Thailand: Detailed Two Week Itinerary From North to South
Our 3 Minute Short-film Showing Our Detailed Experience in Thailand
A day-by-day detailed itinerary that will take you through the heart of Thailand. From tallest mountains of Chiang Mai down to the wildest and untouched beaches of Ko Lanta. On this adventure you will get to enjoy it all, at your own schedule and at your own pace.
- ☑ Sat, Nov 16th: Evening Arrival to Bangkok, Hotel Check-in and Delicious Dinner From Street Vendors
- ☑ Sun, Nov 17th: Private 1hr long boat tour through rivers and canals of Bangkok. Visit Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). Evening Lantern Festival (Loy Krathong & Yi Peng) and releasing floating crown on Chao Phraya River
- ☑ Mon, Nov 18th: Morning Flight to Chiang Mai, Hotel Check-in and exploring the city for the rest of the day
- ☑ Tue, Nov 19th: Full Day Trekking to Longneck Village, Elephant Village, Hike to Waterfall and Soak up in Secret Swimming Hole. Finish the day by rafting on a Bamboo Raft down the Mae River.
- ☑ Tue, Nov 20th: Rent a 150cc Scooter, Explore Doi Suthep Temple, Doi Suthep National Park (Wat Phrathat), Visit Scenic Viewpoints Overlooking Chiang Mai
- ☑ Wed, Nov 21st: Drive To the Tallest Mountain in Thailand (Doi Ithanon), Visit Spectacular Mae Klang & Wachirathan Waterfalls, Follow a Dirt road into the Countryside and Get Lost for 4 Hours. Eat a Dinner at an Old Woman’s House and Finally Drive Back to Chiang Mai.
- ☑ Thur, Nov 22nd: Five Hour Bus Drive From Chiang Mai to Sukhotai, Check-in to One of the Most Unique and Spectacular Hotels in Sukhotai.
- ☑ Fri, Nov 23rd: Spend the Whole Day Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Historical Park
- ☑ Sat, Nov 24th: Catch a flight from Sukhotai to Phuket, Arrive at Patong Beach, Check-in to Hotel and explore the town
- ☑ Sun, Nov 25th: Complete change of plans: Today We are Hopping on a Direct Speedboat from Phuket’s Rassada Pier to Ko Lanta’s Sladan Pier, Rent Another 150cc Scooter, Check-in to the hotel, Start Exploring Some of the Wonderful Lagoon Beaches of Ko Lanta
- ☑ Mon, Nov 26th: Continue Exploring Beaches and Lagoons of Ko Lanta, Visit My Ko Lanta Natinal Park, Hike a Short Trail In the Jungles, Get Eaten By Mosquitoes, Then Watch a Beautiful Sunset on the beach. Finish the day by getting a dinner at the restaurant.
- ☑ Tue, Nov 27th: Explore the Eastern Side of Ko Lanta Island, Check Out Koh Lanta Old Town Pier, Grab a food With an Amazing View From View Point Restaurant, Snorkel Along the Western Shores of the island.
- ☑ Wed, Nov 28th: Leave Ko Lanta and Arrive at Ko Phi Phi island. Kayak to the Monkey Island and Catch an Afternoon Ferry to Puket and later Check-in to the hotel.
- ☑ Thur, Nov 29th: Early morning flight to Bangkok, Check-In to The Hotel, Explore the City and the Protests, Visit Famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.
- ☑ Fri, Nov 30th: Furthermore Explore the City, Take a Water Taxi to Ferry Terminal, Explore Grand Palace and get denied access to the Rooftop Bar because I did not have proper dress shoes (Give me a brake)
- ☑ Sat, Dec 1st: Fly out back to JFK will conclude this trip
❖ DAY 1: Evening Arrival to Bangkok, Hotel Check-in and Delicious Dinner From Local Street Vendors
The flight to Thailand took us 19Hrs in total, including 1hr 25min connection in Beijing that we’ve almost missed. We’ve landed in Bangkok around 11:30PM, took a cab to our Centra Central Station Hotel Bangkok, which was fair priced and somewhat conveniently located near main city attractions. Upon arrival to our hotel, my wife realized that she had left her brand new iPhone in the Taxi. Long story short, thanks to our hotel clerk perseverance, we were able to get it back an hour later. We grabbed a quick dinner and were off to get some sleep. TIP: When you take Taxi from the airport, make sure it’s a reputable company, otherwise it would have been bye-bye iPhone. Snapping a quick photo of the licence plate of Tuk-Tuk or Cab is a good idea.
