Trip through Thailand
A short stay or a long vacation in Thailand, you can make it all work. To really see the most of this country, you have to stretch your holidays for a few weeks at least. The country is very big, and there’s so much to see that you would need all the time you can get.
With three to four weeks you can make a great itinerary for Thailand. Certain cities, regions, sights and activities just have to be visited!
Cheap flights to Thailand
The former Siam isn’t that close for most of us. Most of us will need to take a plane.
Many people don’t even consider a vacation to Thailand because they think the tickets are insanely expensive. But by just searching a little, you can already find return tickets from Europe to Thailand for €400 pp, and from the US to Thailand for $500!
You don’t believe me? Check out the article ‘cheap flights‘ and try looking for some flights. You’ll be amazed at what prices show up. Return tickets for €400 or $500 to Bangkok, €410 or $599 to Krabi, €440 or $513 to Phuket, … The flight time from most of Europe to Bangkok is 12 hours, from the USA it often takes even longer. Compared to other flights, this really is no money. Especially if you know that once you’re there, everything is dirt cheap.
Hotels in Thailand
As I mentioned above, the airline tickets are the most expensive part of your trip through Thailand.
You can book beautiful hotels for €7 ($8) per night! A 4-star hotel costs only €30 to €40 ($35 to $45)!
Hostels are dirt cheap. They barely cost $5 per night.
During your search for hotels in Thailand, I recommend using Agoda. This search engine for hotels and accommodation is the largest in Asia. You’ll get to see much more options and availability than on websites like Booking.
Make sure to also check AirBNB. This website has some hidden gems to discover in Thailand!
Excursions in Thailand
Thailand has thousands of sights, and you really must see and do a few of those! Unforgettable experiences such as a day trip to the Similan islands, a close encounter with elephants, a visit to the majestic white temple of Chiang Rai, …
Transport, food and your excursion are included in the price. And just like everything in Thailand, trips are also dirt cheap.
Tips for a trip through Thailand
Do you go to Thailand with a travel organisation or do you plan your holiday all by yourself? Some useful tips for your stay:
- Use public transport and avoid driving yourself. The famous Thailand tattoo is synonymous with an ugly scar that a lot of travelers seem to get when they end up in a scooter or car crash. During my visit to Thailand, I met quite a lot of people who had had an accident… There are more fun things to do than to spend your vacation in the hospital!
- Haggle. Always haggle! At markets, but even so when you’re booking an excursion somewhere. There’s always some kind of reduction you can get.
- Don’t visit all temples at once. Thailand has thousands of temples! In any city. If you’re going to visit dozens of these places in the first few days, chances are you’ll tire of them very quickly. There are, however, some temples that you should still see in other cities as well.
- Don’t rush. A visit to Thailand gives you thousands of impressions, and sometimes it seems that people forget to enjoy it. If you visit too much, you’re going to quickly and you won’t notice a lot of other, enjoyable things. And that would be a pity! You are on holidays after all!
Planning your own itinerary for Thailand
Do you want to arrange your trip to Thailand yourself? It’s not that difficult!
I will now tell you what my travel schedule looked like and what I paid for this full trip.
A Thailand itinerary for three weeks: costs and what to do
Where you start your holidays doesn’t matter much. The itinerary is easy to throw around. Flights to Bangkok are usually the cheapest, but sometimes the price difference is too small to have bad flight hours or connections.
Day 1: Flight to Krabi
I immediately flew to Krabi, the south of Thailand.
For most of my readers, it will also be a very long flight. Therefore, I recommend to not do too much on your first day in paradise. Drinking a freshly squeezed fruit juice in this tropical country isn’t that bad either!
Day 2, 3, 4, 5: Explore Krabi and do some tours
In a paradise setting like this you shouldn’t rush. Enjoy the soft sand at your feet, while the turquoise sea tickles your toes and the palm trees are swaying in the distance.
In Krabi life can be enjoyed to the fullest! Enjoy the laid-back life and sip from a fresh coconut or one of the freshly squeezed drinks. Life can be hard, but not here!
When you’re ready to do something active, I recommend to arrange an excursion from Krabi.
A tour to the many small islands of Krabi is an excellent example of that. For €20 ($22) you head out to some beautiful islands and set foot ashore. I enjoyed this trip so much that I rented a private boat the next day together with some friends. The private boat gave us the advantage that we could stay on the islands as long as we pleased.
Another trip that you shouldn’t skip on your itinerary is the one to the tiger temple and the emerald pool.
From Krabi you are picked up and brought to an impressive temple. To climb all the way to the top of the tiger temple you must climb 1300 steps. A lot, but the view is phenomenal!
The most beautiful part of this tour, I think, was the emerald pool. A natural spring with turquoise water! Amazing to see and great to cool down from the tropical temperatures.
Of course there are many other excursions and tours, but I think these two should definitely make it onto your itinerary.
Day 5, 6, 7, 8: Koh Phi Phi and a few excursions
From Krabi you take the boat to Koh Phi Phi. One of the small islands between Krabi and Phuket. A single ticket costs you €17 ($19). There are four departures per day and you will spend about one and a half hours on board until you reach the island.
This small island is completely car-free and is known to many as a party island. The island’s festive life could only charm me for a bit, but the scenery and excursions from here are wonderful to see and do.
Explore the island from head to toe, and don’t forget to see a sunset from the highest point of the island.
In the evening there are a lot of activities and parties in the area. Dance battles with fireworks break loose almost every night. If you don’t feel like celebrating, I recommend planning a nice trip to some of the small islands around Phi Phi.
