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12 days Thailand Itinerary: Top things to do and tips

Hanoi Voyages > Travel Stories > 12 days Thailand Itinerary: Top things to do and tips

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and its culture has been influenced by many unique cultural features of neighboring ethnic groups, resulting in a Thailand with a diverse cultural identity.
A country with majestic nature and beaches with long stretches of white sand. All of this is true, and it makes visitors wonder: with so many interesting things to see and do in Thailand, where do you start?
Let us, Hanoi Voyages, design for you a 12-day itinerary in Thailand, what to do, what to eat, trip costs and some useful tips. Let’s go!

What to do and see in 12 days Thailand Itinerary?


You can begin your 12 days Thailand itinerary by visiting Bangkok first.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, is a thriving and dynamic metropolis that combines traditional Thai culture with modern urban life. If you visit Thailand in 12 days, you will most likely arrive at Bangkok’s main airport (Suvarnabhumi).
You can visit some places I mentioned here on the second day:

Grand Palace:

The Grand Palace is a magnificent complex of buildings that has served as the official residence of the Kings of Siam and later Thailand.

Wat Pho:

Wat Pho, also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of Bangkok’s most famous and revered temples. It’s a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring the city’s cultural and historical heritage. Wat Pho’s serene atmosphere, stunning architecture, and historical importance make it a truly captivating destination in Bangkok.

Wat Phra Kaew:

Wat Phra Kaew is known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is one of Thailand’s most important and revered religious and cultural sites. It is part of the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok. With great architectural flaws, Wat Phra Kaew is also the spiritual core of Thai Buddhism and the monarchy, symbolizing the country’s most sacred image.

His surroundings:

Jim Thompson house:

In the heart of Bangkok’s city center: start by learning the story of the American businessman and traveler, who made it his life’s work to bring Thai silks to the world’s fashion houses, and then explore his remarkable home. This is one of the best places in Bangkok to see traditional Thai teak homes, as Thompson assembled his using historic houses shipped to Bangkok from around the country. Find out what is known — and what remains a mystery — about Thompson’s 1967 disappearance in the Malaysian jungle, then explore the collection of art that he assembled during 25 years in Thailand.

Maeklong railway market:

Taking photo, and enjoying the local snack in the market before driving to Damnoen Saduak – a rural floating market. Stop for a motor boat trip along the waterway to the picturesque floating market of Damnoen Saduak.

The World War II memorial includes the Jeath War Museum, Cemetery.

We will take a 30 minutes train to experience and enjoy the beautiful view from the train along the river. This is one of Southeast Asia’s historic railways, the remaining part of the “Death Railway”, departing from the provincial capital to the Railway Station from Tonburi (or Namtok). and transfer then city to visit Kwai bridge.
To learn more about the best places to visit in Bangkok, you should read our dedicated article:

Tips in Bangkok:

  • When visiting temples during your 12-day Thailand itinerary, you need to cover your legs and shoulders. It is applicable to both men and women in all temples.
  • Visit Bangkok and his surroundings: 3-4-5 days


It takes about more than an hour to reach the former Thai capital. Witness the glory of the ancient capital through its temple and palace ruins. First you will visit Wat Phu Khao Thong, or the “Monastery of the Golden Mount”, which is located just outside Ayutthaya. Then you will proceed to the ancient palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. You will also visit Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit, one of the largest bronze Buddha’s in Thailand. Have lunch by your own account. Afterwards you will visit Wat Lokaya Sutha. This temple enshrines a large reclining Buddha image. Our last visit will be the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, built during the Ayutthaya era. The palace showcases an eclectic collection of buildings that blend European, Khmer, Thai and Chinese architectural styles. It’s the favorite summer palace of the King.


Continuing the 12-day itinerary in Thailand, you should visit Sukhothai.
Visiting Sukhothai, you can explore some places of Sukhothai!

  • Wat Mahathat: When visiting Sukhothai, this is the first place you should go. This temple is well-known for its distinctive architecture, which includes massive stone pillars and Buddha statues that are over 10m.
  • Wat Mahathat stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Sukhothai and its contribution to Thai culture and history.
  • Wat Sa Si: Another temple that you must see if you have the opportunity to visit Sukhothai. Wat Sa Si, while not as superficial as other temples, impresses visitors with its peaceful surroundings and breathtaking beauty. Wat Sa Si, surrounded by water, is a temple of exceptional terrain and the city’s best sunset spot.
  • Ramkhamhaeng: This is Thailand’s Ramkhamhaeng National Museum. For those who like to learn about culture and politeness, this is the most ideal place in Sukhothai. The museum features artifacts, exhibits, and historical information related to this period. Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday every week, ticket price from 150 Baht.
  • Sukhothai Night Market. Going to the night market seems to have become a cultural feature in Thailand tours. Sukhothai Night Market is also a famous market with a vibrant, bustling atmosphere that is known as the dining and shopping paradise of this city. Coming to the night market, you can enjoy a variety of Thai street food as well as shop for souvenirs.

