Whether it is the sprawling metropolis of capital Bangkok or the laidback islands of Koh Tao and Koh Samui, Thai culture is very inviting for a holiday. In the land of smiles, Thai people are equal parts friendly and kind. As one of the top tourist destinations in Asia, Thailand is infinitely welcoming. Where to start? The miles and miles of fine white sand calling you to the ocean? Or the cities known for serving up the best of Thai food. Enjoy fresh and affordable food at every corner, from roadside stalls to fancy restaurants. You can never go hungry with all the curries, tom yam soups, noodles, seafood, fresh fruits and mango sticky rice.
Here are some popular routes to explore the best of Thailand. When you’re ready to take the leap and get down to booking your own journey, use the buttons to check out the latest flight prices and hotels loved by other travellers. Then book your ideal trip, your way. No fixed routes! Stay as long as you want in each city, fly where you want, choose only hotels in your budget, and stay close to the attractions you’re most interested in. Sawadee-ka!
Best of Thailand
Best of Thailand – 15 days – Thailand Itinerary
Take a trip from the South to the North, exploring a bit of both the touristy track as well as the road less travelled. You’ll pass popular cities like Phuket and Bangkok, but also less commonly visited towns such as Kanchanaburi and Chumphon.
1) Phuket – 3 days
Coming here you will, of course, have the relaxing beach in mind! Head south to Nai Harn Beach to enjoy the gorgeous blue water and crisp white beaches. Lean back and read a book with a cool tropical drink in your hand. In the evening, Phuket has a vibrant nightlife from calm bars to bustling clubs that are sure to provide entertainment to all!
Planning a day out on the water? Go on a day-long boat trip to the stunning Phi Phi Islands. Spend the day snorkeling in the crystal clear waters and stay till evening to watch the sombre sunset.
For those looking for a more cultural experience, you can walk around Old Phuket Town and admire the historical buildings and museums. What to do with the rest of your day after your Old Town walk? Take a Thai cooking class and learn how some of their famous curries are made!
Transfer to a ferry to Koh Tao
2) Koh Tao – 2 days
Fly direct to Koh Samui, and transfer to a ferry to arrive at Koh Tao. One of Thailand’s most famous dive locations, visitors can expect to be puzzled by diverse aquatic life and crystal clear waters to admire the view. Not interested in swimming? There are plenty of hiking trails such as the one leading to the John Suwan viewpoint. After a long day of activity, take time to lean back and enjoy the summer breeze on the beach!
Take a train from Chumphon to Kanchanaburi
3) Kanchanaburi – 2 days
Head back inland to a town called Chumphon. From Chumphon, take a train to Petchaburi. A few transfers later, you will finally arrive at Kanchanaburi. Home to the Bridge Over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi is known for the “Death Railway” built by POW during WWII. Spend a day exploring the museums and historical monuments to learn about the city during the tumultuous wartime period.
Those looking for a day to connect with nature can explore the Sai Yok National Park to see waterfalls, forest wildlife, and a vast selection of trees and plants that call Sai Yok home.
Take a train from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok
4) Bangkok – 3 days
Take a direct train from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok. Spend your day exploring the intricate temples within the city centre. The Temple of the Golden Buddha, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are at the top of the list! Between visiting the temples you can pop into local markets such as the Chatuchak flower market.
Another way to journey through Bangkok is by or on the river! Explore the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak or take a cruise along the river for lunch or dinner. The waterways just provide another way to view the beautiful city and experience the culture.
/ Drive or take a train from Bangkok to Pattaya
5) Pattaya – 2 days
At the south of Bangkok lies Pattaya. You can get to Pattaya via a 5-hour train ride or a 2.5-hour drive. In Pattaya, the first attraction you should check out is the Sanctuary of Truth. A hand carved wooden temple by the coast where you will be bathed in stunning architecture and absolute serenity. After this, you can visit the renowned Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden to take in the intricately made landscape and sculptures.
Looking for some family fun? Visit the Cartoon Network water park! It has cartoon-themed rides, various delicious food and ice cream vendors. More importantly, it is a place where your children’s favorite shows come to life!
6) Chiang Mai – 3 days
Board the next flight to Chiang Mai at the nearest airport, Utapao. One of Chiang Mai’s most famous aspects is its connection to nature! Take a day to explore the rainforest zipping through the canopy on a zip line, followed by a tour of the Baanchang Elephant Conservation Park. Don’t expect to ride the elephants here, but you can feed them and watch them in their natural habitat, while you enjoy a cup of local coffee and fresh fruit.
No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without a tour of some of the local temples and palaces. Start with the Royal Park Rajapruek, surrounded by lush gardens with a scenic landscape as the backdrop. You may want to consider a spot of temple hopping just for the beautiful architecture at Doi Suthep, Wat U Mong, and Wat Suandok Buddhist temples.
Learning about Chiang Mai’s culture through its places can be quite a treat, and in the hills surrounding the city, you can find many villages that can give insight into what life is like for the people who dwell in the area. Many different tours are offered to help discover and explore these cultural gems.
Alas, even the best trips must come to an end. Return to Singapore from Chiang Mai International Airport.
Island-Hopping Around Phuket
Island-Hopping Around Phuket – 6 days – Thailand Itinerary
What’s Thailand if not for some island-hopping? In one week, you will cover some of the most renowned islands in Thailand, including Phi Phi Islands, Phuket and Krabi. We’ve also factored some downtime for you to simply lounge by the beach and breathe in the salty air.
Fly from Singapore (SIN) to Phuket (HKT)
1) Phuket – 3 days
Coming to Phuket, of course, you will have the relaxing beach in mind! Head south to Nai Harn Beach to enjoy the gorgeous blue water and crisp white beaches. Lean back and read a book with a cool tropical drink in your hand. In the evening, Phuket has a vibrant nightlife from calm bars to bustling clubs that will be sure to provide entertainment to all!
For those looking for a more cultural experience, you can walk around Old Phuket Town and admire the historical buildings and museums. What to do with a half day after your Old Town walk? Take a Thai cooking class to learn how some of their famous curries are made!
Take a boat from Phuket to Krabi
Transfer to a bus
2) Krabi Town – 1 day
From Phuket Rassada Pier, take a two-hour speedboat to Ao Nang Pier and arrive in Krabi Town via a 30-minute bus transfer. In Krabi Town, there are a bunch of beautiful beaches, but there are definitely some that are better than others! Of these, the Phra Nang Cave Beach is one of the must visits. Not too crowded and not far away either by boat or by car, this beach has everything from scenic views and well groomed walking paths to crystal clear water and refreshing coconut water served in the coconut! Nearby are Railay Beach as well as the Ao Nang Beach! These should keep you well entertained for a sunny day!
Take a ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi islands
3) Phi Phi Islands – 2 days
Take a fast boat back to Phuket and rest and relax for the evening, lounging at a bar that overlooks the sunset.
Island-Hopping Around Koh Samui
Island-Hopping Around Koh Samui – 5 days –Thailand Itinerary
On the other side of Thailand, lies another popular cluster of islands. It’s home to the famous Full Moon Party. This is another option if you’d like to explore the islands in the Gulf of Thailand. In the 5 days itinerary, you’ll hop around the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan. It’s a good option if you prefer a less touristy side of Thailand (well, unless you’re visiting during the party periods).
1) Koh Samui – 1 day
From Samui International Airport, start the morning off with a trip to see the Big Buddha Temple, which is an extravagant piece of work to behold! After your tour of this, there is ample time in the day to head down to the quiet Maenam Beach to relax by the water and soak in some rays!
Take a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao
2) Koh Tao – 2 days
The next day, catch the ferry from Bangrak Pier Koh Samui to Koh Tao. One of Thailand’s most famous dive locations, visitors can expect to be bewildered by diverse aquatic life and crystal clear waters to see it through. Not interested in the going swimming? No problem! There are plenty of hiking trails such as the one up to the John Suwan viewpoint. After a long day of activity, a rest will be well deserved so remember to take time after to lean back and enjoy the summer breeze on the beach!
Ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Pha Ngan
3) Koh Pha Ngan – 2 days
Travel through the sea on a 2-hour ferry again to get to Koh Pha Ngan. On the scenic island of Koh Pha Ngan you can find some of the most beautiful beaches you have ever witnessed! Not only are they beautiful, but they tend to be less crowded than those in places such as Phuket! Two that are close to one another, yet both secluded are Bottle Beach and Thong Nai Pan Yai on the northeastern shore of the island. These beaches are perfect to enjoy the day and evening as the sun sets over the island! And like the other islands of Thailand, Koh Pha Ngan host a diverse range of aquatic life to explore through Scuba diving or snorkeling!
Journey back to Koh Samui by ferry to take your international flight back home.
Thailand’s North – 7 days – Thailand Itinerary
Unlike the beach-centric South, the mountains are perhaps the most significant feature of northern Thailand. Explore historical parks, traditional villages and iconic temples. Get to know the local hill tribes and shower love to Thailand’s elephants.
1) Bangkok – 2 days
What better way to spend your a day in Bangkok than exploring the intricate temples within the city centre? After landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Temple of the Golden Buddha, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are at the top of your Bangkok list! Between visiting the temples you can pop into local markets such as the Chatuchak flower market.
Another way to spend a day in Bangkok is by or on the river! Explore the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak or take a cruise along the river for lunch or dinner. The waterways just give another way to view the beautiful city and experience the culture!
Take a train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
2) Ayutthaya – Half day
From Bangkok, take a train or minivan for a day trip to Ayutthaya. Almost 2 hours later, be greeted by the legendary Kingdom of Siam’s former capital. Ayutthaya can easily entertain for a half day’s exploration! Check out Wat Mahathat and see a temple that has been reclaimed by mother earth, or go explore the Ayutthaya Historical Park that will make the time fly by!
Bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
3) Sukhothai – Half day
Head further up north with a 6-hour bus journey to Sukhothai. Home to some of Thailand’s most beautiful historical parks, Sukhothai has plenty to discover and enjoy! Spend your time touring both the Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai historical parks to get a taste of what the city is known for!
4) Chiang Rai – 2 days
Continue northwards to Chiang Rai by taking a domestic flight from Sukhothai to Chiang Rai. With much to see in this town, finding entertainment for two days will be a breeze! Spend your first day exploring the nearby temples within town, such as the White Temple, Wat Phra Kaeo, and Wat Rong Khun. On the second day, take a car up to the Tad Kwan Village to see what life is like in the rural parts of Thailand. Don’t forget to take a dip in the pool under the Tad Kwan waterfall or to ride around in the small off road buggies to explore the local crops and land!
Take a bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai
5) Chiang Mai – 2 days
While you’re in this region, why not take a stop at Chiang Mai, a 3-hour bus journey away. One of Chiang Mai’s most famous aspects is its connection to nature! Take a day to explore the rainforest zipping by trees in the canopy on a zipline followed by a tour of the Baanchang Elephant Conservation Park. Don’t expect to ride the elephants here, but you can feed them and watch them in their natural habitat while you enjoy a cup of local coffee and fresh fruit!
No trip to Chiang Mai would be complete without a tour of some of the local temples and palaces. Start with the Royal Park Rajapruek that is surrounded by luscious gardens and scenic landscapes in the background! Follow the Royal Park up with trips to the Doi Suthep, Wat U Mong, and Wat Suandok Buddhist temples. All beautiful and special in their own ways!
Even the best adventures must come to an end. The time has come to return to Singapore from Chiang Mai International Airport.