10 days in Thailand is not nearly long enough to see everything this beautiful, colourful country has on offer, but it WILL give you a good flavour of Thailand and allow ample time to see all the best bits. of Thailand
I wrote this 10 day Thailand itinerary to allow you to sample all of Thailand’s highlights – the colourful temples, the exotic cuisine, the bustling cities, the chaotic markets and of course, the beautiful tropical beaches.
During these 10 days in Thailand, you will experience Thailand’s most popular cities, rural life and get the opportunity to go island hopping. There will be opportunities for trekking, exploring and relaxing, making this possibly the best 10 day Thailand itinerary!
Read | More about Thailand
In this article, not only will we cover what you should do in 10 days in Thailand but also where to go in Thailand, how to get there, where to stay, what to do and which tours to consider. I’ll also be answering some frequently asked questions about Thailand. So read on to discover how to plan the perfect holiday in Thailand.
Now a heads up, this is a LONG article packed with loads of incredibly useful Thailand travel tips. If you want to skip these tips and head straight to the itinerary you can do so by clicking HERE. If however, you want to learn about sailing trips, click HERE and Thailand adventure tours, click HERE. For the rest of you, I hope you have a cuppa ready… Let’s go!
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What you can expect from this article...
- 1 An Overview of this 10 day Thailand Itinerary
- 2 Things to Know before visiting Thailand
- 3 Planning your trip to Thailand
- 4 The Ultimate 10 Day Thailand Itinerary – the perfect way to spend 2 weeks in Thailand…
- 5 Thailand Travel FAQs
- 5.1 How much does a 10 day trip to Thailand cost?
- 5.2 Is Thailand safe to travel alone?
- 5.3 What injections do I need for Thailand?
- 5.4 Is there malaria in Thailand?
- 5.5 Is the water safe to drink in Thailand?
- 5.6 Do I need a visa for 10 days in Thailand?
- 5.7 What is the best time to go to Thailand?
- 5.8 Are there any festivals in Thailand worth going to?
- 6 Thailand Group Tours
- 7 10 Day Thailand Itinerary Summary
- 8 Thailand Reading material
An Overview of this 10 day Thailand Itinerary
- Day 1 -2 Bangkok – temples, floating markets and bustling city life.
- Day 3-5 Chiang Mai – temples, ethical elephant experiences and visiting hill tribes.
- Day 6-10 Island hopping from Phuket
- Koh Phi Phi
- Railay Beach, Krabi
- Koh Lanta
Things to Know before visiting Thailand
Population 69 million
Capitol city Bangkok
Currency The currency is Thai Baht (THB.) 1 THB = 2.5 pence or 3 cents at the time of writing this article. Always check up-to-date conversions rates before you travel.
Language The language most people speak is Thai but English is spoken fairly widely especially in the larger cities and tourist areas.
Cuisine Traditionally spicy and full of exotic flavours. Most Thai dishes are accompanied by noodles or rice. Common ingredients found in many dishes include lemongrass, Pak Choy, fish sauce, chilli, lime, coconut, cashew nuts, peanuts, chicken and fish. Popular meals include Pad Thai, Green and Red curries and spicy soups and salads.
Weather No matter what time of years you visit, it is likely to be warm, humid and with the risk of rain as it is a tropical country. The rainy season is a little misleading as often the rain showers are heavy but short and you can enjoy plenty of sunshine in both the wet and dry seasons.
Safety It’s sensible to take precautions when travelling in Thailand though stick to some simple safety rules and you’ll be fine. Don’t walk in isolated places at night, never take drugs, tell someone where you’re going to be and use an anti-theft bag like this one to protect your belongings.
Planning your trip to Thailand
Getting to Thailand
Thailand shares borders with four countries – Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) and as such can be reached by land crossings from any of these countries with relative ease.
Most people arrive in Thailand by plane and there are 11 international airports in Thaialnd but the biggest are ;
- Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangkok – Central Thailand
- Don Mueang International Airport – Bankok – Central Thailand
- Phuket International Airport – Phuket – South West Thailand
- Chang Mai International Airport – Chang Mai – North Thailand
- Mao Fah Luang- Chiang Rai International – Airport – Chang Rai – North Thailand
- Hat Yai International Airport – Hay Yai – South Thailand
Read more | How to find super cheap flights anywhere.
