3 Weeks in Thailand: A Journey From Beaches to Temples

From secluded beaches to majestic mountains, immerse yourself in the serenity of ancient temples, wander through bustling markets, and savour a cuisine that will awaken your senses.

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3 Weeks in Thailand: A Journey From Beaches to Temples

Are you planning your trip to Thailand and wondering how much time to dedicate to this destination often dubbed "the land of smiles"? With 3 weeks in Thailand, you will be transported into a world of captivating contrasts. From secluded beaches to majestic mountains, immerse yourself in the serenity of ancient temples, wander through bustling markets, and savour a cuisine that will awaken your senses.

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or passionate about culture, embark on an unforgettable three-week journey through Thailand. This adventure will introduce you to exotic flavours, friendly locals, and diverse landscapes, leaving you with lasting memories. 

When to go for 3 weeks in Thailand?

Choosing the ideal time to spend 3 weeks in Thailand is crucial for an optimal travel experience. The dry season, from November to February, offers pleasant temperatures and clear skies, perfect for exploring the pristine beaches and fascinating cultural sites of this Southeast Asian gem.

What to pack for 3 weeks in Thailand?

During your trip to Thailand, opt for light and breathable clothing to cope with the heat. The best shoes for travelling in Southeast Asia are comfortable and light sandals, as well as closed shoes for jungle excursions or historical site visits.

3 weeks in Thailand itinerary

It is important to emphasize that Thailand is a vast country brimming with cultural and natural diversity. Although 3 weeks in Thailand may seem like a long period, it represents just a brief foray into the infinite richness this country has to offer.

Bangkok (3 nights)

Start in Bangkok, a true urban jungle and the entry point for your three-week adventure in Thailand. To recover from jet lag and the long flight, treat yourself to a well-deserved break by exploring the wonders of the city. 

Here's how to make the most of your first three nights in this Asian capital:

  • Street food walking tour: Dive into the city's culinary richness by tasting the delights of Thai street food. Do not miss pad thai, som tam, and other authentic dishes.
  • Chao Phraya River cruise: Opt for the local orange boat and enjoy a picturesque cruise along the river for only a few dollars.
  • Exploration of various markets: Visit Khlong Lat Mayom, an authentic floating market to explore by longtail boat, and delve into the buzz of the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the largest markets in the world. In the evening, discover lively night markets for local finds.
  • Sunset at Wat Arun: Enjoy a breathtaking view of the temple and the city from the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
  • Discovering emblematic temples: Visit Wat Pho with its gigantic reclining Buddha statue and the Grand Palace to uncover Thailand's fascinating history and architecture. During your visit, ensure to dress appropriately for Thai temples by covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Day trip to Kanchanaburi: Explore the Bridge over the River Kwai, the JEATH War Museum, and the Erawan Waterfalls for a day rich in historical and natural discoveries.

Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand Islands (4 nights)

If you're seeking a memorable diving experience during your 3 weeks in Thailand, Koh Tao proves to be the perfect destination.

How to get to Koh Tao?

To reach Koh Tao from Bangkok, several options are available. The first is to take a direct flight to Koh Samui, followed by a ferry of about 2 hours to Koh Tao.

If you are travelling on a budget or wish to minimize your carbon footprint, you can also take the train or bus to Chumphon, then catch the ferry to Koh Tao.

What to do in Koh Tao?

More than just a tropical island, Koh Tao is a true underwater sanctuary. If you've always dreamed of exploring the marine depths, plan to spend at least 4 nights in Koh Tao, renowned for offering some of the most affordable diving courses in the world.

Be amazed by the crystal-clear waters of Koh Tao, home to exceptional sites such as Shark Point, ideal for snorkelling and observing an abundance of marine life.

Travel tip: Do not miss the Three Islands Beach at Koh Nang Yuan, where climbing to the viewpoint will reward you with a breathtaking panorama of the islands connected by sandbars.

Khao Sok National Park (2 nights)

Khao Sok National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in the world, welcomes you with staggering biodiversity and breathtaking panoramas. This leg of your journey requires some preparation and patience, especially due to the travel involved. However, the effort you put in to reach this hidden gem is well worth it.

How to get to Khao Sok from Koh Tao?

Your journey to this destination involves a ferry transfer from Koh Tao to Surat Thani, followed by a bus ride to the village of Khao Sok.

What to Do in Khao Sok National Park?

To make the most of your two-day stay, it's best to focus on a specific section of the park, depending on your interests.

Village of Khao Sok:

If you are passionate about hiking, you will be delighted by the jungle treks offering the chance to admire majestic waterfalls and a variety of wildlife, including wild elephants, in their natural habitat.

Cheow Lan Lake:

For a relaxing retreat, book two nights in a floating bungalow to wake up each morning with a stunning view of the lake's tranquil waters. Admire the limestone cliffs emerging from the emerald waters during a kayak ride or traditional longtail boat trip.

The Andaman Sea Islands (6 nights)

Travelling around Thailand for 3 weeks is relatively simple, especially thanks to the impressive availability of minivans, ready to transport you to your next adventure easily. After exploring Khao Sok National Park, your journey continues towards the splendid region of Krabi, accessible by a minivan ride, followed by a short boat trip to Railay.


Surrounded by limestone cliffs, Railay is a must-visit destination for climbing enthusiasts and lovers of paradisiacal beaches. Here is a selection of activities to enrich your stay:

Rock climbing: Famous for its impressive limestone formations, Railay is the ideal place to try or improve your climbing skills. Courses are available for all levels, offering a unique experience with experienced instructors.

Excursion to Koh Phi Phi and Maya Bay: Discover the iconic setting of the movie "The Beach" during a day trip to this idyllic location.

Exploration of Railay West Beach and Phra Nang Cave Beach: Uncover stunning beach landscapes. Simply follow the signs for easy access to these sites. Stay vigilant, as the local monkeys are known for their mischief.

Sunset cruise: Board the Our Pla Luang, a historic boat with over 100 years of history, which once served as a trading vessel throughout Southeast Asia with Krabi Sunset Cruise.

Koh Lanta

Continue your adventure to Koh Lanta, an island that promises tranquillity and authentic discoveries. You can easily reach this destination from Railay by boat or minivan, thus offering flexibility for your journey.

For a total immersion in the natural charm of Koh Lanta, here are some essentials to include in your itinerary:

Kayaking in the Tung Yee Peng mangroves: Explore the unique ecosystem of the mangroves by renting a kayak for 2 hours for a solo exploration or with a guide who will share fascinating information about the local fauna and flora to enrich your experience.

Exploring the island's beaches: Discover Koh Lanta's paradisiacal beaches, where gems like Haad Nui, Klong Khong, Klong Nin, and Kantiang Bay offer breathtaking panoramas and unforgettable moments of relaxation.

Sunsets at Koh Lanta: The sunsets are breathtakingly beautiful in Koh Lanta. The viewpoint from the Diamond Cliff restaurant is the dream location to witness these magical moments and mark the end of an adventure-filled day on the island.

Exploring the Old Town: Wander through the old town to admire the traditional stilt houses, reflecting the island's cultural heritage.

Four Islands Excursion: Enjoy a day trip exploring four islands close to Koh Lanta, including a snorkelling visit to the famous Emerald Cave. You'll also discover the crystal-clear waters of Ko Muk and the peaceful ambiance of Ko Ngai during this marine adventure.

Northern Thailand (5 nights)

The most convenient way to travel from the south to the north of Thailand is to take a flight from Krabi or Phuket to Chiang Mai. Switching from the sun-kissed beaches of the south to the lush greenery of the north in Thailand reveals a vivid contrast in landscapes. Between culture, nature, and culinary adventures, you will undoubtedly be delighted to have included this region in your 3 weeks in Thailand itinerary.

Chiang Mai

The cultural epicentre of the north, Chiang Mai is famous for its golden temples, spicy street food, and bustling night markets. Additionally, Chiang Mai is recognized as a paradise for digital nomads, thanks to its numerous welcoming cafes, coworking spaces, and fast internet connectivity, all within an affordable and inspiring living environment. 

Here are essential activities to experience in Chiang Mai:

Cooking class: Dive into the heart of Thai gastronomy by learning to cook local dishes. The trick is to pick a class that includes a market visit for a more authentic experience.

Night Market: The Sunday Night Market is more than a shopping venue; it's where you'll taste unique local specialties and discover local crafts. Feel free to haggle slightly, it's accepted!

Doi Inthanon: This national park, famous for its spectacular waterfalls like Wachirathan and Mae Klang, also houses the temple with the two iconic pagodas, Phra Mahathat Naphamethanidon and Nophamethanidon, dedicated to Thai royalty.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep: This sacred temple, perched atop Doi Suthep mountain, offers not only a panoramic view of Chiang Mai but is also an important pilgrimage site. The ascent of the 309 steps, flanked by mythical serpents, leads to a glittering pagoda that houses a sacred Buddha relic.

Excursion to Chiang Rai: Visiting the White Temple is a must, but the Golden Triangle area also offers unique opportunities to understand the complex history of the opium trade.


This small mountain town with a hippie vibe is a gem for relaxing in a natural setting. Among the best things to do in Pai, you will find:

Night Market: Less crowded than Chiang Mai's, Pai's night market is the ideal place to taste vegetarian and vegan dishes, reflecting the influence of the emerging expat community.

Pai Canyon: The trick is to go just before sunset for a stunning view. Prepare for a short hike with good shoes.

Waterfalls: The waterfalls around Pai, such as Mo Paeng, are perfect for a refreshing swim. For a more tranquil experience, avoid the weekends.

Final stop in Bangkok after 3 weeks in Thailand (1 night)

Conclude your Thai journey by fully embracing the spirit of slow travel: embark on a 10-hour train journey, a dream opportunity to admire the diversity of Thai landscapes one last time.

Upon your arrival in Bangkok, crown this adventure with an unforgettable moment, by enjoying a cocktail on a panoramic rooftop, where the view over the sparkling city offers a perfect farewell to your experience in Thailand.

Thailand Awaits You!

A perfect blend of adventure and serenity, Thailand welcomes you with open arms whether you're looking for an escape or luxury experiences. It's a place where every street, every beach, every smile tells a story.

Before diving into this epic Thai adventure, contact a soNomad agent for your travel insurance needs. You'll then set off with peace of mind, eager to explore the wonders of Thailand.

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