Thailand was my very first adventure and all I can do since I have been back is talk about how dreamy it was!
I am a beach girl at heart so we spent more time at the stunning islands, but if you love visiting temples I recommend visiting the historical ruins of Ayutthaya and Sukothai. I also recommend heading up north to Chiang Mai to visit the elephant sanctuary there, but Shane and I wanted to do north Thailand on completely separate trip.
I’m going to be up front with you, you are going to have to make some SERIOUS sacrifices! Thailand has so much to offer, you could get lost here for months.
I created this two weeks in Thailand travel itinerary and trip planner to help you plan out your tour, including our daily route, activities, places to stay, and transportation advice.
If you would like to plan your trip out yourself, I recommend the Lonely Planet Thailand Guidebook.This book includes a map of Bangkok, and ideas on places to eat, where to stay, things to do, etc.
Thailand Travel Itinerary
Days 1-3: Bangkok
Bangkok is nuts. Everywhere you turn is a Tuk Tuk flying by, street food wafting into the air, and cheap massages. The smell is also interesting, but you get used to it! Although it wasn’t my favorite place to visit in Thailand, it is definitely a must see, especially the temples!
When visiting the temples, be sure to wear long pants/skirt and cover your shoulders. Shane bought a pair of elephant pants right outside of the temple for super cheap (200 baht). He was embarrassed to wear them at first but then they were so comfortable he didn’t want to take them off! I even tried to steal them from him for our flight home!
Where to stay:
Le Meridien – Five star hotels in Bangkok are a lot cheaper than most of the world so we splurged a little here! This hotel was relatively close to everything. Bangkok is gigantic so you want to make sure the location is ideal.
Star Dome Inn – if opting for a cheaper option, my friend recommended here
-we used uber to take us to the Sky bar and restaurants, and used a Tuk Tuk to take us to and from the temples
Things to do:
-Check out the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha – we went from 11 AM-4:30 PM
-explore the Khao San Road, a hippy backpacker street
-watch the sunset at a Sky Bar, but make sure to check the dress code first!
-lounge at your hotel pool
-check out the floating market – about 45 minutes outside of the city center
Day 4: Wildlife Friends Foundation in Kanchanaburi
IMPORTANT NOTE: So many people who visit Thailand don’t realize that riding an elephant is a BIG no no! It almost always induced torture to the elephant at a young age. Do your research and visit a sanctuary where they rescue the animals and treat them right. Check out this blog post for more details on my visit to Wildlife Friends Foundation.
We paid 40 dollars each to have the Sanctuaries’ shuttle pick us up from Le Meridien hotel in Bangkok and transport us to the sanctuary, about 2 hours away. I highly recommend this sanctuary if you aren’t able to visit Chiang Mai. We learned SO much and our guide was so knowledgeable and inspiring. The entire day went from 10 AM-4 PM and then we were off to our hotel for the night.
Where to stay:
We opted to stay at Lemon House 51 in Hua Hin, which was 45 minutes away from the sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary’s shuttle dropped us right off at Lemon House’s front door. Our hosts were so friendly and cooked us crepes upon arrival and gave us fantastic food recommendations. The location was perfect, a five minute walk to the beach and close to an awesome night market. It was also close to the Lomprayah bus station which was nice because our journey to Koh Phangan left at 8 AM the next morning from here! Our host even dropped us off at the station. You can also choose to stay at the sanctuary if you prefer and watch the elephants from your front doorstep!
The shuttle at Wildlife Friends Foundation took us to our hotel in Hua Hin. I even left my phone behind in the shuttle and I called the sanctuary and they sent a taxi back to me with my phone which I was so grateful for!!
Things to do:
Hua Hin reminded me of a quiet beach town. We took a walk on the beach and then ventured to the night market where I bought some souvenirs for friends and family. The seafood here was unreal and so fresh that I splurged on my very own grilled lobster. After our meal we fell right to sleep with full bellies, ready for our journey to the islands in the AM!
Days 5-8: Koh Phangan
(we were going to only stay 3 nights but we fell in love with our air bnb so we added an extra day!)
Shane and I had planned our ENTIRE trip around making it to Koh Phangan for the Black Moon party, because we weren’t going to be in Thailand for the famous Full Moon Party. They changed the date of the Black Moon Party and we weren’t aware and we MISSED IT!! Shane and I were so bummed, but luckily there is so much more to do in Koh Phangan than just party!