Getting around Thailand
Its actually very easy to get around Thailand. One of the best ways to travel is by overnight train. Set off in the evening and wake up somewhere new! This way you minimise your travel time and get to see more of beautiful Thailand with your time instead.
You can usually choose which standard of cabin you want. If you want a good nights sleep, I’d recommend upgrading. If you will be sharing a cabin with strangers, make sure you are careful with your luggage. I keep my bag in my bed with me and put my valuables in my hand luggage which is padlocked and under my pillow. I never had any problems by taking simple safety measures.
There are also lots of airports (see above) so getting about by flying is actually easy and can be very affordable. There are also plenty of bus routes in Thailand but why waste a day sat on a bus when you can sleep on a train?! That said, it is the cheapest option.
For getting around cities and towns, most people travel by Tuk Tuk which is a fun ( albeit sometimes hair raising) way to travel. It is common practice to barter over the cost of a Tuk Tuk and prices are inconsistent.
You can use 12GoAsia to find all the transport options available to you.
So now onto the good bit, your Thailand itinerary for 10 days of sun, sand, city life and adventure…
The Ultimate 10 Day Thailand Itinerary – the perfect way to spend 2 weeks in Thailand…
Day 1-2 of your 10 day Thailand itinerary: Bangkok
Bangkok is a love it or
2 days in Bangkok is not nearly enough time to really get to know the city but it will give you a good flavour of what the city has to offer and maybe next time, when you’re less pressed for time, you’ll be able to explore in more depth. If you do have a little longer then check out this 4 day Bangkok itinerary.
If you have just 2 days in Bangkok, I would suggest spending one day exploring the temples and grand palace followed by sampling the chaotic nightlife at Khao San road before ending your night with a stunning view at one of Bangkok’s many sky bars.
The following day, take a day trip either to the floating markets or to the ancient temple city of Ayutthaya.
How to get to Bangkok.
With 2 international airports, it will be easiest to fly into Bangkok, your starting point for this Thailand itinerary. A taxi from the airport will set you back $10-15.
Where to stay in Bangkok
Accommodation in Bangkok is very affordable even though it is the capitol city. That said, it may be slightly more expensive than in more off-the-beaten-track destinations in Thailand. That said you can easily find a dormitory bed for $8 and a double room shouldn’t set you back more than $30. Here are a few options you might want to consider.
- Shoestring: The Prince Theatre Heritage Stay is actually both a great budget and mid-range option with smart dormitory beds from $7 and more luxuriously decorated double rooms on offer too. The communal areas are stylish and spacious and it has been rated over 9/10 for both location and experience.
- Mid-Budget: Baan Noppawong is a renovated rare remaining colonial house with 7 guestrooms just 10 minutes walk from the main tourist attractions in Bangkok. It has been tastefully decorated and has a light and airy feel. It also has excellent ratings on booking.com.
- Luxury: Villa De Khaosan Hotel is certainly a luxury hotel but without the luxury price tag – rooms start at just $70! Despite being less than a mile from the buzzing Khao San Road, it’s a haven of peace with its beautiful outdoor pool and daybeds to relax on after a hard days sightseeing…
Things to do In Bangkok with just two days
- Visit the giant gold leaf reclining buddha at What Pho. At 46metres long and 15metres high, it will leave you feeling very small!
- Visit the Grand Palace. Previously home to the king and a base for the government to operate from.
- Sample the nightlife at Khao San Road. Another love it or hate it place but kind of a rite of passage when you visit Bangkok. Try some of the more unusual street food on offer (fried trantula legs anyone?) and enjoy the lively bars and club scene.
- Enjoy an over-priced drink at a Sky bar. If you prefer a quieter drink then you can’t find a bar with a better view than this. Be aware that you will likely have to wear proper shoes – no flip flops here! If you only have backpacker attire with you, you may need to go shopping in Bangkok to get some proper footwear to be allowed into these fancy bars. (It’s worth it, I promise!) Also, the drinks are expensive, even by western standards. So treat yourself to one drink here whilst you watch the sun go down, sip it slowly then move onto somewhere more affordable…
- Take a day trip to Ayutthaya. Just 80km from Bangkok lies the abandoned city of Ayutthaya, now just ancient temple relics (and also a UNESCO world heritage site) that you can easily spend a full day exploring. It’s easy to arrange a day trip to Ayutthaya directly from Bangkok so no need to organise your own transport.
- Visit a floating market. This is a popular day trip from Bangkok and with good reason. Yes, it can feel a little touristy but it’s also a great way to learn about Thai culture as you navigate your way through the narrow waterways where market stall owners operate from their rocky long tail boats selling everything from souvenirs to exotic fruits. You can also combine this with Maeklong Train Market where a rail track runs right through the middle of a crowded market.
There is also the opportunity to book a day trip which goes to both Ayutthaya and a floating market so you can maximise your sightseeing. You can book this trip here.
Read More | A Bangkok travel guide
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Day 3-4 of your 10 days Thailand Itinerary: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is incredibly popular with backpackers and expats for good reason. This ancient city with over 300
It’s the perfect place for adventure lovers with many activities on offer in the surrounding jungle and mountains from zip-lining to mountain biking. Culture vultures can indulge in a Thai cooking course, take a massage or enjoy a yoga class.
If you have longer than 10 days in Thailand, you may want to extend your time exploring Chiang Mai as there is so much to do here. I would probably choose to spend more time in Chiang Mai than Bangkok given the choice.
Similar to your time in Bangkok, you’d be best splitting your time here between the city and taking day trips. Explore the many beautiful temples on day one, take a massage or a cooking lesson then enjoy the bustling night markets in the evening. The following 2 day, choose from an array of day trips with everything from trekking to visit hill tribes to visiting an elephant rescue centre on offer.
How to get to Chiang Mai
I’d recommend you either hop on an internal flight or take an overnight train. Either will only set you back about $25 which may be more than a bus trip but it means you won’t waste any of your precious exploring time.
Where to stay in Chiang Mai
- Shoestring: Green Sleep Hostel is both modern and cosy and you would expect, given how nice this hostel is, that it would cost a great deal more than $10. It scores 9.6 / 10 for location and gets an overall review score of 9.3 – not bad…
- Mid-budget: Anumat Premium Budget Hotel, is a classy option (despite its name!) I love the very Thai traditional decor and it’s an absolute bargain at around $25 for a twin room. It’s situated in the old city so you’ll be in the perfect location for exploring.
- Luxury: Thai Akara – Lanna Boutique Hotel This very affordable luxury hotel exudes charm and opulence. With it’s beautiful pool and stunning bedrooms, you might not ever want to leave Chiang Mai.
Things to do In Chiang Mai
Part of Chiang Mai’s charm is in the day-to-day life so make sure you spend at least a few hours just wandering and soaking up the atmosphere. You may also wan’t to consider a few of these options for things to do in Chiang Mai…
- Take a Thai cooking class. This particular cooking class includes a trip to a local market to select the ingredients you will need. You will then be taught by a Thai chef how to make a
4 coursemeal before proceeding to enjoy the finished products.
- Visit Elephant Nature Park. Many tourists are excited to see elephants in Thailand, maybe even taking a ride on them. However, riding elephants is harmful
fortheir backs and most elephant centres are actually not as ethical as they may seem. Often the elephants are harmed in order to create a better experience for tourists. Therefore be VERY careful about where to go to interact with elephants in Thailand. Elephant Nature Park, however, is an ethical rehabilitation centre. You can help to feed and bathe these elephants which roam free but you will not be able to ride elephants here – which is a good thing!
- Spend time learning about the Hmong hill tribes. Take a days trek into the rainforest visiting villages along the way to learn about the Hmong hill tribe cultures including the Long-necked Karen tribe. If you are spending time in other Southeast Asian countries, then you can also visit mountain tribes in Laos and Vietnam.
