Skip to main content
CountriesThailandTravel Itineraries

The perfect itinerary for 3 – 4 weeks Thailand

Welcome to Thailand. The land of beautiful beaches, delicious food and eternal smiles. From dense jungles to white beaches, and big cities to tranquillity in Buddhist temples, you’ll find it in Thailand. We believe that this Asian pearl is one of the most versatile countries in the region and is a wonderful place to start a trip through Southeast Asia. There are so many places in Thailand worth visiting that making a choice can be difficult. We spent a couple of months in different regions of this beautiful country and have put together an itinerary based on our experiences. Prefer travelling at a fast pace? We think 3 weeks should be enough. If you rather take it easy with a day of relaxing in between, you’ll need four weeks for this trip. We hope our tips will inspire you and make you want to book a ticket to this fascinating country.

Travel itinerary Thailand

We invest a lot of time and energy in our articles and write them with sincere love. By clicking the links in this blog for your purchases, you pay exactly the same amount, but we receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting us.

What's Next?

Some Facts About Thailand

Best Time to Travel

Thailand is one of those countries that can be travelled all year round. We experienced both the rainy and dry season and had a wonderful time either way. The best time to visit Thailand varies a bit according to the region but is generally between November and February. During this time, the temperatures are a bit cooler than the rest of the year, and it typically doesn’t rain that much.  Expect temperatures between 28 °C- 33 °C degrees and plenty of sunshine. However, Thailand is a tropical country, so a rain shower once in a while can always occur.

Random Fact: Did you know Bangkok is the warmest city in the world? It is around 30 °C degrees all year round!

Religion & Culture

In Thailand, 95% of the population is Buddhist. This is not necessarily a religion, but rather a way of life. Buddhism is an important aspect of Thai culture, please show some respect. You are required to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples or palaces. If you refuse to do so, you really won’t get in. Read all about Buddhism in Thailand here.


Thailand’s history goes a long way back. Although Dutch and Portuguese traders set up trading posts in the country, Thailand was never colonized, so you won’t see any European influences. Thailand used to be called Siam and Ayutthaya was its capital. Nowadays, Bangkok is the country’s capital and largest city. Thailand was invaded during World War II by the Japanese in 1942 and is famous for the railway bridge in Kanchanaburi which was used in movies after the war. 

Travel Prepared

Thailand is quite a developed country that has welcomed many tourists for years, so you will certainly find large popular Western brands everywhere. Luckily, there is still a lot of chaotic Asian charm to be found.

 Do you like to travel prepared, just like us? Read all our articles on preparing for your dream trip here.

Travel itinerary Thailand

The Perfect Itinerary for Thailand

Our itinerary is based on three weeks. It is a tight schedule. Make sure you book flights and train tickets far in advance, especially in high season. Ticket prices increase, are sold out, or you’re left with bad spots. You can add more destinations to your itinerary or leave some out. We added some suggestions at the end of this article. Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions.

Travel itinerary Thailand


4 days – 3 nights

Most people start their trip through Thailand in the capital Bangkok. An amazing experience to start your journey in South-East Asia but for many a very overwhelming experience. Take your time to get used to the heat, the scents in the little alleys and the busy traffic. Bangkok is best known for its delicious street food, beautiful temples and tall buildings. It is also a city with lots of water, with the Chao Praya River and narrow canals flowing through the city.

The city is alive 24-7 and has a vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a great night out on Khao San Road, fancy cocktail sipping in one of the many Sky bars or street food tasting in China Town. Bangkok has something for everyone. It is possible to live in this city for a year and still not have seen everything, which is why we’ve created a 3-day itinerary with all the best things to do in Bangkok for you.

How to get there?

Bangkok is an incredibly large, centrally located metropole in South-East Asia. From there, you can fly easily fly to many countries in the region for low prices  if you book your tickets in time. 

There are also super cheap domestic flights throughout the country with airlines like AirAsia, Vietjet Air, Nok Air etc. We can’t stress this enough, book your flights early. If you book in advance, flights often cost as little as €30,- while just beforehand they can go up to €200,-!

