The headline sounds crazy, I know! But perhaps one day you’ll find yourself in this tricky situation where you’ll be short on time when it comes to visiting one of the most popular Asian destinations. So, imagine you only had four days to spend in beautiful Thailand! Here is our 4-day Thailand Itinerary and what you could do to get a glimpse of Asia’s number one travel destination – even in such a short time!
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How to Spend 4 Days in Thailand
Let’s pretend, you’d only have four days to discover the beauty of Thailand, here are the highlights for a 4-day itinerary you won’t want to miss if you go to one of the most popular Asian countries for travellers.
2 Days in Bangkok
Really the only place to start any trip to Thailand is the capital city of Bangkok. We suggest two days in Bangkok will just about be enough to see the main sights and give you a good feel for the city.
Day One: Best Temples in Bangkok
Thailand has always been known for its beautiful temples and palaces, more than just its lush, green forests and pristine beaches. Some of the best temples are in Bangkok; there are four must-see temples in Bangkok alone, and one Royal palace to visit. In our Bangkok itinerary, we recommend ending the tour with a relaxing river cruise.
Begin your tour at the Grand Palace. It is made up of complex buildings divided into four main parts, namely: the Outer Court, the Inner Court, the Middle Court, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It used to be the official residence of the Royal Family from 1782 to 1925. Currently, the Palace is open to the public as a museum, but there are still royal offices operating inside.
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Next, walk a couple of blocks south from the Grand Palace to Wat Pho. It is the oldest, largest, and most famous temple in Thailand. It had been recognised by UNESCO in their Memory of the World Programme because it is believed to be the earliest public school in Thailand. But their most popular attraction here is the Reclining Buddha, which is 46 metres long and 15 metres high.
After, make your way across the west bank of the Chao Phraya River to visit Wat Arun. It is also named the Temple of Dawn, and you can get the most breathtaking views of the city here. There are five prangs in the temple, you can choose to climb the main prang which is decorated with colourful porcelain and ceramic tiles.
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Lastly, drive back to Chinatown to visit Wat Traimit. It is hard to miss the six-ton, solid gold Buddha statue in the temple. It is considered to be the biggest golden statue in the world, valuing in an estimated $250 million.
Cap the day off by cruising down the Phraya River via a water taxi. You can relax throughout the ride, get a view of the city from your cruise, and just take it all in.
Note that you should wear something that will cover your elbows and knees when you go to the temples. A long-sleeved shirt and pants will do fine, but if you did not bring any, you can always bring a jacket and a long cover-up with you. If you see the locals leave their shoes outside the temple, you should do the same.
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Day Two: Shopping, Food and Muay Thai in Bangkok
Other than the temples, it is not a Thailand trip if you will not get to experience at least one of the floating markets in Bangkok. The two most popular markets are Taling Chan and Khlong Lat Mayom. If this is your first time in Bangkok, you should probably stick to those two first. It is recommended that you get there early in the morning before it gets crowded, not just to make it easy to shop, but so you get first dibs on some of the items.
You can also buy lots of local delicacies, jewellery, produce, and clothes. But you have to decide fast, though, the canal is filled with boats, you do not want to cause water traffic. If you do have some spare time you could also visit If you have time you could also visit Amphawa floating market.
Next up, a Muay Thai fight in Bangkok! You can make your way to Rajadamnern Stadium, home to authentic Muay Thai fights – by authentic, we mean, there is no show, no script, none of that touristy feel. Muay Thai is considered a national sport, and watching it in Thailand is something you should not miss.
The best thing about Bangkok is there are restaurants and food stalls on almost every corner. You have already been to Chinatown from the first day, but giving it a second visit just for the food is also the perfect way to gear up that food tour.
Day Three: Find the Best Beach in Koh Chang Island
After spending your time in the city, you are probably itching for a day at the beach. The great news is there are two cool beaches you can easily reach from Bangkok, one of which is Koh Chang island. From the mainland, it is a five-hour bus drive or a 45-minute ferry ride.
