Looking to spend 10 days in Thailand while exploring some of its most beautiful islands? This Thailand 10-day itinerary will show you just that and provide tips on the best places to stay and how to get around Thailand without breaking the bank!
Most people dream of visiting Thailand and who can blame them? Fascinating culture, exquisite cuisine, white-sand beaches, lush jungle, remote islands, cheap cost of living are some of the main reasons why people choose to plan a 10-day trip to Thailand.
While 10 days in Thailand isn’t enough to see the whole country, I’ve created this Thailand itinerary for those who are short on time and want to experience the best of island hopping in Thailand to some of the most popular places as well as off-beat locations that lack the tourist hordes.
This travel guide also includes tips on how to get to each destination and top budget hotel recommendations.
Keep reading to discover how to spend the 10 unforgettable days in Thailand!
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Thailand Island Hopping Guide – How to Spend 10 days in Thailand
Day 1-5: Ao Nang, Railay Beach, Krabi 4-Island Tour, Tiger Cave Temple, Hot Springs, Emerald Pool and Hong Island
Day 6-8: Koh Lanta and Koh Talabeng
Day 9-10: Koh Lipe and Koh Adang
Day 1 – Fly into Krabi and head to Ao Nang
Begin your 10-day Thailand itinerary in Ao Nang, a small beach town located in the Krabi Province. Although the beaches are not that great for swimming, it’s the perfect base for island-hopping to some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand!
For about 150 baht (US$ 4.75), take a shared minivan from Krabi Airport to Ao Nang. If budget isn’t an issue or if you’re traveling with friends, you can take a taxi to Ao Nang for 500 baht (US$ 15.80) and split the cost.
You can also book your taxi in advance but it will be slightly more expensive.
After you’ve checked into your hotel, explore the main walking street and maybe do some souvenir shopping.
Since today was a travel day, you can mostly relax on Pai Plong Beach. The beach is located only about 30 minutes from Ao Nang walking street and is accessible through a small jungle path above the cliffs.
Pai Plong beach is much better and cleaner compared to Ao Nang Beach. The beach doesn’t require an entrance fee but you need to sign in with the security guard before entering.
The beach has some stunning views of the limestone cliffs and isn’t too crowded, even during high season.
Where to stay in Ao Nang?
Buri Tara Resort, Ao Nang
Buri Tara Resort is the perfect option if you want to stay a bit away from the main area in Ao Nang. Located less than five minutes from Nopparat Thara beach, the hotel offers clean and modern rooms, each with a private bathroom, mini-fridge, TV, air conditioning! Price starts from US$ 30 for a superior room but keep in mind that it can increase considerably during the peak season.
Amorn Mansion, Ao Nang
Amorn Mansion, on the other hand, is much cheaper with rooms starting from US$ 20. The hotel is found on a little side road just across Ao Nang main street. The room comes with a TV, mini-fridge, air conditioning and a private bathroom. The only downside is that there’s no lift to the upper floors but it’s still worth the price for its central location.
Day 2 – Day Trip To Railay Beach
Powdery white sand beaches and limestone cliffs jutting out of the ocean should be enough to convince you to visit Railay beach!
Railay Beach offers a wide range of activities from hiking to rock climbing and kayaking, a must when spending 10 days in Thailand! Oh, and without forgetting beach bumming! There’s so much to do here that you’ll need at least one full day or an overnight stay to experience it all.
If you want to escape the crowds, head to Tonsai Beach, which can be accessed by foot during low tide or by taking a short boat ride.
If you’re the adventurous type, there are a few rock climbing spots on Tonsai beach, Railay East and near Phra Nang Cave. Other popular activities on Railay beach include hiking to Railay East viewpoint and the hidden lagoon.
Finally, if you just want to do relax on one of the most scenic beaches in Thailand, Phra Nang Beach is the perfect spot for that!
To get to Railay Beach, you can buy tickets along Ao Nang beach for 100 baht (US$ 3.20) each way. The boat service is available from 8 a.m to 6 p.m and if you decide to stay after 6 p.m, the boat ride back will cost 150 baht (US$ 4.75).
Related post: How to plan a day trip to Railay Beach?
If you’re visiting on a weekend, you should visit the Krabi night market which happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m to 10 p.m in Krabi Town. You’ll find plenty of handmade souvenirs and clothes but mostly food such as Pad Thai, chicken satays and much more!
There are also live performances and fire shows which will definitely keep you entertained.
You can book a shared minivan from Ao Nang which costs about 150-200 baht (US$ 4.75-6.30). You can get book your transportation for only 150 baht at a little shop just in front of the 7-eleven on Nopparat Thara Beach (click here for the exact location).
There’s also another night market right next to the iCheck Inn hotel in Ao Nang.
Day 3 – Krabi 4 Island Tour
One of the most popular things to do during your Thailand island hopping itinerary is the 4 Island Tour! This includes a visit to Koh Poda, Chicken Island (Ko Kai), Tub Island and Phra Nang Beach (the latter isn’t technically an island but is usually included in the tour) in either speedboats or longtail boats.
Chicken Island is awesome for snorkeling and is connected to Tub Island by a sandbank which you can cross over during low tide.