Tip: We rarely book flights with the same airline, AirAsia being the exception.  We always search for the best option for the cheapest price. is a great website to compare flights. We also use 12AsiaGo or Skyscanner. You can easily compare flights on different dates with different airlines. Read all our tips for booking cheap flight tickets in this article. For us, Amsterdam is quite far away. We therefore frequently fly from Frankfurt, because it is often cheaper, and you can get there by high-speed train from Aachen Hauptbahnhof within 1.5 hours. Brussels sometimes makes a difference too, you can be there in 1 hour and 15 minutes from Breda.


3 days – 2 nights

The second destination of this trip is Ayutthaya. In the era of Siam (formerly called Thailand), this was the country’s capital. You’ll find a temple complex with an extraordinary Buddha statue that appears to be incorporated into the roots of a tree, and many beautiful relics from this important time in Thailand’s history. Unfortunately, Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, leaving the present day ruins. 

Unfortunately, elephant riding is still very popular in this town, something we definitely do not support. Read about the best places to visit in Ayutthaya in this article.

How to get there?

Ayutthaya is located 80 kilometres north of Bangkok and can easily be reached from the capital by train or minivan. We chose to travel there by train and back to Bangkok by minivan. The latter was a lot faster (about 1.5 hours). The train ride to Ayutthaya took at least three hours as the train has low speed in Bangkok because of the many stalls set up on and next to the tracks.  However, both the train market and Bangkok’s central train station (Hua Lamphong) are peculiar and wonderful to have seen and experienced at least once. Book tickets for the train or minivan to Ayutthaya here.

Travel itinerary Thailand

Chiang Mai

5 days – 4 nights

The third destination in this itinerary is Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city located in  the north of the country. Although  Chiang Mai is quite a big city, it doesn’t feel like that at all. As far as we are concerned, it is the most relaxed city in Thailand. We felt so at home in this city that we stayed there for two months … oops. 

Chiang Mai is known being a digital nomad hub and has large number of lovely cafes with the most delicious breakfast/brunch/lunch dishes. Whether you come here to start the day with a healthy breakfast, get some work done in the afternoon or have a late-night read, the cafes are all delicious.

Also, there are many Buddhist temples (300 of them!) located in and around the city. While most of them can be found in the Old City,  the most beautiful gems are hidden in the mountains. To help you choose between all these temples, we wrote this guide. If you are interested in Buddhism, go on a Buddhist retreat with monk KK at  Wat Suan Dok. We learned so much during this retreat that we did it two times and wrote an article about it. 

Northern Thailand is mountainous which makes it even more beautiful. The best way to explore them is to rent a motorbike and sway up the mountain where you’ll get a great view and enjoy the cool temperatures. We wrote an article on Doi Suthep and the surrounding temples and viewpoints. Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand (2.565 metres), is located roughly 100 kilometres from the city and can best be visited using a rental car (we used Europcar situated at Chiang Mai Int. Airport).

The city is also incredibly rich of bars, walking streets and markets, so you won’t get bored in the evening either. Read about the best markets in Chiang Mai here. Do you want to go out and have a good time? Then Chiang Mai has a lot of places to go for you as well to spend your evening. 

Because it can sometimes be hard to choose between 300 temples, countless cafes and all sorts of other fun activities, we wrote this 4-day schedule for Chiang Mai.

Tip: did you know that Chiang Mai is one of the world’s most popular places for digital nomads? In this article, you can read about the best places to work in this city.

Be Aware!: Many blogs recommend going to an elephant sanctuary to wash and feed elephants. We do NOT support this as the conditions these elephants live in are often still poor and tourism simply shifted from riding to washing. Would you still like to see Asian elephants? Then go to the Elephant Nature Park. This is a beautiful park founded by Lek Saengduean Chailert, who is known all over Asia for her amazing work with elephants.

Waterfall Chiang Mai Thailand Mice Around the World

How to get there?

(Night) Train

To get to Chiang Mai, you can take the night train from Ayutthaya. Beware! The night train is incredibly often fully booked, so book your tickets on time and avoid disappointment. We recommend taking an air-conditioned second-class sleeper. If possible, always opt for the lower bed, as these are longer and more comfortable than the upper bed. Especially keep this in mind if you are tall as the beds are made for the average Thai. Book tickets for the night train here.


There are also many buses going to Northern Thailand, both night buses and day buses. They are comfortable air-conditioned buses and take slightly less time than the trains. Keep in mind that you don’t have a bed like on the train, so if you are a light sleeper you might arrive in Chiang Mai very tired. Book tickets for the bus here.


