With 12 days in Thailand, you can tick off the highlights of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket on a classic tour or stay on the move and opt for an action-packed itinerary to spend your days between Thailand's underwater world, bustling markets, and beautiful temples. Those looking for the ultimate relaxation should stick to the south on an island-hopping tour, while those ready to get off the beaten path can embark on a nature-packed trip in northern Thailand.

Itinerary #1: Thailand North & South: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket 

This classic tour is perfect for first-time travelers and ticks off Thailand's city highlights and natural wonders. Explore Bangkok's bustling streets, paddle through a floating market, and experience a mud spa with elephants near Chiang Mai. Then, finish with five nights of island hopping and relaxing in Phuket.

Discover the pagoda of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in the evening
Discover Chiang Mai's pagoda of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in the evening
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok, Explore Bangkok
Day 2 Explore Bangkok by Public Transport Bangkok
Day 3 Visit the Railway & Floating Markets Bangkok
Day 4 Fly to Chiang Mai, Tour Wat Umong & Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Chiang Mai
Day 5 Meet Elephants at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai
Day 6 Hike in Doi Inthanon National Park Chiang Mai
Day 7 Fly to Phuket & Explore Phuket
Day 8 Swim & Snorkel on the Phi Phi Islands Phuket
Day 9 Tour Phuket Phuket
Day 10 Beach Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 11 Explore Coral Island's Beaches Phuket
Day 12 Depart Phuket  

Welcome to Thailand! Your adventure begins with three days in the bustling capital city of Bangkok. Discover its many quirks as you sample street food in Chinatown, browse at the Chatuchak Market and take a boat down the Chao Praya River. Before leaving, check out the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, then catch your flight to Chiang Mai. With three nights in northern Thailand's largest city, you'll have time to wander the 700-year-old temple of Wat Umong, get acquainted with elephants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, and embark on a full-day adventure in Doi Inthanon National Park.

Day 7 of your trip begins with a flight south to Phuket, where you'll spend the rest of your trip island hopping and soaking up the sun. Tick off the bucket list trip to the Phi Phi Islands, famous for their striking rock formations, and stop by Monkey Island to enjoy the chatter of macaques. Before catching your flight home, you'll also have plenty of time to snorkel the colorful coral reefs of Ko Hae ("Coral Island"), tour the temple of Wat Chalong, and get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline adventure at Hanuman World Phuket. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Thailand Authentic Grand Tour

Split your time between bustling cities, intricate temples, and beautiful beaches on this well-rounded Thailand itinerary crafted for those looking to dive deeper into the country's fascinating culture. Over eight days, you'll embrace the simpler way of life as you bathe with elephants, canoe along the River Kwai, and spend a day on the white sands beaches of Phuket.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Explore Bangkok & Midnight Food Tour by Tuk-Tuk Bangkok
Day 3 Bangkok City Tour Bangkok
Day 4 Maeklong Railway & Floating Market Experience, Transfer to Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi
Day 5 River Kwai Free Day River Kwai
Day 6 Return to Bangkok, Fly to Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 7 Patara Elephant Farm Excursion Chiang Mai
Day 8 Eagle Track Zipline Adventure Chiang Mai
Day 9 Fly to Phuket Phuket
Day 10 Free Morning, Afternoon Kayak Excursion of Phang Nga Bay Phuket
Day 11 Phuket Beach Free Day Phuket
Day 12 Depart Phuket  

Your culture-packed Thailand trip begins with an exciting evening exploring Bangkok's bustling streets. Then, spend the following two days getting to know the city's details with an iconic tuk-tuk ride through twisting neighborhoods and a guided city tour to check out Wat Po, the Grand Palace, and Wat Arun. Next, wander the famous railroad-lined Mae Klong Railway Market and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market before continuing to Kanchanaburi. After a full day in River Kwai, you'll return to Bangkok refreshed and ready to fly north.

The second half of your trip begins with three days in Chiang Mai. You'll take in the city's impressive Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tao monuments before spending a day at Patara Elephant Farm learning how to feed, bathe, and even ride these gentle giants. Adrenaline seekers will love letting loose with a day on the Eagle Track Zipline Adventure; then, it's time to trade forest for the beach. A short flight brings you to Phuket, your home for the final three nights. Kayak along the coast of the Andaman Sea and soak up the sun on the white sands of Freedom Beach until it's time to catch your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Highlights of Thailand: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai & Khao Lak 

Ideal for those who enjoy staying on the move, this action-packed itinerary ticks off many of Thailand's highlights and hidden gems. From chasing waterfalls in Erawan National Park to discovering the colorful underwater world around the Similan Islands, each day promises epic landscapes and awe-inspiring moments. Plus, with days in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, you'll have plenty of time to sample street food and roam bustling markets.