- Flight of the Gibbon: Chiang Mai Eco Zip Line Adventure: Fly from tree to tree on Asia’s biggest
ziplinewhilst helping to support gibbons and rainforest conservation. If you get lucky, you may even catch sight of the native gibbons here.
- Take a hike in the mountains: Get to know Thailand flora and fauna on this hike which takes you through the jungle, up mountains and by streams. You’ll encounter hill tribes and stop for lunch in a local village.
- Visit the Grand Canyon Water Park: Not exactly a cultural experience but a lot of fun! Visit this water park and take part in a giant inflatable assault course, try zip-lining, kayaking and wakeboarding.
- Take a Chiang Mai cycle tour: Explore beautiful Chiang Mai on a bike visiting ornate teak homes, ancient temples, bustling markets and ride along Ping river.
- Visit the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) at Chiang Rai: Chiang Rai’s white temple is quite simply the most beautiful temple I’ve ever. This modern bright white temple glitters in the sun as it bounces off the thousands of mirror fragments. It is the lifelong project of the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. During this day trip, you will also stop off at some hot springs, take a boat trip on the Mekong River and visit Wat Phra That Chedi Luang in Chiang Saen Ancient City.
Go white water rafting: Chiang Rai really is an adventure lovers paradise. So it’s no surprise that you can try white water rafting here. Take a combined hike and rafting trip and also stop at a beautiful waterfall for a swim.
Day 5-10 of your 10 day Thailand itinerary: Island Hopping from Phuket
After exploring the bustling capital city of Bangkok and sampling some of the adventure activities on offer near Chiang Mai, it’s time to spend 5 days enjoying some rest and relaxation on some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches and islands.
There are a couple of options here. You could choose to island hop by yourself spending a day or two on each island taking day trips to explore the smaller islands and reefs. We’ll talk more about the places you could base yourself in just a minute.
The other option and my personal recommendation would be to take a 4-day sailing trip around the Thai islands. I took a sailing trip with Intrepid Travel and it was one of the most glorious, relaxing weeks of my life with days spent snorkelling straight off the boat, visiting otherwise deserted islands and lagoons and exploring secretive caves in kayaks.
Sailing Trips from Phuket
We visited many of the popular islands and beaches but also some of the off-the-beaten-track islands which many people don’t manage to visit. It’s also very reasonably priced at under $500 (remember all your activities and most of your food will be included.)
If you do decide to take a sailing trip, I can recommend 3 different companies so it would be worth checking them all out to find an itinerary, boat and budget to suit you.
I’ve taken sailing trips with both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel and both companies have always been incredible. They are great if you want to snorkel but if you’d prefer to take regular dives, Live Aboard is probably the company for you. Check out some of the options here…
Island Hopping around the Phi Phi islands and Adaman Coast from Phuket
If you choose to stay on dry land and island hop, then I’d recommend 1 day in Koh Phi Phi, 2 days at Railay Peninsula in Krabi and 2 days in Koh Lanta. Whilst Phuket is the largest island in this region, it is also the most touristy and since you only have 5 days in this beautiful location, I’d recommend just using Phuket as a launching pad for visiting the more beautiful islands.
If you’d rather base yourself in one place and just take day trips, that’s an option too. Phuket or Koh Phi Phi would be the easiest places to base yourself with plenty of day trips on offer. You can even enrol in a 3-day PADI course from Phuket.
How to get to Phuket and the other islands
The quickest way to reach Phuket will be by flying. There is an international airport a short taxi ride from Phuket. You can then hop on a ferry to any of the other islands. Ferries between islands usually between 45 minutes and 1 hour 30.
Thailand’s largest island and also known as the ‘pearl of the Andaman,’ Phuket makes a great base for exploring the nearby beautiful Phi Phi islands. You’ll find everything from jungle to beautiful beaches to a buzzing nightlife here. BUT, it is also busy and quite touristy (as are many places in this region, popular with backpackers for good reason.) Whilst Phuket does indeed have gorgeous beaches, I think you’ll find even nicer ones if you venture to the smaller islands.
