The best 2 weeks in Thailand – by Helen T.Highlights: Bangkok, Phuket, Ayutthaya
My husband and I spent 2 weeks in Thailand in February 2014. This is the itinerary we followed from Bangkok to Phuket through Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya. We had a great time there and were quite pleased with our itinerary overall so I would definitely recommend it! Besides sightseeing we also went to Thailand to rest so we gave ourselves some time to explore the main destinations (i.e. 3 days for Bangkok, 3 days for Chiang Mai and 4 days for Phuket) but in retrospect this could have been shortened a bit to squeeze in an extra destination.
Hope you enjoy Thailand and that this itinerary helps! Feel free to ask me questions in the comments.
Step by step
Days 1-3: Bangkok
We flew all the way from New York, which took us about 20 hours in total. When we arrived we were so tired we couldn't resist to do what is not recommended: take a (long) nap. We woke up in the evening pretty confused (there's a 12-hour time difference with NYC).
We stayed on Khao San Road, the famous backpacker street of Bangkok (the same one where Leonardo Di Caprio stays at the beginning of the movie The Beach). We then walked around in the evening to get some food before a good night sleep.
On the second day we explored Bangkok more thoroughly using the Skytrain, a very practical elevated metro system. We also hired a longtail boat to go on the Chao Praya River and visited the khlongs also known as canal communities, an amazing network of rural waterways.
On the third day we continued to explore Bangkok and visited many temples like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Emerald Buddha.
Day 4: Amphawa
On the fourth day we went on a day-trip to Amphawa, a village located west of Bangkok, to see what is considered one of the best floating markets in Thailand.
Amphawa Floating Market was an amazing experience with its awesome food and unique artefacts all around. Also, it was actually not that touristy and we were able to catch a glimpse of the local inhabitants' life.
Day 5: Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya, also known as the 'Venice of the East', is a beautiful city located north of Bangkok (we went there by SkyTrain) with a rich history dating back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom (or Siam) between 1350 and 1767.
The old city is located on an island that is best explored by bicycle. We had a wonderful time there exploring all the ancient ruins and temples like Wat Phra Si Sanphet (photo) and Wat Lokaya Sutharam with its statue of reclining Buddha.
Days 6-8: Chiang Mai
After Ayutthaya we continued to Chiang Mai. Instead of flying we took a night train for the experience and had a great time falling asleep contemplating the beautiful countryside scenery.
Chiang Mai is famous for its surrounding dense jungles so it's the perfect place for hiking! That's what we did on the sixth and seventh days for the most part besides exploring the city.
We took a guide and would recommend you to do the same if you go hiking in Chiang Mai: the trails are not that difficult but the marking is not really good and it's probably easy to get lost and arrive in arduous places. On Day 8 we visited the Baanchang Elephant Park.
Days 9-12: Phuket
After all our adventures in Chiang Mai and bits of physical exercise with hiking we headed to Phuket. So many things have been said about Phuket that we wouldn't be much help adding anything else: yes, it's paradise on Earth!
We kind of indulged ourselves staying 4 days there but it was definitely worth it. We had a great time exploring the many beaches and small islands around like Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko He (Coral Island) and Ko Racha Yai.
Days 13-14: back to Bangkok / flight back home
These 2 weeks in Thailand were just fantastic! We had a great time and wished we could have stayed a few weeks more instead of going back to our work routine in New York. But that doesn't matter: we are already planning our next trip, most likely to China! =)