How Many Days for a Thailand Trip
Thailand is a country of inclusivity. Shining in the sunlight, it could be the glass of the towering office building or the shards rubbing off the spire of a stupa. Here you can shop for your favorite items in the large shopping malls or go back and forth to the various markets for your preferences. You can lounge on the beach and enjoy the afternoon breeze and the tranquility of the sea, or experience Thailand's unique culture with the local people, even build new friendships with elephants. With so many to see and do, how many days should we spend in Thailand?
Usually, a mid-trip of about 7-10 days is better for several different places to go and experience; a trip of a week or two is also welcome. After all, the more time you have, the more places to visit and the more details to explore. If you are short on time, 4 to 6 days are enough to have a brief view of the main cities in Thailand, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket.
Short trip of 4 to 6 days
Most people will choose Bangkok as their first city to start with and then pick another city as all their short-term trip destinations. If you are interested in the history and local culture, Chiang Mai is a great place to visit. If you are looking for relaxation and nature, Phuket will be your best choice.
Arguably one of the most iconic cities in Thailand, Bangkok is a large city with a highly developed economy, second only to Jakarta, Indonesia, in Southeast Asia. However, amidst the skyscrapers of this bustling city, you can still see pagodas and temples nestled between the buildings. More than 400 pagodas dot the city like stars, the most famous of which is Wat Phra Chetuphon, home to around a thousand golden statues of Buddha, including the Reclining Buddha, which, at around 46 meters long and 15 meters high, is the largest reclining Buddha statue in the world. Following the road to the north is the magnificent Grand Palace, apart from the main hall, which is still inhabited and closed to the public, you are free to explore the palace, admire the exquisite carvings on the roofs or the delicate and bright patterns on the walls, and experience the splendor and grandeur of the ancient dynasties.
The Grand Palace
Still highly prized in Thai architecture? Then you can head north to Thailand's second-largest city, Chiang Mai. Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara, located in the heart of historic Chiang Mai, is a Lanna-style temple completed during the Mengrai dynasty. Although the spire of this towel has been lost due to the earthquake, it is still the tallest building in Chiang Mai and gives an idea of its former splendor.
Actually, Chiang Mai is not only famous for its old town but also for the abundant activities you can experience, and the most exciting part is about elephants. The Thai people have lived with elephants since time immemorial and today, they are the best friends and comrades of this country. In order to preserve a better life for their old friends, many elephant sanctuaries have been set up in Chiang Mai, where you can get closer to these gentle creatures. You can take photos with them, feed them, touch their long trunks, or even do some volunteer cleaning for them. There is also a Thai Elephant Festival set for their old elephant friends, a November parade with flowers and celebrations; please do not miss it.
Elephant Natural Park in Chiang Mai
If nature is more your thing than history and culture, travel south to the pearl of the Andaman Sea, Phuket. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, with creamy white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. There are 11 beaches from the top to the bottom along the west coast. For those looking for a bit of excitement, choose Patong Beach in the south. From surfing to diving, barbecues and bars, where you can see the crowds of revelers even the night time. For those seeking peace and relaxation, simply walk down to Karen Beach. The coastline here is straight with a gentle breeze, making it a great place to lie down and watch the sun go down.
Mid-trip of 7 to 10 days
With a mid-trip of 7 to 10 days, you can take a deep exploration of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Various markets located in different places, magical massages with skilled technicians, enjoying the meal while cruising the river, or getting a new recipe to make yourself, each of them will give you a great experience of Thailand.
Have you ever tried a massage to lighten up? You can get a cheap and authentic Thai massage near the Reclining Buddha Temple in Bangkok. From a spectator's point of view, some of the techniques may be intimidating, but all you have to do is change into silk pajamas, lie face down and let the exquisite techniques relieve your stress. However, as the first massage may cause some maladjustments of the body, such as back pain, it is better to do some light activities or take more time to relax during the next day.
Usually, light cooking or marketing will be a good choice after the massage. If you like Thai cuisine, you can join a group that is learning to make a local meal under the guidance of the locals. There are a number of cooking schools in Bangkok that will satisfy your desires, from choosing ingredients at markets to memorizing recipes by hand. There is no need to worry about your cooking, whether you are mature or junior in the kitchen, your chef will do his best to help. Or have a family visit in Chiang Mai, it can be an agritainment family or an ethnic minority village, with homemade dishes and lush country yards, where you can also try to spin cloth on a homemade loom.
Cooking Class of Thai Food
As for the market, there is a temporary market in Chiang Mai called the Sunday Night Market, where vendors gather in the heart of the historic city every Sunday night to sell a variety of goods and local food, as well as musical instruments with singing and dancing. Bangkok is also famous for its markets, such as the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which is accessible by boat, the Railway Market, where trains pass by from time to time, and the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest market in Bangkok, where goods change daily and are only fully open at weekends, so if you want to experience the full market atmosphere, it's best to pick a weekend to go. Of course, if you are planning a long trip, there is no need to worry about and we can help you arrange the most suitable itinerary.
There are still some charming destinations in Thailand, such as the ancient relics of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai or the vibrant islands of Phi Phi and Samui. If you are interested in the history or nature of this country, spending 1 or 2 days visiting one or two more cities would be a better choice.
Unlike the palaces in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which have been preserved and renovated to recreate the grandeur of history, the buildings in Ayutthaya and Sukhothai have not been so fortunate, where post-war ruins, buried by grass and trees, have not escaped the passage of time.
Much of the palace in the Ayutthaya Historic Park lies in ruins. Walking around the park, you can see rows of headless sitting Buddha statues beneath the broken walls of the Wat Mahathat, as well as a partially preserved Buddha statue sitting in the middle of the relics, still at peace, looking at the world with no emotion. The head of the Buddha, half of his body is buried in the earth, and half is tangled in the roots of plants, leaving only the face that can still witness the world. It looks like an ascetic journey in Buddhism, and now he has attained his verity, which can turn away from the strife of the world.
Ayutthaya Historic Park
Head north to Sukhothai, where there is a large historical park area of around 7,000 hectares. This could be a half-day sightseeing trip, so renting a bike will be more helpful. It seems that many things in this park are on a large scale. There is also a Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai, with a statue of 168 worshippers at its base and eight secondary pagodas around the main one, scattered like a big lotus. And at Wat Si Chum, you can see a huge statue of the seated Buddha about 15 meters high and a giant standing Buddha image 12.5 meters high in Wat Saphan Hin, which feels like Gulliver's Journey to Brobdingnag.
Apart from Phuket, Ko Phi Phi Don and Koh Samui are also good places to pump up your island thrills, where you can find a much quieter and more comfortable resort.
Ko Phi Phi Don is quite close to the hustle and bustle of Phuket, but still retains its original natural parts. It is mainly made up of two parts, the big one in the north, with turquoise bays, lush mangrove roots and vibrant coral reefs under the water, as well as a beach where you can play with wild monkeys. The little one in the south is a bit treacherous, with huge rocky outcrops containing sea oats, frescoes and beautiful stalactites in limestone caves, perfect for exploring and treasure hunting.
Koh Samui is not much different from Phuket, but much quieter. There is less traffic, and most of the island is covered in coconut trees. The shipping fare might be a little steep, but it is worth buying a ticket for a retreat on an ideal island where you can avoid much of the crowd and noise. With the rare empty sea and beach, many water activities you can try there and lots of intimate joys you can share with your loved ones or family.
Long trip about 14 days or above
If you would like to soak up the charm of this country with more destinations and details, then a longer trip of around 14 days or more may be more suitable for you. With the long time to spend, you can also explore Thailand's neighboring countries, such as Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, which are all good places to check out.
For those who want to finish their temple collection, come and see the modern temples of Chiang Rai. The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun and the Blue Temple, Wat Rong Seur Ten, were both built in the late 20th century. Just like its namesake, the White Temple is predominantly white, with a large amount of silver chosen for decoration and set quietly and elegantly by the water's edge, with a touch of the Thai Taj Mahal. The Blue Temple, as blue for its background and ornamentation with gold, resembles a blue enchantress with gold trim. Inside the temple, you can also see various different shades of blue, creating delicate patterns that won't get you tired.
The historical sites in Phetchaburi, north of Bangkok, are mainly remnants of the Second World War. For example, the infamous Death Railway, was built under Japanese oppression at the cost of hundreds of lives, including the bridge over the River Kwai. Nearby is a museum documenting the events and a cemetery dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives.
Life turns to dust and then soil nurtures new life. In the south of Thailand, preserve a large number of virgin forest areas, the most extensive of which is Khao Sok National Forest Park. If you prefer hiking, you can hire a local guide and camp overnight in the forest, then walk through the rainforest, where you may have a chance to meet wild elephants. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, you can kayak down the Sok River to see the scenery along the coast, and remember to bring binoculars to see the rare birds that may be nesting at sunrise.
There are many cities to visit in Thailand, each with its own unique characteristics. If you are short on time, you can visit its main cities or pick a few destinations as your favorites. If you have enough time, you can start in Bangkok and travel around the map from north to south, or to the neighboring countries in the east, visiting the sights, befriending the animals, and even immersing yourself in the lives of the local people.
As well as Thailand, there are many other nearby destinations around the country that you could consider to combining with if you have enough time. Such as the Luang Prabang, the Buddhist center of neighboring Laos, is quite similar in style to the temples of Thailand, except that it is a city surrounded by mountains, making it easier to sense the harmony between humans and nature. For something a little different, head to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, one of the world's oldest temple complexes of Khmer architecture. Or Ho Chi Minh City, known as the Paris of the East, and Hue, home to Vietnam's Forbidden City, where French architecture and the Chinese imperial city will catch your eye. If you're just in time for the full moon, don't miss the Hoi An Lantern Full Moon Festival, where you can stroll through the illuminated old town, make a wish, and then place lanterns in the water. If the beach isn't enough, head further afield to Halong Bay in northern Vietnam, where you can cruise among more than 2,000 islands, large and small, dine on fresh seafood on deck, and let the boat take you to your next destination. After all, one of the strengths of Odynovo has always been its ability to carry out a multi-country tour, so please contact us and we'll create a tailor-made trip just to suit your requirements.
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