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Travel Guide When Travelling Multi-City in Thailand

Travel Guide When Travelling Multi-City in Thailand

Thailand is truly the whole package, from Bangkok’s buzz to Phuket’s chill beaches, Chiang Mai’s historic temples, and Krabi’s lush jungles. But, tackling all these spots can be a real head-scratcher as they’re each a world of their own.

So, we’ve got your back with a travel guide that’s like your savvy travel buddy, full of tips and recommendations to help you explore Thailand’s incredible city mash-up. Let’s dive in and make your journey unforgettable!

Time Zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

Best Time to Go 

Thailand's Flag with The Grand Palace in the background
Image source: iStock

The best time to visit Thailand is during the cool and dry season, which typically spans from November to February. 

During these months, the weather is pleasant with lower humidity, making it ideal for exploring cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as enjoying beach vacations on popular islands such as Phuket and Krabi. 

This season offers comfortable temperatures, clear skies, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it the peak tourist season. However, it’s essential to book accommodations and activities in advance, as it can get crowded. 

How to Get Around Thailand

Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is bustling with traffic
Image source: iStock

Tuk-Tuks and Songthaews: Tuk-tuks are iconic, but agree on a fare before the ride. Songthaews are shared pick-up trucks used as taxis.

Taxis: In cities, taxis are available and should use metres. In some places, like Phuket, they may require negotiation.

Motorbike Taxis: A common way to navigate Bangkok’s traffic is riding a motorbike taxi. Before hopping on, negotiate the fare to avoid having conflict with the driver.

Buses: Thailand boasts an extensive bus network that seamlessly connects cities and towns. For added comfort during your journey, consider opting for VIP buses.

Trains: Trains are a scenic way to travel between cities, especially in the north. Consider overnight sleeper trains for long journeys.

Flights: Airlines like Thai Airways and budget carriers serve major local destinations.

Boats and Ferries: Essential for island hopping, these connect coastal regions and islands.

Scooter Rentals: These are popular in beach towns and islands, but make sure you have a valid licence and wear a helmet.

Ride-Sharing Apps: Grab operates in some Thai cities and is a convenient way to get around.

Walking: Exploring cities on foot is a great way to discover hidden gems, but be cautious of traffic.

Sample Multi-City Itineraries for Your Thailand Trip

Below, we’ve crafted diverse itineraries to suit your travel style and interests, whether you’re seeking urban adventures, cultural exploration, tropical getaways, or natural beauty in Thailand’s multifaceted cities.

LocationsDurationBest ForEstimated Budget
Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Phuket7 DaysTravellers who seek diversity, cultural experiences, nature, adventure, relaxation, vibrant nightlife, culinary exploration, and scenic beauty in their journey.6,000 THB to 17,000 THB per week
Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Sukhothai5 DaysHistory buffs and cultural explorers who want to delve deep into Thailand’s historical heritage. 4,000 THB to 12,000 THB per week
Chiang Mai – Pai – Chiang Rai7 DaysThose seeking a blend of cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures.

It’s also great for those who want to explore vibrant markets, hill tribe communities, and the natural beauty of Northern Thailand.
4,000 THB to 11,000 THB per week
Krabi – Phi Phi Islands6 DaysBeach lovers and water enthusiasts.5,000 THB to 15,000 THB per week
Koh Samui – Koh Phangan – Koh Tao7 DaysIt’s great for beach bums, partygoers, and water sports enthusiasts who want to enjoy a mix of relaxation and vibrant nightlife.5,000 THB to 15,000 THB per week
NOTE: These are estimated weekly budgets and can vary based on individual spending habits and choices.
DayLocationHighlightsEstimated Budget
1st dayBangkok> Grand Palace 
> Wat Phra Kaew 
> Wat Pho 
> Chao Phraya river cruise
> Khao San Road
1,200 – 2,500 THB
2nd dayBangkok> Jim Thompson House
> Street food at Yaowarat (Chinatown) 
> Chatuchak Weekend Market (if visiting on a weekend) for shopping
> Asiatique the Riverfront 
1,500 THB – 3,000 THB
3rd dayBangkok to Chiang Mai> 1.5-hour flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
> Doi Suthep Temple 
> Old City
> Try Khao Soi at Khao Soi Khun Yai 
> Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang
> Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
6,500 THB – 10,000 THB
4th dayChiang Mai> Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
> Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls 
> Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show
3,000 THB – 4,000 THB
5th dayChiang Mai to Phuket> Patong Beach or Kata Beach.
> Old Phuket Town
> Big Buddha of Phuket 
> Nightlife at Bangla Road
4,000 THB – 8,000 THB
6th day Phuket> Phi Phi Islands
> Promthep Cape
3,500 – 4,500 THB
7th dayPhuket> James Bond Island
> Phang Nga Bay
2,000 – 3,000 THB

Day 1 and 2: Bangkok

You’ve landed in the land of smiles, and guess what, the city smiles back! Dive into the bustling streets of Bangkok, where street food carts outnumber the people. 

