This Thailand trip plan is a 5 days/4 nights itinerary can be suitable for independent travelers who are planning a short visit to Thailand from one of nearby countries such as India, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. It can also be used as a part of wider itinerary when traveling around Southeast Asia. The trip is a good balance of nightlife, sightseeing and relaxing.
Visited countries & cities
The only country visited on this trip is Thailand. If it's your first visit to the Kingdom, read the essential information for planning a trip: How to Plan Your Trip to Thailand. Here you will find practical information about the weather, required travel documents, local currency, transportation, and other issues that awaits you when traveling to Thailand.
As Bangkok is Thailand's main travel hub and it's really easy to find good deals for international flights to one of city's airports, making Bangkok a perfect starting point for any trip to the Kingdom. The capital of Thailand is one of the most vibrant cities in all Southeast Asia. In Bangkok you can find many options for sightseeing, shopping, eating, nightlife and other kinds of entertainment. The network of public transportation and reasonably priced taxi makes exploring city on your own really easy.
Bangkok's top attractions, shopping & entertainment venues, transportation system and other useful information about Thai capital can be conveniently found in one place here: Bangkok - Best Things to See & Do.
A big number of coastal beaches and islands that are suitable for perfect tropical vacations can be found in Southern and Eastern Thailand. However, most of country's best beach destinations are quite far from Bangkok and reaching them takes time. When you are planning a short trip to Thailand and willing to include a relaxing day on the beach, heading to Pattaya can be the best option, especially if you love water sports and vibrant nightlife. Pattaya is the closest to Bangkok major Thailand's beach resort city, which is situated on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, only about 150 kilometers or 2 hours from Bangkok.
Useful information about Pattaya's beaches, nearby islands, top attractions, entertainment venues, transportation, hotels, etc. can be conveniently found in one place here: Pattaya - Best Things to See & Do.
Length of trip
The total duration of this Thailand trip itinerary - 5 days and 4 nights. The trip includes 2 nights in Bangkok and 2 nights in the resort city Pattaya.
Most of nationalities can enter Thailand visa free when visiting the Kingdom for such a short time. If you hold a passport issued by one of the countries listed here (Thailand Visa Exemption) and your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the day of your arrival, you can enter Thailand without visa.
Citizens of China, India, Taiwan and 15 other countries for such a short visit can conveniently get Thailand Visa on Arrival at the airport. The most up to date information about this type of Thailand visa, eligible countries, required documents, fees, application procedure and other issues related to it can be found here: Thailand Visa on Arrival.
All other nationalities must get a tourist visa from Thai embassy or consulate in advance. Applying for Single-Entry Tourist Visa is enough for this itinerary. If there's no Thai embassy or consulate in your country or reaching it is not convenient, you can apply for Thai visa in another country.
There are many good deals for international flights from almost anywhere in the world to one of Bangkok's airports - Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK).
Deals for the most popular international flights to Bangkok can be found here:
Transportation options for traveling to Bangkok from other locations can be found by using the search form.
As the itinerary of this trip is compact, taking an early morning flight is recommended.
Day 1 - Arriving & Spending Half Day in Bangkok
There are plenty of transportation options for getting from the airport to Bangkok City. The most convenient way for reaching the city center is by private transfer that is available at both Bangkok's airports. You can book a private transfer online and the driver will be waiting for you at the airport - a perfect choice for people who like to travel easy and don't mind paying a bit more. Private transfer from the airports to Bangkok City can be booked here:
If you are looking for a cheaper way to get from the airport to the city, your options depend on the airport:
There are thousands of hotels and other accommodations around Bangkok that are suitable for any budget. Choosing the right location and hotel in such a large city might be tricky so this Guide to Bangkok Best Areas will be very useful.
Staying in one of Riverside area's hotels is the best choice for this trip itinerary. All the attractions will be within an easy reach and you won't need to waste time on the busy roads of Bangkok. Recommended hotels:
If you will be staying at one of these hotels and have a plan to use public transport for getting there, you should do as follows:
From BKK Airport - take Airport Rail Link train from the airport to Phaya Thai Station and get on BTS Skytrain there, then take the train to BTS Saphan Taksin Station
From DMK Airport - take A1 or A2 Bus from the airport to BTS Mochit Station and take the train to BTS Saphan Taksin Station from there
As you will have only a half day or even less on the first day in Bangkok, it's better to leave sightseeing for the next morning. Suggested itinerary for the first day:
A. Visit Siam Niramit Show Bangkok and get familiar with Thai culture. The show starts at 8:00 PM but you can there at anytime starting from 5:00 PM as there are various pre-show activities and dinner offered. The review of the show with a detailed guide about getting there can be found here: Review of Siam Niramit. Discounted tickets to the show can be booked online here: Siam Niramit Bangkok Ticket.
