Thailand is one of the most exciting, adventurous places to visit. Known as The Land of Smiles, This city is the ultimate backpacking location for travelers seeking sunshine, vibrant nightlife, and world-class beaches.
I have traveled through Thailand twice in the past 10 years, and it has become one of my favorite destinations.
Thailand has something for everyone, with breathtaking temples, mouthwatering street food, and idyllic beaches to boot. When you get to Thailand, be sure to explore the beautiful eastern coast of Pattaya and the exotic paradise that is Phuket.
Now, get ready for my ultimate 7-day itinerary for a quick Thailand getaway!
7-Day Thailand Itinerary: For All Travelers!
I have experience traveling in Thailand as a solo backpacker and in a group, so this itinerary will showcase a mixture of sights and landscapes to suit all travelers.
Day 1: Arrival in Bangkok
Bangkok can be a culture shock for anyone that lands in the bustling city. Taxi drivers and tour operators will sense this and do their best to grab your attention as you walk through the arrivals gate.
Walk away from the busy vendors and find a taxi driver or tuk-tuk. Ensure you agree on a price, usually between $7-12, before the engine starts to avoid scams.
If you feel brave, you can find where to stay in Bangkok in the city center along the Khao San Road. If not, there are plenty of relaxing places to stay within the city.
Throw down your bag, grab some street food, and get some much-needed rest before continuing your adventures.
Day 2 - Explore the City
There are many things to do in Bangkok, so if you’re not a morning person, that’s fine. Grab a coffee and head to one of the many massage parlors for a quick foot rub to start your day.
The best option for maximizing your sightseeing in Bangkok is to strike up a deal with a tuk-tuk driver. Many drivers will offer day tours with multiple sights for a fixed price. Don’t be afraid to barter and lower their price—it’s all part of the culture!
Some of the must-see sights in Bangkok include:
- Wat Pho Temple (Reclining Buddha)
- Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
- Grand Palace
- Pak Khlong Flower Market
- Khao San Road
You won’t have to worry about going hungry in this metropolis. From street food vendors to cute bistros and restaurants in Bangkok, the city has abundant, delicious food for visitors to try.
I would recommend stopping at a street food stall for some traditional pad thai with mango sticky rice for dessert!
After a long day of sightseeing, you can stop at one of the rooftop bars for an exotic cocktail and a panoramic view of the city.
Day 3 - Khao Sok National Park
Now that you’re done shopping, walking, eating, and walking some more, you might be desperate for relaxation. Visit one of the local tour operators to book the overnight sleeper train, approximately $24, to Surat Thani.
The train arrives around 6 am but don’t panic! When you arrive, banana pancakes and coffee are available at the train station. Remember to avoid the swarm of taxi drivers and tour operators with a swift “no, thank you!”
Hop on the next bus to Khao Sok National Park or if you’d prefer, you can hire a private minibus.
There are a selection of choices ranging from jungle camps to floating bungalows with views of the water. I would highly recommend staying in a river raft house if you want to experience the beautiful scenery at Cheow Lan Lake.
Many resorts will offer boat tours for wildlife spotting. You can also hire a canoe and explore with friends.
Day 4 - Jungle Hike and Elephant Sanctuary
Cool off with a morning swim before setting off on an adventure through the Khao Sok jungle. The Khao Sok National Park has some of the most impressive rainforests in the country.
Book a tour with a guide to enjoy the waterfalls and swimming spots that Khao Sok has to offer.
In the afternoon, animal lovers can head over to the Sonchana Farm and Elephant Sanctuary to feed and bathe rescued elephants. And remember to be prepared because those elephants are absolutely adorable!
Day 5 - Travel to Koh Samui
It’s time to hit the beach! Now you’ve explored the hustle and bustle of the city and walked with elephants, the beach is calling your name. The best way to travel to Koh Samui is by minibus and then ferry boat. Tickets are approximately $19 per person.
There are various options for accommodation including:
- Private villas
- Budget-friendly hotels
- Luxury resorts
If you’re traveling with friends you could also hire a beach bungalow to make the most of those gorgeous sunsets. Take a load off once you’ve arrived and kick back with a fresh coconut or 3.
Weren't able to get a spot at Sonchana's Farm and Elephant Sanctury. There are lots of different elephant sanctuary excursions available in Koh Samui as well. However, make sure to look into whether they're ethical.
Day 6 - Relax on Lipa Noi Beach
Koh Samui has a variety of activities on offer including water sports, boat tours, and Instagram-worthy beaches.
Spend the day relaxing on Lipa Noi Beach, which is off the beaten path and less crowded. I recommend grabbing a coconut milkshake to keep you cool as you soak up the sun.
Koh Tao is famous for its diving community and beautiful underwater locations. Many of the day trips include a delicious lunch on the boat in between dives.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could book a day trip to one of the neighboring islands for some rock climbing in Thailand and scuba diving.
Day 7 - Final Day and Return Flight
The best thing about Koh Samui is you can catch a flight back to Bangkok! Avoid the long train and bus journeys and maximize your final hours in Thailand. Sip a few more cocktails and soak up the sun before heading to the airport and grabbing last-minute gifts.
Your final day is always a good opportunity for a temple visit. Take a relaxing walk to one of the many cultural locations on Koh Samui and receive a blessing for your safe passage home.
When you arrive in Bangkok, you can go straight to the airport or catch some overnight z’s before you fly home.
What to Pack for 7 Days in Thailand
Your packing list should include a few essentials such as sun protection and insect repellant. I would advise traveling light if you want to make the most of your trip. Thailand has a 7/11 on almost every corner for toiletries, snacks, and travel essentials.
Your luggage should also reflect the time of year you intend to travel. November to May is considered the dry season in Thailand with high temperatures and bright sunshine all day. The months between October and January are cool with more rainfall.
Here are some suggestions for items you should pack:
- Long clothing for temples
- T-shirts and tank tops
- Insect repellant
- High SPF sunscreen
- Reusable water bottle
- Chargers for phones, cameras, and tablets
- Slip-on shoes
- Hiking shoes
- Lightweight jacket or raincoat
Various restaurants and hotels have water filters where you can fill up your water bottle. Ask your tour guide and hotel manager before you buy more plastic bottles.
How Much Money Will I Need For 7 Days in Thailand?
Luckily, Thailand is one of the most backpacker-friendly destinations in the world! Every destination will have plenty of options to suit all budgets. Everything is relatively cheap from food to accommodation so you won’t break the bank in 1 week.
The perfect travel budget for 7 days in Thailand cost approximately $800. You can save money by staying in hostels in Bangkok or booking group accommodation outside of peak season.
Street food is much cheaper than dining at restaurants so choose quick bites over fancy meals, if possible.
The biggest expense in Thailand will be activities and excursions. Many tour operators will be open to price negotiations, so put on a poker face and work it down to a reasonable fee. You’ve got this!
Time to Book!
1 week in Thailand is more than enough to see the major sights and immerse yourself in Thai culture. With affordable accommodation and simplistic travel routes, Thailand is welcoming you with open arms!
Are you ready to book your trip to Thailand? Then go on and book with Pilot!