With 10 days in Thailand, it's best to focus on two or three locations. The classic triad of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and an island like Phuket or Koh Samui is certainly doable and an excellent choice for first-timers. However, you can also embark on regional trips that still provide a nice mix of city, beach, and culture while keeping travel time to a minimum.

Itinerary #1: Best of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket

Experience the highlights on this 10-day Thailand itinerary that takes you from the awe-inspiring temples of Bangkok to culture-rich Chiang Mai and finally down to Phuket for several days of fun in the sun.

Thailand, Bangkok - Classical Thai architecture at the Grand Palace, Bangkok
Classical Thai architecture at the Grand Palace, Bangkok
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Tour Bangkok's Waterways & the Grand Palace Bangkok
Day 3 Free Morning in Bangkok & Evening Bike Tour Bangkok
Day 4 Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 5 Elephant Sanctuary Day Trip Chiang Mai
Day 6 Thai Cooking Class & Free Afternoon Chiang Mai
Day 7 Fly from Chiang Mai to Phuket Phuket
Day 8 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 9 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 10 Depart Phuket  

Begin the trip in Bangkok, where you'll start with a free afternoon to get settled and adjust to the time change. The next day, visit the floating markets of the Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace on a guided tour. On Day 3, go off the beaten path on a bike ride through Thonburi, Bangkok's low-key "left bank," also hitting must-see temples Wat Arun and Wat Po, stopping for street food and rooftop drinks along the way.

Then, it's off to the cooler, mountainous environs of Chiang Mai for three nights. Hang out (and swim) with elephants at a sanctuary for retired pachyderms, learn how to cook a six-course Thai-style lunch in a local home, and check out famed temples such as Doi Suthep. After Chiang Mai, switch to island mode as you head south to Phuket for three days of leisure. Besides relaxing on postcard-perfect beaches, optional activities include boat tours to the Phi Phi Islands, shopping in Old Town, and indulging in Phuket's legendary nightlife at an oceanfront club. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Thailand Beaches & City Highlights: Phuket, Krabi & Bangkok

If you're yearning for the beaches of southern Thailand but also have an eye on Bangkok, this 10-day itinerary combines Phuket and Krabi with the excitement of Southeast Asia's most happening city.

Thailand, Phi Phi - Emerald seas and limestone cliffs at Loh Samah Bay
Emerald seas and limestone cliffs at Loh Samah Bay
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket & FantaSea Dinner Show Phuket
Day 2 Full-Day Tour of Phuket Phuket
Day 3 Full-Day Phi Phi Islands Tour by Boat Phuket
Day 4 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 5 Transfer to Krabi & Free Day Krabi
Day 6 Four Islands Tour by Boat Krabi
Day 7 Fly to Bangkok & Free Afternoon Bangkok
Day 8 Full-Day Safari World & Marine Park Tour Bangkok
Day 9 Full-Day Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour Bangkok
Day 10 Depart Bangkok  

Start on the island of Phuket, your base for the first four nights. The first night, you'll enjoy a glitzy, Vegas-style dinner show at a cultural theme park. The next day, take a guided tour of the best viewpoints to snap photos, plus visit Phuket's temples and atmospheric Old Town. Then, enjoy a full-day boat tour to the Phi Phi Islands and impossibly beautiful Maya Bay, made famous by the movie "The Beach." Along the way, stop for a swim and snorkel at mellow Khai Island. You'll have a free day to relax in Phuket before transferring to Krabi by private car on Day 5.

Your first day in this resort town near the Andaman coast is a free one. Perhaps combine a visit to the turquoise waters and limestone cliffs of Railay Beach with some shopping in town. Then, go island-hopping in a speedboat, stopping at caves, and snorkeling in crystalline waters. From Krabi, fly to Bangkok, and for an unforgettable experience, hop in a tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) and soak up the city's nighttime energy. On Day 8, visit a safari zoo with sea lion and dolphin shows, and then for your last day, tour Bangkok's floating markets and 18th-century Grand Palace. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Explore Thailand: Pattaya, Bangkok & Phuket

This 10-day itinerary focuses on the beaches and nightlife of Pattaya and Phuket, rounding out the trip with time in Bangkok for cultural experiences, sightseeing, and hunting down the best street food.

