A traveler looking at the golden buddhas in Ayutthaya - one of the best places to visit in Thailand for first timers

Unusual Thailand Itinerary for 7 Days | Chiang Mai & Ayutthaya

Looking for a Thailand itinerary for 7 days? I got you!

I first visited Thailand in 2012 for a personal development course held in Bangkok. Although I only visited a few tourist spots, Thailand’s history and culture fascinated me.

So, when I had the opportunity to return, I created a Thailand itinerary for 7 days that focused on Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya.

I’ve revisited Thailand a couple more times since and enjoyed my stay each time. I hope that, when you do get to visit Thailand, you’d have an even grander and more memorable time than I did!

And I’d love to help you with that. By the end of this blog post, you should have an answer to the question, “What’s a good Thailand itinerary for 7 days?”

And, if you follow my itinerary, you’d get to visit Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Bangkok, and Ayutthaya.

So, read on to see my suggested Thailand itinerary for 7 days (from someone who’s actually done and experienced it!). Enjoy!

⏳ Short on time?

Here are my recommended travel resources for planning your Thailand itinerary for 7 days!

✈️ FLIGHTS: Book your flights with Trip.com
πŸ’Έ FLYING WITHIN THAILAND ON A BUDGET? Book your flights with Airasia.

πŸš‚ TRAINS & BUSES: Pre-book with 12go
πŸš™ AIRPORT TRANSFER: Book with GetYourGuide
πŸš— CAR RENTAL: Book with DiscoverCars.com

πŸ›Œ HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION: I recommend booking with Agoda (very popular in Asia)

– Budget: Hostel One Art & Gallery
– Mid-range: Phra Singh Village
– Luxury: The Inside House

– Budget: Siam Eco Hostel
– Mid-range: Noursabah Boutique Bed-Bangkok
– Luxury: Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai

– Budget: Room Story Hostel
– Mid-range: Baan Thai House
– Luxury: Sala Ayutthaya

🏞️ TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I recommend booking with Viator, GetYourGuide, or Klook (very popular in Asia)

– Chiang Mai: Old City and Temples Guided Walking Tour
– Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai Experience
– Thai Cooking Classes by Grandma’s Home Cooking School
– Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food Tuk-Tuk Tour
– Bangkok: Ayutthaya & Lopburi Monkey Temple Private Day Trip
– Ayutthaya Famous Temples Tour with Glittering Sunset Boat Ride

πŸ›œ ESIM: Airalo
βœ”οΈ TRAVEL INSURANCE: Heymondo (get 5% off if you use my link)

*These are all travel resources I personally use for planning and booking my trips. If you use them, some of them will earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping my site up. Thanks!

Sample Thailand Itinerary for 7 Days

If you are looking for ideas on how to plan your next trip to Thailand, I hope my Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya, Thailand itinerary for 7 days will inspire you and make you see that Thailand is worth visiting even just for a week!

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 1: Travel to Chiang Mai

If you’re following this 7-day Thailand itinerary, then your first day will be mostly about traveling to Chiang Mai. Here’s what your Day 1 will look like:

βœ”οΈ Travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand
βœ”οΈ Travel to your accommodation from Chiang Mai International Airport
βœ”οΈ Settle in at your accommodation
βœ”οΈ Enjoy Chiang Mai at night

βœ”οΈ Travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand

There are several ways of getting to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  • You can fly directly to Chiang Mai. While they are pretty pricey, this option is the most efficient way of getting to Chiang Mai.
  • Or, you can also fly to Bangkok and then take another flight to Chiang Mai. If this is what you’re choosing to do, please make sure that you’re arriving in the same airport as where you’re leaving, too (e.g., if you’re arriving in Bangkok via Suvarnabhumi Airport, make sure that your flight leaves from the same airport, too).

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: If your flight arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport and your next flight leaves from Don Mueang Airport on the same day, you can, of course, charter a private ride for convenience, or you can also take the free shuttle offered by Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang Airport.