B. After the show, you can visit one of the best night markets in Bangkok that can be found nearby - Ratchada Train Night Market. For more information about the night market read Talad Rot Fai Ratchada.
C. If you will be arriving earlier and will have plenty of free time before the show, enjoy lunch, get a relaxing Thai massage or just refresh in the rooftop pool of your hotel and enjoy the view of the city (if you've chosen Millennium Hilton Bangkok or any other of the amazing Bangkok hotels with rooftop & infinity pools).
Choose one of Chao Phraya River dinner cruises instead of visiting Siam Niramit Show and you will have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Bangkok’s stunning scenery and famous historical sites such as the Royal Grand Palace & Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Bangkhunprom Palace, Kanlayanamitr Temple and the Rama VIII Bridge while floating on the river, sipping drinks and enjoying food on board.
Day 2 - Full Day in Bangkok
On the second day of the trip you will have full day in Bangkok.
A. Wake up early and visit the most famous tourist attractions of Bangkok:
Royal Grand Palace & Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
All these historical sites are must-see in Bangkok and you can easily visit them all in one morning. It can be done independently or by joining this tour: Bangkok Old City Half Day Tour.
B. After morning full of sightseeing, hide from the heat and choose the following:
Enjoy an amazing underwater adventure at SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World (review of the aquarium - SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World; discounted tickets - Tickets of SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World)
Do some shopping in style at one of Shopping Malls in Bangkok
Pamper yourself with a relaxing Thai massage at Let's Relax Spa
If you prefer relaxing in natural surroundings, Lumpini Park is the place to go. Here you can find open public space, paths, lakes, various flora and fauna, and laze in the shadow while enjoying the company of the water monitor lizards hanging around.
C. Bangkok is a city that never sleeps. The city is amazing during the day, and it's even better at night. Bangkok is famous for its bustling nightlife and is just as vibrant as you’d expect it to be. For the second night in Thai capital choose:
Shopping and eating at one of Bangkok's Night Markets, if you skipped Talad Rot Fai Ratchada on the first night
Enjoying a night out at one of the Best Rooftop Bars in Bangkok where you could admire the skyline of Thai capital while sipping some cocktails
More places for going out at night can be found here: Bangkok Nightlife.
During short trips, changing hotel in the same city is not worth it as it would be too much time consuming. For the second night in Bangkok you should stay at the chosen Riverside area's hotel: The Onion Hostel at Flower Market, Aurum The River Place, Millennium Hilton Bangkok or another one.
Day 3 - Morning in Bangkok & Moving to Pattaya
Make sure to plan the third day of your trip on weekend and you won't miss a chance to visit one of largest markets in the world Chatuchak Weekend Market and shop for souvenirs there.
Otherwise, you can continue sightseeing and visit few more temples from the list of the Most Impressive Temples in Bangkok. Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha) is one of our favorite temples that is famous for the enormous golden Buddha image, made of 5.5 tons of solid gold. Buddhist temples Wat Saket (Golden Mountain) and Wat Benjamabophit (Marble Temple) are also worth to pay a visit.
There are plenty of transportation options for getting from Bangkok to Pattaya. The most convenient way for reaching the resort city is by private transfer with hotel pick up that can be booked online here: Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya.
Another worry-free option for traveling between Thailand's capital and its most popular resort city is by Shared City Transfer between Bangkok and Pattaya.
If you are looking for a cheaper way to travel from Bangkok to Pattaya, take a bus from Ekkamai Bus Terminal that can be easily reached by skytrain (BTS Ekkamai Station).
More transportation options can be found here: From Bangkok to Pattaya.
There are many hotels and other accommodations in Pattaya that are suitable for various budgets. Staying at one of Pattaya Beachfront Hotels is a really good idea as there you would be enjoying the sound of the waves and being as close as possible to the edge. Recommended hotels:
All these hotels are located in Central Pattaya, making all the attractions of the resort city within an easy reach from the hotel.
