10 Day Thailand Itinerary
Welcome to the 10 Day Thailand Itinerary!
Get ready for a fun filled and action packed 10 day Thailand itinerary. The trip takes you from the capital of Bangkok to the island of Koh Samui to the northern jungles of Chiang Mai. It is a great itinerary for those who want to explore different parts of the country and it will give you just a taste of what Thailand has to offer.
The itinerary breakdown is: Bangkok (2 days), Koh Samui (4 days), Chiang Mai (3 days), Bangkok (1 day)
Please note – this itinerary plans its timeline around the full moon (or half moon) party on Koh Phangan on the night of day 4. You can easily move around the itinerary as you see fit if you are planning on heading to the party on a different night of the trip. If the full moon party is not something that you would like to add to the itinerary, no worries – it does not change the overall trip at all.
Before diving into the itinerary be sure to check out the Helpful Tips section to get you prepared for your trip.
Thailand Map View
Take a look at the map below which shows you where each city that is part of this itinerary is located throughout the country. You will start the journey in the center of the country in Bangkok before heading to the islands down south, flying up north to Chiang Mai and finishing back in Bangkok.
Detailed 10 Day Thailand Itinerary
Now lets get on to the actual trip! The following is a detailed breakout of the daily attractions and activities on this 10 day Thailand itinerary. Feel free to scroll through and click on any more in depth posts along the way.
Table of Contents
Day 1 – Bangkok
After a long day of traveling you will arrive in Bangkok – the capital city of Thailand. It will definitely be a different type of city experience then the remainder of the trip but it does have some amazing sites to see and enjoy. For an in depth guide to the city check out the Best Things To Do in Bangkok. The guide will take you through:
» The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
» Wat Pho
» Wat Arun
On top of that it will go through some of the great nightlife options that Bangkok has to offer such as Khao San Road and Sky Bar, among others.
There are so many different areas and hotels to choose from when deciding where to stay in the city. Here is a list of some top rated ones. To check out more feel free to browse through Booking.com for the best deals.
Day 2 – Ayutthaya
On your second day in Bangkok, it is time to head outside the city and to ancient capital city of Thailand – Ayutthaya. Here you will find some of the most incredible temples and architecture in Thailand. It makes for a perfect day trip and is a great way to explore another part of the country during your time there. Feel free to check out the Ayutthaya Day Trip Guide that will walk you through the entire day for beginning to end.
Some of the top highlights will include:
1) Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
2) Wat Mahathat
3) Wat Ratchaburana
4) Wat Phra Si Sanphet
5) Wat Lokayasutharam
After making your way around Ayutthaya for the day, head back to your hotel in Bangkok, where you can relax and get some much needed massages.
Day 3 – Travel to Koh Samui
It is now time to make your way to the islands of Thailand, where you will get to relax, hit some beaches, do some hiking and enjoy the one and only Full Moon Party. Getting to Koh Samui is pretty simple. There will be a few flights in the morning from Bangkok to Samui that should work out well here. Once you arrive in Samui there should be plenty of taxis that can take you to your hotel. You can then spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing by the pool and beach, enjoying the Thai island life. If you would like you could also stop by the giant gold Big Buddha before heading to your hotel.
4) Peace Resort
Day 4 – Ang Thong Marine Park & Full Moon Party
Today you will take a day trip out to the picturesque Ang Thong Marine Park. Every hotel should be able to help you book a tour through a local company or you can research one on your own that you think is best for you. Here is how a typical tour would play out:
The day starts early on getting picked up to your hotel before being transferred to your speedboat for the day (note that not all tours use speedboats). Your first stop about an hour away is Koh Wao, where you can swim and snorkel the crystal clear blue waters around you. There will be plenty of colorful fish to see as you make your way through the area.
After some swimming and snorkeling you will make your way to a short hiking trail that takes you above the Talay Nai emerald lagoon. From here you will also be able to see most of the 42 islands that make up the marine park.
Once the lagoon is complete it is time to hit the kayaks. Your boat will take you nearby, where you will hop into a kayak for around an hour and get to explore the marine park on your own. As you kayak around you are sure to pass small caves and numerous islands surrounding you.
It will now be time for some lunch and your speedboat will take you to one of the main island in Ang Thong – Koh Wua Ta Lap. Here you will also be given some time to explore the island by foot or relax by the beach for a bit. There is a great hiking trail that takes you up to the top of the island, hitting viewpoints along the way. It can get quite technical closer to the top but the views are worth it. You will then head back by speedboat to Koh Samui, where you can rest up for a bit before heading to the Full Moon Party!
Take a look at some Thailand guide books to better prepare you for your trip:
After a morning/early afternoon of exploring, start hydrating very well for what is sure to be one of the crazier parties of your life. Once the sun begins to set on the island, the full moon party festivities on the island of nearby Koh Phangan are just beginning. Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Full Party for everything you need to know about this epic night.
If your trip does not match up with full moon or if you are not interested in doing so, it does not change much on the itinerary. Simply just act if this was another night out in Thailand.
Day 5 – Koh Samui Recovery Day
Due to the fact that bedtime for you was probably in the 6-8AM range, day 5 is going to be a full on rest and recovery day. After waking up in the afternoon, grab some lunch and relax by the beach for the next couple of hours and maybe get a nice massage after running around the previous night. Even if full moon was not part of your plans, you can still use this day to enjoy the beaches of Koh Samui and the rest of what this island has to offer.
Day 6 – Scuba Diving
On day 6 enjoy a day of scuba diving! Many diving shops offer diving opportunities from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. Check out our One Day Try Dive Experience for a detailed guide to the day. The guide goes over the dive if you are based in Koh Tao so the main difference here is that you will be doing a lot of the learnings on the boat ride over instead of on the island itself to save some time. Once you arrive in Koh Tao, you will get to take part of a couple of dives before heading back to Koh Samui.