If you choose to take the FREE shuttle, ask the Suvarnabhumi Airport staff, and they will happily point you to where you can take the shuttle to Don Mueang Airport. Just present your printed boarding pass or ticket for your flight from Don Mueang on that day, and you can avail yourself of the free shuttle service.

βœ”οΈ Travel to your accommodation from Chiang Mai International Airport

Check with your hotel if they offer free airport transfers.

If they don’t, you can take a taxi from Chiang Mai International Airport to your accommodation of choice.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Ensure you have your accommodation’s address printed in Thai to make it easier for them to determine where you’re going. There’s a kiosk at the airport where you can show your destination. They will then give you a paper, including information on the fare you would have to pay, to show the drivers waiting outside.

This was one of the things that impressed me about Chiang Mai. I’ve experienced being bothered by taxi drivers who would want to take you to your next destination without using the meter, which also usually means that the fare they ask you to pay is more than the regular fare. If you don’t do your research, there’s a big possibility that you will get ripped off. I think Thailand is a bit more organized in that sense.

βœ”οΈ Settle in at your accommodation

There are many accommodation options in Chiang Mai that cater to different budgets and preferences.

I stayed at D-Well Hostel, which was, back then, a new backpacker’s hostel with English-speaking staff + amenities that provided a good balance between privacy and the opportunity to interact with other backpackers. Unfortunately, they have already closed down.

πŸ›οΈ Where to stay in Chiang Mai?

If you are still looking for where to stay in Chiang Mai, here are some of their top-rated accommodations:
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Budget: Hostel One Art & Gallery
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Mid-range: Phra Singh Village
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Luxury: The Inside House

βœ”οΈ Enjoy Chiang Mai at night

Whether you’re in the mood to explore the city at nighttry Chiang Mai’s street foodget a massage, or have a beer or two (I mean, it’s been a long day!), Chiang Mai’s got you.

My new friends and I bar-hopped (which I haven’t done in a while) and had a few bottles of beer while listening to jazz music.

I usually stop drinking alcohol as soon as I feel it kick in. But, I think because I was exhausted from all the traveling that day, I felt dizzy sooner than I expected. 

I was fortunate that I went out with friends who constantly checked on me when they noticed that I wasn’t walking straight anymore. For me, that meant a lot – that I was with people who don’t look only after themselves but after the people they’re traveling with. It reminded me of when I took a trip to Guinaang for one of my first few experiences in Couchsurfing.

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 2: Explore Chiang Mai Old City

As this was my first full day in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I thought, why not spend the day exploring the beautiful city?

βœ”οΈ Explore Chiang Mai Old City

There are several ways to explore Chiang Mai Old City, depending on your travel preference: you can tour the city on foothop on a tuk-tuk and visit Chiang Mai’s temples, explore the city on a bike tour, or you can create your own itinerary and go on a private tour with an English-speaking guide.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Regardless of what you fancy, I suggest you book your preferred tours ahead of time to avoid the hassle of still having to find a suitable tour when you should already be enjoying your trip while you’re in Thailand.

I also suggest you book your tours with a trusted platform like Klook, Get Your Guide, or Viator – especially if it’s your first time visiting the place.

While it doesn’t happen very often, I just feel more at ease knowing that I’d have recourse should I need to file a complaint with my tour provider.

For example, during my trip to Chiang Mai, I was ghosted by a travel agency I booked for a Chiang Mai Old City Tour. But because I booked them outside these platforms, I didn’t feel like I could do anything that would be commensurate to the wasted time, hassle, and anxiety that they caused me.

It’s a good thing that the D-Well Hostel staff were kind enough to help me find a suitable guided tour with Segway Gibbon. It was a bit pricey, but I think it was my best shot at that time to explore the city with a guided tour. Plus, it turned out to be fun (and also, for a not-so-adventurous person like me, became one of the highlights of my 7-day Thailand itinerary)!