❖ DAY 2: Private Long Boat Tour Through Rivers and Canals of Bangkok. Visit Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) and Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra). Evening Lantern Festival (Loy Krathong & Yi Peng) with release of floating crown on Chao Phraya River
With Jetlag of twelve hours we didn’t get much sleep and were up by 8:00AM. It was nice to step outside, the air was heavy, but everything felt so new and interesting. Instead of taking a taxi or Tuk-Tuk, we decided to walk for about 40 minutes toward Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). There were a lot of places to eat along the way. We found an alley full of street vendors and restaurants, so we stopped by and grabbed “breakfast”.
After getting our bellies full, we carried on toward Wat Pho. On our way we met a young Thai gentlemen, who was very friendly and spoke perfect English. At one point during the conversation he suggested that we should do a longboat canal tour and told us about this great company that he knows. As we later found out, we paid 4x the price of what an hour long private boat tour was supposed to be. So live and learn 🙂 I suggest taking only guided English Speaking Boat Tours from legit places: LINK
Later that day we visited beautiful Wat Pho and Wat Phra. Both of these places are marvelous historical and architectural masterpieces. Wat Pho is one of the oldest and biggest temples in Bangkok. It’s actually few temples within one complex with Reclining Buddha in it. Wat Phra is the temple of Emerald Buddha, made out of Jasper stone and actually quiet small in size. You are not allowed to photograph it, but we found it very enjoying to sit amongst devoured Buddhist paying their respect to a devout deity. TIP: It is customary to wear long pants or dresses that does not expose any “attractive” body parts. You should also take off your shoes when required before entering specific temples.
At one point during the day, the jetlag really started to creep in and we had to go back to our hotel to get few hours of sleep. In the evening we went to explore the Lantern Festival (or whatever was left of it because we slightly overslept) performed by the Statue of King Rama I. We also bought a floating crown to release on Chao Phraya River. It was funny to watch as 30 seconds later a young boy jumped into water and picked up our crown that we paid for 8$ and disappeared into the crowd. Hey! Go figure 🙂
❖ DAY 3: Morning Flight to Chiang Mai, Hotel Check-in, Explore City, Temples and Warorot & Ton Lam Markets
We arrived at Chiang Mai airport around 9:00AM. After picking up our bags, we hitched a taxi and went directly to our hotel. After check-in, we left our packs and ventured off exploring the city. Most of the popular temples are located near the heart of the city, surrounded by a man-made canal. There are almost 300 temples in the city, so if you plan on exploring all of them, you may need to spend couple weeks here 🙂 We didn’t have any specific temples that we wanted to visit, so we just spent our day walking around old city and exploring different temples we liked. Later in the afternoon we went to check out the Warorot and Ton Lam Yai Markets. A very detailed information on which temples to visit along with interactive maps can be found here: 10 Must-See Temples in Chiang Mai
❖ DAY 4: Full Day Trekking to Longneck Village, Elephant Village, Hike to Waterfall and Soak up in Secret Swimming Hole. Finish the day by rafting on a Bamboo Raft down the Mae River.
It’s a full day trek. We were picked up from our hotel early in the morning and drove north for a little over an hour in a open truck-bed-booth. After reaching our first destination, we were taken to visit the Long Neck Village Tribe. After spending approximately an hour here, we moved on toward the Elephant Village. Part of the tour included riding the elephants. After realizing that these elephants are very tired and are seriously abused, we decided not do it. I highly encourage you to do the same. Soon after, we were taken on a short hike through the jungle road and down to a waterfall with a swimming hole that I actually got to swim in! The next and final activity on was a white water rafting on a bamboo raft. We finished around 6:00PM and drove back to Chiang Mai.
I wasn’t able to find reference for the Trekking Tour Company that we’ve used, but I found similar ones with great reviews: Outdoor Activities in Chiang Mai. It’s amazing how much you can modify and adjust the search preferences on the left hand side of the screen in “Outdoor Activities” section. In 2013 there were hardly any information available online, so this trek was arranged by the tour operator located next to our hotel.