You can also choose to travel back by train or minivan to Bangkok. Get off at Don Mueang airport and fly towards northern Thailand from there. Airline tickets are easily booked via Skyscanner for relatively low prices.

Extend your trip

Chiang Rai, Thailand

If you want to make your itinerary through northern Thailand even more special, you can choose to go to Chiang Rai in addition to Chiang Mai. This is the former capital of the Lana kingdom (Chiang= city, Rai= king) where you can visit beautiful white temples.

Laos or Myanmar

From northern Thailand, you can easily travel to both Myanmar (Birma) and Laos. Unfortunately, the former country is currently (2023) very unsafe for tourists due to a civil war.

Laos is a beautiful country where you feel like you’ve gone back in time 40 years compared to Thailand and definitely worth a visit. From Chiang Mai, you can easily book a bus ticket with 12Asia GO to Chiang Khong, on the Mekong River on the border with Laos. It’s a 5.5-hour bus ride and a ticket will cost you just €10. Read our Laos itinerary here.

Doi Suthep Chiang Mai Travel Itinerary Thailand
Foodmarket Chiang Mai Thailand Mice Around the World


4 days – 3 nights

From Chiang Mai, drive a little further north towards the tiny backpacker village of Pai. Although it has long since ceased to be a sleepy unknown village, it is a fun place to visit. There is a walking street through the village every day, a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful sights nearby. There can be found lovely hot springs, beautiful viewpoints and even a large canyon. Via the the famous Mae Hong Son loop, you drive there in a few hours. We think the route itself is worth it alone. Read which places are worth visiting in our tips for your visit to Pai.

Bamboo bridge Pai Travel Itinerary Thailand

How to get there?

Rent a scooter (motorbike)

By far the most popular way to travel from Chiang Mai to Pai is by scooter. Just keep in mind that according to many countries’ law these are regarded as motorbikes as they are 125cc. This often means you are not insured without a motorbike licence. Check with your insurance company in advance if this is the case, we accept no liability for incorrect statements or misinformation. Of course, renting a scooter is cheap and the ultimate sense of freedom, but there are some disavantages as well. Read our article on the pros and cons of renting a scooter in Asia.

The Mae Hong Son loop has lots of bends, the slopes are sometimes steep and other riders often tear past you like crazy. Especially when it rains and the roads are slippery, the chances of having an accident are relatively high. Are you completely fearless or an experienced motorcyclist? Then we say definitely do it.

Should you have decided you want to take on the adventure, your best bet is to rent a scooter from AYA in Chiang Mai. They have a service where your luggage is taken to Pai by minivan, and the scooter does not need to be brought back to Chiang Mai.

Rent a car

We hired a car Chiang Mai. We found this to be the most relaxed option, especially since we were travelling in the rainy season. In retrospect, we are glad we made this choice, as the Mae Hong Son loop is beautiful, but not without risk. We could also easily carry our luggage in the car and visit many places easily in Pai itself. We hired our car with Europcar. This includes all-risk insurance, which is not included with many local rental companies. 


Don’t feel like driving yourself at all and just want to get to Pai quickly? Then you can also travel to Pai in a shared minivan. You can book them here. In a few hours, the minivan rushes through the mountains to Pai. You can also take the van back to Chiang Mai, so if you want to scoot out but not back, that’s possible too.

Canyon Pai Travel Itinerary Thailand

Krabi & Ao Nang

4 days- 3 nights

Time for the beach! Get ready for a long day of travel, from Pai you’ll travel back to Chiang Mai and in one way (by plane) to Krabi in southern Thailand. The coastal town of Ao Nang, in particular, is very popular among travellers, and we totally understand why. Don’t expect a calm charming coastal town, but a coastal strip with lots of restaurants with loud music and neon lights. Despite doing our best to avoid places like this, this place is still worth it. In fact, the surroundings of Ao Nang are breathtakingly beautiful. Surrounded by high slate cliffs with blue-green water make this place a truly unique destination in Thailand.  You can easily visit some of these beautiful islands off the coast from Ao Nang when doing a snorkling tour. The mainland and Krabi Town are also home to some great sights, including the hike to the tiger cave temple. 

Railay Beach Ao Nang Krabi Travel Itinerary Thailand

How to get there?


Since you’re flying from the North in Thailand all the way to the South, we recommend taking a plane to Krabi. After all, by train you’ll be on the road for about 30 hours, and the price is almost the same. So book a cheap ticket in time with AirAsia or Nokair. Within two hours you fly from Northern to Southern Thailand. Airline tickets are easily booked via Skyscanner.