Balancing yourself on the Segway is relatively easy, and it’s like being on a motorcycle but a bit safer. LOL.

The staff of Segway Gibbon were very kind. They took care of us and ensured that we knew how to manage the Segway before we went for a ride – after all, we had to cross major streets, which was super fun!

Here are some of the places we visited. I hope that, whatever tour you book, you’ll enjoy it even more than I did!

Wat Chiang Man
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Chedi Luang

This is barely scratching the surface. So, I hope that, whatever tour you book, you’ll get to enjoy it even more than I did and make your 7-day visit to Thailand worth it!

UPDATE: Segway Gibbon in Chiang Mai has permanently closed. But there are tons of options to explore the Old City! Here are some activities and experiences I curated for you, which you can include in your 7-day Thailand itinerary:

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 3: πŸ“ Go on a day tour to Chiang Rai & Mae Hong Son

While there are other things that I could still do in Chiang Mai (e.g., enroll in a Thai cooking class, go on a hidden jungle trek, or visit the elephant sanctuary), I opted to go on a day trip to see the White Temple, experience The Golden Triangle, and – the main reason why I decided to visit Chiang Mai – meet the Karieng Tribe at Mae Hong Son.

βœ”οΈ Be amazed (or creeped out) at Wat Rong Khun

Before you enter Wat Rong Khun, you will see these (quite creepy) creatures hanging on the trees.

According to our guide, this was the artist’s representation of the play of different entities in our world. It was a mix of animals, “monsters,” and human beings. It reminded me of my belief that we are not alone in this world.

The White Temple in Chiang Rai - Include this in your Thailand itinerary for 7 days

The stunning temple is the artist’s representation of our journey in this world.

The outreaching hands signify unrestrained desires. Crossing the bridge to the gate of heaven symbolizes that you are letting go of temptations and desires. And, after crossing the bridge, you arrive at the gate of heaven.

Having had the opportunity to explore the White Temple was honestly one of the many beautiful surprises I experienced in this 7-day Thailand itinerary. And I genuinely hope that you will also have your own beautiful surprises when you visit Thailand!

βœ”οΈ Experience The Golden Triangle

This was another interesting thing that I got to do with this 7-day Thailand itinerary: the tour company brought us to The Golden Triangle, where three countries meet – Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar!

βœ”οΈ Visit the Karen Hill Tribe at Mae Hong Son, Thailand

“Why Karen Tribe?” I asked our tour guide. The term “Karen” was a bit too Westernized, even for a community not originally from Thailand.

Our tour guide explained that it’s really the Karieng Tribe. But, because of the visitors who couldn’t get the correct pronunciation, it later evolved to being called the Karen tribe.

The Karieng tribe (more famously known as the Karen Hill Tribe) was believed to have originally come from Mongolia. It is believed that because of the hard life in their community, they migrated to Myanmar and Thailand.

The Karen Hill Tribe having long necks is actually a myth. The bronze rings around their necks, about 10 kilos heavy, pull their shoulders down, which causes them to appear like they have longer necks.

They usually start wearing the bronze rings at the age of 5, and they barely take them off. During my visit, I even witnessed someone wearing it as young as three years old.

Meeting the Karen Hill Tribe was the reason I included Chiang Mai in my 7-day Thailand itinerary. It was because, from what I read at that time, I could go on a day trip to meet them during my stay in Chiang Mai.

And I’m grateful I included visiting the Karieng Tribe in my Thailand itinerary for 7 days.

Not all of them speak English, but for those who do (and even those who don’t), short conversations with them ensued, and they would give me their sweet smiles.

While they constantly offered that I buy some of their products (which may put off some visitors), I found it necessary, too. That’s their primary source of income. And, with the experience they provided me and the opportunity to meet and talk to them, buying a trinket or two is not even enough as a payback.