Similan Islands
Similan Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Bangkok Temples & Canals Tour Bangkok
Day 3 Transfer to Kanchanaburi, Explore Erawan National Park & Death Railway Kanchanaburi
Day 4 Visit Ayutthaya, Train to Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 5 Free Day in Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 6 Doi Inthanon National Park & Ban Mae Klang Luang Nature Trail Chiang Mai
Day 7 Explore the Beauty of the Mae Wang District Chiang Mai
Day 8 Transfer to Khao Lak Khao Lak
Day 9 Highlights of Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island Khao Lak
Day 10 Full-Day Similan Island Tour Khao Lak
Day 11 Beach Day at Khao Lak Khao Lak
Day 12 Transfer to Phuket & Depart  

Start your trip in style with two days of discovering the temples and markets of Bangkok. Get your first taste of Thailand's flavor-packed cuisine by sampling street food in Chinatown, then visit the famous sites of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha before slowing things down with an overnight stay in Erawan National Park. After a morning touring Ayutthaya, settle in for an overnight train journey to Chiang Mai. Over the following three days, you'll soak up the pristine nature surrounding you with visits to Doi Inthanon National Park and a bamboo rafting adventure down the Mae Wang River.

Leaving the city behind, you'll take a short flight to Phuket, then transfer to Khao Lak, your home, for the last four nights of your trip. Known for its sandy beaches and excellent diving sites, it's easy to fill your days cruising along the famous James Bond Island and discovering the underwater world of Coral Bay and Payu Island. Before heading back to Phuket to catch your flight home, spend your last day between the beautiful beaches of Nang Thong, Bang Niang, and White Sand. Learn more

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Itinerary #4: Thailand Nature Escape

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts will love this Thailand escape, which explores the lush landscapes along the Mae Ping River, the limestone karsts of Khao Sok National Park, and the mangrove forests of Ao Phang Nga National Park. With two nights in remote jungle lodges and day trips to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and Coral Cave, you'll finish your travels feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Khao Sok National Park view over Cheow Lan Lake
Khao Sok National Park view over Cheow Lan Lake
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Bangkok City Tour with Dinner River Cruise Bangkok
Day 3 Fly to Chiang Mai, Boat Trip Along Mae Ping River Chiang Mai
Day 4 Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Excursion Chiang Mai
Day 5 Thai Cooking Class At Love Cooking School Chiang Mai
Day 6 Fly to Phuket Phuket
Day 7 Transfer to Khao Sok National Park, Elephants & Canoeing Khao Sok National Park
Day 8 Khao Sok Jungles & Cheow Lan Lake Discovery Khao Sok National Park
Day 9 Visit the Coral Cave, Transfer to Phuket Phuket
Day 10 Kayak Phang Nga Bay Phuket
Day 11 Beach Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 12 Depart Phuket  

Your nature-packed itinerary starts in the busy city of Bangkok. After a day of checking out the highlights along Khao San Road, you'll join a guide for a tour of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Wat Pho before boarding a wooden rice barge to enjoy dinner while sailing along the Chao Phraya River. The following morning, fly to Chiang Mai and immerse yourself in the mountainous forests of the north. Take a scenic boat ride along the Mae Ping River, interact with elephants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, and even learn the secrets of Thai cuisine at a Love Cooking School class.

Next, fly south to Phuket and spend your afternoon as you please, ziplining at Hanuman World Phuket or feasting on seafood on the lively Bangla Road. Early the following day, you'll continue to Khao Sok National Park, home to Asian elephants, flying squirrels, and gibbons. After an evening each at the Khao Sok Boutique Camp and Cheow Lan Floating Bungalows, you'll return to Phuket refreshed by nature. Over your last two days, explore the mangrove forests and tiny caves in Ao Phang Nga National Park and hop between the island's picture-perfect beaches until it's time to depart for the airport. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Thailand Island Hopping

Spend uninterrupted days between Thailand's turquoise waters and white sandy beaches on this 12-day island-hopping itinerary. With three or more nights each in Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, and Krabi, you'll quickly slip into a relaxed pace while discovering new bays and towering limestone karsts. Lazy mornings and unplanned days make this trip perfect for those who want to sink into ultimate relaxation.