Download the app Lomprayah and transportation to and from the islands will be a b r e e z e! We took a bus/ferry combo from Hua Hin to Koh Phangan that cost 40 dollars each and was 8 hours in travel time total. This was one of the longer ventures but we wanted a cheaper option. I recommend not booking ferries too far in advance in case you want to change your plans, which we did TWICE and weren’t refunded. You may find you like one island more and want to stay longer.
We also rented a scooter from our Air BnB hosts to get around the island on our own. BE CAREFUL when renting scooters. I have heard of some horror stories of tourists getting seriously injured as well as getting ripped off. Check your bike and take pictures beforehand so they don’t try and ding you for scratches that were already there. Shane crashed his bike on his way to turn it in and she tried to get a stupid amount of cash from him for a couple scratches.
Where to Stay:
If you have the option, I highly recommend staying in this beautiful Air BnB hosted by an amazing French couple, who quite honestly were way cooler than us! Their two dogs and two cats stole my heart, along with their stunning view of the sunsets each night. We loved staying here so much we added an extra day!
Things to do:
Between the Light House Party, Full Moon Party, Jungle Party, Black Moon party, Half Moon party, you are bound to catch at least one of these epic parties! For those of you who don’t like to party until the sun comes up, there are plenty of other exciting things on the island!
-head to Phaeng waterfall and hike
-Head to 360 Bar to dance to some Reggae and house music and get a 360 view of the island. Don’t arrive too early though, as the party usually goes all night long.
-rent paddle boards and catch some rays
Days 9-11: Koh Tao
I really loved Koh Tao! It had relaxed chill vibes but also had a wild nightlife. I can see why so many people visit this little island and end up moving here. Everyone is so welcoming and easy to vibe with. My favorite part of Koh Tao was of course the scuba diving! Our biggest regret was not getting scuba certified, so don’t make the same mistake as us and get your SSI or PADI! Check out this blog post for more details on our discovery dive with Koh Tao Divers.
We used the Lomprayah app to book an early morning ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao, and we rented a scooter to get around on the island. Be careful on the roads – when you wreck and get battle wounds they call it the “Koh Tao tattoo.”
Where to stay:
This Air BnB had the most stunning view of the island! Our host was great and had a binder full of food menus and things to do. We stayed here for 2 nights and stayed closer to town our third night because the Air BnB was on the pricier end (worth it for the view). This Air BnB was also very steep and we didn’t feel safe riding the scooter all the way to the top, so just be careful!
We stayed in Sairee beach our third night because it was closer to the night life. If you plan on getting scuba certified many of the dive centers have places for you to stay in as well.
Things to do:
-get scuba certified with Koh Tao Divers
-Hike the Jon Suwan Viewpoint – BE CAREFUL!! Shane literally fell off the side of the cliff at the viewpoint.
-check out the Love Koh Tao viewpoint
-do a boozy bar crawl held on Tuesdays and check out the fire shows after
-we made the mistake of trying to Kayak to Naan Yuang island one day but we got stuck in the middle of the ocean so I recommend paying for a long tail boat to take you over! We also didn’t realize there was a beautiful viewpoint here so be sure to check it out! The snorkeling here is unreal and the water so clear! We had some fun recording with our new Go Pro Hero 6.
–Dinner at The Gallery Restaurant. We wanted to have a romantic dinner with wine and this restaurant was perfect. There is also a beautiful art gallery next door with amazing underwater photography by Chris Clark.
Days 11-13: Ao Nang, Krabi
Krabi was larger than the other two islands and was filled with things to do! I highly recommend coming here! From hiking, to the 4 islands boat tour, emerald cave, hot springs, and tiger temple, your days will be filled with things to do!
We used the Lomprayah app to do another ferry/bus combo to take us down to Krabi. This journey was a little longer than 6 hours and we arrived in Ao Nang a little after noon. We rented a scooter here as well. If you plan on visiting the Tiger Temple or Emerald Pool, these destinations are about an hour and 15 minutes away from Ao Nang so you may want to figure out a different method of transportation to these tourist hotspots unless you’re very comfortable with the scooter!
Where to Stay:
We stayed at this new hostel called Wake Up Ao Nang and it was so perfect! It was a five minute walk to the beach, great restaurants and a scooter rental, and you could book all of your tours at the front desk. It had modern style and they provided coffee and snacks on in the lobby. We opted for a private room, but there are shared rooms as well.
Things to do:
Day 1: Relax at Ao Nang Beach and get a massage, at night explore the souvenir shops. Dinner at Lae Lae Grill. We booked our 7 island sunset tour walking back from dinner
Day 2: 7 islands sunset tour – this tour took you to several different islands where we got to snorkel, swim with glow in the dark plankton, and eat dinner on Railay beach. This is where the Phranang Cave is. Fisherman believed that the princess of the Phranang cave will preserve and protect and protect their livelihood and fulfill one’s wishes. The spirits of the Goddess are offered a special gift, which is carved from wood. Fun fact – the cave is filled with wooden dicks!
