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The Perfect 2 Weeks in Thailand for first timers

Looking for the perfect Thailand Itinerary? You’ve found it! Check out this curated guide to help you make the most of your trip to Thailand and fall in love with the gorgeous country!


Thailand has beautiful tropical beaches with glistening white sand, world-class diving destinations, amazing street food, majestic temples, and a strong cultural heritage. It’s no wonder why this country is a sought-after destination – there is something for everyone!

You’ll find wholesome, family-friendly destinations and a few others known for their vibrant nightlife and wild parties.

Krabi Thailand

Whether planning a Thailand itinerary for a short time (a few days or weeks) or for longer (months of backpacking across Thailand), you’ll be surprised at how many new things you’ll discover along the way. And that’s what makes it such an exciting place to visit for travelers,

On average, most people spend about two weeks in Thailand and if you want to experience the best of what the country can offer, this should give you enough time to visit the must-see sites and even discover a few hidden gems. And there is much more to Thailand than just Bangkok. It’s recommended that you venture beyond the capital, too!


River Kwai

I put together this suggested itinerary for you to make the most of your 2 weeks in Thailand. All the suggestions come from personal experience and I hope this post will make your lives easier at the time of planning your trip.


  1. Bangkok

  2. Bangkok

  3. Bangkok

  4. River Kwai

  5. River Kwai

  6. Khao Sok

  7. Khao Sok

  8. Khao Sok

  9. Koh Samui

  10. Koh Samui

  11. Koh Samui

  12. Koh Thao

  13. Koh Thao

  14. Koh Thao

  15. Bangkok


How to spend 2 weeks in Thailand


Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok

Even if your flight lands late, there are still tons of things you can do in Bangkok at night. You could start your 2 weeks in Thailand with a chill evening dinner on the Cao Praya River.


Wat Arun temple Bangkok

If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, you could also start the first evening of your three days in Bangkok with one of the many rooftop bars. The most famous is Sky Bar, which you might recognize from the famous movie The Hangover. But there are a lot of new ones coming every year. I wrote a blog about temples and must-see places in Bangkok here



Where to stay in Bangkok

Spend your first few nights in Thailand at the SO Sofitel Bangkok one of the best hotels in Bangkok with a rooftop pool.


Or stay at Villa Deva resort a peaceful green oasis in the middle of the busy city, you will not believe, if you visit this place that it's in the middle of the noisy city but inside the hotel in the green garden you just can only hear the sound of the birds


Villa Deva Bangkok

We have been to Bangkok many times and have tried many hotels. The Chatrium Riverside is one of our favorites. Directly on the Chao Phraya River with boat access to the Sathorn Pier, where the express boats leave, and the BTS station Saphan Taksin.

Furthermore, the hotel offers an extensive breakfast buffet, a swimming pool, and large modern rooms with views over Bangkok. Just the perfect place for a bit of luxury on vacation.


Wat Benchamabophit The Marble Temple

Day 2: Explore the temples in Bangkok

Buddhism is the most practiced religion in Thailand, as you will immediately see after a quick wander around Bangkok. Just in Bangkok, there are over 400 temples!

For your first full day in Bangkok, prepare yourself for a full immersion of culture and history! Although let’s be realistic, visiting all 400 isn’t feasible, which is why I’ve outlined here the best ones.


Start your day early by visiting the Royal Palace. It opens at 7 AM, but you want to be there earlier to beat the crowds. Make sure to purchase your entrance online beforehand, so you won’t have to queue on the day. The Royal Palace, also known as the Grand Palace, is a complex of buildings that has been the official residence of the King of Siam since the 1700s.

It offers the best of Thai architecture, with prominent colors of cream, blue, and gold. It’s quite a marvel to explore.


After the Royal Palace, you can go on to visit Wat Pho, which is only a short walk away.

Wat Pho is famous for being one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand and home to one of the biggest reclining golden Buddha statues in the world.

This huge golden Buddha is extremely iconic, and no Thailand itinerary would be complete without it. Walking around it has a way of making you feel small.

Wat Pho is a beautiful temple though so don’t stop at the big Buddha statue, wander around the complex and discover some of the less touristy corners.