Here, you can tantalise your taste buds with some piping hot pad thai, and don’t forget to bargain at the vibrant markets. 

Plus, you can also visit the iconic Grand Palace, where even the walls whisper tales of history. A bonus is you also get to marvel at the majestic Wat Pho, home to the reclining Buddha

Don’t forget to explore the colourful markets, from Chatuchak’s organised chaos to Asiatique’s riverside charm. And, because Bangkok never sleeps, wrap up your day at its vibrant nightlife spots.

Days 3 and 4: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai welcomes you with open arms and cooler air. Here, you can discover ancient temples, like Wat Phra Singh, and learn the art of bargaining at the bustling Night Bazaar. 

In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khantoke dinner and watch Thai dancers tell stories with their graceful moves.

Ready for some elephant-sized fun? Head to an ethical elephant sanctuary, where you’ll make unforgettable pachyderm pals. 

You can also explore the surreal Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls and defy gravity by climbing them barefoot. Your day ends with a tantalising street food feast in the old city.

Days 5 to 7: Phuket

Arriving in Phuket is like stepping into a postcard. Sink your toes into the powdery sands of Patong Beach and laze under the tropical sun. 

When adventure calls, embark on island-hopping tours to Phi Phi Islands, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters and getting up close with monkeys at Monkey Beach. 

Be sure to try tom yum goong at a local eatery. For the grand finale, savour a seafood feast as the sun sets over the Andaman Sea.

DayLocationHighlightsEstimated Budget
1st dayBangkok> Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
> Wat Pho
> Chao Phraya River
> Local culinary gems
> Street food
> Khao San Road
1,200 – 2,500 THB
2nd dayBangkok to Ayutthaya> Hua Lamphong Railway Station 
> Ayutthaya Historical Park
> Ayutthaya-style noodles
500 – 800 THB
3rd dayAyutthaya to Sukhothai> 8-hour journey via train and bus
> Sukhothai Historical Park
900 THB – 1,500 THB
4th daySukhothai> Si Satchanalai Historical Park
> Sukhothai’s nightlife
500 THB – 1,500 THB
5th daySukhothai to Bangkok> Shopping in Bangkok
> Night market explorations
1,500 THB – 4,000 THB

Day 1: Bangkok

Your adventure begins in Bangkok, where you can dive into the lively streets filled with street food stalls offering local Thai dishes. 

You can also explore the historic Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, where the rich culture and artistry of Thailand shine through. Plus, take a serene boat ride along the Chao Phraya River and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this metropolis.

As the sun sets, be prepared to be dazzled by the shimmering lights and lively vibes of Bangkok’s nightlife.

Day 2: Ayutthaya

Hop on a train to Ayutthaya, a city steeped in history and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the impressive ruins of ancient temples, including Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. 

While you’re here, don’t forget to sample the delectable Ayutthaya-style boat noodles and explore the local markets! As you immerse yourself in the remnants of this once-mighty kingdom, Ayutthaya’s charm will transport you back in time.

Days 3 and 4: Sukhothai

Welcome to Sukhothai, where tranquillity and history converge. Here, you can explore the historical park of Sukhothai, where ancient temples and monuments dot the landscape. 

Don’t miss the chance to spend your days cycling through the lush landscapes, visiting temples, and enjoying the local cuisine, including Sukhothai noodles and crispy pancakes. 

Day 5: Back to Bangkok

Bid farewell to Sukhothai as you embark on a train journey back to the bustling heart of Thailand, Bangkok. Reflect on the beautiful memories you’ve collected during your exploration of historical sites

As you return to the vibrant streets of Bangkok, take this opportunity to revisit some of your favourite spots or explore new corners of the city.

You might want to indulge in some last-minute shopping, savour your favourite Thai dishes, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the Chao Phraya River. 

DayLocationHighlightsEstimated Budget
1st dayChiang Mai
> Chiang Mai Zoo
> Mae Sa Waterfall
> Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
> Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
1,200 – 2,500 THB
2nd day> Street Food at Chiang Mai Gate
> Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls
> Wat Umong Suan Phutthatham
> Khantoke Dinner and Cultural Show
500 – 1,300 THB
3rd dayChiang Mai to Pai> Town of Pai Tha
> Pai Hot Springs for 
> Northern Thai food 
900 THB – 1,500 THB
4th dayPai> Pai Canyon 
> Pam Bok Waterfall
> Pai Circus School
500 THB – 1,500 THB
5th dayPai to Chiang Rai> 7-hour journey via minivan 
> White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
> Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten)
> Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
1,500 THB – 3,000 THB
6th dayChiang Rai> Black House (Baan Dam)
> Golden Triangle area
1,500 – 2,000 THB
7th day> Local market
> Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park
> Golden Clock Tower
> Singha Park
> Choui Fong Tea Plantation
1,500 – 2,00 THB

Days 1 and 2: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the cultural and spiritual hub of Northern Thailand. During your visit here, you can delve into the city’s rich history by exploring the historic old town that’s home to ancient temples like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang. 

Be sure to check out the lively night markets for some authentic local shopping. And for an unforgettable experience, spend some quality time with majestic elephants at an ethical sanctuary. 

Later in the day, you can venture to the unique Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls, where you can actually climb the waterfall itself. 

Day 3 and 4: Pai

Pai is known for its unhurried pace of life, making it the perfect destination to unwind and connect with the soothing ambiance that surrounds you.

Begin your exploration by leisurely strolling through the inviting Pai Walking Street. Along this vibrant avenue, you’ll encounter local vendors selling a variety of handicrafts, street food, and other enticing treasures. 

Wake up early to witness the mesmerising sunrise at Pai Canyon, where the changing colours of the sky paint a breathtaking canvas. 

For a refreshing interlude, make your way to Pam Bok Waterfall, a tranquil oasis where you can relax amidst the cascading waters and lush greenery. 

As night falls, Pai transforms into a hub of artistic expression and live music. Don’t hesitate to try some of the delicious local delicacies—this place is celebrated for its unique culinary offerings.

Days 5 to 7: Chiang Rai

Journey to Chiang Rai, where ancient temples and unique art installations await. Here, you can visit the surreal White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and the captivating Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten). 

You can also explore the dark and artistic world of the Black House (Baan Dam) and embrace the cultural richness of this charming city.

As you delve into the unique blend of history, art, and natural beauty that Chiang Rai offers, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of wonder and fascination. 

DayLocationHighlightsEstimated Budget
1st dayKrabi> Ao Nang Beach1,500 – 2,500
2nd dayKrabi> Island-hopping tour to Phi Phi
> Maya Bay
> Monkey Beach
> Phi Phi Don
2,000 – 4,000
3rd dayKrabi to Phi Phi Islands1.5-hour journey from Krabi to Phi Phi 
Islands via ferry
Tonsai Village
Phi Phi Viewpoint Hike
Shark Point
1,500 – 2,500
4th dayPhi Phi Islands> Phi Phi Leh
> Viking Cave
> Pileh Lagoon
2,500 – 3,500
5th dayKrabi> Railay Beach
> Phra Nang Cave Beach
1,500 – 2,500
6th dayKrabi> Ao Thalane
> Mangrove forest exploration
> Krabi Town viewpoint
1,000 – 2,000

Days 1 and 2: Krabi

During your Krabi getaway, find comfort in your cosy beachfront hotel as the tranquil sounds of the Andaman Sea greet you. Take a leisurely walk along Ao Nang Beach and relish the peaceful atmosphere!

You can also dive into the crystal-clear waters of Maya Bay for a snorkelling adventure, meet the playful monkeys at Monkey Beach, and indulge in a delightful lunch on Phi Phi Don. 

As night falls, immerse yourself in Ao Nang’s lively beachfront nightlife with its vibrant bars and restaurants. It’s a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement for your Krabi visit.

Day 3 and 4: Phi Phi Islands

Begin your day in paradise and set out to further explore the enchanting Phi Phi Islands. Your adventure takes you to Phi Phi Leh, where you’ll marvel at the mesmerising beauty of this island gem. 

Make a stop at the Viking Cave and take in the intriguing sights it offers. Continue your journey to the emerald waters of Pileh Lagoon, where you can bask in the pristine natural surroundings. 

On another day of your trip, make your way to the breathtaking Railay Beach or explore the magical Phra Nang Cave Beach. Here, you’ll be captivated by the stunning scenery and the clear waters that stretch out before you. 

If you’re up for an adventure, consider trying your hand at rock climbing on the impressive limestone cliffs. 

Days 5 and 6: Krabi

Time to return to Krabi and delve into exploration. You can enjoy a peaceful kayaking adventure in Ao Thalane, where you’ll explore the mangrove forests and soak in the natural beauty. 

In the evening, slow down a bit and catch a breathtaking sunset at Krabi Town’s scenic viewpoint. Continue to explore Krabi’s charming beaches, try local cuisine, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. 

DayLocationHighlightsEstimated Budget 
1st dayKoh Samui> Chaweng Beach
> Local markets
> Lamai Beach
> Ang Thong Marine Park
1,500 – 2,500
2nd dayKoh Samui> Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple)
> Fisherman’s Village
> Bophut Beach
> Namuang Waterfall
500 – 1,000
3rd dayKoh Samui to Koh Phangan> 30-minute journey via ferry to Koh Phangan
> Thong Sala Night Market
2,000 – 4,000
4th dayKoh Phangan> Haad Rin Beach
> Phaeng Waterfall National Park
> Optional: Full Moon Party (if timing aligns)
5th dayKoh Phangan> Wat Phu Khao Noi
> Kuan Yin Shrine
> Haad Yuan Beach
2,000 – 3,000
6th dayKoh Phangan to Koh Tao> 1.5-hour journey from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao via ferry
> Sairee Beach
1,000 – 1,500
7th dayKoh Tao> John-Suwan Viewpoint
> Snorkelling at Shark Bay
Approximately 2,000 THB for snorkelling tour

Days 1 and 2: Koh Samui

Your tropical journey for this multi-city itinerary kicks off in the beautiful island of Koh Samui

On your first day, after checking into your beachfront hotel, relax and unwind on the golden sands of Chaweng Beach. You also get to explore local markets, savouring delicious Thai street food along the way. 

Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Wat Phra Yai, also known as the Big Buddha Temple, and take in panoramic views of the island. 

Plus, explore the charming Fisherman’s Village and its lively atmosphere. As the day winds down, enjoy a mesmerising sunset at Bophut Beach.

Day 3 to 5: Koh Phangan

Take a ferry to the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan and dive into the vibrant culture at Thong Sala Night Market! Be sure to soak up the lively atmosphere and indulge in local street food!

You could also embrace island life by spending your days relaxing on stunning beaches, such as Haad Rin and Bottle Beach, and exploring Phaeng Waterfall National Park

If the timing aligns, don’t miss the world-renowned Full Moon Party for an unforgettable night of celebration!

Days 6 and 7: Koh Tao

Your journey continues to Koh Tao, the diver’s paradise. Take a ferry to this enchanting island and check into your island resort. 

Here, you can dive into the world of scuba diving and snorkelling, exploring the vibrant coral reefs and marine life. 

You can then relax on the golden sands of Sairee Beach, soak in the tropical island vibes, and explore the island’s viewpoints and hiking trails. Make sure to visit Shark Bay for an underwater adventure!

NOTE: The estimated prices provided include meals and activity fees. It may vary depending on factors such as your choice of restaurants, specific activities, and current market conditions.

Things to Know When Travelling in Thailand

Pencil, Flag of Thailand and check mark on paper sheet
Image source: iStock

Language: Thai

Currency: Thai Baht

Respect Local Customs: 

  • When in Thailand, embrace the local culture by removing your shoes before entering homes and certain shops.

    Be mindful of public displays of affection, and avoid touching people’s heads or pointing your feet at them or religious objects to show respect.
  • Respecting the monarchy is also a huge deal. Besides avoiding disrespectful behaviour or comments, it’s important to note that defacing or damaging images of the King or the royal family can lead to severe legal consequences.
  • When visiting Thai temples, remember to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees. Before entering, remove your shoes as a sign of respect.

    Also, show reverence by refraining from physical contact, maintaining a quiet demeanour, and never pointing your feet at Buddha statues or people.

Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory but appreciated by many Thais. In restaurants, rounding up the bill or leaving a small tip is common. For exceptional service, a larger tip is appropriate.

Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural or village areas. In some cases, people may expect a small tip in return.

Greetings: The traditional Thai greeting is the wai – a slight bow with palms pressed together. Use it to show respect.

Bargaining: Bargaining is common at markets, but do it politely and with a smile.

Payment Methods: Thailand is generally a cash-based society, so it’s advisable to carry cash, especially when visiting local markets, small shops, or street vendors.

Credit cards are widely accepted in larger businesses, hotels, and restaurants, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards, with American Express and others less so.

Electricity: Thailand uses a 220V, 50Hz electrical system with Type A, Type B, or Type C electrical outlets. Depending on your country of origin, you may need a plug adapter or voltage converter to use your electronic devices.

What to Expect from Thailand’s Weather

Ban Krut beach of Thailand
Image source: iStock

Cool and Dry Season (November to February): This is the most popular time to visit Thailand. The weather is cooler and less humid, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploring cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. 

It’s also ideal for beach vacations in places like Phuket and Krabi.

Hot and Dry Season (March to May): Prepare for hot and humid weather, especially in central and northern Thailand. The southern islands remain pleasant. It’s a great time for water sports and diving in the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand.

Monsoon Season (July to October): Monsoon rains vary by region. The west coast (Andaman Sea) experiences heavy rains from May to October, while the east coast (Gulf of Thailand) sees the monsoon from September to December. 

Despite the rain, you can still enjoy Thailand during this season, especially in the north. It’s an excellent time for exploring lush jungles and waterfalls.

Shoulder Seasons: April and November are transitional months with more manageable temperatures and fewer crowds. Consider visiting during these shoulder seasons for a balanced experience.

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