2 Weeks in Thailand: The Perfect Itinerary

Thailand itinerary


2 Weeks in Thailand

We just got back from spending 2 weeks in Thailand and had the best time exploring both the mainland and the Gulf islands. We’ve been searching (in vain) for the same delectable frozen pineapple smoothies, thai iced coffee and chicken & cashews ever since!

Thailand has such a different vibe from the States and we spent quite a while travelling around so I thought it’d be fun to do a recap of each city we visited to help you plan a visit.





Thailand Cities

In our opinion?

The best Thailand itinerary needs to include a mix of the main cities (Bangkok, Chiang Mai), the islands (Ko Samui, Ko Tao, etc) and some historical ruins (Ayutthaya, Sukhothai)!

If you’re planning a visit to Thailand and want to know the best places to visit in the country, hopefully our 2 week Thailand itinerary will help! And of course, if you have less time, just modify it based on what interests you.

Below I’ve included our daily route covering 14 days across Thailand’s cities and beaches.



thailand ayutthaya ancient siam ruins buddha wat temple structure stone brick bodhi tree thai summer travel photo sher she goes shershegoes.com



2 weeks in thailand itinerary sukhothai

Chiang Mai

Koh Samui

thailand conrad koh samui ko samui hotel villa suite ocean front view beach private infinity pool sunst thai food cocktail pool island snorkle snorkling fresh squeeze juice guava watermelon apple dragonfruit island paradise sher she goes shershegoes.com

Ko Tao

thailand travel guide ko tao shershegoes.com




Thailand In 10 Days
Thailand in 1 week


Thailand Itinerary

Here are my recommended priorities to experience both Thailand’s cities and islands for a unique blend of culture, temples, sun and sand.


Days Cities Overnight
Days 1 – 2 Bangkok Courtyard Marriott Bangkok
Day 3 Ayutthaya Hotel Pailyn Phitsanulok
Day 4 Sukhothai Hotel Pailyn Phitsanulok
Day 5 Chiang Mai Sibsan Resort & Spa Maeteang
Day 6 – 9 Koh Samui Baan Chaweng Beach Resort and Conrad Ko Samui
Day 10 – 13 Ko Tao Simple Life Resort
Day 14 Bangkok Conrad Bangkok

If you have time, I highly recommend getting certified on Koh Tao for PADI scuba diving!

If you don’t want to get dive certified, I would cut the time in Koh Tao to just 2 days and spend more time in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is a fun, vibrant city (with a reputation as one of the top “digital nomad” destinations in the world so be prepared for lots of expats and young millennials). I regret only have a day and half there!





2 Week Thailand Itinerary

We spent two weeks in Thailand in order to see both the cities and beaches. Plus, it’s a long flight from New York so we wanted to squeeze in as much as we could! 

If you’d like to plan your own trip to Thailand, I highly recommend the Lonely Planet Thailand guidebook (under $20 on Amazon or free with Kindle Unlimited ), which contains detailed ferry advice, sight suggestions and maps of the ruins which I found very helpful when trip planning.

Below is a day by day itinerary, covering what to see, what to eat and where to go. Whether you have 7 days, 10 days or 14 days in Thailand, I hope it helps! For any other questions, please feel free to ask it in the comments below.




2 weeks in Thailand Itinerary


Days 1 & 2: Bangkok

Thailand’s capital is a fast paced Asian metropolis and in a way, almost like every other large city. You’ll find great rooftop bars, delicious thai cuisine and beautiful historic temples showcasing the country’s past alongside businessmen in air conditioned malls and buddhist monks.

Most are conveniently located in Ko Ratanakosin, Thonburi and Dusit, all of which border the Banglamphu hotel district. Make sure to pack a scarf and long pants for covering up. Despite the humid, sticky 90 degree plus summers, you won’t be allowed to enter the temples or palace without covering your shoulders and knees.

For foodies, make sure to explore Bangkok’s night markets, street stalls and floating markets for great cheap Thai food! This night food tour takes you to the best stalls.




sher she goes chedi stupa buddhist country

These are some instagram snapshots of my time in Bangkok. Read more about my favorites sights Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Arun here.


Best Things to Do in Bangkok

  • Hopping on and off the Chao Phraya Express to glide along the city’s main river and sightsee
  • Exploring the streets of old Bangkok, including Ko Ratanakosin, on foot
  • Toasting the stars and twinkling skyscraper lights on rooftop bars like Moon Bar at Vertigo and Sirocco Sky Bar
  • Burning baht at one of the world’s largest markets, the Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Pretending to be a houseguest at the city’s most beautiful former residence, Jim Thompson’s house


Where to Stay in Bangkok

We recommend 2 full days in Bangkok, to completely explore it’s beautiful Buddhist temples and the historic Royal Palace. Bangkok is home to some of the most impressive wats (temples) and palaces in the country!

1 | Courtyard Marriott Bangkok – This hotel is located in Siam Square and quite comfortable.

Compare room rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


2 | Conrad Bangkok – For our last night in Bangkok, we decided to splurge and stayed at the Conrad Bangkok near the business district, which was a real treat! For more pictures and reviews, check out my post here.

Compare room rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor





Day 3: Ayutthaya

Next, we took a train headed north to check out the ruins of Siam’s ancient capital.

Ayutthaya contains a collection of time and war worn temples and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Essentially more Buddhas but in a open air context. It’s surreal how close Thailand lets you get to it’s ancient artifacts – literally, on top of them!

Ayutthaya historical park is a must see stop on the cultural trail and is an easy day trip from Bangkok. Many of the great monuments have been destroyed or stolen, but the city remains historically important and the key ruins can be visited in a day.

We bought a one way 3rd class seat train ticket from Hualamphong station. There’s no air conditioning but the train windows are open, seating is comfortable and passes are incredibly affordable at 15 baht per person.

When you get to Ayutthaya’s train station you can stash your luggage in the left luggage office on the platform if you’re also making a one way trip like we did. Then take a short ferry to the island, boats run every few minutes. At the platform where you get off, there’s a great ice cold fruit smoothie shop to cool you down!

I wouldn’t recommend seeing the park on foot, as it’s quite a large set of grounds. On a bike, you can see the entirety in about 2-3 hours and explore the rest of the new town as well. Rent a bike from the 2nd restaurant on the right when leaving the train station – it’s cheaper than the first and the lady will provide you with a map.

For more pictures and must see individual temples, read my post on Ayutthaya here.

*Long pants/skirts and shirts with sleeves are required to visit the temples.





Best Things to Do in Ayutthaya

  • tour the park on bike
  • take a sunset boat tour to view the temples from the water
  • in the southeast corner of the old city, wat suwan dararam is a beautiful and peaceful temple, particularly interesting for its brilliant and historical murals.
  • try Ayutthaya’s muslim dessert roti, roh-dee sai mai


Where to Stay in Ayutthaya

Hotel Pailyn Phitsanulok – We wanted to visit both of Thailand’s historical ruins, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. To do so, we left Bangkok early, did a day trip to Ayutthaya and then hopped on a train to overnight in Phitsanulok, the nearest city to Sukhothai Historical Park.

Compare room rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


Fun Day Tours in Ayutthaya





Days 4 & 5: Chiang Mai

Finally, we arrived at our northernmost destination in Chiang Mai. Nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a city of artisans and craftspeople, of university professors and students creating a beautiful quirky sanctuary.

This is also definitely Euro-backpacker central. On our overnight train ride, I woke up early to loud chants of “Chiang Mai Chiang High” haha.

This was my favorite city in Thailand and I loved the abundance of quirky coffee shops here. Anyone who knows me knows that I NEED coffee to survive and if you’re in Thailand, Thai iced coffee is a MUST try. I still haven’t puzzled out exactly what makes them so good. At first I thought it was the substitution of condensed milk instead of regular milk but I don’t think that’s all there is to it..

We also took a Thai cooking class and had a lot of fun recreating classic southeast asian dishes! We only had time for 24 hours in Chiang Mai but I would love to come back and stay longer to do the city justice. If you’re not planning to head south to the islands, check out Chiang Rai which is even further up north.





