10 Days Travel Itinerary in Thailand
Early in May I had my best friend and his girlfriend coming to visit Thailand for the first time.
As I was tagging along with my girlfriend for most of the trip, I made them a 10 days itinerary so they could see as much as possible in that short amount of time.
Because yes, 10 days is short, there's so many different things to do here that a 10 days travel itinerary is the minimum you should do.
Anyway. The plan was for them to see as much as they could in 10 days while having some off time to relax. And of course I had to take them to a few parties to give them at taste of what Thailand is about.
Maybe this itinerary can give you some ideas for your next trip and some tips to plan you visit in the land of smile.
So here we go for that 10 days travel itinerary in Thailand.
- 1 Day 1 : Bangkok
- 2 Day 2 : Erawan Falls
- 3 Day 3 : Ayutthaya
- 4 Day 4 : Shopping Mall in Bangkok and Flight to Krabi
- 5 Day 5 : Koh Phi Phi
- 6 Day 6 : Koh Phi Phi View Point
- 7 Day 7 : Island Tour
- 8 Day 8 : Chill day in Phi Phi or Krabi
- 9 Day 9 : Night Market in Bangkok
- 10 Side Notes
Day 1 : Bangkok
On the first day I went to pick them up at the Airport around 4pm.
When you land at that time, between customs and the time to get in the city there's no much time left in the day but we didn't have big plans for that night anyway.
First thing was to get them a SIM Card at the Airport. A 5go Internet package cost around 350฿ with True (one of the main Thai operator) and they set it up in 2 minutes.
Then we took the Airport Link (at the ground floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport) and the MRT (Bangkok Metro system) to get close to my place in Sukhumvit Soi 16.
It's easy and pretty cheap, around 70฿ per person and definitely the best way to save time when the traffic is crazy in Bangkok.
What took us 45 minutes in public transportation would have take over 1 hour and probably around 500฿ with the highway tolls and airport fee.
Once they've checked in their hotel we went to exchange money at the nearest Superrich branch, one of the best place to exchange money in Bangkok.
Do not exchange money at the airport, or just the minimum to pay for a sim card and a ride to your hotel. The exchange rate is a total rip off there.
Then to finish that night, we went for some Thai food at Soi 24.
So nothing fancy for that first night, just good street food and a few cold beers to catch up.
No night out as we had to wake up early the next morning for a day trip from Bangkok.
Like really early.
Day 2 : Erawan Falls
6.30am, rise and shine to get in a van for a 3 hours drive to see Erawan Falls.
As the pollution was bad at that time in the north of Thailand, around Chiang Mai, we decided for the first days to do day trips around Bangkok instead .
First stop was Erawan Falls in the Kanchanaburi region.
There's a ton of tours online with all kind of prices but there's one company that give you a basic package starting from only 1,200฿ per person.
For this price you have a round trip in a van, a stop at the river Kwai to see the famous bridge and museum, the entrance at Erawan National Park and a Thai Lunch.
Don't expect much from the "guide". What you pay here is for the transportation, the national park entrance, and someone to point you in the right direction.
Honestly, for that price, it's fine.
And it worked well for us. It was a bit busy because it was a public holiday but mostly with Thais and it was still not too crowded.
Once you get into Erawan Falls, there's 7 steps there with 7 different waterfalls. And the higher you go, the less people you meet (and the clearer the water is).
That was a great idea for the first day, Erawan Falls are really beautiful and worth the 1.5 hour walk to get up to the 7th fall.
Pack some water and bug repellent for the trip and forget about the food or the insects will take over your bag. Just go for the free lunch included in the trip when you come down.
Oh, and we also stopped to the famous River Kwai on the way there. But while it was a good bonus, it's probably not something worth the trip to Kanchanaburi if you aren't going to the falls, unless you're a fan of history of course.
Now what we did was one of the many tours that go in that area.
If you want to get more high end tours, you can have plenty online on websites like Klook.
One Night in Khaosan Road
Good thing with the company we used is they either drop you at your hotel or in Khaosan Road.
For us, it was the perfect excuse to see Khaosan Road and drink a few buckets.
Khaosan is the backapacker area of Bangkok, with all the touristy stuff, bars with blasting music, night market, pad thais and cheap drinks.