Day 3: Hike Tup Keak – this hike is not for the faint of heart and was pretty strenuous but it was so worth it for the views!! We decided to do this hike instead of venturing the Tiger Temple, which we heard was very touristy and too many stairs to climb. It was about 25 minutes away from our hostel and the roads were easy so we took our motorbike. At night we caught the sunset at Krabi Hillside beach resort, had some cocktails, and grabbed some mango sticky rice before passing out from hiking all day.
–Our favorite breakfast spot was called Café 8.98 – I could have eaten breakfast here every morning for our entire trip! Everything on the menu is fantastic, but I loved their green bowl.
Days 14-15: Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi came in a VERY close second for my favorite Thailand destination. We actually didn’t even plan on visiting because I heard it wasn’t anything special, but a couple we met at the elephant sanctuary told us not to miss it! [clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t take advice from people who haven’t been there. You could miss life changing experiences, breathtaking places, and beautiful souls.” quote=”Don’t take advice from people who haven’t been there. You could miss life changing experiences, breathtaking places, and beautiful souls.”]
Phi Phi is very small and there are no cars or scooters, you just walk everywhere! I would say that Phi Phi is actually a bigger party island than Koh Phangan, and Shane and I were READY! Side note – there are TONS of cats on this island, and I am a big cat person so I was loving it!
We booked transportation to Phi Phi from the front desk our hostel -Wake Up Ao Nang, and we used the Lomprayah app to book our ferry back. The island itself is small so you just need your legs to walk around!
Where to stay:
We decided to go to the Phi Phi islands last minute and we were running low on funds, so we decided to wing it and find a place to stay once we arrived on the island. Ibiza House throws great pool parties and we opted to stay there but it was all booked. After walking around for a little bit we found a small hotel, I don’t even remember the name, we just wanted to throw down our bags and start the party!
Things to do:
-We hopped off the ferry around noon, and I realized I was missing my cell phone an hour later. Be careful with your belongings! I think I placed my phone in my back pocket and it was pit pocketed. After doubling back in a panic, and searching everywhere, I decided to cut my losses and focus on my last two nights in Thailand…. I was ready to let loose!
We ended up at a pool party where they were selling cheap pitchers and had great DJ’s and house music. We were tired of hearing remixes of the Chainsmokers and Justin Beiber, so a great DJ was very refreshing. At night we ate dinner at a delicious Indian restaurant and watched some fire shows.
One of the highlights of our trip was Captain Bob’s Boat Cruise, with our tour guide Mo Mo!! This party cruise was a little pricey at 1600 baht per person, but you get unlimited booze, a pre party, an after party, a meal, and a whole day of boating around and snorkeling. We visited Monkey Bay and you get to see beautiful Maya Bay later in the evening when it isn’t packed with tourists. I really recommend Captain Bob’s boat cruise! Even though we were broke we wanted to go out with a bang, and this was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Day 16 – Start the journey back home
This is the day that everyone dreads, the long journey home. I wished I could have skipped this part and instead hopped back on over to Koh Tao to become a dive instructor, but I was excited to share my photos and experiences with friends and family. I caught the travel bug for sure, and was already planning where I wanted to go to next on our flight back to the US.
Two weeks in Thailand budget: booking your flight
Once you arrive in Thailand, everything is super cheap! You can easily get by on $30 dollars/day. Getting there is the expensive part. I opted for a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card before my trip, and was able to have my entire trip paid for with points after spending a certain amount. I highly recommend flying with Qatar Airways, the number one airline in the world. The food was great, they had awesome movies, and provided you with a travel pack containing socks, an eyemask, earplugs, lip moisturizer and moist towelettes. They came around with food every couple hours so I was full and slept most of the time!
Be sure when planning a trip to Thailand you purchase travel insurance. I wound up with a parasite on a previous trip to Bali and had to have a Doctor come to me because I was so dehydrated and give me IV fluids. My insurance back home put the 700 US dollars towards my deductible, but I still had to pay for everything out of pocket. Shane also got ill while in Thailand, but luckily his body was able to fight it off. Don’t risk it! I always travel with insurance from now on. I use and recommend World Nomads travel insurance.
READ THIS: A Complete Guide To Buying Travel Insurance
Did you find this helpful? I would love your feedback for my next itinerary. Where are you dreaming of going next? Let me know in the comments below! Please share if you found this article helpful 🙂
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