Thailand itinerary
  • I have about 2-3 weeks to visit Thailand over christmas and new years, can anyone suggest a good itinerary? I want to see Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but also relax on a beach somewhere. There'll be four of us going.

    Thanks for your help!
  • Hello there,

    December is a brilliant time to visit Thailand, and I would recommend booking your flights pretty soon, because prices tend to rise throughout the year.

    If you've got up to three weeks, I would suggest beginning your trip in Bangkok for a few days - wander around Khao San road, visit the floating markets and maybe even try cycling through the quieter parts of the city. Afterwards, head towards the River Kwai, where you can even stay in floating huts and take a trip on the Death Railway. After that, you can travel up to Chiang Mai - do it by sleeper train to get a real Thai experience. Chiang Mai is great, and you do can treks of varying lengths that also feature elephant trekking and bamboo rafting leaving from the town. You'll probably want at least one night in Chiang Mai after your trek to relax and enjoy the delicious food, and then you can head to the islands for some relaxation.

    Basically, there are two real choices. You can either head to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand (Ko Samui, Ko Tao and Ko Phan Ngan) or opt for the islands on the western side, off the coast of Krabi and Phuket. Where you go really depends on the type of experience that you're looking for from your trip.

    Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan are famed party spots (although Ko Pha Ngan also has some stunning quiet beaches), and popular with younger crowds looking for a good time. Ko Tao is all about diving, so if you're hoping to stop and do a PADI Open Water course, this is the right place for you (you'll need at least five days for this and you can't fly for at least 24 hours after your final dive).

    Ko Raya, Ko Yao Yai, Ko Hai, Ko Lanta, and Railay Bay (which isn't technically an island but can only be reached by boat from Krabi) are more castaway experiences, with a few beach bars but a less in-your-face nightlife, if that makes sense. If you've got time for something a bit adventurous before hitting the beach, make a detour to Khao Sok National Park. It's awesome.

    I hope that this helps! Thailand is great and it's really difficult to get it wrong. You'll have a great time whatever you do.

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