How To Spend 2 Weeks In Thailand

Spending 2 weeks in Thailand is an optimal amount of time to experience the cultural, historic, culinary, and other wonders the country offers.  Thailand is an amazing place to visit and explore.

Photo of the Grand Palace Bangkok, Thailand

For many travelers Thailand is the gateway to further adventures in South East Asia, they spend a few days sightseeing in Bangkok and maybe a couple more sitting on the beach in Phuket.  With a country as large and diverse as Thailand, it is difficult to see and enjoy all it has to offer in such a short period of time, which is why we put together this 2-week itinerary, covering some of the best highlights.

In the following 2 weeks Thailand itinerary, you’ll see the historic and modern sights of Bangkok, the ancient cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, the laid back culture of Northern Thailand, and finally spending a few days enjoying one of Thailand’s best Islands.

While it is impossible to cover all that Thailand has to offer in 2 weeks, this itinerary gives you exposure to some of the best cities and sights.  Use it as a starting point to plan your own adventure.

How To Spend 2 Weeks In Thailand – Sample Itinerary

  • 3 Days – Bangkok
  • 1 Day – Ayuthaya
  • 1 Day – Sukhothai
  • 3 Days – Chiang Mai
  • 1 Day – Chaing Rai
  • 5 Days – Phuket
  • Day 1 – Bangkok

Day 1 – Bangkok

You’ll land at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.  If you planned it well, you’ll arrive mid-day and will have a few hours to spend in Bangkok.  If you are coming from the United States you are going to be facing some serious jet lag.  Avoid the urge to sleep and get out and explore your neighborhood on foot.  Jet lag hates sunshine and exercise.  Grab dinner at a local restaurant and get a good nights sleep.

Day 2 – Bangkok

Photo of Wat Arun at sunset in Bangkok, Thailand

Today you’ll see the big sights.  Grab a taxi and head over to The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.  The tour will take you around the grounds of the Buddhist Temple and the royal palace.  It is also home of the Emerald Buddha statue, which is actually made out of Jade.

After your tour is done, head around the corner to Wat Pho.  This temple holds the amazing Reclining Buddha.  A giant statue covered in gold.  There are also some other larger golden Buddha statues in some of the other buildings on the temple grounds.

Your last stop for the day is going to be Wat Arun.  The Temple of the Dawn is located across the Chao Phraya River from Wat Pho.  It’s easy to get there by a river ferry. It is a beautiful temple with multi-colored spires located right on the river.  It is well worth spending an hour exploring the temple grounds, and you can also climb to the top for some great views.

Day 3 – Bangkok

Jim Thompson Main House Bangkok

Day 3 in Bangkok is another full day of sightseeing.  Take the BTS Skytrain to visit Jim Thompson House.  Jim Thompson was an American who settled in Thailand and is credited with reviving the Thai silk industry.  His home has been turned into a museum and is an excellent example of what a Thai house used to look like in Bangkok before the skyscrapers took over.

After your tour, head on over to Wat Saket (Golden Mount).  You can get there by taxi or the unique canal boat.  Climb to the top the temple for some amazing views of Bangkok.

From here you might want to head over to Khao San Road, home of the backpackers.  A walk down Khao San Road is an experience, to say the least.

Another option would be to head to China Town and take in some of the culture and food available.  Bangkok’s China Town in a vibrant and part of the city worth exploring.

If history and culture are more your things, there are many museums in Bangkok to visit.  From the National Museum to the Royal Barge Museum to the Prison Museum, there is bound to be something of interest.

1 Day – Ayutthaya

Photo of old temple at the ruins of Ayutthaya, Thailand

Make your way to Ayutthaya, the one-time capital of the Siam Empire.  Ayutthaya was sacked by the Burmese army and laid to ruins.  Spend the day touring these ruins, imagining how the once great capital city looked.  A half day here is enough to take in the sights.  Stay overnight in Ayutthaya.

1 Day – Sukhothai

Sukhothai is one of the other great historic capitals of Thailand.  It is a large archeological park filled with amazing ruins and Buddhist statues.  You can easily spend a half to a full day wandering around the grounds.  During the Loy Krathong festival, it is the backdrop to the amazing celebration.  One day is enough except for those really into history and ruins.

3 Days – Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and has a completely different feel than Bangkok.  It is a relaxed city with a laid back vibe.  Chaing Mai has some amazing temples to visit.  Spend some time visiting Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

Take a half day and visit the hill tribes.  While this has become a very commercial venture, it can be a great experience getting out among the local villages and seeing some of the local life first hand.

Chiang Mai is in the mountains of Northern Thailand and is well known for hiking and trekking.  If this is something that interests you, the forests around Chiang Mai make for some great hikes.

Chiang Mai is another of the historic capitals of Thailand.  The walls and moat of the city still exist and are an interesting focal point for fans of history and photography.

Spend two days in Chiang Mai before heading to Chiang Rai for a day (our next destination), then come back for a final day before heading off to the beaches.

1 days – Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai is about a three-hour drive from Chiang Rai.  There are a variety of things to do in Chiang Rai, but the attraction that most people come to see is the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun.  The temple is relatively modern, opened in 1997, and is as much an art exhibit as a temple.

5 Days – Phuket

Photo of boats on the white sand beach of Patong Phuket Thailand

After 9 days of running around from temple to temple and trekking the length of the country from North to South, you’ll probably be ready to sit on the beach and relax.  Fortunately, Thailand has some amazing beaches.

For a first time visitor to Thailand, the island of Phuket is a great option.  It is the country’s largest island and has several distinct beach resort areas.  Patong is the most popular area and the busiest.  It is the center of nightlife and shopping and has numerous hotel and resort options as well as more affordable budget accommodation.  If you are looking for something a little more laid back and subdued you might want to check out Kamala, Karon, or Surin beach.

Day Trip to Phi Phi, James Bond Island

Photo of boats on the beach on Koh Phi Phi Island PhuketAnother good reason to consider Phuket your island of choice is the close proximity to both Koh Phi Phi and James Bond Island.

Koh Phi Phi island was originally made famous in the backpacker epic movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  It is a beautiful set of tropical islands with picturesque beaches.  It is a popular stop for both backpackers and other tourists, so it is far from deserted as it was portrayed in the movie, but it is a beautiful setting none the less.  Phi Phi Island does require an overnight stay when traveling from Phuket.  Accommodations are limited so it booking in advance is a must.

James Bond Island is a day trip from Phuket, you can be out and back the same day.  Made famous in the James Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun, it is another beautiful tropical beach with white sands and emerald waters.

Due to its popularity and close proximity to Phuket, the beaches are busy with tourist mulling around the beach and enjoying the sunshine and water.

Five days on the island of Phuket gives you time to relax, get a tan, and refresh yourself.  Mix in a day trip or two and before you know it your 2 weeks in Thailand will be up and it will be time to board your plane and head back home.

 

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