Don't go there to eat a good pad thai though. What I use to think as the best pad thai in Bangkok is now just terrible.
Most of the food in the main street have become pretty mediocre over the last years and it's some of the worst I've tasted in Bangkok.
Just get out of Khaosan road itself and look for some street food or a restaurant outside the main street.
But for drinks and party, nothing beats Khaosan Road at that price.
Expect a big hangover the next day, but at 150฿ or 200฿ per bucket and towers of beer at 600฿ you've got what you pay for...
Day 3 : Ayutthaya
Day 3 we woke up again at 6am to get in the van to visit the ancien city of Ayutthaya.
We also used the same company as it was again of the cheaper for that destination.
This time it was a bit cheaper, 1,000฿ per person, and we had a real guide that explained us the history of each location we visited.
Not the best with the heat when you're hangover but quite nice if you've never seen old temples.
But if you're feeling more adventurous and not as hangover as us, there's plenty of companies that offer different types of visits, with anything from food tours to bike tours.
Probably something I'd rather choose if I go again. To be honest, getting in and off the van to walk through what is mostly ruines isn't too exciting by itself.
Stop at the Summer Palace in Bang Pa In
The company we used for the tour offer the normal tour in Ayutthaya at 900฿ and for 100฿ extra, a stop at the Summer Palace on the way back to Bangkok.
I can't speak for my friend, but for me, that was the highlight of the day.
It's the summer residency of the king of Thailand that is still in use these days and it's absolutely beautiful.
Everything is clean and well maintained, you've got different types of architecture and it's very peaceful overall.
And it's not so touristy. I never heard of it before and if it stays out of the main travel guides you're in for a treat.
If you have the time, it's definitely worth the 100฿ you pay on top.
And if you're living in Thailand or have been a bunch of times to Bangkok and want to see something else, it's worth the trip.
Day 4 : Shopping Mall in Bangkok and Flight to Krabi
Well, it was time to rest after 2 day trips so no late night after day 3 nor early morning that day.
Instead we woke up late and went to Terminal 21, one of the biggest and most fancy mall in Bangkok to do some shopping and grab a quick lunch at their food court.
Then time to pack the bags and head to Don Muang Airport to take our flight to Krabi.
With the traffic, plan around one hour to go from Bangkok center to the Airport.
If you use AirAsia and you don't have any bags to check in, with the online check in done in advance you can print your boarding pass at the machine, go through security and get to your gate in no more than 30 minutes. (that's only possible for internal flights)
Bangkok to Krabi by plane is just over 1 hour so not much to say about it, but it was just enough time to learn more about Thai Street food on Netflix.
In Krabi we booked a hotel in Ao Nang Beach as it was recommended to me by one of my friend who lived there.
Our hotel was just 5 minutes walk from the beach, with a large room, a pool, and close to lots of bars and restaurants, for only 765฿ for the night. Quite a good deal.
Now if you like anything better than decent food, don't go eat at the beach road of Ao Nang.
Most restaurants suck in that part, everything we saw were obvious tourist traps. And still, we went for it.
But don't make the same mistake as us and avoid all the locations that offer Pizza, Thai Food, Burgers, Seafood, Pasta... at the same time. It's generally not a sign of quality.
Those shitty restaurants and fast foods take pretty much all of Ao Nang beach so if you're in for a good meal, get away from the beachfront restaurants. Or keep you money for the islands.
For bars, there's a quite a lot of options, more than I would have imagined.
We went for a drink at Reggae Town, a cool bar with live music, then two more rum and coke in a sort of street bar with stools on the sidewalk, and another one in the red light area where all the ladies bars are.
I was surprised to see how cheap is that part. Except the live bar, most bars have 100฿ drinks and the "red light" part is perfect to play pool in company. That's way more entertainment than I would have imagine.
Day 5 : Koh Phi Phi
8am in Krabi, time to see what Ao Nang look like during the day.
Quick walk on the beach with a fruit shake and breakfast at the hotel before the van come to bring us to the pier to take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.
You've got plenty of small travel agencies everywhere in Krabi that will sell you tickets for the ferry and other activities.
To avoid loosing time with that while we were in Krabi, I booked our ferry online with 12GoAsia and it was like 450฿ for the transfer to the pier and a high speed ferry that took about 2 hours to get to Phi Phi.