From Krabi airport, you can easily take a shuttle bus to Ao Nang beach. These vans can be booked anywhere around the airport and will take you to your hotel. There is also a big local bus, but it costs the same and will drop you at the bus stop in Krabi or Ao Nang. From there you walk to your accommodation. We tried both options, and would recommend taking the minibus. This is far more comfortable.

* Don’t have that much time or just like to plan your holiday a bit more relaxed? You could consider flying from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui. You can either stay there for a night or take the boat to Koh Pangnan or Koh Tao.

Koh Nangyuan Koh Tao Travel Itinerary Thailand

Koh Tao

4 days – 3 nights

We think Koh Tao is the most beautiful island in Thailand so far. Imagine soft blue crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and colourful corals. This in combination with the best diving resorts, cosy restaurants and stunning jungle views make this our favourite Thai island. Koh Tao is only 7 kilometres long from north to south and can be cruised all the way in just 15 minutes by scooter. 

Koh Tao is best known as Thailand’s diving island. You’ll find several diving schools (Padi-certified) of which Ban’s Diving Resort is the most famous. Getting your Padi here is very cheap and the resort is also an experience in itself. Is diving a little too adventurous for you? In that case, you can book one of the many snorkelling tours on the island. We saw a lot of beautiful fish and even some turtles. Koh Tao has a chill and relaxed vibe. Nothing is a must and everything is possible. We can understand that some visitors stay on this small island for months on end. Read our tips for your visit to Koh Tao here.

How to get there?

Khao Tao is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand and can only be reached by boat. There are ferry services from the two other islands, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui, and from the mainland from Chumphon and Surat Thani. From Krabi, Surat Thani is the closest and you can easily book a bus from Krabi to Surat Thani with 12AsiaGo for 8 euros per person (travel time 3 hours). 

From Surat Thani, you can take a night or day boat to Koh Tao. The journey is about 7 hours by ferry. This ferry can be booked online or at a shipping company in Surat Thani. We opted for the night boat. You then lay side by side like sardines and it was storming so the boat rocked a lot. All in all, though, a very ‘special’ experience.

*If you travel from Krabi to Surat Thani, you can also choose to stop in Koh Sok national park en route and do a multi-day excursion in the Jungle. Personally, we didn’t think much of it. You sleep in shaky bamboo huts and the staff are not very animal-friendly with monkeys and other animals being lured by throwing fruit at them. Not really the jungle experience we had in mind. 

Koh Pha-ngan

4 days – 3 nights

Koh Pha-ngan is one of three well-known islands in the Gulf of Thailand, along with the slightly larger Koh Samui and tiny Koh Tao. Located right in between, Koh Pha-ngan is the perfect island to take it easy. This island is known for its full moon party which is a crowded event which takes place every month. You’ll find beautiful beaches, lots of laid-back bars and a fun food market. On this island, you can also choose to sleep in a hut on the beach. You can book it here. Read all our tips on Koh Pha-ngan in this article.

How to get there?

Koh Phangan can be reached by ferry from Koh Tao, Koh Samui or from Surat Thani (the mainland). From Krabi, buses and taxis go to Surat Thani. You can also choose to fly to Koh Samui and then take a 45-minute boat to Koh Phangan. Book tickets for the boat here or a flight here.

Hin Kong Beach Koh Pha Ngan Travel Itinerary Thailand

Time to go

Now you have completed your three-week itinerary of Thailand. Time to travel back home. If your flight to Europe departs in the evening, you can choose to take the ferry from Koh Pha Ngan to Surat Thani and fly to Bangkok (Suvernabuhmi) and back to Europe in one day. You can easily buy combi tickets in Koh Pha-ngan for the ferry to Surat Thani and transfer to the airport, which we definitely recommend.

If you want to take it a little easier, you can choose to book a hotel close to Suvarnabuhmi Airport in Bangkok so you can get a night’s sleep first. We opted for Divalux resort. A lovely resort with good food, fine facilities such as a large swimming pool, a modern gym and a free shuttle service to the airport. 

When continuing your travels in Asia, Bangkok is the ideal city for a ticket to Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia or the Philippines. For more inspiration in Asia check out our articles and itineraries here.

More Thailand