❖ DAY 5: Rent a Scooter, Explore Doi Suthep Temple, Doi Suthep National Park (Wat Phrathat), Visit Scenic Viewpoints Overlooking Chiang Mai
Visiting Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai is an absolute must! After finally getting 10 hours of sleep, we were up late. Our hotel manager suggested a nice place to rent a bike and even arranged having it transported to our hotel. It was a brand new Honda PCX 190 (150-190cc) The last time I rode a scooter/bike, I was 12 years old and I had a Carpathian Moped (50cc) back when I was growing up in Ukraine. I bought the bike when I was 11 and completely rebuilt the engine myself, a story for another time 😉
I was a little concerned, because not only I haven’t rode a bike for more then 12 years, I also had to drive on the opposite side of the road. Luckily, it wasn’t as difficult as I have imagined. Once you get on the road, take it slow and you should be fine! If you are a good driver, I think you will be ok. If scooter is not an option for you, you can either book a private taxi (Tripadvisor Information Link) or just use a shared Red Songthaew Taxi that goes along this route: Link. We spent the rest of the day driving around Doi Suthep National Park, stopping by different villages, scenic viewpoints and Wat Phrathat Temple: Our Day Route Link
❖ DAY 6: Drive To the Tallest Mountain in Thailand (Doi Ithanon), Visit Spectacular Mae Klang & Wachirathan Waterfalls, Follow a Dirt road into the Countryside and Get Lost for 4 Hours. Eat a Dinner at an Old Woman’s House and Finally Drive Back to Chiang Mai
At first, my wife thought it was a crazy idea. Driving from Chiang Mai to Doi Itahanon is 105km (65mi) one way. But as we would later find out, it was one of the best things we did around the area of Chiang Mai. Our day turned out to be one of the great adventures in Northen Thailand: You can read out detailed blog here: Self Guided Tour to The Tallest Mountain In Thailand – Doi Ithanon
❖ DAY 7: Five Hour Bus Drive From Chiang Mai to Sukhotai, Check-in to One of the Most Unique and Spectacular Hotels in the Area
Our wonderful hotel manager Ms.Varada knew that we were leaving, and she wanted to give us a ride to the Bus Terminal. Even thought we planned on taking a taxi, she was extremely persistent. After giving us a lift, Dasha tried to give her some money for getting us to the bus terminal. I was watching in awe and laughing out-loud as she smacked Dasha’s butt for trying to pay for the ride! We left Chiang Mai with a very warm and pleasant feeling.
It took us about 5 hours to get to Sukhotai. There is a bus that runs from Chiang Mai to Sukhotai few times a day. I would suggest asking your Hotel Concierge to call them and find out about the schedule. We bought tickets at the bus terminal when we arrived. It was about 260BHT per ticket. Upon arrival to Sukhotai Bus Terminal, we called the Ruean Thai Hotel and they sent a free shuttle to pick us up.
❖ DAY 8: Spend the Whole Day Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Historical Park
We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning! After eating a delicious breakfast at Ruean Thai Hotel, we couldn’t pass by the opportunity to swim in their amazing pool before checking out. Although the hotel is located in the city, once you are in it, you will feel like you are somewhere in remote temple. The front desk concierge recommended that we could either take a taxi or a local shuttle that would take us to Sukhothai Historical Park.
When you arrive at the gate of Sukhotai Historical Park, you must pay 100BHT admission fee. You also have a chance to get an Audio Tour and rent a bicycle that you can ride throughout the park. I don’t believe there were any places to get food, so if you’re planning on spending more then 4-5 hours exploring the park, plan to bring some snacks with you. After spending about 5 hours in the park, we hoped on tuk-tuk and went back to our hotel.
❖ DAY 9: Catch a flight from Sukhotai to Phuket, Arrive at Patong Beach, Check-in to Hotel and explore the town
Our direct flight to Phuket was scheduled to depart early in the morning from the Sukhotai Airport, which located only 45min from the Old Sukhotai. I must say, this airport is one of the coolest and strangest places in the world! Situated in short walk between a Zoo and temples, it also shares a common area with few of the temples.
When we arrived to Phuket