View at Wat Arun during sunset

Just across the river from Wat Pho is Wat Arun, another famous Buddhist temple. It is the first temple in the list of six Buddhist temples in Thailand classified as the first class royal temples.

It is also recognized by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. The temple also houses a school of Thai medicine and is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

I think you could visit these three temples in Bangkok independently. But if you prefer to have a local guide taking care of the transfers, and telling you about the history and culture of what you’re seeing, I have listed below some highly reviewed tours that you can join.



floating market

Day 3: Visit the floating and railway markets

On day three you will spend half of the day exploring the famous floating and railway markets. These are located outside Bangkok, so you have to visit them on an organized tour, as it’s the easiest way to get there.


Railway market

We did a tour that set off around 8 AM and returned just in time for a late lunch. The markets are about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive outside of Bangkok.

Which market you visit first will largely depend on what time you set off, as they will time it so that you can see the train passing through the railway market. The railway market is cool but odd.

One moment you’re walking along the tracks looking at the various stalls, then all of a sudden you see people cover their products with blankets or take them inside, and a moment later the train comes!

You’ll find yourself standing quite tight on the edge of it, as the space between the train and the houses that surround the tracks is minimal.



floating market

The floating market is pretty close to it and is very different. It’s much more chaotic, with proper boat traffic jams along the river at peak times.

There are several locals selling products from their boats or stalls along the river, but there is quite a big market surrounding it that you can explore on foot.

We found the experience of bargaining in the river quite interesting, since everyone is on the move, negotiations are much shorter and you’re more likely to get a good deal!


Our tour didn’t include a cruise on the typical wooden boats but you can arrange this for 50 THB per person once you arrive there.

If you don’t want to pay for the extra just walking along the canals and in the market inland is very interesting too.



Day 4: River Kwai Kanchanaburi

A visit to Kanchanaburi offers a perfect mix of history, culture, and nature. Admire the most beautiful temples, climb the Erawan Waterfalls, and visit a museum to learn about the terrible events that took place here. Before going to Kanchanaburi, watch the Oscar-winning movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” to get a better understanding of what happened here.


Travel time from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi: 3 hours by train or 3 hours by bus



Erawan Waterfalls

Day 5: River Kwai Kanchanaburi

After breakfast, your guide will take you by longtail boat back to your private vehicle. After another 45min to 1 hour, you will reach Erawan National Park, with the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand: the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfall consists of 7 plateaus and you can hike to the highest level through a small jungle path. After reaching the top you still have plenty of time to discover the natural fish spas, see the naturally shaped slides, and go for a swim. After lunch, they will take you back to the Resort and you will have free time for the rest of the afternoon to explore the area around the hotel.


River Kwai

Day 6 : Khao Sok National park

Next, you’ll be transferred back to Bangkok for you to take a sleeper train with your clan to Surat Thani. You can sleep in a shared carriage where the seats are turned into comfy beds with a curtain for privacy. The journey takes around 11 hours and food is served on the train but you can also grab some snacks at the railway station before your journey. If you would prefer to travel in a private two-berth couchette just book a first-class ticket here


You’ll journey deep into the wilds of Thailand’s famous Khao Sok National Park, where you’ll explore enchanting rainforests and swim in sparkling natural lakes. You’ll stay in a truly unique place hidden amongst the limestone cliffs. During your stay, you will take part in a kayak trip with a local guide and travel by traditional longtail boat across Racha Praba Lake to a small group of peacefully floating bamboo cottages. The view is nothing less than idyllic; steep rock formations shooting up from the still water and curious monkeys swinging through the trees. In the evenings you can simply sit back and soak up the serenity of the lush jungle, listening to the monkeys playing in the trees above.



We stayed 2 nights at Panvaree which was a great option, you even can grab a kayak there to go to the famous viewpoint, the resort provides a morning and evening tour with a longtail boat included in your stay.


Khao Sok Thailand

Day 7 : Khao Sok National park

The early start this morning is well worth it as you take a boat ride across the lake searching for wildlife. It's a moment to remember as you sail the calm waters to the backdrop of the atmospheric mist that drifts along the water and shores of the jungle. Return to your accommodation and enjoy a Thai breakfast of khao tom (a savory rice porridge) or pancakes before enjoying a dip in the lake.