For example, visit “the beach” (from the movie with Leonardo Di Caprio) or “Monkey island”, where a group of little monkeys love all the food that is given to them by the tourists.
Koh Phi Phi doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? No problem. Take the speedboat to one of the nearby islands: Koh Yao or Koh Lanta. From there, you can continue your journey to Phuket.
Day 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: Phuket and some excursions
From Phi Phi (or one of the other islands) you can again take the boat, and about one and a half hours later you arrive in the vibrant Phuket. Undoubtedly one of Thailand most famous cities.
Admittedly, the coast around Phuket is not the nicest thing the country has to offer, but spending a couple of days in Phuket are a good idea nonetheless. The nightlife here is amazing! Have a beer, watch a ladyboy show (or a ping-pong show…) and enjoy the great atmosphere. I didn’t think I would like it very much, but in the end I really did!
If you’ve seen Phuket and its beaches, I recommend you to plan a few day trips for your remaining time. Maybe even take some scuba diving lessons!
One thing you should definitely do while planning your Thailand itinerary is visiting the Similan Islands. According to many travel magazines, these beautiful islands are seen as one of the most beautiful places in the world. So I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this is a must-see.
From Phuket there are also many snorkeling and diving excursions you can do. I strongly recommend this too. The sea life around Phuket and the Phi Phi islands is really beautiful.
Day 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Bangkok and a few tours
After almost two weeks it’s time to leave southern Thailand and head to the capital of the Thai empire.
Bangkok is about one hour of flying from Phuket.
From the airport, take the train, subway, or tuktuk to your accommodation.
The hustle and bustle takes some getting used to, but soon you’ll get accustomed and you might even start to like it.
There is a lot to discover in Bangkok. It’s probably even possible to walk here for weeks without seeing all that the city has to offer. Certain temples and sights are, of course, more beautiful than others, but one thing is certain: in Bangkok you will never be bored!
You should definitely visit Wat Pho, Wat Saket, the Royal Palace of Bangkok and Wat Arun. The many markets are also worth a peek!
Is the busy city just too much for you? Take a day trip to Ayutthaya. This city is about 100 km from Bangkok and has beautiful ruins of ancient civilizations. Some also call this place the Angkor Wat of Thailand.
Day 16, 17, 18, 19, 20: Chiang Mai and a few excursions
From Bangkok it takes an hour to fly to the north of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the perfect ending for your Thailand itinerary.
This region is known for its beautiful nature and its laid-back atmosphere.
Chiang Mai is particularly popular with many tourists because of the relaxed vibe, the amazing markets and the sights and things to do.
Two trips that you really shouldn’t skip are a day trip to Chiang Rai and of course a close encounter with some Asian elephants.
Day 21: Return home from Chiang Mai
Three weeks in Thailand have probably left you with a lot of impressions. You could easily add one or more weeks to your itinerary. For example, you can visit the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Tao. Pai and Pattaya are also featured on many lists as a top destination.
Perhaps you can even visit Malaysia or another southeast Asian country!
Total cost of my trip through Thailand
I always try to travel for the cheapest cost possible. That’s why I’m very flexible with flights, and I very often sleep in dorms too. Therefore, the cost that I paid for my travels through Thailand might not be the same for you. Nevertheless, Thailand is not a very expensive country and a holiday there still will not break the bank.
For this itinerary for Thailand in three weeks, I paid the following:
- Amsterdam to Thailand and back: €506 or $569
- Single flight ticket from Phuket to Bangkok with Air Asia: €50 or $56
- Single flight ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai with Air Asia: €31 or $35
Total flights: €587 or $660
- Accommodation: 4 nights in a youth hostel: €25 or $28
- Excursions: €75 or $84
- Transport Krabi to Phi Phi Islands: €17 or $19
Total Krabi: €117 or $132
Phi Phi Islands:
- Accommodation: 3 nights in a youth hostel: €21 or $24
- Excursions: €30 or $34
- Transport Phi Phi Islands to Phuket: €17 or $19
Total Phi Phi Islands: €68 or $76,5
- Accommodation: 4 nights in a youth hostel: €24 or $27
- Excursions: €93 or $105
Total Phuket: €117 or $132
- Accommodation: 4 nights in a youth hostel: €40 or $45
- Excursions: €75 or $84
Total Bangkok: €115 or $129
- Accommodation: 5 nights in a youth hostel: €30 or $34
- Excursions: €192 or $216
Total Chiang Mai: €222 or $250
Total accommodations, flights, transportation and excursions: €1226 or $1379
Of course, there are some additional costs involved. Think about food and drinks, souvenirs, taxi or tuktuk fees, some unexpected costs, …
Eating out in Thailand costs nothing. It gets even cheaper if you feast on the delicious street food. A great meal costs anything between €4 and €8 ($4,5 to $9). On average, food costs €6 ($7). In most of the accommodations my breakfast was included. Therefore, for two meals a day, three weeks long, you pay an average of €252 or $283,5. In addition, calculate up to €50 ($56) for taxi and tuktuk drives and some souvenirs and you’ll have a quite good idea about what you’ll be spending on your trip to Thailand.
For a 3-week trip through Thailand, I paid a total of €1528 or $1719.
That’s just over 500 euros or dollars a week. There are few destinations in the world where you only have to spend so little money on vacation! Especially since I didn’t really hold back. Would you rather sleep in more luxurious hotels or ressorts? Then there will of course be an additional cost. With €2000 or $2250, you’ll have the time of your life and be treated as a king for sure!
Tours and trips in Thailand
While traveling around Thailand, you’ll hear stories of fellow travelers who are talking about wonderful excursions or sights. Take a look at what is offered at this heavenly destination:
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.