Where to stay in Phuket
If you decide to base yourself in Phuket, here are a few accommodation options for you…
- Shoestring: Whitewall Poshtel offers cheap beds in a smart hostel from only $7. It scores exceptionally on booking.com with an impressive 9.6 out of 10.
- Mid-budget: The Memory at On On Hotel is situated right in the Phuket old town and offers comfortable double rooms in a stylish colonial house from $33
- Luxury: BYD Lofts by X2 offers stylish serviced apartments just a 5-minute walk from Patong beach. You can relax by the swanky rooftop pool or even book a relaxing massage
Koh Phi Phi Don
Koh Phi Phi, along with Bangkok, is one of those places you will either love or hate. It’s undeniably beautiful, particularly the view looking onto the double bays of Ton Sai and Loh Dalum. It’s a perfect blend of jungle, white powdery beaches and hedonistic culture.
However, it shot to fame after the film ‘The Beach’ was filmed on the smaller of the islands, Phi Phi Ley. Now tourists flock to Phi Phi Don ( the only inhabited island) which has since become pricey and crowded.
If you want to spend your days’ island hopping and relaxing on perfect beaches followed by enjoying the vibrant nightlife and beach parties at night, then you will love Koh Phi Phi Don. If you are looking for peace and quiet and virtually deserted tropical beaches, then you will probably only want to make a fleeting visit here.
Where to stay in Koh Phi Phi Don
- Shoestring: @The Pier 519 Hostel offers clean and modern dormitory accommodation. It’s more pricey than your average Thailand hostel but this is Phi Phi…
- Mid-budget: Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort offers cute beachside bungles in a tropical garden setting by the tranquil Pak Nam beach. The bungalows are simply furnished but that is part of the charm here.
- Luxury: Zeovola Resort is quite simply, stunning. This tropical retreat offers jungle infinity pools and a private beach. The rooms are mind-blowingly gorgeous with floor to ceiling windows to enjoy beach and jungle views and wrap around balconies. Definitely stay here for a night or two if your budget can stretch to it.
Railay Peninsula, Krabi
Railay is actually more of a peninsula than a beach town and has an island feel to it given that it’s cut off from the mainland by rugged limestone cliffs and dense jungle. Therefore, the only way
Whilst a popular destination for backpackers, it does have a more relaxed feel to it than Koh Phi Phi and as such many people prefer it.
There are 4 beautiful beaches and even a ‘penis cave’ – apparently a shrine to fertility..! It’s also a really popular destination for people interested in rock climbing. Railay beach is often said to be one of the most beautiful places in Thailand and they may just be right!
Where to stay in Railay beach
- Shoestring: The Moment Hostel is just a short walk from all the best beaches and restaurants and offers both dormitory accommodation and private rooms with smart, modern decor. It’s rated 9/10 for location and 8.8/10 for overall experience.
- Mid-budget: Krabi Resort offers light and airy, stylish rooms with a lovely heated pool with a swim up bar. It has direct access to Ao Nang beach and is rated 9.1/10 for location.
- Luxury: Rayavadee Resort – wow, wow, wow, this place is incredible. Not only is it extremely luxurious (sorry it also carries a luxury price tag) but this 5 * hotel even boats a restaurant inside a cave! I want to go back to Railay beach, just to stay in this hotel and eat in a cave!
If you are looking for somewhere non-touristy and less developed, Koh Lanta may be the best island for you to visit. It is developed enough that you will have enough accommodation, food and tour options but the beaches won’t feel crowded. It has a laid back vibe that may have you wanting to stay forever. The island is 27km long so the best way to explore is to hire a scooter.
Where to stay in Koh Lanta
Shoestring: Riviera Boutique House offers both private rooms and dormitories from $18 with the added bonus of free wifi and a pleasant swimming pool. It is also rated 9.2/10 by people who have stayed there previously.
Mid-budget: Lazy Days Bungalows offers cute beachside bungalows which are nicely decorated with free wifi and aircon. Solo travellers in particular rated it well, scoring 9.5/10.
