Spend 10 days discovering central Thailand, beginning with the coastal city of Pattaya. You'll explore its beaches, ride a speed boat to nearby Coral Island, and view Thailand's sea life at Pattaya's largest aquarium. Then it's on to Bangkok to tour the Grand Palace and shop for Thai goods at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Your trip concludes in Kanchanaburi, where you'll see the historic World War II Bridge on the River Kwai and take a bamboo rafting tour.


  • Take an exciting speed boat tour of Pattaya's Coral Island
  • Explore Bangkok's Chao Phraya River on an elegant dinner cruise
  • Walk the historic Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Swim the emerald waters of the Erawan Waterfall

Brief Itinerary

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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok, Transfer to Pattaya

Pattaya's Big Buddha

Welcome to Thailand! Upon your arrival in Bangkok, you'll be met by a private driver and transported to your hotel in Pattaya. The drive takes approximately two hours, with scenic views along the way that include the Bang Patong River and Wat Khao Din Temple. After you check into your hotel, you'll have the day to yourself to explore the city. You can head to one of the many beaches, such as Pattaya Beach or nearby Jomtien Beach, for a day of sun and fun or check out some of Pattaya's top attractions.

For the best city views, visit Pattaya's Big Buddha temple, otherwise known as Wat Phra Khao Yai. Located at the top of Pratumnak Hill, the Buddha is nearly 60 feet tall (18 m) and overlooks the entire city and ocean. You can also see Thailand in miniature at Mini Siam, which showcases replicas of both Thailand's and the world's most important landmarks. Started as a research project in 1985, the park has become a popular attraction, with nearly 100 replicas of famous sites. 

In the afternoon, tour Pattaya's Sanctuary of Truth, a museum built entirely of wood, with carved idols and sculptures. Designed by Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan, it combines structures of both temple and castle, with themes centering around the Ayutthaya Kingdom. End the day with a visit to Walking Street, known for its restaurants, bars, and lively nightlife. 

Day 2: Coral Island Speed Boat Tour

Views of Coral Island

This morning, you'll head to Coral Island. Located approximately 4.5 miles (7 km) from Pattaya Beach, the island, locally known as Koh Larn, is accessed primarily via boat. It's a quick and exhilarating 20-minute ocean crossing, after which you'll spend the day on Tien Beach. Relax and soak up the sun, or rent jet skis or banana boats for that adrenaline rush! 

Lunch will be provided, and you'll also have a chance to visit some of the island's souvenir shops. Your speedboat makes its return to Pattaya Pier in the late afternoon, at which time you'll be driven back to your hotel. 

Day 3: Underwater World Pattaya

Some of the amazing sea life at Underwater World

Take an under-the-sea adventure today at Pattaya's largest aquarium, Underwater World Pattaya. Your driver will pick you up from the hotel and transport you to the aquarium, where you'll see thousands of oceanic species as you walk through clear acrylic tunnels, enjoying a 180-degree view of the sea creatures. You'll explore the Coral Reef Zone, Shark and Stingray Zone, Giants of Siam Zone, and their newest display: the Jellyfish Zone, which showcases the most extensive collection of jellyfish in Thailand. 

After the tour, your driver will return you to your hotel, where you can relax before you continue to your next destination tomorrow, or venture out for one more night of fun in the city.

Day 4: Transfer to Bangkok, Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise

Bangkok's Chao Phraya River
Bangkok's Chao Phraya River

Your journey continues as you make your way from Pattaya back to Bangkok. Your driver will pick you up in the morning and transport you to your Bangkok hotel. You'll have time to rest before this evening's excursion, or you can step out for lunch and explore Bangkok's neighborhoods. 

Later tonight, your driver will pick you up for the Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise. The Chao Phraya is one of Thailand's main rivers, flowing through the middle of Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand. This two-hour evening cruise takes you through the city and along Bangkok's waterfront, with traditional Thai dance and music as your entertainment. Dinner includes a fabulous international buffet, with everything from appetizers to dessert, as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Upon disembarking from the cruise, your guide will drive you back to your hotel.
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Day 5: Floating Market & Grand Palace Tour

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Enjoy a full-day, guided tour of some of Bangkok's most fascinating cultural attractions. First, you'll head to the canals of Ratchaburi Province, just west of the city, where you'll board a small, traditional boat that takes you to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Explore the colorful network of narrow waterways, where local vendors on simple wooden boats or waterside stands sell a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, plus a kaleidoscopic array of tropical fruit that begs to be photographed.

