Thailand Itinerary – 3 Weeks

Thailand Itinerary 3 Weeks
Image by FOTOSKIT FOTOSKIT from Pixabay

Thailand, a country filled with gleaming golden temples, lush green forests, and deep blue sea. There is simply never enough time to spend in Thailand, it is crazy that there is always so much to see and do here that most tourists end up staying for weeks!

If you are thinking of spending your vacation in this amazing country, this ultimate 3-week itinerary will guarantee you that at the end of your trip, you would’ve experienced worthwhile adventures from watching the sunrise from the highest mountain of Thailand to snorkeling in Phi Phi island!  

Day 1-4 Chiang Mai  

Day 1   

Bonding with animals is one of the many highlights of Chiang Mai. Spend your entire morning visiting, feeding, and bathing the Elephants at ‘Elephant Nature Park’, a highly ethical sanctuary and rescue center that aims to increase awareness about the endangered mammal.

In the afternoon all through to the evening, enjoy spending time with the animals at ‘Chiang Mai Night Safari’, an animal park dedicated to conserve and increase the safety of wild animals. Over there, you’ll get to see various types of beautiful enchanting animals, enjoy entertaining shows and nighttime attractions like taking a tram ride to observe wild animals as late as 10 pm!

Day 2  

The ‘Old City’; what was once all that existed in Chiang Mai is now the main tourist attraction spot of the city. Within the walls of the Old City, you’ll be able to explore all kinds of ancient historic temples and interesting museums like ‘Wat Chedi Luang, ‘Way Phra Sing’, ‘Chiang Mai National museum’, and ‘Lanna Folklife Museum’. While spending your morning there, make sure you don’t forget to take photos at the famous ‘Tha Phae Gate’ on the east side of the city!   

Image by aiworldexplore from Pixabay

Enjoy an exciting off-the-road cycling and hiking tour in ‘Doi Suthep’ for the afternoon. There are a lot of tours that will offer you guided bike trips around the mountains where you will be able to pass by and visit eye-catching attraction spots like ‘Huay Kaew Waterfalls’, ’Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’, and ‘Hmong Village’. However, if you are not one for hiking and cycling, you can book a tour or hire a driver to take you.   

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

In the evening, if you are not feeling too tired, you can take a relaxing walk around trendy community malls like ‘One Nimman’ and ‘MAYA’.

Day 3  

You cannot say you’ve done the full sightseeing experience in Thailand if you haven’t witness sunrise at ‘Doi Inthanon’, the highest mountain in Thailand. Travel up to Doi Inthanon as early as 4 or 5 am to wait for that spectacular sunrise at ‘Kew Mae Pan’ viewpoint before continuing your way up the mountain to the highest spot of Thailand.   

Image by พงษ์ดนัย ทองเกษม from Pixabay

Before you say goodbye to Doi Inthanon, do not miss a short 3.3km trek at ‘Kew Mae Pan Tropical Forest’, ‘Mae Ya Waterfalls’, and the traditional ‘Hmong Village’! Getting lost in the thick tropical forests and enjoying the sounds of nature while you breathe in fresh, cool air is the best feeling you can ever experience.   

In the evening, venture out into the streets to try some delicious local street food and restaurants!   

Suggestions: Khao soi Wulai, Huan Phen Restaurant  

Image by pop picnic from Pixabay

Day 4  

Book a tour with ‘Flight of the Gibbon Zipline’ and experience the ultimate 3-hour ziplining adventure through the Chiang Mai Rainforest where you’ll get a chance to encounter wild gibbons, hike towards ‘Mae Kampong Waterfalls and Wooden Temple’, plus, enjoy a delicious Thai lunch made from local organic ingredients.

Spend the evening entertaining yourselves with local street dinner and refreshments at ‘Mae Ping Banks’, a lively riverside in the city.   

Day 5-6 Pai   

Transport: Board a bus or minivan from Chiang Mai to Pai, this can take 3-4 hours. (the last bus is at 5:30 pm)  

Pai is a small town with big promises, there are a lot of sightseeing spots and natural waterfalls here that are unlike any other places in Thailand.   

You can spend each of your mornings greeting the first sunrise of the day over at ‘Pang Mapha Lookout’ by the vast mountains and ‘Yun Lai Viewpoint’ by the thick morning fogs.   

Image by Toàn Nguyễn from Pixabay

During the day, venture out into the tropical waterfalls of ‘Pam Bok’ and ‘Mae Yen’ where you can enjoy the cool, therapeutic breeze and clear waters running through small river rocks.   

On the evening of your 6th day, you must not miss the beautiful golden sunset at ‘Pai Canyons’ and the tasty food in Pai’s bustling night market.*F

Day 7 Chiang Mai

Transport: Board a bus or minivan from Pai to Chiang Mai, this can take 3-4 hours. (the first minivan  is at 7:00 am)  

On your last day at Chiang Mai, you can choose to admire beautiful contemporary artworks at ‘MAIIAM’ museum or spend the day exploring some of the places you haven’t had the chance to before you leave for Pai in the afternoon.   

Suggestions: Chiang Mai 3D Art Museum, Rustic and Blue café, Nimmanian Club*F

Day 8-11 Khao Lak  

Day 8  

Transport: fly from Chiang Mai airport to Phuket airport and board a shuttle to Khao Lak.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

The beaches and seawaters in Khao Lak are very clean, clear, and almost as blue as the sky. To avoid the scorching sun that will burn your skin in the afternoon it’s better if you take a walk down the sandy shores in the morning. During your first day in Khao Lak, you can wander down the beautiful, shiny coasts of ‘Pak Weep Beach’ down towards ‘Coconut beach’, on your way you’ll pass ‘Pakarang Cape’, a peaceful and quiet seashore filled with pretty seashells and corals. 

Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay

In the afternoon, take a dip into the cool, mineral-filled spring waters of ‘Ton Pling waterfall’ before you head towards ‘Khao Lak-Lam Ru National park’ to experience even more of nature in the form of small, reserved beaches and conservatory waterfalls.   

End the day enjoying the panoramic view of the sun as it sets at ‘Bang Niang Beach’. You can also find your dinner at one of the restaurants by the shore as you listen to the sounds of sea waves hitting the shore.  

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Day 9  

For the first time during your trip, experience scuba diving with a 5-star scuba dive center at ‘Similan Islands’. The ‘Khao Lak Explorer Diving Center’ located nearby ‘Nang Thong Beach’ will provide you with amazing tour options where you’ll get to snorkel and dive in crystal-clear waters of the 7 islands of Similan.  

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay
Image by Juan_Luis from Pixabay

Since diving around in the sea can consume a lot of energy out of you, feel free to either spend the rest of your evening chilling and relaxing to your leisure or, watch the sunset from one of the many beaches in Khao Lak.  

Suggestions: Hat Thap Tawan, Bang Sak Beach, Khao Tam Chuak, Khao Lak South Beach, Hat Lek, and Lam Kaen Beach 

Image by Jacqueline Schmid from Pixabay

DAY 10  

Hop on a 2-hour bus ride (available hourly!) to ‘Khao Sok’, towards ‘Khao Sok National Park’ where you can enjoy a full-day tour around one of the oldest rainforests in Thailand! You’ll experience thrilling activities like kayaking and bamboo rafting through the ‘Sok River’, Boat tours in ‘Cheow Lan Lake, and jungle trekking to find the rare Rafflesia flower. If there is one thing you should not miss while at the park, it’s the boat tour in Cheow Lan Lake. The emerald waters are clean and clear, making it the perfect home for freshwater fishes and a rich source of food for various bird populations.  

Image by BeeRose from Pixabay

It is great to enjoy all the activities that Khao Sok National Park has to offer, but no matter how much fun you’re having, don’t miss the last bus back to Khao Lak! (the last bus is 5 pm) 

Day 11 

Before you leave for Phuket later in the day, it is worth it to give the ‘Tsunami Memorial Museum’ a visit and learn about the devasting event back in 2004. The entrance fee and everything else sold in the museum goes to charity, so you’ll be spending for a great cause.  

Day 12-15 Phuket 

Transport: take a bus/minivan from Khao Lak to Phuket. There is a bus every two hours and the whole journey will take about 1 and a half hours.  

Day 12 

Image by Fonthip Ward from Pixabay

On the biggest island in Thailand, you’ll be spending time both on and off the sea. There is so much to do in the morning like visit the ‘Big Buddha’ and ‘Karon Viewpoint’ for a scenic view of Phuket and nearby islands in the morning. If you want to witness traditional practices of religion, you can also take a short cab ride to ‘Wat Chalong’ for almsgiving in the morning.  

Image by Riccardo Duxenneuner from Pixabay

In the afternoon, head towards eastern Phuket for ‘Bang Pae Waterfall’ to escape the heat of the sun. There is also a gibbon rehabilitation center close by that you can stop at during the day.  

An exciting night will not be completed without a walkthrough ‘Bangla Road’ or more commonly known as ‘Patong Walking Street’. The street is filled with lively bars, night clubs, and interesting tattoo parlors. If you ever get bored with beach walks and quiet nights; Bangla Road is the place you go to.   

Suggestions: Illuzion Sugar Club, and White Room.*F

Day 13 

Take an early stroll around ‘Sirinat National Park’ and ‘Paradise Beach’ in the morning, though these beaches get very crowded during the day, it is relatively quiet in the morning. This makes them a perfect place for gathering your thoughts and take in the morning breeze.  

Get ready for a fun afternoon at ‘Rollerball Kalim’ where you will experience exhilarating activities like Zorbing down the 190-meter hill path. Rolling around in the largest zorb path in Thailand is easily one of the most popular activities to do in Phuket!

Take iconic photos around ‘Phuket Old Town’ as evening rolls around. These diverse and unique group of buildings inspired by different cultures and architecture from all around the world are so eye-catching, you will be stunned by their beauty.  

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Day 14  

Leave the busy island in the morning for an exciting day in the sea like Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay! Kayaking will allow you to observe the beautiful limestone islands, their caves, and secret breathtaking lagoons at a relatively close distance where larger boats do not have access to. While on your Kayaking experience, do not forget to visit world-famous islands like ‘Hong Island, and ‘James Bond Island’! You will not regret the spectacular sight you’ll see from all around you.   

At night, book a show at ‘Phuket Simon Cabaret’ and enjoy your time watching the most entertaining, glamorous, and extravagant night show in Phuket.

Day 15 

It’s not a bad idea to spend your last day in Phuket roaming around all the other beaches on the island like ‘Kamala Beach’ and ‘Patong Beach’. But, if you are getting tired of the sand and sun, there are interesting museums you can visit like the ‘Trickeye Museum’ and ‘Thai Hua Museum’.

Day 16-18 Phi Phi 

Transport: board the ferry to Phi Phi Islands. This can take up to 2 hours.  

Day 16 

Phi Phi islands are no doubt one of the most beautiful islands in the world. There is simply no time to waste here! Go island hopping, diving, and snorkeling in neighboring islands for the day! do not leave out stunning bays and beaches of popular, beautiful islands like ‘Monkey Beach’, Viking Cave’’, and ‘Pileh Lagoon’. It is in these places that you will find living and complete coral reefs, and small colorful fish colonies  

Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay
Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay

At night find your way to ‘Loh Dalum’ to experience the lively full-moon-party-like nightlife of Phi Phi locals. You will get to see amazing things like fire shows, dance music, and become a part of ridiculously fun parties that goes on till the late hours of the night! 

Day 17 

The fun is never over whenever you’re in Phi Phi, spend your morning wandering around rich, glittering beaches like ‘Tonsai Beach’, ‘Laem Tong Beach’, and ‘Moo Dee Beach’. 

The most famous attraction spot in Phi Phi Don island is the ‘Phi Phi Viewpoint’ it is where people come to take those breathtaking photos of the island you see online. You should take advantage of your stay in Phi Phi by following the signs at Loh Dalum Bay towards the scenic 365-degree viewpoint at the very top of Phi Phi Don.  

Image by Erik Karits from Pixabay

Day 18 

Complete your trip to Phi Phi islands snorkeling at ‘Shark’s Point’. Located in the southeastern part of ‘Koh Bida Nok’, sharks Point is the most popular diving site for tourists, it is where you can spot fascinating Leopard Sharks in their natural habitat. Don’t worry! These sharks are harmless and will not hurt humans.  

Image by Mike Clegg from Pixabay

Day 19-21 Bangkok 

Transport: Take a ferry back to Phuket and board a plane to Bangkok. This will take about 6 hours.  

Day 19 

It’s time to tour the busiest part of Thailand! In Bangkok, what you absolutely cannot miss during your daytime adventure is the ‘Emerald Buddha’, ‘Grand Palace’, and ‘Wat Pho’. They are located just by the Chao Phraya River, these three attraction spots are the most enchanting part of Bangkok.  

You don’t have to travel far in the afternoon to get to the new shopping mall ‘Iconsiam’ and the trendy ‘Jam Factory’, they are also located on the Chao Phraya Riverside, all you need to do is cross over to the other side.  

Enjoy the evening in ‘Asiatique Riverfront’, where you can eat delicious food, sightsee at scenic viewpoints, and do many activities like ride the Ferris Wheel all under the same roof! 

Image by zibik from Pixabay

Day 20 & 21 

Try to do relaxing activities like shopping on your last 2 days in Thailand. Shopping malls like ‘Siam Paragon’ and ‘Central World’ offers one of those high-end experiences of being at a luxury mall while ‘MBK’ sells goods for a more reasonable price, which can be very good for you if you’re looking for souvenirs. In the afternoon, you can explore famous landmarks like ‘Jim Thompson House’ to admire the beauty and history of Thai Silk. 

You can also enjoy Thai massages and watch Muay Thai Fights if there is enough time!  

Here are some suggestions for Thai massages: The Lavender Massage by Arunda, Massage @ Le, Oasis Spa

Here are some Suggestions for Muay Thai Fights: Ratchadamnoen Stadium, MX Muay Thai Xtreme, Lumpinee Stadium 

Knowing that you started this trip with a bang, you will leave Thailand knowing that you’ve been to all the famous attraction spots, taken all the photo-worthy photos, and traveled to all the amazing parts of Thailand that many people dream to visit. But you’ll also know that you haven’t uncovered even half of what Thailand has to offer. Nevertheless, you will be happy to know that the Land of Smiles will always welcome you back…for another trip.