You can book 4 island tours anywhere in Ao Nang for very cheap but remember that you’ll get what you pay for! The tours are usually crowded and feel rushed so the next best option is renting a private longtail boat for about 2,200 baht (US$ 69.55) and split the cost with a few other travelers.
Keep in mind that Koh Poda, Tub Island and Chicken Island require a national park fee of 400 baht (US$ 12.65). If you’re visiting all of these islands on the same day, you’ll be paying the 400 baht only once.
Day 4 – Tiger Cave, Hot Springs and Emerald Pool.
On day 4, it’s time to break away from the beaches (for a while, at least) and explore deeper into Krabi to three of its most popular attractions: Tiger Cave Temple, Hot Spring and Emerald Pool. There are many group tours available but you can also rent your own taxi for about 2,000 baht (US$ 63.20).
Tiger Cave Temple, also known as Wat Tham Suea sits at 1,237 steps on top of the Krabi mountains. You won’t have to worry about paying an entrance fee since the temple is free to visit but you’re welcome to give a donation.
The hike can be quite challenging due to the steep and uneven stairs and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on your fitness level.
Next, to ease your sore muscles after the hike, relax in the Krabi Hot Springs which are natural “hot tubs” heated by the underground volcanic chambers. The mineral salts in the water are claimed to have therapeutic and soothing properties. The entrance fee is 160 baht (US$ 5).
Located only 15 minutes from the hot springs is the Emerald Pool. With its turquoise and crystal-clear water, it’s the perfect spot for swimming and relaxing in the middle of the Krabi jungle. After paying the entrance fee of 200 baht (US$ 6.30), you can choose to hike either the 800 meters or 1,400 meters trails that weave through the forest and many waterfall streams.
Optional Activity: Tab Kak Hang Nak Walking Trail
If you want to do something less touristy during your Thailand 10-day itinerary, head out to Tab Kak Hang Nak. The walking trail is located about a 30 minutes’ drive from Ao Nang and leads all the way to incredible views of the various peaks and islands of Krabi.
While the trail is easy to follow, it does require a moderate level of fitness since the path is quite rocky and goes mostly uphill. The hike takes about 1.5 hours up and 1 hour down.
The National Park is free to visit from 8 a.m to 3 p.m.
Day 5 – Day Trip To Hong Island
Spend your last day in Ao Nang by visiting Hong Island, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi! Located about an hour boat ride from Ao Nang, Hong Island is slowly becoming one of the most popular islands in Krabi.
Before getting to Hong Island, the boat will enter through a small opening in between the cliffs to an emerald lagoon which is only accessible during high tide.
Related post: 15 spectacular beaches in Krabi
Once you get to the main island, you can either choose to relax on the beach, do some snorkeling or trek along the walking trails.
The boat ride costs 500 baht (US$ 15.80) per person or you can rent a private longtail boat for 2,500 baht (US$ 79). Note that there’s a national park fee of 300 baht (US$ 9.50) to get on the island.
Day tours are also available for about 900 baht (US$ 28.45) for longtail boats and 1,300 baht (US$ 41.10) for speedboats.
Day 6 – Travel to Koh Lanta and relax on the beach
Looking to experience an authentic Thai island that’s not overrun by tourists yet? Koh Lanta is the perfect addition to your 10-day Thailand itinerary! Empty beaches and scenic views are amongst the main reasons why you should travel to Koh Lanta.
From Ao Nang, it’s very easy to arrange a minivan to Koh Lanta which you can book online or through the many travel agents on Ao Nang walking street.
A shared minivan will set you back only 400 baht (US$12.65), which is perfect if you’re on a backpacking budget. The journey lasts for about three hours with a stop in Krabi Town. Ferries are also available from Ao Nang to Koh Lanta.
I recommend staying near Khlong Khong beach if you want to visit the more secluded beaches which are found in the south of Koh Lanta.
Depending on the time you arrive in Koh Lanta, hit the beach to relax and enjoy the sunset. If you’re not too tired, you can stay longer to watch the fire shows or listen to live music at the beach bars.
Where to stay in Koh Lanta?
CAT Bungalow, Koh Lanta
CAT Bungalow is definitely the best place to stay in Koh Lanta! The rooms are clean and spacious and each comes with a king-size bed, private bathroom, mini-fridge and Wi-Fi. Prices start from US$ 12 during the low season and US$ 25 during high season. Breakfast and snacks throughout the day are also included in the price!
The hotel is found only 10 minutes from Klong Khong beach. There are lots of restaurants nearby as well as a 7-eleven. You can also rent a motorbike from the owners for only 180 baht (US$ 5.70).
Lanta Baan Nok Resort, Koh Lanta
Another place to stay in Koh Lanta is Lanta Baan Nok Resort. Located about a 15 minutes’ walk from Long Beach, the hotel is clean and spacious. BONUS – each bungalow even comes with a hammock! Prices start from US$ 23.
Day 7 – Yoga, Beach Hopping and Koh Lanta National Park
Start your first full day in Koh Lanta with a morning yoga session at Oasis Yoga Bungalows. Located just a few minutes from Klong Dao Beach, Oasis Yoga Bungalow offers daily classes for only 400 baht (US$ 12.65) per session (check their schedule here).