INSIDER TIP: Take the worry out of your arrival or departure from Suvarnabhumi Airport and pre-book a private transfer to or from major destinations in Thailand, including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Koh Samet and Koh Chang. Book your transfer here!
Koh Chang is home to beautiful beaches like the Lonely beach and White Sand Beach. There are also several waterfalls on Koh Chang, like the popular Khlong Phlu Waterfall and the Khlong Nonsi Waterfall, plus parks like the Mu Ko Chang National Park.
Relax and find the best beach in Koh Chang by day. Remember by night Koh Chang is considered to be one of the best party island’s in Thailand, especially in Lonely Beach, so be ready to get your party on when you find yourself here.
Day Four: Chill Out on Koh Samet’s Beaches
Another beach destination for your fourth and last day in Thailand. Koh Samet is only two and a half hours away from the city by bus. You can go to Ao Phai or Hat Sai Kaow. This is where you can truly enjoy the tranquillity of Thailand, away from the city and the crowds and just chill out on Koh Samet’s beaches.
After a chill day at the beach in Koh Samet, make your way back to the city for one last look at Bangkok before you leave. By following this itinerary, you will be able to enjoy the country’s thrilling capital with its delicious food but also get a glimpse of the beautiful nature this country has to offer – in four short days. Make sure to come back one day with more time in your pocket!
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As a digital nomad family, we simply LOVE Koh Phangan, read how we got stuck there during Covid-19 and explore our family digital nomad guide for this beautiful remote island.
Or try out our Thailand island hopping beginners guide .
If you are not in a rush or want to come back to Thailand one day (which I recommend you should!), here is why you have to put Chiang Rai on your list!
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20 replies on “4 Day Thailand Itinerary”
Such a great itinerary! I was planning a trip to Thailand this year but we had to move 🙁 Hope I’ll be able to visit Thailand one day!
Bummer! Hope you get to visit it soon! 🙂
Such a great 4-day guide! The temples look absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to visit someday!
Thank you! Glad you find it useful. And yes, the temples are really cool, aren’t they! 🙂
I really want to go to Thailand so this is super useful
Oh hey, glad it helps you! Have fun on your next visit!
This article brings back so many memories! 🙂 I need to revisit Thailand.
You should, it’s such a great country to visit! <3
We visited Thailand for 2 weeks in January and wanted to stay for 2 months. One of my favourite countries and can’t wait to head back!
We totally love Thailand too… have been here, on Koh Phangan, since January and are sad to leave end of July… but will def be back one day soon! 🙂
I think this is a great guide for 4 days. That way you can see the temples and breach both that are in abundance in Thailand.
Absolutely! And thank you, for your comment!
Well done Julia. I dig that you started with temples; must see in Bangkok and Thailand in general. We always hit up temples wherever we go in the Land of Smiles. Must see element of this amazing country.
Thanks, Ryan! I agree it’s so unique and special to Asia, you would clearly miss out if you skipped the temples!
Hi. Where should we go if we want to ride a ferry from Bangkok to Koh Chang? Also how long is the travel time?
Hi Christian, thanks for your comment! Your question on how to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok depends on your budget: you can go by car, take a bus, taxi or even fly there! Always head to one of the mainland ferry piers for Koh Chang. You can buy your ticket there. The travel time, again, depends on your choice of transport. But if you go by bus it’ll take you 5 hours. Here is a pretty useful site that has all questions answered on transport from Bangkok to Koh Chang: https://iamkohchang.com/getting-here/getting-to-koh-chang.html Hope this helps and thanks again for stopping by!
Thank you Julia for the reply and reference. I just wanted to clarify that the fastest time to go to Koh Chang is 5 hours via bus and 45-minute ferry ride right?
No worries. The fastest option is a one-hour plane journey, followed by a roughly 5-hour car/taxi trip +45 min ferry ride and by bus it’ll take you a bit over 6 hours (including a 15 min stop/break). Does that answer your questions?
Yes. Thank you. 🙂
Great, glad I could help! Enjoy your trip and let us know here how you loved Koh Chang! 😀