Check out some of the top rated scuba diving companies in Koh Samui.
If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Koh Samui there is plenty to take part of. You can check out the Bophut Fisherman’s Market, check out a Muay Thai fight and/or hit some of the bars around Chaweng Beach.
Note: if you do decide to dive on day 6, there are recommendations to wait anywhere from 18-24 hours before going on an airplane. If you do not feel comfortable taking a flight on day 7, feel free to explore Koh Samui a bit on day 6 instead of going out for a dive. You can also decide to dive on day 5 instead if you did not take part of full moon.
Day 7 – Travel to Chiang Mai
After plenty of time seeing what the islands of Thailand have to offer it is time to head to the northern part of the country to Chiang Mai. As of this writing there is only one direct flight from Koh Samui to Chiang Mai each day through Bangkok Airways at 10AM. If you get on this flight you should arrive at your hotel early afternoon and grab some food before exploring the city and some temples. In and around the city there are more than 300 temples! To make things simple though I put together a Chiang Mai Temples Tour Guide that will take you to some of the more well known ones to visit this afternoon.
The guide goes over 7 temples to visit (although Doi Suthep which is a further journey can be visited on day 9):
1) Wat Chiang Man
2) Three King’s Monument
3) Wat Chedi Luang
4) Wat Phra Singh
5) Wat Sri Suphan
6) Wat Suan Dok
You can now walk or tuk tuk back to your hotel after a day of traveling and exploring the temples of Chiang Mai. If you would like at night you can make your way to the Night Market – an indoor/outdoor market that is filled with plenty of food and souvenirs.
Feel free to browse through some accommodation options in Chiang Mai or choose from some highly rated ones below:
Day 8 – Elephant Sanctuary
On your second day in Chiang Mai it is time to head off to an Elephant Sanctuary to feed, bathe, and interact with these amazing animals.
The top two main elephant sanctuaries that are known for rescuing elephants from poor conditions and treating them well are Patara Elephant Farm and Elephant Nature Park. Both of these places book up well in advance so be sure to check for availability
The main difference between the two programs is that Patara is a 1 on 1 experience with an elephant for the day (~$180) while ENP is more of a group experience (~$70). Read the In Depth Guide to Patara Elephant Farm to get a better understanding of the experience.
Day 9 – Doi Suthep / Cooking Class & Travel to Bangkok
On your last day in Chiang Mai it is time to see the city from above and/or take a local cooking class before heading back to Bangkok. During the course of your stay you have probably seen the large mountain that overlooks the city. Towards the top of the mountain is a temple called Doi Suthep that has amazing views of the city below. You can grab a taxi for a fixed rate that will take you there, wait for you and then take you back down. The road to Doi Suthep is filled with twists and turns as you make your way up climbing the hill. Eventually though you will reach the base of Doi Suthep, where a long staircase awaits to the temple. Once inside you can walk around the main area and the large golden chedi.
You can then make your way to the viewpoint that overlooks the city. Due to Chiang Mai weather being hit or miss, it could be a perfectly clear day out or you could literally be in a cloud with no visibility at all. But dont worry, if there really isnt any visibility be sure to ask your cab driver to stop at one of the viewpoints on the way down the twisting roads, where you are sure to get a good view at some point.
Another option to take part of is a local Chiang Mai cooking class. Many of the cooking classes have morning sessions which start around 9AM with pickup being just shortly before then. Once you get picked up along with your fellow guests you will make your way to a local food market. Once there your cooking instructor for the evening will teach you all about the local ingredients and what is used for different dishes. You will then get to pick 4-5 different course options for what you will be making and eating during the rest of the morning. Your instructor will then purchase all the necessities before hopping back in the van to take you to the kitchen.
Many places have open air kitchens and dining rooms which is also a very unique experience instead of being indoors. A sample menu will include spring rolls, soup, pad thai, curry, and mango sticky rice. Your instructor will then take you through making and eating each dish (usually you cook two dishes, eat them and then go on to the next two). Overall a great experience cooking, eating, and meeting new people. The class should end around 2PM.
If you have a late flight out from Chiang Mai to Bangkok you might be able to do a cooking class in the morning, followed by Doi Suthep. If you do not have time for both, just choose which experience you think you will enjoy best. Once finished up with Doi Suthep and/or cooking class catch your flight to Bangkok. Once back in the capital city check into your hotel, grab some dinner and head out to Khao San Road for your last night out in Thailand.
A couple other Chiang Mai options if they are of interest to you:
Sunday Night Market – a walking street night market only open on Sundays from 4PM-12AM.
Full Day Hiking and/or Bamboo Rafting – there are plenty of one day hiking options in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai. You will get to hike these jungles, pass by local tribes and even to some bamboo rafting. If you are interested in this type of activity check out Viator for some of the highly rated Chiang Mai trekking companies.
Day 10 – Depart Bangkok
Your 10 days in Thailand is now coming to an end. Depending on what time your flight is you might have some time to enjoy some more attractions around the city:
Chatuchak Weekend Market – definitely the largest market you will come across in Thailand however it is only open on weekends
Chinatown – great place to walk around and have plenty of street food options
Lumpini Park – a huge park sitting in the middle of the bustling city where you can just relax and walk around the area
You will then hop into a cab and head to the airport to begin the long journey back home. Hope you enjoy Thailand and all that it offers!
Head over to our Thailand itineraries and guides page to check out some more helpful posts, and feel free to comment below with any questions!