Yes, flying from the United States to Thailand for just a week, or from anywhere across the world from wherever you are, sounds just plain crazy or tiring, and maybe not even worth it to you. The thing is when you only have a certain number of vacation days, you kind of have to suck it up and take what you can get. Seriously, having a full-time job is tough when all you want to do is see the world.
I had 9 days of work off, so I knew I had to be really strategic about where I was going to go in Thailand. I knew I wouldn’t get enough time, at all, in each location, but if that was all the time I was going to get, I’d take it. I was thinking of it as my crash course and introduction to Thailand. One day I’ll go back and be able to enjoy the destinations more.
I wanted to see the three main areas - Bangkok, the north and the beaches. I didn’t get to go to Phuket this time around, which by the way every person I talk to says to avoid Phuket, I wasn't too upset about it. I, also, heard the beach in the far south, compared to the Gulf of Thailand, are very similar.
Here is my 9-day itinerary:
DAY 1: Travel day.
DAY 2: Tavel Day.
DAY 3: Fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Overnight in Koh Samui.
DAY 4: Take the ferry to Koh Tao. Explore Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. Overnight in Koh Tao.
DAY 5: Ferry to Koh Samui. Fly to Chiang Mai. Explore Chiang Mai. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
DAY 6: Explore Chiang Rai and Karen Long Neck. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
DAY 7: Explore Chiang Mai. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
DAY 8: Fly to Bangkok. Explore Bangkok. Overnight in Bangkok.
DAY 9: Explore Bangkok in the morning. Fly home.
If you only have a week, don’t be discouraged! Use my itinerary as proof that you can see a lot in a short amount of time. You will definitely sacrifice some sleep and maybe your health (I got a cold after!), but it can be done. I really did my research beforehand, though. I think the key is to pick the most important sites to you ahead of time, so that you can have some sort of plan.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, but surprisingly, having 7 days in Thailand (accounting for travel), felt like a long time. In total, I took 7 planes in 9 days. Yes, that sounds absurd, but so worth it.
Yours Truly // Shannon
For tips on what to do in each location, check out my other Thailand posts: