay in bed until at least 6:30am, then get ready and hit the road. I mean, flag a tuk-tuk because let’s be real, that’s the main reason you came to Thailand right? Cheap thrills are my go-to!
Really though, get a tuk-tuk and head over to The Grand Palace. Or, you could walk since it’s only about 10-15 minutes away… but that’s just not as fun!
Important TIP: be sure to walk about 5 minutes away from Khao San Road to find a Tuk-Tuk driver who does NOT have signs in his hands and is not advertising some highlights tour on a poster. Be weary near Khao San Road as many tuk-tuk drivers will try to get extra money by taking you to places other than your requested destination.
For example, jewelry shops that their friends own and who will give them a cut if you make a purchase. Just don’t waste your time, walk away from the main road and find someone else. It should only cost you about 50 baht.
You could just decide to walk there and then tuk-tuk back since it’ll be hotter in the afternoon when you’re finished.
After the Grand Palace, check out the Emerald Buddha, then head behind to see Wat Pho and check out the massive reclining Buddha. These are three things you don’t want to miss during your two weeks in Thailand. Popular and busy- but for good reason.
Last but not least, catch the sunset at Eagle Nest Bar. It has a stunning view of Wat Arun- especially at sunset. You’ll find Eagle Nest at the rooftop of Sala Arun Hotel. Bring your camera- the views are super photogenic!
Important to Know Before You Go
For the temples, make sure to dress accordingly. That means women: no shorts, pants with holes, or shoulders showing (Covering with a sarong is not tolerable, you have to be actually wearing a shirt that covers your shoulders).
Men also no shorts and no shoulders showing. This is strictly enforced- more so if you are a woman.
Day 3: Leave Bangkok and Head to Chiang Mai
After a couple days in Bangkok, you’ll either be ready to leave with bags packed, or you’ll be wishing you planned for more time. Either way, don’t worry- with this two week itinerary, you’ll be back!
If Khao San wasn’t your thing (wasn’t really my favorite to be honest here- it’s party central), you’ll be happy to know there’s tons of different areas of Bangkok you can stay- all with very different feels and scenes. This article from Nerd Nomads is superrr thorough and has everything you’ll wanna know about choosing an area to stay in Bangkok. Helped us make our decisions for Bangkok!
That being said, it’s time to head to Chiang Mai. My favorite place in Thailand…well, besides the islands/beach fronts… more on that later.
So Chiang Mai is a quick flight over from Bangkok, and flights are cheap if you book ahead. Chiang Mai truly is a must when visiting Thailand. I recommend staying in the Old City. Its walkable, charming, and full of beautiful temples and insanely delicious good.
We opted for an AirBnB and adored it. Check it out below!
It right across from a huge hotel so a pick up for any excursions will be super easy! It’s also super clean, beautifully located and the host is a delightful local, she was so kind and willing to talk or offer suggestions. There’s even a little massage parlor right next door- I may or may not have gotten nightly $5 foot massages (read: I did.)
Once you get to Chiang Mai, just explore. Go for a long walk, get lost, truly wander and check out all Old City Chiang Mai has to offer. I guarantee you’ll run into some glittering 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.
Oh and eat! There’s almost too many good places to choose from. I can’t remember ordering one thing that I disliked the whole time in Chiang Mai. Literally, everything was amazing.
After walking around, stuffing your face and tiring yourself out- definitely get a massage. Can’t beat the price and it’s a fantastic way to relax after wandering and exploring.
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’s a small investment, but worth every penny 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.
We went on a thursday and made it back in time for the thursday night market which is a must!
Day 6: Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary: Who doesn’t dream of seeming the elephants in Thailand? I definitely did. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to schedule this in (I mean, we could have crammed it in but, not our style.. we took a rest day after zip lining). However, I highly encourage you to check out Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
We were planning on going but ended up needing a rest day (we don’t play when it comes to self-care yo!)
Some good friends of mine visited and raved about the experience and promised myself we will return for this someday!
The sanctuary saves elephants that were injured or formerly mistreated in the riding industry, so it’s a great way to interact with them and not contribute to the corrupt industry of elephant riding which is rampant with mistreatment and abuse.
If you end up getting to go, let me know how your experience was! I can’t wait to return and spend a day there!
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. Was straight out of a dream! Their breakfast room was super open and had amaaazing views of the limestone cliffs and lush greenery of Krabi!
Not only that, but the pools were beautiful and also had amazing views and the property runs a free and super convenient shuttle to the beach (which was only like a 10 minute walk away).
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 for a ride on one of the Long-Tail boats. They can take you to surrounding islands like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Poda, Koh Hong and more.
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!
Take the long-tail boats over to the islands again and enjoy some of the food boats.
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 steep 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. Unless of course you get struck with some type of emergency, then of course, head back and get help… but if you can, take this meditative challenge and keep going!
Take breaks and enjoy the views when needed. The view at the top is unparalleled. Just incredible.
Get there early so you can climb alone, before the tour busses get there. See more on My Tiger Cave Temple Experience here. Don’t 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 Don Mueang Int’l Airport for the cheapest deals on flights! Take a dip in the infinity pool and take lots of pictures.
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!