Best Things to do in Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai adds lots of spice for the aspiring chef! Take a cooking class and learn about regional cooking ingredients (you can read about my experience and which school I chose in more depth here)
  • Or, if you just prefer to eat your way through Northern Thai delicacies, head over to Grandmother’s Khao Soi pronto for the best crunchy curry noodles you’ll ever have
  • Chiang Mai is Thailand’s base for outdoor activities in the cool, lush northern mountains. Consider a trek to a minority tribal village, a visit to an elephant sanctuary or zipline courses through the forest
  • This is also the home of the Tiger Sanctuary but any place that drugs animals isn’t much of a sanctuary. I would really encourage people to visit an Elephant Park instead, like this one.
  • Check out the Night Bazaar for some of Thailand’s gorgeous handicrafts
  • Chiang Mai’s temples showcase Lanna art and preserve folkways and ethnic culture. Nearby Chiang Rai is an easy day trip from Chiang Mai and the architecture is even more incredible.
  • Th Nimmanhaemin road and its offshoots are an incredible hive of energy bursting with bistros, trendy bars and boutiques


Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: Sibsan Resort & Spa Maeteang

This hotel is a gorgeous stay slightly outside the city near the Elephant sanctuary. It’s a village set in the rice paddies and hills and given that it’s thailand, still very affordable!

Compare room rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


Fun Tours in Chiang Mai





shershegoes.com sher she goes


Days 6 – 9: Koh Samui

This beautiful island is the paradise to unwind. We spent two days in Chaweng, the largest of Samui’s beaches with a vibrant nightlife scene.

Then we changed hotels to the ultra luxurious Conrad Koh Samui on the more private southwest tip of the island and settled it for an utterly relaxing couple of days.

The Conrad is a perfect choice if you’d like to be completely closeted away – we spent two nights of bliss in our private hilltop villa with our own infinity pool and magnificent sunset views without seeing any other visitors.

Sometimes there’s nothing more that you want than a complete “do nothing” vacation and Samui is the perfect place to relax and recuperate.

For more photos, you can read my Conrad Ko Samui hotel review.





Where to Stay in Ko Samui

We split our time in Samui by staying in 2 hotels, to experience the island’s different neighborhoods. Both hotels were great, but provided different experiences!


1 | Conrad Ko Samui – This completely secluded property on the south west coast has private villas, set into the cliffs. Each villa has everything you could want – including your own infinity pool overlooking the ocean. It was total bliss after the hot sticky sun at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.

Check rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


2 | Baan Chaweng Beach Resort –  If you’re looking for more of a nightlife scene, stay in Chaweng (near the airport) which has a more vibrant scene and regular hotel properties. This resort had a couple huge swimming pools, beachfront access and lots of games. The frozen cocktails were tasty and cheap!

Check rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


Fun Activities in Ko Samui





sher she goes.com


Days 10-13: Ko Tao

From Koh Samui, we boarded the catamaran to Ko Tao. Ko Tao is the smallest island in the Samui – Ngan – Tao trio but it makes up for it with a vibrant expat population, a laid back atmosphere and world class diving.

This is THE spot to learn how to scuba dive.

We spent 4 days on the island to get our open water certification and every minute was worth it. Don’t expect the luxury of Samui – I always had sand somewhere and never really felt clean after a shower but man, the diving is incredible. It’s amazing to learn in crystal blue water and see exotic fish on your very first dive!

The island of Ko Tao also has great, low key bars – we spent many nights playing pool and watching the world cup. I’d say Ko Tao has a bit of bohemian meets paradise kind of vibe – it’s a twisted maze of cute boutiques, clothing shops, coffee shops and restaurants serving simple delicious inexpensive Thai food.

If I could go back to any island immediately, I would come back to Ko Tao. I really, really loved it here.





Where to stay in Ko Tao

Simple Life Resort – We stayed in a basic beach hut as part of the accommodation provided with the PADI scuba certification. It’s bare bones but really, the focus on Ko Tao is not on lodging but all about diving. It’s like a backpacker’s campground meets the Great Barrier Reef.

If you’re staying for longer than 4 days or not interested in diving, I’d recommend something a bit more luxurious. Don’t expect Ko Samui glam though!

Book rooms: Booking.com, Hotels.com

Check prices: TripAdvisor


Fun Tours in Ko Tao




jim thompson sher she goes


Day 14: Bangkok

On our last day in Bangkok, we took the opportunity to rest, do some last minute shopping and explore Jim Thompson’s House.

At this point, we were all wat-ted out and had a lot of fun pretending to be a house guest at the city’s most beautiful former residence.

Jim Thompson was a former CIA operative who helped develop Thailand’s silk trade and mysteriously went missing in the jungles of Myanmar. Conspiracy theories abound but his house is crazy beautiful with Balinese antiques, it’s own moat entrance and tons of koi ponds.


Where to Stay in Bangkok

Conrad Bangkok – For our last two nights in Bangkok, we treated ourselves to a stay at the Conrad. 5 star luxury hotels can be much cheaper in Asia so it’s not as expensive as you might think! You can read my full review here.

Check rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com or Read reviews on Tripadvisor


Fun Tours in Bangkok




conrad koh samui hotel resort thailand samui island paradise vacation infinity pool beach villa hut rocky sun summer vacation shershegoes.com


How Much to Budget for Thailand

I also got many questions on how much a trip to Thailand costs.

I don’t remember the exact amount unfortunately, but the flights were by far the most expensive (coming from New York).. something like $1,700? I’m sure you could find a better deal by booking in advance – check here for flight deals.

Scuba diving on Ko Tao was part of our trip itinerary and may or may not be something you’re interested in. We chose to get PADI certified on Ko Tao as it’s one of the least expensive places to get your dive certification and has top notch dive school instruction.

It was roughly $400 per person for the PADI certification, which included 3 or 4 nights of (very) basic accommodation. 

Meals could be very inexpensive if you ate at roadside, authentic Thai places (under $10 for two people) or more expensive if you ate at established restaurants or inside hotels (maybe $25+ for two people).

We did a mixture of all and thought the street vendors had the best food to be honest! 





Transportation in Thailand

Save money by booking Thai trains online before you go.

Taxis within Bangkok and Chiang Mai are very affordable but just make sure you negotiate and set the price before getting in. If the driver hears your destination is a fancier hotel, be prepared to pay more or haggle harder. 

Koh Samui is the one place with very expensive taxis as it’s a large island and run collectively. Try hiring Mr. Samui’s private cars – we did that and found it to be more comfortable and cheaper than hailing a taxi off the street.

Songthaews and tuk tuks for each destination vary, but we referenced our Lonely Planet book for estimated fares. 

The LP guide was quite handy and I definitely recommend picking up a copy (under $20 on Amazon). There was detailed ferry advice, sight suggestions and maps of the ruins which was all invaluable for planning.





And that’s a wrap! Our 2 week trip to Thailand in a nutshell. Have you been? Let me know your recommendations if so!


Visiting Thailand – Travel Checklist

The most expensive part of the trip to Thailand are flights. Check for flight deals in advance in order to save. For hotel bookings, we relied on Booking.com.

Be sure to visit Thailand with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, or your phone gets stolen, travel insurance will help when you need it most. Get a quote for your trip here.


 You Might Also Enjoy: 


Thailand Vacation Planning Articles

Choosing the Best Thai Islands Andaman or Gulf Coast

How to Plan the Perfect 2 Weeks in Thailand


Sights & Hotels We Loved

Conspiracy Theories & Thai Mansions at Jim Thompson’s House

Classic Bangkok Sights: Wat Pho & Temple of Dawn

Deciding Between 2 Ancient Ruins Sukhothai or Ayutthaya

Checking In: Our Luxurious Private Villa Conrad Koh Samui

Luxury for Less: Staying at the Conrad Bangkok


The Best Thai Food

Chiang Mai Things to Do: Learning to Cook Authentic Thai Food

Here’s Where to Find The Best Curry Noodles in Chiang Mai


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    • Sher
      August 8, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you! It was hands down one of the best trips I’ve done in a while.

  1. danielle
    March 14, 2016 / 11:15 am

    that sounds so incredible! i’d love to go one day so thanks for sharing :)

    • Sher
      March 14, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Hi Danielle! I hope you get to go someday, Thailand is just amazing. The food, the sights and the islands = heaven!!

  2. Dana Ivy
    March 14, 2016 / 11:45 am

    I seriously can’t get over your posts! Each one is better than the next!! Can I travel with you!?!?

    • Sher
      March 14, 2016 / 4:42 pm

      Thanks so much Dana!! I recently started to redo all my travel guides in an effort to make them more useful, so it means a lot that someone enjoys them haha!

  3. Jenny
    March 15, 2016 / 12:09 am

    Ahh Thailand is lovely and the food, oh, the food is so so good! It sounds like you managed to pack a lot into your two weeks, along with some good relaxation towards the end. Glad you had fun!

    • Sher
      March 15, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      I know right? the food is SOOO good. I literally order thai takeout at least once a week haha

  4. Vicki
    March 15, 2016 / 12:53 am

    This looks like an amazing adventure! Glad you managed to get some Island time in at the end – and what a lovely contrast across 2 weeks – mountains, cities & beaches, who could ask for anything more?!

    • Sher
      March 15, 2016 / 1:27 pm

      Yes! the islands were my favorite part :)

  5. Cristina
    March 16, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    What a dreamy vacation! I’ve never been to Thailand but I’d love to visit some day.

  6. Hung Thai
    March 17, 2016 / 2:21 am

    Oh man what an epic trip! I visited basically the same attractions as you minus the beaches – now I have to come back and do that in a year or two.

    • Sher
      March 20, 2016 / 12:09 pm

      hey hung! wohoo! thailand is awesome right? i never get tired of hearing about people’s travels there and of course there’s always places I missed as well. hope you see the islands soon :)

  7. Annika
    March 21, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    I really love the layout of the post, but I very much wish you wouldn’t promote riding on an elephant – i is such a horrid practice :(

    • Sher
      March 21, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Hi Annika – there are a number of conservation efforts dedicated to rehabilitating elephants in Chiang Mai and across Thailand. While I’m definitely against the tiger kingdom, i do believe elephant conservation programs are ok to support.

  8. Annika
    March 21, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Hey Sher, definitely, elephant conservation programs are great. However, real conservation programs will never let you ride an elephant. Elephants’ spines are really sensitive and the practice that makes an elephant baby docile enough to allow it is absolutely horrifying. Google ‘elephant breaking camps’ and speak to places like the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. There is a huge difference between those places and others which allow elephant riding. I just think if you don’t support tiger temple you really shouldn’t endorse something like that. Cheers, Annika

    • Sher
      March 21, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      ah ok appreciate the insight. just to be clear – i haven’t ever ridden on an elephant! and the photo above is of a painting. i felt kind of weird doing all that in chiang mai so i didn’t, but i have friends that have spent a day at the elephant conservation program and i *think* they just played with and bathed the elephants and didn’t ride them. i’ll look into replacing the top photo, i really liked the image but hm yeah maybe not the best experience to “promote”

  9. Annika
    March 21, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    I must admit I like the image too, though it portrays a horrid practice too romantically. But I was actually commenting on your advice for Ayutthaya where you say to ride on an elephant, not on the picture.
    Look, I actually wish people could/should ride on elephants, I do love them and I love the idea and certainly I don’t just blame anybody who has done it. It is just really terrible for the elephants and after learning it, I just want to spread the word and make people aware of it (as I guess, most are not) – no offense to you or your friends!

    • Sher
      March 21, 2016 / 5:47 pm

      ah i see. i changed to “on a bike” :) appreciate the insight! i knew instinctively that the tigers at tiger kingdom had to be drugged – there’s no way they are that passive and let you hug them normally. but didn’t realize elephant riding was a bad thing! i guess i figured they were like horses..

  10. Jill
    June 14, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Hey Sher! I stumbled upon your website and post about Thailand as I am doing my own research to spend two weeks there :). Your trip looked absolutely amazing. If you wouldn’t mind, would you be able to share an estimate budget for your trip? Including, travel, and lodging? Thanks so much!!!

    • Sher
      June 14, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      Hey Jill! Hm honestly what I spent probably won’t be very helpful for you as it really depends on what kind of lodging, activities and logistics options you choose. I listed all the hotels I stayed at so you can take a look to get a sense of current pricing. We did a mix of hostels and high end – i think splurging on the islands is well worth it!

      Overall I’d say thailand is extremely affordable – we had some amazing street food / road side restaurant meals that were something like $2 USD. We also ate at the hotel and had very similar meals (pad thai etc) for $30 USD.

      Ko Samui was very expensive – any of the islands with a luxury bent tend to be pricey. Ko tao is a great budget friendly option, a lot of expats and backpackers go there. Scuba diving is incredibly affordable in thailand, we paid about $350 USD for the open water PADI certification and that included basic accommodation.

      flights from the US are kind of pricey – we saved by choosing a flight with 2 stopovers. it was definitely brutal but since we stayed in thailand for 2 weeks it was fine. overall i’d say thailand is probably the cheapest destination i’ve been to but also one of the most fun!

  11. Christine
    June 24, 2016 / 2:33 pm


    This trip sounds amazing. What kind of travel did you use/suggest to get from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui?

    • Sher
      June 24, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      Hey Christine! The best way to go from northern thailand down south to the islands is to fly. Ko samui is a main island and has its own small airport. Then from there you can ferry to the smaller islands like ko tao, ko phang an etc. flights are very inexpensive too! I think i paid about $79 one way on thai airways

  12. Rebecca
    July 12, 2016 / 12:50 am

    Hi! I’m trying to plan a trip to Thailand next year and this itinerary looks perfect! I love the photos and recommendations of places to sleep. I was wondering if you could give me an idea of your budget for this trip?

  13. Sher
    July 12, 2016 / 1:11 am

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks! Glad you found the itinerary useful. I honestly can’t remember how much specifically I spent, but I do recall that the flights were the most expensive part of the trip. Everything in thailand is very cheap and doable – amazing food from street stalls was 10-30 baht a dish. i got fruit smoothies everyday for maybe $1-2 USD. local trains sitting in 2nd class were maybe $30 from bangkok to ayutthaya. entrance fees to sights are also minimal, maybe 15-30 baht per sight. cabs were super cheap in bangkok and we took tuk tuks in the other cities. you can insist on the meter with the former, negotiate on the latter.

    we also kept costs low by staying in mid-range hostels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai – maybe $10-30 a night for double occupancy, private rooms with bathrooms? hostels in asia are for the most part, very clean and very cheap. But then we also splurged on a Conrad villa in Ko Samui and got PADI certified on Ko Tao – the islands are much tough on the wallet. if you’re on a budget, i’d skip ko samui – the flight + cabs are crazy expensive. i think it was $60-80 USD for a cab ride to get from the airport to the conrad one way.

    Ko Tao is pretty affordable and a lot of british/aussie expats live there to dive. you can stay for very cheap in dive accommodation (but this will be very bare bones, i always felt like i still had sand stuck on me)

    if i remember correctly, the entire trip at just over 2 weeks including the splurges was about $2500 a person not incl. our international flights. we aren’t backpackers so you can definitely do it for cheaper. you can also go high end and well the sky is the limit on that! i want to say you can do thailand on $50 USD a day including accommodation if you are careful with your spending – and still eat amazing food, see the sights, have a beer etc..

    i hope that helps – i dont know your budget or what activities you are looking to do. i can try to give more input if you let me know!


  14. kayla
    August 24, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    I loved your itinerary, looking to do a trip next summer! This was really helpful. Just wondering how you packed for the trip & what did you do with your luggage well you were the ruins since they were day trips?

    • Sher
      August 24, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Hi kayla! I am NOT a light packer haha so I packed a big standard size suitcase and day backpack for the two weeks.

