Holiday To Thailand: But How Long Should I Stay In Bangkok

The Question

I am going to Thailand for 3 weeks and for the main part of my stay I want to relax on the beaches in the South. I would like to know how many days do you think I should spend in Bangkok before going south?

Questions like these are often asked, but the real answer lies with your goals and desires. Bangkok to some is heaven and to others can be hell. No size fits all of course. For me I sit quite comfortably in the first group of people as I love Bangkok. In my view if you are on a 3 week vacation to Thailand I would make sure I spent at the bare minimum  a week in Bangkok. See my earlier post for more information on a 5 day Bangkok itinerary.

How long you stay of course very much depends on what you would like to see and do in Bangkok. Here are some tips in order to discover that information.

Sukhumvit Road Traffic

Do Your Research

1)      Do some research on the city prior to your arrival in Bangkok? Try to work out what it is that you would like to see and do and in what areas of Bangkok theses activities are situated. From working out this you can now build a rough itinerary for your visit and know approximately how many days this will take to complete. Research takes time though so do it well and don’t rush.

Don’t Overload Your Daily Itineraries

2)      Time is very often of the essence on a vacation and you will want to get as much as you can out of your trip. The itinerary I don’t recommend is the one where you try to see as many places as possible at whirlwind speed. Not only the trying to see as much as possible, but trying to cram in as many activities as possible as well. To be quite honest hot and hectic Bangkok won’t let you. It will grind you down, so use your energy wisely.

Floating Markets

Building Your Itinerary

3)      Building an itinerary is much the same as building your life’s daily ”to do list”. Too many activities on your ”to do list” can cause overwhelm at trying to complete them. It causes you to rush in the attempt to achieve them. It then causes stress through not be able to achieve them. Finally it leaves you unfulfilled as the stuff you did get done may not have been what you really wanted done. That leads to frustration and disappointment.

The same can very much apply to a full to the brim travel itinerary. Getting all that you can out of the visit can be achieved simply by prioritising and pre-planning. This simple process will then allow for you to get the important stuff done. I mean what’s important to you not what others think one should be doing on a vacation.

Why Not Make Several Bangkok Visits

4)      In my opinion there is nothing worse than trying to cram everything in to a 2 or 3 day itinerary no matter where you are going. When I arrive in Bangkok I never actually count the day I arrive and even after that you have the jet lag to deal with. I have often split the time up by returning to Bangkok on two or three occasions throughout my visit.

For instance I might arrive in Bangkok and stay for 3 days. If visiting the sea-side resort of Hua Hin I am liable to call back in on Bangkok for another 3 days before making my way up north to Chiang Mai or other places. Even then I usually arrive back a couple of days before flying out to spend a final two days in Bangkok. So time spent in Bangkok doesn’t all have to be done in one throw of the dice.

Hand Painted Wall Murals (Grand Palace)

Design Daily Itineraries Around Specific Areas

5)   Cut down on the travelling by selecting an area and confining your interests to that specific area for the day. If you are also somebody who likes to try different foods then explore the restaurants of that area as well.

So a day’s itinerary might look like this

Area:  The Old City (Rattanakosin Island)


a)  The Grand Palace Complex

b)   The National Museum for the culture and history of Thailand

c) Take a tour on the river and see Bangkok river life

Restaurant exploration around the area

This can be done at a comfortable pace, but give you a great full day.

National Museum

The Grand Palace Complex

Visit The Surrounding Areas Of Bangkok

6)      Of course you could even extend your visit of the Bangkok area. As once you have the city of Bangkok under control you can start visiting her surrounding towns and villages. Not only is Bangkok the capital city, but it’s a great place to use as your base and guide to visit other places.

Some Of The Other Places You Could Visit Outside Bangkok

Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nonthaburi, Min Buri, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom

Places A Bit Further But Well Within Reach

Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Petchaburi, Hua Hin

Further Articles On Historical Ayutthaya

The Historical Background Of Ayutthaya, Getting There And Getting Around (article written by Kasinee Silapee)

Ayutthaya: Places You Absolutely Must Visit (article written by Kasinee Silapee)

Ayutthaya, Thailand: 7 Top Places To Eat (article written by Kasinee Silapee)



Further Articles On Kanchanaburi

Further Articles On Hua Hin

For more articles and information on Thailand, please visit

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