Beach views of Pattaya, Thailand
Beach views of Pattaya, Thailand
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, Transfer to Pattaya Pattaya
Day 2 Coral Island Speed Boat Tour Pattaya
Day 3 Transfer to Bangkok Bangkok
Day 4 Free Day in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 5 Fly to Phuket Phuket
Day 6 Explore the Phi Phi Islands by Boat Phuket
Day 7 Discover Phang Nga & the Little Amazon  Phuket
Day 8 Visit James Bond Island via Speedboat & Canoe Phuket
Day 9 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 10 Depart Phuket  

Once you touch down in Bangkok, head straight to Pattaya, a lively beach town with a long stretch of golden sand fronting calm seas perfect for water sports. You'll also find some of Thailand's wildest nightlife here. On Day 2, take a boat tour to Coral Island, an offshore islet where you'll swim in clear waters and have lunch on the white sands of Tien Beach. Then, return to Bangkok, and enjoy two free days to explore independently. Optional activities include visits to the city's landmark temples and floating markets, guided night market tours and street food scene, and more.

On Day 5, fly to Phuket, where you'll spend the rest of the trip. Hop on a speedboat to explore the Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay, famous for their towering cliff walls and emerald coves. Then, on Day 7, head north to the Little Amazon, where you'll indulge your inner jungle explorer as you kayak along mangrove canals and learn about the local culture. The next day, boat to James Bond Island, featured in "The Man With the Golden Gun," go canoeing in a cave and swim at idyllic Naka Island. Enjoy one last day on Phuket's beaches and a night in its clubs before saying goodbye. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Central Thailand: Pattaya, Bangkok & Kanchanaburi

Combing equal parts Pattaya, Bangkok, and Kanchanaburi, this regional itinerary delivers highlights of Thailand's cities, beaches, and jungle adventures—minus the schlepping between far-flung locations.

Thailand, Erawan National Park - A waterfall in Thailand's Erawan National Park
A waterfall in Thailand's Erawan National Park, Kanchanaburi Province
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, Transfer to Pattaya Pattaya
Day 2 Coral Island Speed Boat Tour Pattaya
Day 3 Underwater World Pattaya Pattaya
Day 4 Transfer to Bangkok, Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Bangkok
Day 5 Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour Bangkok
Day 6 Transfer to Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi
Day 7 Free Day & Bamboo Rafting Kanchanaburi
Day 8 JEATH War Museum, Death Railway & Krasae Cave Kanchanaburi
Day 9 Erawan Waterfall & Elephant World, Transfer to Bangkok Bangkok
Day 10 Depart Bangkok  

Start in the beach resort of Pattaya, where you're spoiled for choice between water sports, shopping, and a round-the-clock party scene. Take a boat tour to the peaceful shores of Coral Island and stop for lunch and a swim at Tien Beach. You'll also visit a popular aquarium showcasing diverse marine life. On Day 4, return to Bangkok for a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River featuring traditional Thai performances and spectacular views of the illuminated spires of Wat Arun. End your time in Bangkok with a tour of the floating markets and Grand Palace, home to the famous Emerald Buddha.

On Day 6, you'll venture to west Thailand and Kanchanaburi to learn about World War II history at the infamous "Bridge on the River Kwai." Then visit the stunning Tiger Cave Temple before checking in to your floating villa on the river. Over three nights, you'll take advantage of the tropical surroundings of this luxurious resort as you go on a bamboo rafting trip and see more World War II sites, including the sobering Death Railway and Krasae Cave. En route back to Bangkok, stop for a swim in the turquoise pools of Erawan Falls, and make new friends at an elephant sanctuary. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Thailand Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Thailand? Check out these other 10-day Thailand itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 10 Days in Thailand - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in Thailand - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas