For many visitors to Thailand, you’re granted 30 days in the country on arrival. In a country with so much to see and do, it’s easy to fill each and every one of those days. With one month in Thailand, you can have adventures in the north, explore ancient kingdoms, spend a whirlwind couple of days in Bangkok, and wind it all down lounging on the islands.
How to Spend One Month in Thailand
Start planning that dream trip with our one month in Thailand itinerary.
Chiang Mai (3 days)
Depending on where you’re coming from, you may have to overnight in Bangkok at the start of your trip. Save the big city for later and just crash for the night if you must, and make your way straight to Chiang Mai. Known as the “Northern Capital,” it’s the 2nd largest city in Thailand and a fascinating place to visit. With a few days there, you can do a bit of temple hopping – including visiting the hilltop Doi Sutthep – hit a few museums, explore night markets, and dig in to some delicious Thai food.
Adventures in the North (10 days)
While there’s nothing wrong with Chiang Mai, there’s so much to do outside of the city that you’ll want to dedicate most of your time in the north to adventures. Rent a motorbike and ride the 1,864 curves of the Mae Hong Son Loop. Go jungle trekking, where you’ll sleep in villages and dive into waterfalls. Take flight in the jungle on a zipline course. Hang out in the chilled out hippie town of Pai, where you can hike in a canyon and soak in hot springs. Visit an elephant camp and learn how to be a mahout. Take a day trip to visit the stunning White Temple and Black House in Chiang Rai. You won’t be able to do that all in ten days, so it’s best to just pick a few.
Ancient Kingdoms (2 days)
Those interested in the history and culture of Thailand will want to include a visit to at least one of the country’s ancient kingdoms. Spend a day or two exploring the ruins at Sukhothai or Ayutthaya, both of which are easily visited by train or bus. Both are well worth at least a full day and also have some tourist infrastructure in place so you can spend a pleasant night there before moving on.
Bangkok (3 days)
Don’t be intimidated by the big city. There’s actually a lot to love about Bangkok. With glittering temples, a vibrant culture, bustling markets, and wild nightlife, there’s enough to keep you busy for a lifetime. You won’t be able to do it all, but you can get a nice feel for the city with 3 days in Bangkok. Visit Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), hit the Chatuchak weekend market, party on Khao San Road, eat the best pad Thai ever, and so much more.
Vacation in the South (10-12 days)
After all that action, you’ll want to dedicate the last third of your trip to having a real vacation. The south of Thailand is full of choices for sun and sand, so pick two islands and wind down your trip in style. You could learn how to scuba dive on Ko Tao, rage the Full Moon Party on Ko Pha Ngan, relax on Ko Phi Phi, or go rock climbing in Ton Sai. In order to not tire yourself out anymore, your best bet is to just pick two places and spend 5-6 days in each.
*National Parks (2 days)
If you’re like me and think that lounging on a beach for 12 days is boring, you can opt to add a stop at one of Thailand’s many national parks for a couple of days. You can take a detour from Bangkok to visit Khao Yai, stop at Khao Sok on your way between the coasts, or have a real Robinson Crusoe adventure at Ko Tarutao. Cycle, hike, kayak, and more in these stunning parks.
As you can see, you really can do a lot with one month in Thailand. Don’t be surprised if it’s not quite enough, though – Thailand has a tendency to make people want to stay forever. While your 30 days may be up and it’s time to leave, you can get right to work on planning that next trip. Or you can just hop over to Laos, Cambodia, or Myanmar, and come right back!
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