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 4: πŸ“ Chiang Mai-Bangkok

It was a bittersweet day on my last in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I started it with breakfast with my roommate, Queenie, who is also from Hong Kong. I ate the first Pad Thai I fell in love with.

We parted ways after discussing a couple of political issues surrounding my country and hers. I went around and looked for some postcards in the rain and enjoyed my solitary walk as I embraced being grateful for the opportunity to travel on my own.

βœ”οΈ Write postcards for your family and yourself!

I spent the rest of my last morning in Chiang Mai writing postcards for my family and friends. If you have yet to try it, I also encourage you to write a postcard to yourself whenever you’re traveling! Reading my postcards a few weeks after my trips always makes me smile. I hope you will love it, too!

βœ”οΈ Travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Because I was meeting my friends in Bangkok, I took a flight from Chiang Mai International Airport to Don Mueang Airport (DMK). This is also the fastest way to travel from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, albeit more expensive.

The cheapest way to get to Bangkok from Chiang Mai is by train.

βœ”οΈ Travel to your accommodation in Bangkok

From the airport, you can use public transportation to your accommodation in Bangkok, hail a taxi, or book a private airport transfer.

While I knew I could save more had I taken public transportation or hailed a taxi, I decided to rent a private car. See, my backpack was weighty. I had my laptop with me, plus the noise of Bangkok overwhelmed me (being that I came from the quiet city of Chiang Mai). While I admit it was a setback in my budget, I do not regret making that choice. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

βœ”οΈ Check in at your accommodation in Bangkok

Bangkok is a famous tourist spot, so there are tons of options that you can choose from, depending on your budget and your itinerary in Bangkok. We booked an overnight stay at Nasa Vegas Hotel, but, honestly, I’ve stayed at better accommodations.

πŸ›οΈ Where to stay in Bangkok?

To help you plan your trip, I searched for top-rated accommodation options in Bangkok. Here they are:

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Budget: Siam Eco Hostel
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Mid-range: Noursabah Boutique Bed-Bangkok
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Luxury: Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai

βœ”οΈ Enjoy your night in Bangkok

There are tons of options for you to enjoy your night in Bangkok. You can go on a food trip and have a taste of authentic Thai food. Or, if you’re feeling a bit fancy, eat at one of Bangkok’s Michelin-star restaurants. Or, you can also go on a tuk-tuk tour and see the famous temples beautifully lit at night.

As for me, though, I just spent the night at my hotel and rested. Looking back, I could’ve gotten myself a relaxing Thai massage to prepare myself for the remaining leg of my Thailand vacation.

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 5: πŸ“ Bangkok-Ayutthaya

This was our day to visit Ayutthaya! The Historic City of Ayutthaya is one of Thailand’s most famous tourist spots. If you love visiting temples and learning about history and culture, you should include Ayutthaya in your 7-day Thailand itinerary.

βœ”οΈ Travel to Ayutthaya

We rode the train to Ayutthaya from Hualamphong Train Station, which was nearer our hotel.

βœ”οΈ Travel to your accommodation in Ayutthaya

At the Ayutthaya train station, you will find lots of tuk-tuk drivers offering you a ride to your hotel or even a tour, especially for those planning to stay in Ayutthaya only for a day.

If, like us, you are staying in Ayutthaya for at least one night, make sure to have the address of your hotel in Thai so you just have to show it to your driver and avoid miscommunication. You can also pin it on Google Maps and follow the route as you ride the tuk-tuk to your accommodation.

βœ”οΈ Check-in at your accommodation

Since Ayutthaya is also a famous tourist spot, it offers many accommodation options for those visiting it. We could’ve opted for a cheaper hotel, to be frank. But, because we initially planned to stay in Ayutthaya for only a night, we all agreed to splurge a little. And we made that choice when we came across this precious gem in Ayutthaya: Baan Thai House Ayutthaya.

Our room was huge, with very comfortable beds. It allowed us to have a restful sleep as we prepared for the following day.

Roaming around the place was also very relaxing – a retreat in itself. We enjoyed the place so much that we decided to ditch our one night in Bangkok and extend our stay at Baan Thai House Ayutthaya.

βœ”οΈ Visit Ayutthaya’s Beautiful Temples through a Sunset Boat Tour

After enjoying our lovely spot in Baan Thai House Ayutthaya, our first agenda for this trip was to visit the lovely temples on a boat ride. Our accommodating hosts booked a tuk-tuk ride for us to the dock.

It was a fascinating way to explore the place, a different perspective from when you view Ayutthaya on land.

The water was calm, as was our trip. My friends and I barely talked the entire time despite our excitement. We were all just immersed in the beauty and tranquility that this experience provided us. We were all in the moment. It is the best way of experiencing a place, no doubt.

We stopped by several temples along the wayβ€”all a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history and culture.

Wat Phanan Choeng
Wat Phuttai Sawan
Wat Chaiwatthanaram

βœ”οΈ Go on a food trip at the night market

After our boat trip ended, we visited one of Ayutthaya’s night markets. With various food options, you will have a fill of their food culture. Helen, Justine, and I enjoyed their freshly made sushi!

I want to warn you, though, to ensure that the food you’re purchasing passes your cleanliness test. We were eyeing some grilled food at one of the stalls but decided against it after we saw insects on top of the food they were selling. When we brought this to the vendor’s attention, he just smiled at us as if it were normal. 😐

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 6: πŸ“ Ayutthaya

Before getting to Ayutthaya, we requested a guide Baan Thai House could recommend. They referred us to Mr. Pok. We had so much fun that we all said every penny we spent was worth it.

βœ”οΈ Go on a historical tour around Ayutthaya’s main temples

Mr. Pok was a very informative guide. Before letting us roam around the temples he brought us to, he would share interesting information about their history. He let us sit like his students as he explained the different notable facts about the temples. You could see his enthusiasm and passion in his chosen field. We were very blessed to have met him and to have been toured around Ayutthaya by him. πŸ™‚

Here are some places we visited that you may want to include in your Thailand itinerary for 7 days.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Wat MahatHat
Wat Na Phramen

7-Day Thailand Itinerary Day 7: πŸ“ Ayutthaya-Bangkok

On our last day in Ayutthaya (and in Thailand), I decided to get a massage, finally. No kidding, I had one of the most relaxing Thai massages at Baan Thai House!

βœ”οΈ Travel to your next destination

Baan Thai House Ayutthaya booked a tuk-tuk for us to bring us to the van station, where we could get a ride to Bangkok.

After the van ride, we took the train to Makassan City Air Terminal and another one to Suvarnabhumi Airport, where I would be taking the plane back to Manila.

FAQs: Thailand Itinerary for 7 days

Is 7 days enough for Thailand?

Yes, 7 days is enough for Thailand. I did this in the past and was able to visit Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Bangkok, and Ayutthaya. With my Thailand itinerary for 7 days, you can already have a glimpse into Thailand’s rich history and culture, unique gastronomic delights, and be able to interact with its friendly and beautiful people.

How much will a 7-day trip to Thailand cost?

It depends on what type of traveler you are, your accommodation preferences, what type of food you’d like to eat, and the tours and activities you’d like to experience. I would budget around 50 USD to 100 USD per day, which would allow me to join private tours and stay at mid-range accommodations for the duration of my trip.

Is it worth going to Thailand for a week?

Yes, it is worth going to Thailand for a week! I’ve done this in the past and I enjoyed it very much.

How many days are sufficient for Thailand?

It depends on where you want to go. But I think, 7 days should give you a good introduction to what Thailand has to offer. In any case, you can always return to Thailand!

The Wrap up: Thailand Itinerary for 7 Days

That’s it! I hope this helps you plan your Thailand itinerary for 7 days.

If you have any questions or if you need help with planning your itinerary for your trip to Thailand or to Asia, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help!

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