Tips in Sukhothai:

  • Bring hats or caps, sunscreen, and plenty of water when visiting Sukhothai.
  • Consider purchasing mosquito repellent as well; it can be extremely useful!

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, is a place where past and the present seamlessly merge with modern buildings standing side by side with venerable temples and just one stone’s throw away from downtown leads to a densely rainforested countryside interspersed with waterfalls

Visit Chiang Mai, you can explore some places:

  • Visit most beautiful temples: Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang
  • Chiang Mai Old Town: visit most of the main temples, street markets and museums. There are also several bars and restaurants
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park: Hike or drive up Doi Suthep Mountain to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and enjoy panoramic views of Chiang Mai.
  • Wander around the historic Old City area, with its ancient city walls and moat, and discover hidden temples and charming cafes.
  • Elephant Sanctuaries: Choose an ethical elephant sanctuary that promotes responsible tourism and offers a chance to interact with elephants in a cruelty-free environment.Elephant Nature Park was one of the first parks ever created to protect elephants.
  • Zip-line adventure: the zip-line runs through the jungle, combine nature and adventure.
  • Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls: Take a trip to the Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls, known for their limestone formations that allow you to walk up the falls with ease.
  • Learn the unique steps involved in making paper products from elephant poop fibres
  • Hands-on making poopoo paper on your own
  • Delve into the Mae Ping River by a river cruise, admire the scenery along the river changes and the wooden teak houses merge with the lush green along the way

Chiang Rai

Let’s enjoy the beautiful landscape.

  • White Temple (Wat Rong Khun): The White Temple is one of Chiang Rai’s most iconic landmarks. This contemporary Buddhist temple is entirely white and adorned with intricate, mirror-like details, making it a truly mesmerizing sight.
  • Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten): Also known as the Blue Temple, Wat Rong Suea Ten is another stunning temple with its vibrant blue color and intricate golden detailing.
  • Black House (Baan Dam Museum): Baan Dam Museum, created by the late artist Thawan Duchanee, is a unique collection of buildings showcasing his eclectic art pieces and collections inspired by death and darkness.
  • Visit the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. It’s a historically significant area known for its opium trade past and scenic views of the Mekong River.
  • Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park: This park displays traditional Thai and Lanna artifacts, sculptures, and artworks in a serene garden setting.
  • Explore the Doi Tung Royal Villa, the former residence of the Princess Mother, and the beautifully landscaped gardens nearby.
  • Enjoy the vast Singha Park, a picturesque agricultural park with lovely flower gardens, tea plantations, and various outdoor activities.
  • Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Chiang Rai Night Bazaar, where you can shop for local handicrafts, clothing, and sample delicious street food.
  • Wat Phra Kaew Chiang Rai (Emerald Buddha Temple): Visit the original location of the Emerald Buddha before it was moved to Bangkok. The temple is a revered site for locals.
  • Explore Wat Phra Singh, an ancient temple known for its beautiful Lanna-style architecture and historical significance.


Lampang, located in northern Thailand, offers a blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and traditional experiences. Here are some things to do and places to explore in Lampang:

  • Wat Phra That Lampang Luang: Visit this ancient temple, known for its stunning Lanna architecture, large chedi, and serene surroundings.
  • Thai Elephant Conservation Center: Interact with elephants in an ethical and educational setting. You can learn about elephant care and even participate in activities like feeding and bathing them.
  • Baan Sao Nak: Explore the “House of Many Pillars,” a historic teakwood mansion with intricate designs and unique architecture.
  • Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao: Discover the “Temple of the Emerald Buddha’s Replica” and its exquisite architecture.
    Chae Son National Park: Enjoy nature by visiting hot springs, waterfalls, and lush landscapes in this national park.
  • Lampang Walking Street: Enjoy the local atmosphere, street food, and shopping at this bustling weekend market.

Kwai River

The KwaI River is famous for its natural beauty and historical significance, particularly due to its association with the Death Railway during World War II. Here are some things to do and places to explore along the Kwai River:

  • Bridge Over the River Kwai: Visit the iconic Bridge over the River Kwai, a historical landmark known for its role in the construction of the Death Railway. The nearby museum provides insight into the history of the railway.
  • Erawan National Park: Explore Erawan National Park, which features the stunning Erawan Waterfall. The waterfall has multiple tiers, and you can hike to reach the higher levels.
  • Sai Yok Noi Waterfall: Discover the Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, a serene and picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.
  • River Cruises: Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise along the Kwai River, offering scenic views of the surrounding landscape.
    Bamboo Rafting: Experience a leisurely bamboo rafting trip along the river, providing a unique way to enjoy the natural beauty.