      For the day trips i stored my luggage in the train luggage rooms and brought valuables in my day pack. The luggage rooms are in almost all the train stations, definitely ayutthaya (sukhothai train station is tech in a town called phitsanulok and I stayed overnght in town so had a hotel).

      Just keep in mind its a small room near the ticket office not really a secure locker so try to bring a separate lock. Also i dont remember there being large luggage space on the train itself – we just tried to get an empty seat if possible i think. There may have been a small shelf area above the seats. Hope that helps!

      If you want a specific packing post on what I brought (thailand has some rules w the temples), weather, etc happy to do that. Just let me know

      • Natazshya
        September 7, 2016 / 12:10 pm

        Yes, please! The packing post would be greatly appreciated!

        • Sher
          September 7, 2016 / 2:45 pm

          Hey Natazshya – ok sure. I’m headed back to southeast asia soon so I’ll whip something up!

  15. Ahmed
    September 21, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Great tips and precious advice for travelers.
    Anything about Indonesia? Please and thank you.

    • Sher
      September 21, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Hey Ahmed, awesome glad you enjoyed it. Funny you ask – I’m off to Indonesia soon going all around the country and I will have some posts up in about a month! Feel free to check back or subscribe so you’ll be be first to know :)

  16. Marieve
    November 18, 2016 / 6:15 am

    I love your photos! Do you use a specific instagram filter? Thanks for the great info as well :)

    • Sher
      November 19, 2016 / 11:22 am

      Hi Marieve – thanks so much! Hm these photos were taken a couple years ago and at the time I think used a mix of VSCO and the native Instagram filters, depending on each photo’s lighting conditions. hope that helps!

  17. Katie
    June 7, 2017 / 12:22 am

    Hello, I had a quick question.
    I wanted to visit Bangkok, Phuket, and Chang Mai. I’ll be staying in Thailand for 2 weeks, what would you say would be the best option for me and how long should I stay in each place?
    Thank you!

  18. Sumaiya
    July 7, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    Hi Sher,

    I have been following your blog and instagram to plan my honeymoon to Thailand. I love reading all your inputs. I have few questions.
    1. How did you get to Koh Samui from Chaing Mai?
    2. What is better to visit Koh Samui, Koh Toa or Koh Lipe? We are definitely doing Koh Lanta. We are much of a diver or swimmer as I see you went to for the diving experience to Koh Toa.
    Also how was your flight from NY to Bangkok? I can not find any direct flight and layovers are so long. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Sher
      July 7, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Hi Sumaiya, sure. We flew from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui, there are about 1 to 2 direct flights per day if I remember correctly. It depends on the kind of experience you want. Koh Samui is luxury and more private – perfect for couples. Most people stay at private resorts with private beach access. If you like to dive, you might prefer Koh Tao. There are tons of dive shops on the island and it has a more vibrant, backpacker feel with lots of expats, bars and restaurants to hang around. We really enjoyed Koh Tao and our dive experience but then the heavenly luxury of Koh Samui felt like paradise too. I haven’t been to Koh Lipe personally but friends have said great things!

      There aren’t any direct flights. I know, layovers are the worst! Our flights were actually severely delayed and the airlines lost our luggage for 2 days.. so if possible I would stay at least 2 nights, preferably 3 in Bangkok just in case of any flight issues.

  19. Sumaiya
    July 7, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you!! do you mind sharing airline so we can avoid that. It must have been a nightmare to lose your luggage. And I meant to say we are NOT much of diver. Do you have any suggestion on Koh Lanta? Should we skip it and stay on just the gulf side?

    • Sher
      July 7, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      It wasn’t the airlines fault. we flew out of NYC on a night when it was thunderstorming and were delayed because of the storm, then automatically missed our connecting flight in london. they returned our luggage to us by the evening of the 2nd day and also gave us credit to pay essentials, clothes. I’ve actually had my luggage lost too many times to count so I tryyy to go carry-on only when I can!

      Oh you’re not a diver. It really depends what vibe you’re looking for. Are you a family, couple, traveling with kids, etc? Koh Tao has a really fun vibe – food is great, lots of cute boutiques, lots of expats if you want a more british/americanized feel. Koh Samui has a hangout spot on Chaweng but overall is very high end. It’s one of those spots where you mostly stay in your luxury resort and don’t go into town. We spent 4 days on Samui, 2 near Chaweng and then 2 on a private resort on the other side of the island.

      I would stay on one side – either Andaman or Gulf. I have a whole post on the different beaches/islands in Thailand which you can also check out for more ideas!

  20. Luis Castro
    September 24, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Hey, taking a good look at your guide, would you recommend traveling to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai, instead of looking at things to do in Chiang Mai that day?

    • Sher
      September 24, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Hey Luis – do you mean skipping Chiang Mai and heading to Chiang Rai? We only visited Chiang Mai and loved the city, we wish we had spent more time there. There’s the old town, great temples, a large foreigner community, amazing food, elephant sanctuaries etc.

      Chiang Rai is a little more remote and a touch less visited because it’s farther north. There’s also some really gorgeous temples and luxury retreats there. We unfortunately didn’t have time to visit Chiang Rai so I can’t really recommend one vs. the other!

  21. Nadia
    September 27, 2017 / 6:43 pm


    Please could you send me the itinerary for the 2 week stay in thailand. The drop downs dont work for me

  22. Luis Castro
    October 8, 2017 / 8:06 am

    Hey Sher, thanks for the info, we ended up deciding to book it, but we’re for sure basing most of our travel in your guide, so excited! Thanks for all the great info!

  23. Bren
    November 11, 2017 / 11:16 am

    Wow! Awesome summary. Thinking about going next year and this is exactly what Ill use. Im more of a beach loving than a big city person. But this is great. Thank you!

  24. Crystal Tilly
    November 11, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Do you booked everything separately ?

    • Sher
      November 11, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      Hi Crystal – Yes I made my own itinerary and booked it all separately, but if you wanted to book a tour there are lots of great options too!

  25. Kara Bui
    August 3, 2018 / 3:19 am

    I love the way you write up this post. It made it look like heaven on earth :) Photos are so amazing and stunning. Excellent!

  26. Christen
    August 22, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    Hello! How was traveling from Ko Tao to Bangkok?

    • Sher
      August 22, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      we flew, and it was super short and comfortable!

  27. Biby Chacon
    October 10, 2018 / 11:41 pm

    This is an awesome trip and your itinerary is amazing! I’m currently planning a trip and this is really helpful.

    Question, when did you go to Thailand and when do you recommend going, best time to visit.

    • Sher
      October 11, 2018 / 12:28 am

      Hi Biby – Glad you liked the post :) We went in the summer in June + July. It’s pretty hot then but still fun. For the islands, there are different seasons depending on the coast you’re visiting. I cover the best time to go in my thailand islands post here.

  28. Chanell
    April 26, 2019 / 5:33 am

    Which season did you visit?

    • Sher
      April 26, 2019 / 7:24 pm


  29. Eugenie
    July 12, 2019 / 10:07 am

    How did you get from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui? Besides the direct flight which is super pricey, all the other routes I find are very convoluted. Advice?

    • Sher
      July 12, 2019 / 1:35 pm

      Hi Eugenie – We took the direct flight, for the convenience

  30. jenn marcos
    December 11, 2019 / 10:03 am

    Hello! Love your photos and detailed information! I was wondering – what would you recommend to see a bit of everything with a 7-day timeline? Is it feasible to do Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and a beach town?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Sher
      December 11, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Hi Jenn! With 7 days, i’d recommend Bangkok, Chiang Mai and a day trip. From Bangkok, you could do Ayutthaya or from Chiang Mai you could do Chiang Rai.

      Bangkok to Chiang Mai is heading north. So if you were to go down south to the islands, I think it would eat up too much travel time and you wouldn’t get much time. Or you could do Bangkok + an island if you want beach time!

  31. Omkar Sheorey
    February 19, 2022 / 1:35 pm

    Hi, Great article Would you mind sharing whats the location of that first arial drone photo? Looks insane. Thanks

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