Koh Samui

Day 8: Kho Samui

The trip will take about 6 hours so be sure to check out after breakfast and go on your way to arrive in Koh Samui before dark


Day 9: Kho Samui

Enjoy the day at the beach


Day 10: Kho Samui

Enjoy the day at the beach


Day 10: Kho Samui


Day Tour to Angthong Marine Park

Make the most of your time in the Angthong archipelago by booking a tour on a fast speedboat. Once you arrive in the area, comprised of 42 islands, you'll have kayaking and snorkeling equipment at your disposal to explore on your own. You can also take to the shores and climb to the top of Mae Koh Island for panoramic views of the surrounding islands. Meals, snacks, and round-trip transportation make this a convenient experience. Light breakfast and Thai-style buffet lunch Round-trip ground transportation available Use of snorkeling and kayaking equipment to explore Snacks and refreshments throughout the day


Angthong Marine Park

Day 11: Kho Samui

Enjoy the day at the beach


Koh Samui

sets the tone with its luxurious resorts, palm-fringed beaches, and a harmonious blend of modernity and tradition. Here’s how to embrace the best of Koh Samui:


Exploring Chaweng Beach: Sun, Sand, and Shopping

Chaweng Beach, with its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters, is the perfect spot to start your vacation. Lounge under swaying coconut trees, indulge in beachside massages, or explore the vibrant shopping scene at the Chaweng Walking Street.


Awe-Inspiring Big Buddha Temple

Venture inland to discover the iconic Big Buddha Temple, an impressive 12-meter statue that offers panoramic views of the coastline. Immerse yourself in Thai spirituality and witness the intricate architecture that reflects the island’s rich heritage.


Mystical Na Muang Waterfalls

Nature enthusiasts will find solace at Na Muang Waterfalls. Trek through lush jungles to reach the cascading falls, where you can cool off in the natural pools and capture the mesmerizing beauty of the surroundings.


Culinary Delights: From Street Food to Fine Dining

Savor the island’s culinary wonders by indulging in a variety of dining experiences. From street-side Pad Thai stalls to upscale beachfront restaurants, Koh Samui offers a gastronomic journey that tantalizes the taste buds.


Angthong Marine Park

Koh Samui Beaches

There are 11 major beaches on Koh Samui that you can choose from. The main one is the extensive Chaweng Beach dotted with a lot of hotels, restaurants, and bars. This is also the main area for tourists so expect it to be more busy than other beaches on the island.

Its beach life is great with its powdery white sand and a lot of water sports. It's the longest stretch of beach on the island and there are some great Koh Samui villas to rent around here!


The second most popular one is Lamai Beach. It's less bustling than the famous Chaweng but still has its selection of upper-class hotels and dining spots.

Other than Lamai's seaside beauty, you can also check out the bizarre rock formations called Hin Ta and Hin Yai which resemble the male and female organs, complete with a legend that any local can tell you about.


Adding to the bizarre attractions in Lamai Beach is Wat Khunaram, a mummified monk on display at a temple.

One of my favorite areas lies towards the north of the island and is called Bophut Beach. Its main attraction is the quaint Fisherman's Village which retains a somehow Mediterranean charm with a mix of well-preserved Chinese shophouses.


Koh Samui

Where To Stay On Koh Samui

Koh Samui is bigger than you might think and offers quite a few different areas to stay at:

  • Bophut & Fisherman's Village: This great area for first-timers who don't want to party, enjoy great beaches and some culture

  • Chaweng Beach: The best area to stay for nightlife, markets, and shopping

  • Choeng Mon: Wonderful area for honeymooners and couples who are looking for quiet and privacy

  • Lamai: Best area for families with children

  • Maenam: Backpacker heaven with well-priced accommodation options

Below are some of my top hotel choices in Koh Samui


Hansar Samui Resort & Spa

Stay in the heart of the beautiful Fisherman's Village at Hansar Samui.

Choose between a beachfront or sea view room and enjoy on-site dining, a fitness center, and an infinity pool.

Check current rates on: Booking.com


Melati Beach Resort & Spa

Melati is a stunning secluded beachfront hotel and spa with beautiful rooms, private pools, and hot tubs. 15 minutes to the airport and right around the corner from the Big Buddha, you will enjoy your time between the pools and 2 restaurants and 3 bars right at the hotel.

Check current rates on: Booking.com


Anavana Beach Resort 

Anavana Beach Resort is the main resort facility suitable for all types of travelers, while Anavana Seaview and Anavana Villa are private villas with 5 to 6 bedrooms suitable for family or groups of friends who travel together.

Check current rates on: Booking.com



Day 12: Kho Tao


Day 13: Kho Tao


Day 14: Kho Tao


Koh Tao

Kho Tao

Our final destination, Koh Tao, is a paradise for divers and underwater enthusiasts. Explore its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life:


Diving Adventures in Chumphon Pinnacle

Dive into the azure waters of Chumphon Pinnacle, a world-renowned dive site. Encounters with whale sharks, vibrant corals, and a plethora of marine species make this a bucket-list destination for divers.


Sai Nuan Beach: Serenity by the Sea

For those seeking serenity, Sai Nuan Beach offers a quiet escape. Lounge on the soft sands, snorkel in the turquoise waters and relish the tranquility away from the crowds.


Viewpoints: Embracing Panoramic Beauty

Hike up to John-Suwan Viewpoint or Fraggle Rock Viewpoint for panoramic vistas that capture the island’s rugged landscapes and surrounding sea. These viewpoints are particularly magical during sunrise and sunset.


Local Encounters at Koh Tao’s Villages

Engage with the local culture by visiting the charming villages of Koh Tao. Explore the markets, interact with friendly locals, and get a glimpse into the island’s authentic way of life.



Koh Tao Beaches

When hitting Koh Tao's beaches, do not forget to bring along your goggles and snorkel. This island is a treasure trove of underwater worlds.


Sairee Beach on the western coast of Koh Tao is the most touristy and busiest area. It's known for its 1.8 km strip which is the longest shore on the island.


A must-visit is Koh Nangyuan Island which is just around 10 minutes away from Koh Tao by long-tail boat and perfect for a day trip.


Koh Nangyuan is a small island with a lovely sandbar and you'll get a picturesque view as you reach the viewpoint which is a mere 10 to 15-minute climb up the hill.

Don't miss to just lie at the beach and snorkel around this tiny island.


Koh Tao

Where To Stay On Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a much smaller island compared to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, but it has a lot of things to explore, especially when it comes to adventures in the water.

Koh Tao offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts, making it a popular destination for travelers of all kinds.

Snorkelers and divers will surely be in heaven, so here are the best areas to stay at:

  • Mae Haad Beach is great for first-time visitors to the island, it's the main town, and you can find the ferry pier here too

  • Sairee Beach is the best area to party on Koh Tao and has plenty of dining options

  • Chalok Bay is a wonderful protected bay, which makes it very family-friendly

  • Ao Thian Og, a true paradise beach and still one of the more untouched parts of Koh Tao


The Fisherman's Villas

All villas are fully furnished with air-con, private bathrooms, and a beautiful private plunge pool overlooking the bay.

Big balconies, a terrace, and a minibar plus a fully equipped kitchen will make your stay extra comfortable.

Check current rates on: Booking.com


DD Hut Koh Tao

 Sleep in private bungalows with unobstructed sea views. 

Close to many restaurants and bars of Sairee Beach and yet far away to not be party-central.

Check current rates on: Booking.com


Day 15: Bangkok

Take the ferry and bus to Bangkok, be aware its a long journey with sometimes delays so be sure to go early so you don't miss your flight or stay another night in Bangkok



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  • Flights: WayAway to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.



  • Car Rental: DiscoverCars.com is a great and reliable platform to find rental cars all over the world.


  • Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and has reliable internet access for your trip. All you need is an Esim-compatible smartphone, install it on your phone before your trip, and you are all set.



  • Tickets & Deals: Tiqets is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions Klook to find the best deals for trips in Asia, they are 30% cheaper than when you buy them at a local agency


  • Train, buses, and ferries 12Go to find your travel route for local buses, and ferries, we use them all the time as you can easily see the reviews, and the vouchers are everywhere accepted. tickets are sold for more than 5,000 destinations in 100+ countries worldwide.




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