Being the perfect island for a road trip adventure, my favorite thing to do in Koh Lanta is hopping on a motorbike to explore the beaches along the west coast.
All of the beaches are free to visit except for the one at the Koh Lanta National Park. This is where the iconic lighthouse is found. The entrance costs 200 baht (US$ 6.30) and it’s well worth a visit!
Some of the best beaches in Koh Lanta include Bamboo Bay, Nui Bay and Ba Kantiang Beach.
Day 8 – Kayaking on Koh Talabeng
To end your last day in Koh Lanta, you have three options. The first one is a kayaking tour with Talabeng Sea Kayaking. The tour includes rock climbing on Koh Phee (Ghost Island), swimming at a secluded beach and finally kayaking for about one hour to explore the island of Koh Talabeng.
A tour with Talabeng Sea Kayaking costs 1,300 baht (US$ 42.10), including transfer to and from your hotel on Koh Lanta Yai. If you’re staying at CAT Bungalow, you can book directly with them to obtain a discount, so you’ll end up paying only 1,000 baht (US$ 31.60)!
Other options include a snorkeling trip to explore the crystal-clear water of Koh Rok or a 4 island tour with a visit to the incredible Emerald Cave which can only be accessed by swimming through a pitch-black tunnel!
Related post: 18 epic things to do in Koh Lanta!
Day 9 – Travel to Koh Lipe and Island Hopping To Koh Adang
If you’ve read other Thailand itineraries, chances are you probably haven’t come across Koh Lipe. This small island is located in the southernmost region of Thailand, not too far from Langkawi in Malaysia.
The fact that it’s far from the main tourist spots in Thailand doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthy addition to your 10-day Thailand itinerary! Koh Lipe is known for its pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water, perfect for diving and snorkeling!
To get from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe, take a speedboat for about 1,700 baht (US$ 56.35) which lasts for 3-4 hours. Honestly, the journey to get there isn’t the most comfortable but is definitely the quickest way to get from Koh Lanta to Koh Lipe.
One thing to note is that this route is closed during the low season (from May to October). So, instead you can take a mini-van to Pak Bara Pier and from there get into a Ferry to Koh Lipe.
Since you have only a few days left, there’s no time for slacking! For 100 baht (US$ 3.15), hop on a longtail boat to Koh Adang, located only 10 minutes from Koh Lipe. It’s the perfect place to explore empty beaches and hike the Chado Cliff viewpoint. The hike takes only 45 minutes and leads to a panoramic view of Koh Lipe.
After soaking in the view, head back down and jump into the refreshing ocean to cool off. If you have enough time, you can also hike to Pirate waterfall (unless it’s the dry season).
Once back to Koh Lipe, explore the Walking Street for some souvenir shopping and feast on delicious Thai food.
Finally, head out to Sunset Beach for an epic sunset!
Where to stay in Koh Lipe?
Sangchan Hostel, Koh Lipe
Hotel prices on Koh Lipe tend to be very high, so you need to book in advance for the best deal. I stayed in Sangchan Hostel and got a room with a private bathroom for about US$ 31. Dorm rooms are also available starting from US$ 12. The hostel is clean and provides free water and coffee and has a small common room where you can meet other travelers.
Day 10 – Morning Yoga and Snorkeling Tour of Koh Lipe
And now off to your next adventure: snorkeling tour of Koh Lipe! Most tour companies on the island will offer similar tours for the same price, inclusive of lunch and snorkeling gear.
Spend the day swimming in the crystal-clear water and if you’re lucky enough you may even spot some turtles!
You can choose from either Program A (600 baht or US$ 19) or Program B (700 baht or US$ 22.10), the latter lasting longer with visits to more islands. Half-day and sunset tours are also available.
Related post: Complete guide to Koh Lipe
As your journey around Thailand comes to an end, you may extend your trip by taking a high-speed Ferry to Langkawi and spend 2 incredible weeks in Malaysia discovering new cultures, exploring old towns and bustling cities and eating the most delicious street food (which you find out more in my Malaysia itinerary)!
The Ferry departs from Koh Lipe twice a day at 11.45 a.m and 3.45 p.m. The journey lasts for about 1.5 hours and costs about US$ 23. Just keep in mind that the Ferry operates mostly during mid-October to the end of May.
But, if you can’t extend your trip, Air Asia offers a combination of Ferry and air transfer to Bangkok where you can take your flight back home.
How to modify this Thailand itinerary?
If you’re coming from Langkawi in Malaysia, start your Thailand itinerary in Koh Lipe and make your way to Koh Lanta and finally end in Ao Nang.
Best time to visit Thailand
The best time to visit Thailand is between November and April. December to February is usually very crowded and hotel prices will be 2-3 times more expensive. May to October is considered the low season, soyou’ll end up with better hotel deals, but do expect some rainfall.
There you go, this is how you can spend 10 days in Thailand! Thailand is one of my favorite destinations and I would definitely go back to explore even more. I hope you found this Thailand island hopping guide helpful and got some ideas on how to plan your trip!