Hong islands
Discover Hong Island
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket Phuket
Day 2 Full-Day Phang Nga Bay Excursion, Hong by Starlight & Krathong Experience Phuket
Day 3 Free Day Phuket
Day 4 Free day, Optional Zipline Phuket Tour Phuket
Day 5 Ferry to Phi Phi Islands, Free Afternoon Ko Phi Phi
Day 6 Free Day Ko Phi Phi
Day 7 Free Day Ko Phi Phi
Day 8 Morning Ferry to Krabi, Free Afternoon Krabi
Day 9 Explore Hong Island Bay by Speedboat  Krabi
Day 10 Private Island Picnic Lunch in Krabi Krabi
Day 11 Free Day Krabi
Day 12 Depart Krabi  

Begin your island hopping adventure on Phuket, Thailand's largest island, where, after a relaxing evening on your own, you'll explore Phang Nga Bay by catamaran and float your self-made flower krathong. The following two days are yours to enjoy as you choose, with options including swimming and snorkeling in the turquoise waters, ziplining through the rainforest, and relaxing at the beach with a cocktail in hand. Settled into island life, you'll ferry to the even quieter Phi Phi Islands.

With three uninterrupted days exploring Phi Phi Islands' colorful corals, sandy and palm tree-fringed beaches, and lush inland, you'll sink even deeper into the relaxed pace of life. Then, trade island for island as you ferry to Krabi, your home, for your final four nights. Pick up the pace with a speedboat trip to Hong Island and embark on a personalized adventure, complete with a picnic lunch, before spending your final day relaxing on Krabi Beach. Say your goodbyes and end your trip with a transfer to Phuket Airport. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Northern Thailand Exploration

Experience the lessor-explored landscapes of Northern Thailand on this nature-packed itinerary, perfect for those looking to get well off the beaten path. Starting in Chiang Rai, you'll slowly make your way south to Chiang Mai, stopping at Lisu Lodge and the river town of Pai along the way. Throughout, you'll learn how to cook traditional Thai food and wander intricate temples nestled high in the mountains.

Enjoy time spent in Huay nam dung national park in Chiang Mai
Enjoy time spent in Huay nam dung national park in Chiang Mai
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Chiang Rai, Evening City Tour Chiang Rai
Day 2 Nature Walk & Waterfall Picnic Chiang Rai
Day 3 Highlights of Chiang Rai Chiang Rai
Day 4 Lisu Lodge & Eco-Tourism Chiang Rai
Day 5 Biking, Tea Garden, River Rafting & Thai Cooking Class Chiang Rai
Day 6 Thai Sticky Rice Cooking Class, Transfer to Pai Pai
Day 7 Yuan Lai Sunrise, Explore Tham Lod Caves, Visit Ja Bo & Kiew Lom Pai
Day 8 Transfer to Chiang Mai, Explore Huay Nam Dang National Park Chiang Mai
Day 9 Half-Day Kanta Elephant Sanctuary Experience Chiang Mai
Day 10 Nature Excursion at Doi Inthanon National Park Chiang Mai
Day 11 Half-Day at Baan Kang Wat & Wat Umong Chiang Mai
Day 12 Depart Chiang Mai  

After arriving in the northern city of Chiang Rai, you'll dust off any jetlag with an exciting evening tuk-tuk ride; then, wake up ready to head to a nearby Indigenous village for a trek through rice fields and pineapple plantations to a secluded waterfall. Take another day to explore the highlights of Chiang Rai, including the Golden Triangle and Wat Rong Khun, before transferring to Lisu Lodge for two nights of tranquility. While staying at the lodge, you'll learn the traditional rice cultivation techniques and take an exciting white-water rafting journey to a rural village.

The second half of your trip begins with a transfer to the river town of Pai, known for its relaxed atmosphere and hot springs. Watch the sun rise over stunning green valleys, then explore the caves of Tham Lod onboard a bamboo raft before spending your afternoon in the village of Ban Jabo. Continuing south, you'll journey to Chiang Mai, with stops at the Mork Fah Waterfall and Pong Dued Hot Springs. Pack in trips to the Kanta Elephant Sanctuary (be prepared to get muddy!), Doi Inthanon Mountain, and the Baan Kang Wat artisan village until it's time to catch your flight home. Learn more

More Great 12-Day Thailand Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Thailand? Check out these other 12-day Thailand itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 12 Days in Thailand - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Thailand - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas