Thailand is a delectable potpourri of city life, culture, quaint villages, temples, palaces, beaches and mountains. You require a month to soak in the vibrant vibe of this country. But what if you just have a week? Worry not! You can experience Thailand in a week too, provided you get smart with time management and do not stuff your itinerary. Key here is to embrace and dive into the places you visit. Visit fewer destinations but give them adequate time so they won’t seem like a blur when you come back home. And, here are some awesome itineraries to get started.

For The Fast-Paced City Lover – Bangkok (3 days)/Phuket (3 days)


The capital city of Thailand will remind of any metropolitan in the world. But slow down and look closely, for hidden in the buzz is the magnificent Grand Palace and the ancient Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).

Spend quality time here, keep a day just to browse through the history and culture of the place. Then look at the age-old canal routes of the Chao Phraya River. It is because of these canal routes that Bangkok is also known as the Venice of East. Keep a day for the boat ride in the canal to witness floating markets and local life thriving on its banks.

Like any bustling city, the pulse of Bangkok can be found in its markets. Walk up and down the gigantic Chatuchak market and the historical Khao San Road which was built in 1892. Bangkok makes a robust first impression for Thailand.


Move south from central Thailand to reach Phuket. There is a lot to do in this island province. Take a break from the bustling city and soak in the sandy beauty of Karon beach. Later, visit the Big Buddha, which is a popular attraction in Phuket, also a brilliant viewpoint.

The next day, if you are itching for city life, move towards Phuket city and explore the Chinpracha mansion and Thai Hua Museum. Phuket can be a haven for adventure lovers. So, if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, take a zip line across the lush forests or go snorkelling to explore the underwater.

For Nature-Lovers And Culture Junkies – Bangkok (1 Day)/Chiang Mai (3 Days)/ Pai (2 Days)

Chiang Mai

Ruchika Sen | Ithaka

If you are looking to spend your vacation from the city buzz, move to the north. This picturesque landscape rests in the backdrop of Khun Tan range in Chiang Mai. This place is famous for elephant sanctuaries where people spend at least a day you befriend the affectionate tuskers. The most famous structure here is the Buddhist temple Wat Doi Suthep perched on top of a mountain. You will have to climb 309-steps in the final leg to reach here.

Chiang Mai is also known for the lantern festival called Yee Peng which takes place in November. So, if you are visiting Thailand during this time, don’t miss this festival of lights.


Move further away from the bustle and you land in Pai, known for its lush fields, winding roads and a canyon. This place gets its name from Pai river which flows alongside. Stroll on the Pai Walking street, visit the local clay houses and eateries that serve the traditional Yunnan cuisine.

Karen tribal girls from Padaung long neck hill tribe villageKaren tribal girls from Padaung long neck hill tribe village

North Thailand is also the place to observe the ancient culture of the Kayan tribe that is characterised by women wearing shiny metal rings around their long necks. While entry to these ancient tribal villages is prohibited, you will come across the local people selling knick-knacks and souvenirs.

For The History Buff – Bangkok (1 Day)/ Kanchanaburi (3 Days)/ Ayutthaya (2 Days)


Famous for its bridge on the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi is the hangout for people who love going back in time. Archaeological remains found here date back to as long as the 4th century. But the famous attraction is the Death Railways, 300 kilometers of track, where close to two lakh civilians from South East Asia and around 61,000 Allied prisoners of war were subjected to forced labour to build this stretch. When here, visit the Kanchanaburi museum which houses artefacts from the World War.


Situated the valley of river Chao Phraya, it was the largest city of Thailand in the 1700s with a million inhabitants. This place was the hub of trade where merchants sailed from all over for business. Due to its prominence, Ayutthaya houses three palaces and approximately a hundred temples.

Rent a bicycle to explore this historical city which is mostly in ruins now. And, while exploring do not forget to bite into the Roti Sai Mai (Thai cotton candy roll). When here, also make it a point to witness the popular Muay Thai ceremony which is the national combat sport of the country.

For Beach Bums, Party Lovers And Luxury Travellers – Phuket (2 Days)/ Ko Phi Phi (2 Days)/ Krabi (2 Days)

Koh Phi Phi

This is the party destination for Thailand. Movie buffs should definitely hop on to a boat and visit the Maya Bay, shooting destination for Leonardo Dicaprio’s movie The Beach. Beach lovers should stick to the south of Thailand for lots of sand and sun. While on the boat, you can also visit the Viking caves that are looming holes made of limestone.

Understand that most tourists visit Thailand for its beaches and islands, so it gets more expensive than staying on the mainland.


Down south, lying on the west coast of Thailand is Krabi. This destination is known for its spectacular white beaches, mangrove forests and steep limestone cliffs. If you are travelling with family, spread out your days here to visit the cave at Wat Tham Sua that nestles a temple, to dip into the Klong Thom hot springs or simply to take in the rustic, old-world feel of Krabi town as you stroll in and out of the beaches.

Thailand is not just known for its beaches. It is a haven even for nature enthusiasts, history buffs and people who want to take a quiet pause. It is a heady mix of culture which is best experienced at a leisurely pace. So, go slow and savour every moment you spend in this country. We bet you will cherish it once the week is over.