On your first night in Pattaya, visit one of Ladyboy Cabaret Shows that are a unique kind of entertainment in Thailand. Ladyboy Cabaret Show is a performance with dances and music which is a family friendly attraction and a perfect way to spend an evening. The most famous ladyboy cabaret show in Pattaya is Tiffany's Show.
Day 4 - Full Day in Pattaya
Relaxing on the beach and enjoying city's nightlife are the main reasons for visiting Pattaya. Trip itinerary of the second day includes them both.
A. Pattaya's coastal beaches are not the best spots for sunbathing or swimming as they are normally crowded and full of speedboats and jet skis. Getting to Koh Larn, also known as Coral Island, is a recommended option for any beach lover. Koh Larn is an idyllic island with beautiful beaches located just 7 km west of Pattaya. The beaches on the island are the nicest in the area, making them a perfect day-trip destination.
Get on the ferry departing to this nice little island from Bali Hai Pier and you will spend a perfect day, full of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. Otherwise, you can join a tour and get to Koh Larn by a speedboat. The tour can be booked online here: Pattaya to Koh Larn Half Day Tour.
B. When choosing morning tour to Coral Island, you have plenty of time before the nightlife of the city becomes active. In the afternoon, choose one of the following:
C. Spend your night on the worldwide famous Pattaya Walking Street where you will find the city’s best nightclubs, beer bars, restaurants, go-go bars and cabaret show venues. The street comes alive with neon lights, loud music and street performances.
Another way for spending your evening in Pattaya is visiting a spectacular KAAN Show which is city's biggest theater combining 4D projection mapping and live action. The show is a wonderful cinematic live performance with a storyline of 4 Thai folk tales. KAAN show is the first of its kind in Thailand, don’t miss a chance to see it. Tickets can be booked online here: [SALE] KAAN Show Admission Ticket.
During short trips, changing hotel in the same city is not worth it as it would be too much time consuming. For the second night in Pattaya you should stay at the chosen Beachfront Hotel - Flipper Lodge Hotel, Royal Cliff Beach Terrace or The Monttra Pattaya.
Day 5 - Morning in Pattaya & Departure from Thailand
On the last day, spend your morning on Pattaya Beach or visit The Sanctuary of Truth, if you missed it the day before.
Pattaya is not far from Bangkok and there are many options for getting directly from Pattaya to the airport. The most convenient way for reaching the airport from Pattaya is by private transfer that is available for both Bangkok's airports. You can book a private transfer online with Pattaya hotel pick up here: Private Airports Transfers (DMK or BKK) for Pattaya.
There's also a bus going directly from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Another option is taking a bus from Pattaya to Ekkamai Bus Terminal or Mo Chit Bus Terminal and then reaching any of Bangkok's airports by public transportation.
Transportation options for traveling from Bangkok to other destinations can be found by using the search form.
Best Time for the Trip
This Thailand trip itinerary can be completed at any time of the year.
Selected hotels for 4 nights (depending on the season):
Budget Friendly: 100-200 USD
Mid-Range: 300-500 USD
Higher-End: 600+ USD
Flights to/from Bangkok - depends on the country of departure
From the airport to Bangkok City: 20-25 USD
From Bangkok to Pattaya: 40-45 USD (shared ~12 USD)
From Pattaya to the airport: 53-60 USD
From the airport to Bangkok City: 3-4 USD
From Bangkok to Pattaya: 5-6 USD
From Pattaya to the airport: 6-8 USD
Expenses on local transportation in the cities depend on personal preferences.
Activities in Bangkok:
Siam Niramit Show Bangkok: 37-65 USD (depends on seating)
Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise: 40-70 USD (depends on the chosen cruise)
Bangkok Old City Half Day Tour: ~38 USD (~25 USD if DIY)
SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World: ~22 USD (add-ons available)
Thai massage at Let's Relax Spa: 24-95 USD (depends on the chosen service)
Activities in Pattaya:
Tiffany's Show: 20-41 USD (depends on seating)
Koh Larn Half Day Tour: ~9 USD (add-ons available)
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden: ~11 USD (add-ons available)
The Sanctuary of Truth: ~12 USD (add-ons available)
Ramayana Water Park: 26-38 USD (without transfer)
KAAN Show: 28-41 USD (depends on seating)
Food, drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses depend on personal preferences.
You can get really good currency exchange rates at the branches of the Best Currency Exchange in Bangkok.