The other good thing with 12GoAsia is that you don't need to print anything or keep tickets with you.
All you have to do is show the confirmation email. That's one thing less thing to carry and worry about.
In Koh Phi Phi we booked a hotel on the west side of the island... by mistake.
It was my second time in Phi Phi but the first time for my friend and both coming with girlfriends we were looking at something to sort of impress them.
But the plan was to take a room on the beach, on the side of the island that is connected to the rest of the city.
Because we didn't pay enough attention to the location, we ended up in a hotel that you can only access by boat.
So the view was amazing, the room quite nice, but I would recommend it only to people who want to disconnect and relax, not for people on the island for the first time or who want to do activities and party during their stay.
Good thing is you can take taxi boats any time of the day (the night is more tricky) to go around the island and back to the main part, but you will have to pay every-time.
So that night we decided to have dinner at the hotel and to chill in our room with some rum.
This way we were fresh to wake up early the next morning and catch the free shuttle boat from the hotel to the main area in Phi Phi.
Day 6 : Koh Phi Phi View Point
After a quick breakfast by the beach and a 25 minutes boat ride from our hotel, we arrived in the main part of Koh Phi Phi.
We decided to buy tickets to got for an island tour on the next day with a speedboat.
The ticket is 1,400฿ per person and you'll visit 9 different locations during the day.
Not the cheapest tour but we were seduced by the idea of having spending less time on the boat and more on the beach.
With our tickets for the next day it was time to go check the famous viewpoint of Koh Phi Phi.
The walk is quite stiff and with the heat and humidity you're guaranteed to be covered with sweat when you get on top but good news is, it doesn't take more than 30 minutes to reach the top.
And the view is quite rewarding.
If it's your first time, try to make it at sunrise at sunset for a more epic view. But even during the day, as you can see, the view is far from bad.
Then the rest of the day was chill, my friends went back to the hotel to chill and we went for a few drinks at Ibiza Bar Pool Party.
If you like to party, Koh Phi Phi is a good place for a few fun nights. There's not that many bars but enough to get drunk with backpackers from around the world and play a few beer pong tournaments.
Day 7 : Island Tour
Time for the famous island tour that is the most famous attraction for people coming to Koh Phi Phi.
Every days, tens of boats take tourist to visit different locations in and around Koh Phi Phi.
Monkey Island, Koh Phi Phi, Bamboo Island, some snorkeling... all tours will visit the main islands around and a few will stop in deserted beaches in Koh Phi Phi.
If it's your first time there, do it, it's worth the money.
Don't overthink it, just choose between longtail boat and speedboat and go for it.
That's a must do in Koh Phi Phi.
Party in Phi Phi
To be honest we were quite tired after the cruise so we only had dinner on the beach and went back to the hotel.
But Koh Phi Phi is a good place to party.
The mandatory stop is Slinky bar on the north beach to see the famous fire show.
Then when you get enough of it you have a dozen of bars, all within a few hundred meters where you can drink cheap buckets til late...
Day 8 : Chill day in Phi Phi or Krabi
On day 8 my girlfriend and I went back to Bangkok as we had to get back to work, but my friends stayed in Phi Phi.
They booked the only 5 stars on the island and spent a magical night in that hotel.
That's great if you want to take some time to chill and get some rest after a few intense day.
But if you have enough of the island vibe and went to see more you can take the ferry and spend one more night in Krabi to explore around the city.
Big Buddhas, more island tours, night market... there's a ton to do there as well before you head back to Bangkok.
But that's up to you, depending on how you feel.
Day 9 : Night Market in Bangkok
Now back to Bangkok after a day of travel, Bangkok Night Markets are perfect for outdoor shopping and some of the best food and drinks you can find in Bangkok.
One of the closest to my place and one of the most famous in Bangkok is Ratchada Night Market.
Note that the traffic is pretty bad in Ratchada, especially close to the market, but you can easily go there with the MRT (Bangkok Metro).
Nowadays the market is really crowded early in the night, so try to come a bit later. I reckon around 9pm it's the perfect time to avoid the crowd and still enjoy the market but without the big groups of Chinese tourists.
That's really a cool spot if it's your first time visiting Bangkok and it suits everyone.
Whether you want to do some shopping, take pictures, eat Thai food or crocodile and get a few cold beers before going out in Bangkok, that's the perfect place for that.
