Spending 2 or 3 days in the bustling city of Bangkok is plenty of time to take it all in before heading off to Thailand’s gorgeous islands for the remaining 7 days. In this itinerary, The Hidden Coconut and Jetset for Good, will guide and prepare you for an incredible Thailand experience. The route was created by our own experiences but feel free to alter the route based on your own travel preferences.
Before You Go
- The local language is Thai and in most tourist spots you will get people that can speak English. Outside of tourist spots, it’s a 50/50 chance.
- The currency is Thai Baht.
- Bangkok has a metro system called MRT, an above-ground train called BTS, and public buses as well as taxis, tuk-tuks, boats, and Grab (a ride-hailing service),
- ATMs will charge foreign bank cards 250 baht to withdraw money. This is about $6-$8 USD each time.
- Thailand is a mostly cash-based country. Paying by card is accepted in shopping malls and large chain stores.
Bangkok | Thailand in 7 Days
When you arrive in Thailand for your 7-day adventure, you’re most likely going to fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport or BKK for short. This airport in Bangkok connects to the city center by the Airport Rail Link. A one-way ticket connects to the BTS line for only $1 USD. This is the cheapest way to get into the city and the most convenient. You’ll be using the BTS line the most during your stay in Bangkok because it easily runs past all the top destinations. The BTS does not sell 2 or 3 day passes for the train, but only a 24-hour pass. Since you’ll only be staying for less than 3 days, it’s easier to just pay-per-ride.
DAY 1 – Bangkok
Assuming your holiday starts on a weekend, getting lost in the labyrinth of Chatuchak Market is a must. This market is the largest outdoor market in Thailand and is only open on Saturday and Sunday. There are hundreds of merchants selling everything you can think of, plus tons of street food. Getting to the market is easy, just hop onto the BTS and get off at Mo Chit station. Walk down the stairs and enter the market. You can spend the morning or afternoon wandering around the stalls. PRO TIP: We recommend the morning because the afternoon is much hotter. Bartering is accepted here as long as there is no price tag and you’ll notice that the same thing can be found at multiple vendors. There are even places for a quick foot massage if you find you need one from all the walking.
Once you’ve made your way out of the market, it’s time to experience one of Bangkok’s many themed cafes. The closest one to Chatuchak is The Husky Cafe at TrueLove. Take the BTS to Ari and then take a tuk-tuk to TrueLove. It should only be 50 baht. This cafe has two sessions that are 2 hours long. One at 12:30 pm and one at 3:30 pm. Tickets are 500 baht and are not sold in advance. It’s on a first come first serve basis. If you’re not a dog person, there are also cat, rabbit, raccoon, and unicorn cafes all over the city.
To end the day, you’ll want to indulge in Bangkok’s thriving nightlife. Top spots are Khao San Road, Chinatown, and Soi Cowboy. Khao San Road is the backpacker street where you will find buckets and buckets of alcohol along with plenty of insects on a stick. If you ever wanted to try a scorpion, this is the place. Chinatown is street food heaven. Many shops are open late into the evening. Soi Cowboy and PatPong are part of Bangkok’s Red Light District. It mostly caters towards tourists so be wary of scams. If you prefer a less crowded nightlife experience, head to the rooftop bars. My favorite is The Octave located inside The Marriott at ThongLo.
DAY 2 – Bangkok
The second day is river day and you’ll be seeing all the sights on the Chao Phraya River. You can temple hop around the area because everything is very close together. To get to the Chao Phraya River take the BTS to Saphan Taksin where you can catch public boats to take you up the river.
These are the most notable sights along the river:
- The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was the home to the Thai Royal Family. There is a strict dress code that requires all visitors to cover their shoulders and knees. The palace opens at 8:30 am and closes at 3:30 pm.
- Wat Pho is the home to the famous Reclining Buddha. This Buddha is 46 meters long and covered in gold leaf.
- Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn is across the river. There is a ferry that can take you across for a few baht. This temple is painted white and stands at 70 meters tall. Tickets are 50 baht and an appropriate dress is also required.
To escape the heat, pop into The Icon Siam shopping center. This is Bangkok’s newest mall and was opened last year in 2018.
Day 3 – Southern Islands
The third day can be used as a travel day or you could take an overnight bus which is 12.5 hours or a late flight on day 2 (1.5 hours) from Bangkok if you want to spend more time in Southern Thailand. The first stop is Ao Nang.
Ao Nang is a central point of the coastal province of Krabi. The main street in town is dominated by restaurants, pubs, and shops. Depending on your time of arrival, you can head to Ao Nang Beach or take a day trip to our favorite, Railay Beach.
From either pier, getting to Railay is only a 10-minute longtail boat ride costing 100 baht each way to this beautiful island. You can go as early as you want and stay as long as you want. Make sure to check out Phra Nang Cave/Beach where you’ll find some picturesque views and a cool beach to hang at. If you’re into rock climbing, you can do so all over the island.
DAY 4 – Koh Lanta
Before leaving Krabi, check out the Tiger Cave Temple. This is a Buddhist temple with tall Buddha statues and tiger paw prints in the nearby caves. It takes a lot of steps to get to the top! Once you reach the top, there’s a great view of the surrounding area and there’s no entrance free.
Your next stop is Koh Lanta. You can book a shared minivan with your hotel or guesthouse directly. From Ao Nang to Koh Lanta. It will take about three and a half hours. Koh Lanta’s chill island vibe and nice beaches are everything you’re looking for. If you’re comfortable riding a motorbike, you can easily get around the island.
There are so many different beach areas you can check out on Koh Lanta. We highly recommend visiting Kantiang Bay. It has a very laid back vibe and the views are pretty awesome. Go for a swim, have a few beers at Why Not Bar, and repeat.
If you’re up for a little motorbike adventure, take a drive to Old Town. This small little town is located about 30 minutes via motorbike from the main area of Koh Lanta. You will find cute little shops like Hammock House and a few restaurants overlooking the water. It’s easy to spend a short afternoon here. If you need a place to eat, make sure to check out Pinto Restaurant. Its located on the water and the food was some of the best we’ve had in the southern Thai islands.
DAY 5 – Phuket
On the fifth day, it’s time to make your way to your next island, Phuket. Head back to the Saladan Pier and take a 3-hour ferry journey. The main Phuket area where Patong Beach isn’t all that great. Make sure to stay near Surin, Kata, Karin or Kamala beaches. They are gorgeous and definitely worth checking out.
Built-in 2004, make your way over to Big Buddha where the massive white statue sits at the top of the hills. Seeing the white jade marble figure is pretty impressive as well as the views of the surrounding areas. Next, make your way over to Wat Chalong. The temple is open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Make sure you remember to dress appropriately before entering any temples.
DAY 6 – Phuket
Before your journey home, take this day to enjoy the beautiful beaches Phuket has to offer. You have so many to choose from! We suggest either Kata, Kata Noi or Karon Beach.
Kata Beach is palm tree-lined with soft, white sand and plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. Kata Noi is smaller and quieter than Kata Beach with a couple of fancy resorts and restaurants nearby. It’s also ideal for water activities like snorkeling. Karon Beach is a bigger beach, the sand isn’t as soft as some beaches but it’s still a perfect spot to sunbathe and relax.
DAY 7 – Last Day in Thailand
If you’re flying out of Bangkok, you can take an overnight bus on Day 6 which is 14.5 hours from Phuket or take a one and a half hour flight back to Bangkok. You might also consider flying back home from Phuket if you’re looking to save some travel time.