Luxury: Layana Resort and Spa – take your pick from a soft white sandy beach or an infinity pool in a landscaped garden, this place is certainly a luxurious place to stay. There is also a gym, library and an award-winning spa on site.
Things to do in the Phi Phi Islands
Bamboo Island – if you want to sample a slice of paradise, Bamboo island is where you’ll find it. With just a small snack shop and cafe on the island, the only other thing you’ll find on Bamboo island is absolutely pristine tropical beaches with shallow azure water and soft sandy white beaches.
James Bond I
Koh Khai Nok – a tiny beautiful remote island with perfect white sandy beaches, shallow turquoise water and amazing snorkelling right off the beach. There is a bar/restaurant and deckchairs available giving it a mini-resort feel. The Khai Islands are definitely worth a visit.
Take a snorkel tour – Yes you can snorkel off many beaches but sometimes the best snorkel points are slightly more tricky to access and you may need to take a sailing trip or a longtail boat to get to the best places for crystal clear water, colourful coral and the best chance of spotting sea life. Besides what could be nicer than sailing through turquoise waters with the breeze in your hair whilst you relax with a good book, dipping in and out of the ocean whenever you get too warm..?!
Go Scuba Diving – There are so many incredible dive destinations in this area of Thailand. Koh Bida Nok & Nai and Mosquito Island are popular dive destinations with the
Visit Monkey Beach – A small cove on Koh Phi Phi Don, Monkey beach is only accessible by boat or kayak. You will find lot’s of curious monkeys here. Please note, you shouldn’t feed them but many tourists do and so they can sometimes be a little cheeky or even aggressive if you get too close.
The best time to visit is in the afternoon when the monkeys are well fed and less likely to be nasty! It’s a great place to see monkeys in the wild but be careful not to have any food on your person and keep all your possessions well out of sight of these cheeky blighters!
Go Kayaking – kayaking is one of the best ways to explore this little coves and secluded beaches surrounding the smaller islands. Getting out in a kayak allows you to get further from the crowds and experience the idyllic beaches at their most, well, idyllic! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for seat turtles along the way.
Take a Cooking class – If you fancy a day on dry land, why not take a cooking class and learn how to make some of your favourite Thai foods?
Try Beach yoga – Thailand is a popular destination for hollistic therapies and well being activities like yoga are found in almost every town, village and island. What could be more relaxing than starting your day with some yoga whilst you listen to the crashing waves in the background?
Hike to the viewpoint on Koh Phi Phi Don – overlooking the 2 curved sandy bays where the island is split in two by a sandy back, this viewpoint is spectacular and one of the reasons a visit to Koh Phi Phi is so popular.
What about Maya Bay?
Sadly the beautiful beach at Maya Bay (featured in the popular film ‘The Beach’) is now out of bounds to tourists. This is the product of overtourism and an important reminder that if we don’t treat the places we visit with respect, we might not be able to continue enjoying them long term.
Thailand Travel FAQs
How much does a 10 day trip to Thailand cost?
In general, Thailand is a great place for anyone to travel if they are on a tight budget. Here are approximate Thailand prices you should expect to pay so that you can work out how much your 10 day Thailand trip will cost.
Dorm room in a hostel in Thailand $8-10
Mid budget hotel or guest house double room $20-30
Smart hotel double room with a pool $50-70
Eating out in Thailand $10 a day if eating local food in restaurants. Less if eating street food
Internal flight in Thailand – Chang Mai – Bangkok >$25 Chiang Mai – Phuket $50
Long distance bus journey e.g. Bangkok – Chiang Mai $15+
Long distance overnight sleeper train >$25
Scooter rental $8-10 for one day
A 4 day Sailing trip around the Thai Islands <$500
If you are visiting Thailand on a shoestring, you could achieve this 10 day trip to Thailand with a budget of $350 plus flights. But you may want to budget a little more to stay in nicer accommodation and take more day trips. $700-1000 would be a comfortable budget allowing for some luxuries including a multi-day sailing trip if you wish.
Is Thailand safe to travel alone?
There are many solo backpackers who travel to Thailand every year without every having any problems. However, it’s important you take sensible safety precautions such as avoiding being out at night alone and making sure you keep a close eye on your belongings. It pays not to draw attention to yourself by wearing flashy clothes or jewellery .