Beaches & Island of Thailand for your perfect trip

Koh Samui

Top 10 tourist islands are most popular with international tourists- Koh Samui. There’s nothing to stop you from having a blast on Samui.

  • Relax on Chaweng Beach, the island’s most famous and busiest beach, known for its soft white sand and a wide range of beachfront resorts, restaurants, and bars.
  • Visit Lamai Beach, the second-largest and one of the more laid-back beaches on the island, ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Explore the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, a charming area with narrow streets, boutique shops, and a variety of restaurants and bars.
  • Enjoy at Ang Thong National Marine Park which covers more than 100 sq km of land and sea. Snorkeling, hiking, sea kayaking, diving, and simply relaxing are the main activities.
  • Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks (Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks): Witness the unique rock formations resembling male and female genitalia on Lamai Beach.
  • Take a picture with Na Muang Waterfalls with two cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush jungle.
    Watch or participate in a Muay Thai boxing match, a traditional Thai martial art.


Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers, adventure seekers, and those interested in experiencing Thai culture and entertainment. Here are some of the best things to do in Phuket:

  • Relax and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Patong Beach, one of Phuket’s most famous and vibrant beaches.
  • Visit the iconic Big Buddha, a large marble statue situated on top of Nakkerd Hill, offering stunning panoramic views of the island.
  • Explore the scenic Phang Nga Bay, known for its limestone cliffs, emerald waters, and famous James Bond Island (Koh Tapu).
  • Discover Wat Chalong, one of Phuket’s most important Buddhist temples, with its beautiful architecture and religious significance.
  • Explore the historic Old Phuket Town, known for its well-preserved Sino-Portuguese architecture, colorful buildings, and street art.
  • Karon Viewpoint (Kata Viewpoint): Enjoy breathtaking views of Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon beaches from this popular viewpoint.
  • Bangla Road: Experience the vibrant nightlife of Phuket at Bangla Road in Patong, filled with bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues.
  • Take a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands, famous for their stunning beaches, clear waters, and excellent snorkeling opportunities.
  • Visit Phi Phi Leh and Maya Bay, the filming location of the movie “The Beach,” and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
    Watch the impressive cultural show at Phuket FantaSea, a theme park showcasing Thai culture and traditions.
  • Elephant Sanctuaries: Choose an ethical elephant sanctuary that promotes responsible tourism and offers a chance to interact with elephants in a cruelty-free environment.


The next place in the 12-day itinerary in Thailand is Krabi.
Anyone who adores the land of the Golden Temple wishes to visit Krabi at least once. Coming to Krabi means visiting large and small wild islands, as well as some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

With the first day in Krabi, you can see the islands and experience the following activities in Ao Nang Beach
You can sunbathe on the palm-fringed Ao Nang beach while also enjoying food and massage services right on the beach.
In addition, you should visit seven islands in Ao Nang’s waters. You can swim in the clear blue water or scuba dive to explore the vast ocean.

Furthermore, you can discover Railay peninsula

  • Railay, located just south of Ao Nang and only accessible by boat, offers a timeless and serene world.
  • Four beautiful white-sand beaches, soaring limestone cliffs, viewpoints, caves, and a lagoon hidden within the cliffs can all be found on a single small peninsula. It’s no surprise that Railay is one of Krabi’s most popular destinations.
  • A place I think you can come in Krabi is Koh Poda.
    It takes about 25 minutes to get there by long-tail boat from Ao Nang Beach, which is only 6 km away. It is every inch the stunning tropical getaway, with palm and pine trees covering it and almost entirely surrounded by a soft white-sand beach. A coral reef about 20m from the beach is home to a variety of sea life.

Koh Lanta

With 12 days in Thailand, you can visit Koh Lanta.
Anyone visiting Koh Lanta wants to explore the beautiful beaches here. The beaches on Koh Lanta are always a great destination for swimming and experiencing fun and recreational sea activities such as snorkeling, sailing, surfing.

  • Mu Koh Lanta: This is a one-of-a-kind mangrove forest with rare animals and extremely clean natural air.
  • Lanta Old Town: is a charming and historic village that offers a unique blend of traditional Thai architecture, cultural heritage, and a laid-back atmosphere.
  • Boat trip: do the 4 islands boat trip:
  • Koh Chuek, your first snorkeling stop
  • Koh Waen, your second snorkeling stop. The fish and corals are very different from Koh Chuek.
  • Koh Muk: is a small idyllic island in the Andaman Sea in the south of Thailand.
  • Koh Ngai, famous for its unspoiled beauty, so Koh Ngai island is extremely deserted and quiet. Visitors can relax and gaze out at the blue sea and horizon for as far as the eye can see.

So conclusion: For Thailand Itinerary, we propose 4 options:
12 days itinerary of Northern Thailand

  • 4 days Bangkok
  • 1 days Ayutthaya
  • 1 days Sukhothai
  • 1 days Lampang
  • 5 days Chiang Mai + Chiang Rai

12 days itinerary: Northern + beach

  • 4 days bangkok & Ayutthaya
  • 4 days chiang Mai + chiang rai
  • 4 days in Koh Samui or Phuket

12 days itinerary: Bangkok and his surrounding, kwai river + beach

  • 5 days Bangkok and his surrounding
  • 2 days Kwai River
  • 5 days Phuket or Krabi

12 days itinerary: Southern of Thailand: Islands + beaches

  • 4 days Phuket
  • 4 days Krabi
  • 4 days Koh Lanta

What is the specialities “must try” in 12 days Thailand Itinerary?

Thailand is known as the culinary paradise of Southeast Asia. Coming to Thailand, the dishes I list below you must-try.

  • Som Tam: Som Tam is a green papaya salad. Som Tam is a flavorful salad that is crisp, fresh, sweet, spicy, and sour.
    This dish has all the basic flavors of Thai cuisine: the sourness of lemon, the spicy taste of chili, the saltiness of fish sauce and the sweetness of palm sugar. Because this dish is made by pounding it in a mortar, Som Ram means “pound the sour” in Thai.
  • Pad Thai: Pad Thai is the most famous dish in Thai cuisine that any visitor wants to try when coming to this country. If you’re going on a 12-day trip to Thailand, discover what pad Thai is.
    In a traditional Pad Thai recipe, rice noodles, eggs and tofu are stir-fried with tamarind juice, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic, onion, pepper, and palm sugar. It is usually served with bean sprouts, lemon slices, and roasted peanuts. Fresh shrimp, chicken, or pork are frequently used in variations.
  • Tom Yum Goong: Tom Yum Goong is spicy shrimp soup. Tom Yum Goong is created with traditional Thai ingredients like lemongrass, chili, galangal, kaffier lime leaves, shallots, fresh lime juice and a generous amount of fish sauce. There are fresh prawns and mushrooms added.
  • Khao Niew Ma Muang: Khao Niew Ma Muang is mango sticky rice. Look for dessert? Look no further than the crowd-pleasing combination of mango and sticky rice. Kao Niew Ma Muang is simple but extremely delicious, made with sticky rice, fresh mango slices, and coconut milk.

12 days Thailand itinerary cost

A 12-day itinerary in Thailand is a long time. Therefore, it will cost a lot of money for moving in Thailand, accommodation costs, food costs and entrance costs. Thailand is not an expensive destination. It is a reasonably priced country to visit. Thailand is very affordable in many ways.

The cost of Transportation

Flying is the fastest and most popular way to travel between cities. Economy seats cost between 30 and 100 USD.
In Thailand, there are numerous airlines with different prices and services.
Traveling between cities can also be done for 8 to 72 USD on trains, or for 5 to 20 USD on buses.
Transportation on the islands is higher in cost than in the cities.

The cost of Accommodation

Hotel prices vary widely from city to city and from season to season.
From November to February is the busiest and most expensive time of year. Because this is the best season to visit Thailand. We recommend that you plan and book well in advance (at least 6 months before departure) to find good accommodation during this period.
From July to October, the low season is in effect. There are fewer tourists and prices are lower.

The cost of Food

Thailand offers a wide range of delicacies at reasonable prices.
Many traditional Thai foods, such as pad Thai and Som Tam, can be purchased for 1-2 USD from roadside stalls.
A decent restaurant will cost you between 10 and 15 USD per person. Luxury restaurants start at 50-60 USD per person and upwards.

The cost of Entrance

Most tourist attractions in Thailand have tickets ranging from 1 to 15 USD, making them very affordable. The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand’s most famous attraction, costs 500 Baht (14 USD), specifically at Wat Pho, the entrance price is 100 Bath (2 USD), and the ticket price for Wat Phra Kaew is 500 Baht (14 USD).
Some beach activities or entertainments, such as snorkeling, night shows, and so on, cost between 15 and 50 USD a time.

From the above article, I hope you have a perfect 12 day itinerary in Thailand and have memorable experiences.


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