After the floating market, return to the city and spend the afternoon discovering the Grand Palace, Bangkok's largest and best-known landmark. Built in the late 1700s as the residence of the kings of Siam, the monumental royal complex is an impressive sight with ornate, colorful rooflines and shiny spires at every turn. As you explore the vast grounds with your guide, you'll enter the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the palace itself, and opulent pavilions. Your guide will transport you back to your hotel in the evening.

Day 6: Transfer to Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai Bridge

Today takes you to the historic resort town of Kanchanaburi. Your driver will pick you up in the morning and you'll make the two-hour drive from Bangkok. Kanchanaburi sits at the junction of where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers meet, forming the Mae Klong River. The town is home to the River Kwai Bridge, which was erected by Allied prisoners during the Japanese occupation of Thailand during World War II, and made famous in the 1957 movie, Bridge on the River Kwai

You'll have a chance to tour the bridge, which is located just 3 miles (5 km) from the city center, and take in some of the history surrounding it. The bridge has its own station, River Kwai Bridge Station, and is surrounded by shops and cafés if you'd like to grab a bite before heading back to your hotel. 

Day 7: Free Day & Bamboo Rafting

Kanchanaburi - Bamboo Rafting
Kanchanaburi's resort villas on the River Kwai 

Relax at your hotel this morning and enjoy views of the river or take a refreshing swim. If you'd rather immerse yourself in all Kanchanaburi has to offer right away, you can visit Wat Tham Suea Temple, locally known as the Tiger Cave Temple. The temple sits on a steep hill outside of the city and features a large gold Buddha, with amazing views of the surrounding countryside from the top. If you'd prefer something less strenuous, take a stroll around Kanchanaburi's giant Chamchuri Tree, a 100-year-old specimen with branches that span more than 80 feet (25 m), creating a beautiful, umbrella-like canopy. 

Later in the afternoon, you'll head out for a bamboo rafting tour of the river. Once the main form of transport for river dwellers, the tour takes you along the River Kwai, where you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of your surroundings and catch a glimpse of some of Thailand's wildlife. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel for the evening.

Day 8: JEATH War Museum, Death Railway & Krasae Cave

Kanchanaburi's Death Railway 

Explore some of the main highlights of Kanchanaburi with a full-day tour that includes a visit to the JEATH War Museum. The museum, built from an original detention hut, offers a sobering look at the history and living conditions of prisoners of war (POWs) forced to work on the construction of World War II's Death Railway. Also known as the Burma Railway, it was built to transport soldiers and supplies from Thailand to the front of Burma. 

You'll tour the Death Railway Museum and ride an antique train on the Death Railway itself, where the stunning views belie the tragic history of this rail system. The tour finishes with a visit to Krasae Cave, located near the railway and just above the River Kwai. The small cave was once a resting spot for the POWs who worked on the railway and now houses a shrine with a Buddha, often used as a respite for prayer and reflection. The rest of your afternoon and evening is free before you continue on your journey tomorrow. 

Day 9: Erawan Waterfall & Elephant World, Transfer to Bangkok

Tranquil waters at the Erawan Waterfall

It's your last morning in Kanchanaburi, but before you head back to Bangkok, there are still plenty of adventures along the way! Upon departing your hotel, your guide will take you on a tour of Erawan National Park and the Erawan Waterfall. The seven-tiered falls pour into magnificent emerald green ponds, and you'll be able to swim in the falls or just relax in the natural beauty of the park itself. 

Afterward, it's off to Elephants World, an environmental rescue facility for domestic elephants. Visitors have the opportunity to bathe with the elephants, feed them and learn about the history of these amazing giants. Lunch is provided, followed by transport to Bangkok and your accommodations there. Your final evening in Bangkok gives you a chance to rest at your hotel before your flight home tomorrow.

Day 10: Depart Bangkok

Bangkok's Chinatown District

The time has come to bid farewell to beautiful Thailand. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure. Safe travels home or to your next destination! 

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Map of Central Thailand: Pattaya, Bangkok & Kanchanaburi - 10 Days
Map of Central Thailand: Pattaya, Bangkok & Kanchanaburi - 10 Days