If you follow sensible precautions, you will be absolutely fine in Thailand and it is actually one of the easiest countries to travel solo as there are so many provisions for backpackers.
Check out this collection of anti-theft travel bags which are NOT ugly!
What injections do I need for Thailand?
Make sure you are up to date with the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis B
The following may be worth considering if you are deemed high risk (depending on underlying conditions, length of stay and staying in places with poor hygiene conditions.) You can check if you are high risk using the
- Hepatitis A
- Japanese Encephalitis
If you are coming from or transiting through a country with yellow fever
Is there malaria in Thailand?
Most of Thailand is deemed low to no risk. However, there are some areas with a higher risk and if you are travelling to these places you will need to take anti-malaria pills. You can use this Malaria map to check where the risky areas are.
Is the water safe to drink in Thailand?
No, the tap water is NOT safe to drink in Thailand and doing so could make you very sick.
Instead, I’d recommend using a Lifestraw bottle to filter the tap water which will make it safe to drink and make it taste nicer!
The alternative is to take chlorine tablets to put in your water bottle however they take a while to take effect and can taste a bit gross so the filter bottle is much better!
Do I need a visa for 10 days in Thailand?
If you are from the U.S or U.K or many countries in Europe, you can enter Thailand without a visa and stay for 30 days. There are lots of nationalities which will need a visa and most can obtain this at the airport. Find out if you will need a visa here.
What is the best time to go to Thailand?
If you are following this 10 day Thailand itinerary then the best time to visit will be between November to March. If you opt instead to explore the east coast of Thailand then try to visit between January and May.
The peak season in the North of Thailand is between November and May when the days are dry and sunny. The weather is gradually getting warmer during these months and will get hot and wet in the rainy season which starts in June.
The weather on the coast is slightly different. On the west coast, the rainy season is between April and October and on the east coast, you’ll see the most rainfall between September and December so you will need to plan your Thailand itinerary accordingly.
Are there any festivals in Thailand worth going to?
Thailand has so many colourful and crazy festivals throughout the year.
Perhaps most crazy of all is Songkran, essentially a 3 days long water fight! Held in April, it is the traditional New Years day and the water is thrown to symbolise washing away sins and bad luck.
In June or July be blown away by the exotic colourful masks worn for Phi Ta Khon or the ‘ghost festival.’
Visit Chang Mai in Novemeber to see the Lantern festival where hundreds of paper lanterns are let into the sky creating a real visual treat.
Chinese New Year is also a popular festival in Thailand and is usually celebrated in January or February. Expect dragon parades, firecrackers and dancing in the streets!
Read More | The 10 Best festivals in Thailand
Thailand Group Tours
If you’d prefer to have the hassle taken out of travel or you are a solo traveller looking to make some friends, then a group tour can be a great way to see a lot in a short time. You can travel with like-minded people, have the reassurance of travelling with a group and learn from an informative local guide. I have taken 3 tours myself in Thailand. Two land-based trips and one sailing trip.
Here are a few Thailand group tours which look brilliant…
5 Days. Starts and ends in Chiang Mai.
Trek through the jungle, explore caves and learn about life in the hill tribes on this 5-day trek.
9 Days. Bangkok to Koh Samui.
If you are looking for some rest and relaxation, this might be the trip for you. With a focus on health and well being, this trip offers yoga lessons and meditation on the beach alongside cooking and Thai massage lessons as well as soaking up the local culture.
8 Days Bangkok to Ko Tao.
If you are visiting between April and October, it would
23 days Bangkok to Phuket
If you’re looking to find a trip that encompasses most of Thailand highlights and you have a little extra time then this might be the perfect trip for you. It visits everywhere mentioned in this 10 day Thailand itinerary plus more besides.
Packing list for 10 Days in Thailand
Here are a few backpacking essentials you’ll definitely want to pack for your 10 days in Thailand…
Swimwear. This kind of goes without saying! That crystal clear azure water will tempt you for a swim several times a day so make sure you have more than one swimsuit or bikini with you.
Quick Dry Towel. Since you’ll be in and out of the water a lot, it would be a good idea to invest in an antibacterial, sand-free, quick dry towel. I love these fun ones from Dock and Bay.
Underwater action camera. There are some incredible snorkel and dive spots in Thailand and you’re going to want to catch it all on camera. I have a Go Pro 6 which I love. It takes incredible quality photos and videos and is very easy to use. However, if your budget won’t stretch to this, you can also get super cheap equivalents which take reasonable photos for under $50 like this one. For more advice about buying cameras, read about the best cameras for backpacking
Kindle. The great thing about island hopping and backpacking is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy relaxing with a book. These days you can take as many books with you as you like by storing them on your Kindle. The new Kindles are even waterproof so perfect for beach and boat trips.
Snorkel. If you take a boat trip, snorkels will usually be provided but if you want to save money and snorkel straight off the beaches, it may work out to be the most cost-effective (and pleasant) to take your own snorkel set.
Scarf or sarong. You will need to dress modestly when you visit temples in Thailand. A scarf or sarong comes in really handy to cover your shoulders.
Long skirt. For the same reason, you might want to invest in a long skirt to wear as your short shorts probably aren’t appropriate at a place of worship.
Anti-theft luggage. Luggage which is reinforced against theft will give you some peace of mind when you travel around Thailand, especially on those night trains. You can get some really pretty ones now so you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety. I like this one and this one.
Bug spray. There are a lot of bugs in Thailand so make sure you plaster yourself in DEET and wear long sleeves in the evenings.
Reef safe sunscreen. Did you know that most sunscreen is damaging to the delicate coral and to sea creatures? But there are environmentally friendly sunscreens out there such as this one.
Water to go bottle. The tap water is not safe to drink in Thailand and buying bottled water is both costly (when it adds up) and bad for the environment. Investing in a Water to Go bottle will save you money as it filters the water as you drink making the tap water (or even river water) safe for drinking. You can get a discount by quoting GLOBETROTTERGP at the checkout. Get yours here. Or read my water filter bottle review.
Dry Bag. If you are planning any boat trips, this will be important as you can put all your valuables and photography equipment in it and know it won’t get damaged if it takes a splash! Try to get one which floats too like this one.
Read More | A Detailed packing list for Southeast Asia
10 Day Thailand Itinerary Summary
It’s been a long one so let’s summarise shall we? Here are some of the most important things to remember when planning a trip to Thailand in 10 days.
- Bangkok is a great city but Chiang Mai is even better. I recommend 2 days in Bangkok and 3 days in Chiang Mai unless you have longer than 10 days to visit Thailand.
- The west coast is, in my opinion, the best for beach hopping having personally visited both sides
.However, if you are visiting in April to August, it may be best to head to the East islands of Koh Samet, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Ko Tao as the west coast is rainy at this time.
- If you are looking for peace and quiet, head to Railay beach and Koh Lanta. If you are looking for lively beaches and buzzing nightlife, you’ll want to spend time on Phuket and Koh Phi Phi.
- Taking a sailing trip is simply the best way to explore all the islands including the off-beat ones and is more affordable than you would think.
Thailand Reading material
- Lonely Planet Thailand Guide
- The Rough Guide to the best beaches and islands in Thailand
- Thailand: The Cookbook
- A History of Thailand
- Thailand: The solo girls travel guide
- Lonely Planet Thailand Planning Map
- Thailand Island Hopping with Intrepid Travel
- Bangkok in 4 days – an itinerary
- A 2 week Indonesia Itinerary
- The best Cambodia and Vietnam Tour for adventure seekers
- Backpacking Laos Guide
- Why the beaches in Bali are overrated (and where to go instead.
- Singapore City Guide – by a local
Wow, that turned into a mammoth post! If you’ve made it to the end, well done! Go reward yourself with a cuppa whilst you muse over this 10 day Thailand itinerary. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how you plan to spend your 2 weeks in Thailand!
Do you have any questions? If so, drop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.
In the meantime, here are some pretty pins for your Pinterest boards…