Thailand is one of the more popular places to visit in Asia and we understand why. This country has so much to offer, from beautiful temples to incredible food and the friendliest people. If you are thinking of visiting Thailand, use this 3-week itinerary for Thailand to plan your trip and see all the highlights.
Don’t forget to try the local food because it’s amazing. Just remember that Thai people love spicy food so if they say a little spicy it might still be more than what you were expecting. Fortunately, they have fresh fruit juices to calm your tongue after a spicy meal.
Thailand is a versatile country that has something for everyone. Zipline through the jungle in North Thailand or dive into the crystal clear water in the Gulf of Thailand. Go get a Thai Massage after a long day of exploring temples. But most of all, simply enjoy the beautiful scenery!
Things to know before you go
Dress modestly, especially when you’re visiting temples. If you’re not wearing the right clothes you won’t be allowed to enter or they will give you something to cover up.
Most Thai people practice Buddhism. Give way to monks when walking on footpaths, and don’t sit next to them on public transport. Women can’t touch a monk or their belongings.
People appreciate it if you speak their language. Learn at least the basics for saying hello (Sawadee krap/ka) and goodbye, thank you (Kap khun krap/ka), and a few other phrases.
3-Week Itinerary for your Thailand Trip
Bangkok – 4 days
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and has a lot to see and do. Most tourists stay near Khao San Road but there are quieter and more authentic areas to stay at. If you are near the MRT or BTS you’ll be able to go anywhere without much hassle.
Make sure to visit some of the must-visit temples in Bangkok, like Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Saket. Enjoy a bike ride through the city or join a food tour. Hop on one of the canal boats to experience Bangkok’s waterways. If you like shopping, go to Fortune Town or the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
There are a lot of local restaurants and street markets where you can try all kinds of local delicacies. But if you’re looking for Western food you’ll also have many options.
Kanchanaburi – 2 days
Kanchanaburi is famous for the Death Railway which was built during World War II. There is a lot of history and several ways to learn about this and experience it in a way that suits you. Get on board the train or simply cross the bridge on foot. Head to one of the museums.
The other thing you shouldn’t miss is right outside of the town. The Erawan Waterfalls are a layered waterfall complex with natural pools. Both tourists and locals come to this place to cool down on hot summer days. Go early to stay ahead of the crowds.
There are daily (mini)buses between Kanchanaburi and Bangkok or hop on the train. The third class is very cheap and the windows stay open the whole ride.
Ayutthaya – 2 days
Ayutthaya used to be the capital of former Siam. There are a lot of ancient temples to discover and you need at least 2 days. Hire a bike or scooter to get around because the temples are spread out throughout the city. There are day tours that depart from Bangkok as well.
Check out Wat Mahathat and learn about the head of Buddha that got stuck in a tree. Or visit Wat Chaiwatthanaram and imagine you’re in Cambodia. End the day with a visit to Wat Ratchaburana for a different style of buildings.
If you want to learn more about the history of Ayutthaya head to the tourist information or visit Baan Hollanda. The latter focuses on the Dutch-Thai relationship.
Chiang Mai – 3 days
We love Chang Mai because it’s more laid-back than Bangkok. Make sure to stay within the walls of the old city for the best experience. You will find plenty of temples hidden within the small back streets and the food is to die for.
For a more adventurous day, you could go zip lining in the Jungle. Or hire a motorcycle and drive (part of) the Mae Hong Son Loop. Don’t forget to join the Sunday Walking Street Market. It gets crowded but there are a lot of handmade souvenirs and the best snacks.
If you want to know more about Buddhism see if you can join Monk Chat at one of the temples. It’s a chance for the monks to learn and practice their English and you can ask all sorts of questions.
Koh Chang – 3 days
The perfect and relaxed end of your holiday is an island-hopping adventure in the Gulf of Thailand. Head to Trat and jump on the ferry to Koh Chang, the largest of the three islands. This is the best place to enjoy the beautiful sunsets Thailand has to offer.
Hire a bike or scooter and head to the fishing village to learn about the history of Koh Chang. Jump in the water to cool down at one of the many beaches. Or visit one of the many waterfalls you can find on this island.
Koh Mak – 2 days
Take a ferry from Koh Chang and head to Koh Mak, the smallest of these islands. We love Koh Mak because it offers an authentic stay. The island doesn’t allow cars other than the taxis and songtaews that are part of the resorts and there aren’t a lot of buildings.
This is the best place to go snorkeling because the water is clear and there are a lot of places where you’ll spot fish, coral, sea urchins, and other beautiful wildlife. You could rent a kayak or paddle board and head to one of the tiny islands close by for a day as well.
Koh Kood – 3 days
The last island of this trip is Koh Kood, where they have enormous old trees that are worth a visit. Of course, you will find beautiful beaches here as well. There is another fishing village here where you can get the best and freshest seafood.
Just relax at the beach and enjoy the final days of this 3-week itinerary for Thailand. Hire a bike or scooter to discover the island. And if you haven’t had enough waterfalls, go explore them at Koh Kood. There are several scattered throughout the island.
At the end of your trip, you’ll simply head back to Trat by ferry. Either take a bus or flight back to Bangkok from Trat.
Public transport is quite good in Thailand and inexpensive. Whether you are traveling by bus, train, or airplane, there are a lot of options. One thing a lot of people add to their itinerary is the sleeper train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
In cities, you will see red songtaews, which are shared taxis that will take you anywhere. Just make sure to agree on a price before getting in. Grab is popular as well in Thailand and they have cars, taxis, and scooters.
Although traffic in Thailand seems quite chaotic there is a system to the madness. If you decide to hire a car, scooter, or bike it won’t be hard to blend in. Just pay attention to the locals and do as they do.
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When to visit
The best time to visit Thailand weather-wise is between November- March. But this means it’s also the busiest season, especially in December-January when people come here to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s.
If you’re looking to visit the coast try the shoulder season: April to June and September and October. The climate differs between the eastern and western coasts, where the west coast is more suitable for September and October.
If you don’t mind a little bit of rain and prefer to spend as little money as possible, visit Thailand in July-October. This is the low season, so you’ll get better prices for everything.
The perfect itinerary for a 3-week holiday
There is so much to see and do in Thailand, but if you use this 3-week itinerary for Thailand you will have seen a little bit of everything. It will give you an impression of Thailand and its different regions. Next time you will know where to go and explore beyond what we’ve mentioned in this article.
We keep coming back to Thailand because we love the vibe, the people, and the food. Although it gets quite hot during the day the Northern parts cool down at night. If you get up early you can do quite a lot before heading inside and enjoying a small siesta.
Don’t be afraid to explore and get off the beaten track. Renting a bike and exploring Thailand while stopping wherever and not knowing what you’ll find is one of the best things we did. Thailand will surprise you and hopefully inspire you to come back!