Day 10 : Temples and Party in Bangkok
The best things for the end.
At this point there's one last thing you must do while in Bangkok and that's to visit the royal palace and the biggest temples.
The Royal Palace with the Emerald Buddha is a must, a magnificent place that show yow how rich is Thai culture and the Kingdom.
Go there as early as you can to avoid the waves of tourists that take over the palace but do not skip it. It's with no doubt one of the most beautiful palace in the world.
And if you don't have a guide with you, make sure to rent an audio guide. It is available in almost every languages and a must to understand the rich history of the palace.
Then walk to Wat Pho to see the famous reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is just a 5 minutes walk from the Royal Palace so you don't try to negotiate with Tuk Tuk and Taxis in the area as most of them will try to rip you off and some will even tell you it's close.
Last step when you're done with that temple, get out through the main entrance and walk straight to the pier in front of the temple to cross the river and visit Wat Arun.
The temple of dawn was recently renovated and is absolutely beautiful.
If by now you're too sweaty and you've got enough, you can just come to your hotel and chill.
But if you want more, take a short walk or a quick taxi ride to visit Chinatown on the way back.
The Chinese area is a buzzing unique place in Bangkok with town of unique street food and shops that only exist there.
Rooftop Bar, Food Court, Cocktails, Clubs...
Now that we were done with all the tourist stuff, it was finally time to explore the nightlife.
For our last night I tried to show them as many different spots as I could.
First, we started with cocktails at Octave, one my favorite rooftop bar in Bangkok, during sunset.
Then we headed to W District in Prakanong that is an outdoor food court with a great expat vibe and all type of food from sushi to Jamaican.
With our stomach full and a few beers, we headed to Atomic Bar in Thonglor to play a quick Beer Pong on their electronic beer pong tables.
After that we walked 5 minutes to have a cocktail at Iron Fairies. This bar was designed by one of the best designer in Bangkok and it has a special vibe and look that look like nothing else I've ever seen.
The also have great cocktails and live music. A must see.
Then we headed to the newly open Penta club in Ekamai, heaven for hip hip fans where we stayed until it closed it's doors.
Finally, as 2 am was fast approaching and most bars and clubs were closing in Thonglor/Ekamai area, we had to head to Sukhumvit Soi 11 to find some late night venues.
Time for a few drinks at Insanity Club, until late. Then I can't say much about what happened but just remember that if you're in Bangkok, there's always somewhere open where you can drink.
I used to book everything at the last minute but now that I've been organizing trips for a while and that I travel with groups, a bit of planning and bookings in advance always help.
Not like you always have to plan everything in advance, but for hotels and airplane tickets in particular you often have best deals when you plan a few weeks before your trip.
And when you travel with a group, here 4 of us, it's better to have accommodation and transportation booked in advance so you can focus on activities and food as you go.
My best advise would be, try to book everything with the same app of company to get a maximum of rewards.
By booking everything with Booking.com we had 10% discount on most hotels with their Genius loyalty program.
Same with Airasia, as a Big Member, you earn points and have discounts on flights.
And for easy booking of local transportation in Thailand and the rest of Asia, we used 12goAsia. It's easy and reliable and most importantly you have a clear idea of price.
I'm not a big fan of spending my time negotiating with local vendors to avoid big ripped off.
It's small amounts here and there but if you travel for a while that adds up quite fast. So by committing to one service for all your travels you can save quite a lot.
I'll update that part soon as I'm going through my expenses but all included I think we've spent around 40,000฿ each during this 10 days, all included.
Not cheap but not that crazy either and definitely a great value for everything we've done.
Keep in mind that Thailand is for all budget. We could have easily spend twice more by staying in high end hotels or twice less by backpacking, it's just a matter of what you want to do and how much you're willing to spend.
That's only one example of what you could do with 10 days in Thailand and my take on a 10 day travel itinerary in Thailand.
Honestly, there's so much to see and do, it's hard to make a selection so you try to pack as much as you can in those days.
But if you've never been to Thailand before, this itinerary will give you a good take on what Thailand has to offer.
You've got all the must see, as little travel as possible, and a ton of things to do with plenty of time to rest too.
Now let me know what you think about it, and if you've been to Thailand before, let me know where you've been and what was your favorite part about it. 🇹🇭😉