With five days in Thailand, it's best to tour the highlights of one region. See the highlights of the capital, Bangkok, or discover the temples of northern Thailand and the best of Chiang Mai. You may choose to get off the beaten path in the southern part of the country in Phang Nga Bay or even opt for a more culturally-focused trip by trekking between villages and homestays in the north.

Itinerary #1: Thailand's Bangkok Adventure

In this five-day itinerary, you'll explore Bangkok's cultural and historical highlights. Whether floating down its canals in a long-tail boat or getting lost in a museum, you'll experience the Thai way of life on this in-depth trip into the heart of Bangkok. 

Giant statue at Bangkok Grand Palace
Giant statue at Temple Wat Pra Kaew, Grand Palace, Bangkok
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Explore Bangkok: Museums, Markets & Entertainment Bangkok
Day 3 Tour Ayutthaya's Ruins & Bang Pa-In Summer Palace Bangkok
Day 4 Grand Palace, Khlongs & Jim Thompson House Museum Bangkok
Day 5 Depart Bangkok  

On your first day in Bangkok, acquaint yourself with Thailand's capital city aboard the Sky Train. You might like to make stops at Siam Paragon for shopping and stroll through Lumpini Park before indulging in a Chinatown dinner. Day 2 brings a deep dive into Bangkok's history and culture through museum and market visits, and music and dancing at the Siam Niramit Show in the evening.

Your third day is to admire the architecture of the Summer Palace, explore the ruins of Ayutthaya, and tour several other temples and monasteries surrounded by shrines and sculptures representing Thai spirituality. Next, visit Wat Pho temple on Day 4 to see the Reclining Buddha. Continue to the Grand Palace complex before touring around more palaces and statues, including the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most revered Buddha image. Hop on a long-tail boat tour through the canals and wrap up with a visit to the Jim Thompson House Museum. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Discover Northern Thailand: Highlights of Chiang Mai

This five-day itinerary takes you through the wonders of northern Thailand in Chiang Mai, where you'll wander among gilded temples and have the opportunity to meet a local hill tribe and visit a butterfly and orchid farm. 

The temple of Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 2 Chiang Mai City & Temple Tour Chiang Mai
Day 3 Merit Making at Doi Suthep Chiang Mai
Day 4 Day Trip to Baan Hui Parai Hill Tribe Village & Orchid Farm Chiang Mai
Day 5 Depart Chiang Mai  

On your arrival day to Chiang Mai, wander the Old Town past the array of temples or climb the staircase of the hillside temple Doi Suthep and try a regional dish from a street food stall for dinner. Day 2 brings temple exploration and a feel for the bustle of daily life throughout the city center and Worarot Market. Make stops at some of Chiang Mai's most revered temples: the gilded Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, surrounded by elephant statues, and the ancient Wat Chiang Man

Make an offering to the monks (earning merit for good karma) at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai's most famous and important temple, on Day 4. The following day brings an exciting excursion to meet members of the hill tribe village of Baan Hui Parai and a local farm with rare orchid blooms and exotic butterflies. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: A Taste of Southern Thailand

For travelers who want to experience Thailand beyond the cities, this itinerary takes you past the highlights and onto outdoor adventures. You'll hike and kayak through mangroves, fish with locals, and snorkel in Phang Nga Bay. 

Watch the sunset from Samed Nag She Viewpoint in Phang Nga Bay
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Phuket, Transfer to Phang Nga Bay Phang Nga
Day 2 Hike & Kayak Phang Nga Mangroves Phang Nga
Day 3 Fish with Locals & Village Life Experience  Village Homestay
Day 4 Snorkel & Swim in Phang Nga Bay Khao Lak
Day 5 Beaches of Khao Lak, Depart  

When you arrive in Phang Nga, relax or rent a bike to immerse yourself in your jungle surroundings. The next day, walk through nature trails and to Sarasin View Point on Sarasin Bridge, which connects Phuket to the mainland. Gaze out over the Andaman Sea before you kayak down the river amid the mangroves. On Day 3, you'll have a local encounter in the small Muslim fishing village of Ban Samchong. Accompany a fisherman on a traditional long-tail boat, and swim in Phang Nga Bay. For dinner, enjoy a home-cooked meal with your host family in a traditional Thai home, an immersive experience of the culture of the rural south. 

On Day 4, cruise around the limestone islands of Phang Nga Bay before stopping at Khao Phing Kan and the neighboring Khao Ta Poo, towering needle-like rock formations. Spend the rest of the afternoon snorkeling among the coral reefs and exploring the islands' collapsed cave systems. On your last day, take the morning to relax on Khao Lak's beautiful white sand beaches. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Northern Thailand: Village to Village Trekking

This 5-day itinerary showcases a different side to Thailand—one that is for nature-lovers and those who like to visit the more remote reaches of a destination. You'll visit Inthanon National Park, trek along the rushing waterfalls of Northern Thailand, and experience a traditional Hmong village home in this village-trekking itinerary option. 

Learn about the traditions of the Karen people in Pamon Village
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Chiang Mai Chiang Mai
Day 2 Inthanon National Park from Khun Wang Village Homestay
Day 3 Trek to Pamon Village Village Homestay
Day 4 Trek from Pamon to Mae Sapok Village Village Homestay
Day 5 Depart Chiang Mai  

Day 1 offers an easy hike starting at Doi Pui Mountain, where you can stop for coffee at the Hmong village and trek downhill to the 800-year-old temple ruins of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The following day, you'll drive for four hours to Northern Thailand's Inthanon National Park to explore the country's highest peak, Doi Inthanon. You'll hike alongside rushing waterfalls and stunning scenery for a couple of hours until you reach your homestay within the park. On Day 3, you'll trek past plenty of waterfalls and pools—with time to swim in or wade—to the hill tribe village of Pamon, home to three extended families of Karen people.

Your last full day sees you pass waterfalls, pine forests, and rolling hills in the forests of Chiang Mai to Mae Sapok Village, where you'll be hosted in a traditional rural Thai house. Learn more

More Great Thailand Itineraries

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


Map of 5 Days in Thailand - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Thailand - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas