Thailand itinerary 10 days – how to plan your dream Thailand vacation

Thailand itinerary 10 days – how to plan your dream Thailand vacation

The smiling heart of South East Asia, Thailand is a fantastic destination whether you’re a hardened traveller or nervous first-timer. The warm air wraps around you like a hug, while a diverse array of attractions are easily accessible even during a 10 day trip. Planning a trip to Thailand? Here’s the lowdown on what to expect as an LGBTQ+ traveller.

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Photo: Colton Duke

Photo: Colton Duke

Is Thailand safe for gay travellers?

Steeped in the traditions of Buddhism, it’s rare to see or hear any open hostility towards same-sex couples. Having decriminalised homosexuality in 1956 – a decade before the UK or Germany – Bangkok has since been named one of the best LGBT+ destinations in the world. However, Thailand has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world, largely due to the limited practice of safe sex, so should you be tempted by some no-strings fun while on vacation in Thailand, be sure to be safe!

Photo: Artyom Pj

Photo: Artyom Pj

Photo: Denys Nevozhai

Photo: Denys Nevozhai

Travelling alone

A trip to Thailand is an excellent option if you’re travelling alone. The influx of everyone from backpackers to luxury travellers means the country’s dedicated tourist police are well-practised at keeping visitors safe. Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid flashing the cash, and you’ll likely have no problems at all.

Visas

A Thailand vacation doesn’t need to be preceded by arduous visa applications. Travelling from the US, UK, or most of Europe you won’t need a visa at all, but will gain 30 days entry – more than enough for a 10 day Thailand itinerary of course – on arrival. Most other nationalities will need a visa, although many can be purchased without breaking a sweat at the airport.

Weather

Lying within tropical climes, Thailand’s weather is warm and humid throughout the year. The rainy season lasts roughly between June and October, peaking in August and September. However, while heavy, downpours tend to be short, leaving plenty of time to do everything you’ve planned for 10 days in Thailand, even at this time of year.

Photo: William Rouse

Photo: William Rouse

Travel tips

Thailand’s currency is the Baht, relatively stable against the US dollar at around 30THB/$. Exchange offices and ATMs are both easy to come by. Whenever possible, keep large sums of money in a secure location.

While you’ll need no special vaccinations for a vacation to Thailand, you should avoid the irritation of mosquito bites by using a tropical-strength insect repellent containing DEET. The Thai authorities take a very dim view of drug use, and even possessing small quantities as a tourist can result to long prison sentences. You have been warned!

Thailand itinerary 10 days

A 10 day itinerary to Thailand is enough time to enjoy sightseeing and relaxing. Spend a couple of days each in the bright lights of Bangkok, the far north around Chiang Rai, and the golden temples of Chiang Mai, before heading to the beaches and islands of the south for your final four days.

Photo: Bharath Mohan

Photo: Bharath Mohan

Days 1 and 2 - Bangkok

Any Thailand trip plan should include time in Bangkok, home to the main international airport. Not just the Thai capital, but also Asia’s unofficial gay capital, this thriving megacity is an extraordinary demonstration of how the traditional and the contemporary can co-exist. Our best advice? Jump in headfirst and go with the flow!

To begin your itinerary in Thailand head straight to Wat Saket Buddhist temple on the Golden Mount at the heart of the city, whose 300 gently spiralling steps lead to uninterrupted panoramic views, including towards the stunning pointed golden roofs of Wat Pho, the ‘temple of the reclining Buddha’ and the birthplace of Thai massage. You can experience this age-old practice for yourself at Chakran Spa, a dedicated (and in no way sordid) gay sauna with a rooftop lounge that’s a great place to watch the tropical sun sink below the horizon.

Before you leave Bangkok be sure to visit Chinatown, just north of the Chao Phraya River and a city within a city, complete with its own monumental gateway. Centred around Yaowarat Road, you’ll find everything from parks to croc-inhabited temples. Then check out the food stalls of Ratchada (“Train”) Night Market, that have been serving up authentic freshly-prepared dishes for decades.

Be sure to read our full Bangkok Travel Guide for more info about what to do and see in the city, where to eat and what nightlife to explore.

Wat Samphran Dragon Temple | Photo: Tan Kaninthanond

Wat Samphran Dragon Temple | Photo: Tan Kaninthanond

Ratchada Night Market | Photo: Sam Beasley

Ratchada Night Market | Photo: Sam Beasley

Days 3 and 4 - Chiang Rai

From the hectic streets of Bangkok, journey north to the laid-back streets and attractive rolling landscapes of Chiang Rai City, where a rented bicycle will get you to the likes of Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), weighed down by intricate carvings like a Christmas cake on steroids. Wat Rong Seua Ten (the Blue Temple) is startling for the richness of its decoration too, with a joyously vibrant interior plusher than even its Prussian blue and gold exterior. Nearby, the colour palette is completed by the Black House, or Baan Dam Museum, a gallery space for some of Thailand’s most important contemporary artists inside beautiful traditional structures.

If you’re adventurous by nature, you’ll find the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) temptingly close to Chiang Rai. You can slip across on the Myanmar and the Golden Triangle Trip, taking in the sights of Tachileik, a town with a distinct Burmese aura despite its border location.

Days 5 and 6 - Chiang Mai

Not to be confused with Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai boasts easily-walkable central avenues and a picturesque location near thick rainforest. It’s easy enough to lose a day amid the delights of the Old City, interspersed with ancient temples attended by shaven-headed monks, and a riverside that harks back to a time when even Bangkok was just a sleepy backwater. As afternoon becomes evening, be sure to check out its famous Night Bazaar, awash with a film of atmospheric lighting and just about everything you could ever need.

The following day make the hour-long journey to Elephant Nature Park, a rescue centre for abused elephants, buffalo, and other native species. The ethos is very much on rehabilitation, so you’ll find no elephant rides on offer here, though you can help out at feeding time before tucking into an excellent vegetarian buffet yourself, and then take as much delight from bath time as the elephants seem too.

Chiang Rai | Photo: Alex Azabache

Wat Rong Seur Ten, Chiang Rai | Photo: Alex Azabache

Chiang Mai | Photo: Paweldotio

Chiang Mai | Photo: Paweldotio

Days 6 to 10 - beaches and islands

See any image of the coast of Krabi Province, on the long neck of land that stretches towards Malaysia to the south, and we can pretty much guarantee you’ll want to drop everything and head there straight away.

This is the Thailand of Leonardo Di Caprio’s The Beach and the secret lairs of many a Bond villain. The crystal-clear waters serve as a wonderful backdrop to lazy days on the picture-postcard sands such as Railay Beach. Should you find the energy to do more than top-up the sunscreen, jump on a boat and head out to explore the something-for-everyone islands of Koh Phi Phi – the peaceful Phi Phi Leh, or Phi Phi Don, where the beaches are as happening as the nightclubs.

Photo: Derek Owens

Photo: Derek Owens

Photo: Pascal Debrunner

Krabi | Photo: Pascal Debrunner

The easy way to plan trip to Thailand

Love the sound of our Thailand itinerary but don’t want the stress of having to plan the details yourself? Why not take advantage of our Trip Design service, and let the experts custom-build a daily trip plan just for you, exactly how you want it. Tell us how you like to travel and we’ll do the rest.

Bangkok | Photo: Tipchai

Bangkok | Photo: Tipchai

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