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The Ultimate 3 Week South Thailand Itinerary

The Ultimate 3 Week South Thailand Itinerary

I have created this 3 week South Thailand itinerary for those who want to see it all, if you have more time I would always recommend travelling slower and really getting to know the places you visit but use this guide as a perfect starting point to plan your perfect trip.

Thailand is one of my favourite places in the world, with South Thailand coming in as my favourite place to be in this beautiful country.

The South of Thailand has so much to offer and I’ve included almost everything in this guide! You can plan adventures from island hopping, Elephant sanctuaries, incredible temples, snorkelling trips, trekking through jungles, freediving and so much more.

I hope my 3 week South Thailand Itinerary can help you see just how wonderful Thailand is and that it leaves you planning to come back over and over again.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay but helps me to keep Travels by Izzy going.

3 Week South Thailand itinerary

Itinerary Overview

  • Phuket — 2 nights
  • Koh Lanta — 3 nights
  • Railay — 2 nights
  • Krabi — 3 nights
  • Khao Sok — 2 nights 
  • Koh Tao — 3 nights
  • Koh Phangan — 2 nights
  • Koh Samui — 4 nights 
View of Koh Lanta from Na Muang Waterfall 2

Phuket — 2 nights

Due to the fact we are mainly focusing on the south throughout this 3 week South Thailand Itinerary it makes sense to start in the south to avoid wasting unneeded days travelling between areas.

Phuket airport is a large international airport that you can easily find return flights to from most countries in the world.

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and has lots to offer, however speaking from experience if you have travelled a long way to get there then I would recommend just booking a nice hotel or chill hostel to relax in so you can adjust to the time zone.

Things to do in Phuket

Where to Stay in Phuket

Luxury: Sinae Phuket & Outrigger Surin Beach Resort

Mid-Range: Holiday Village & Natural Garden Resort & Alleyhill Phuket

Budget: Bearpacker Patong Hostel & Peranakan Boutique Hotel

Phuket ➡️ Koh Lanta

After you’ve acclimatised to Thai life it’s time to head out to the islands to get yourself immersed in island life and to get this 3 week South Thailand Itinerary really started!

Getting around Thailand is relatively easy and most means of public transport run smoothly, are well organised and often run on time.

Depending on where you are staying in Phuket you will need to make your way to Rassada Pier in Phuket Town by bus, local taxi or Grab (just like Uber in the UK).

You can buy boat tickets on arrival but to ensure you have seats booked I would always recommend booking in advance, I always use 12go.asia here you can find all departure times and book instantly with immediate confirmation.

💡 If you would like to stop at the world-famous party island Phi Phi then this is the perfect time to slot in a 1 or 2-night stay.

Freedom beach sunset phuket

Koh Lanta — 3 nights

A bit more off the typical tourist’s path Koh Lanta is one of my favourite places in Thailand, it is like stepping back in time to Thailand before tourism.

Here you can find cute rustic accommodations, beautiful beaches, reggae bars and a whole lot of that chilled island life vibe.

Koh Lanta is a true example of island living, here everything moves slowly and with not too much to do you’re encouraged to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.

Things to do in Koh Lanta 

Where to Stay in Koh Lanta 

Luxury: Baan Thai Lanta Resort & Long Beach Chalet

Mid-Range: Chomview Resort & Na Vela Village

Budget: Navareeya House Seaview & Hub of Joys Hostel

Koh Lanta ➡️ Railay

Getting from Koh Lanta to Railay is easily done using one of the ferries that depart daily, you can find the full schedule here at 12go.asia and book your chosen time with immediate confirmation.

To get to Sala Dan ferry port located in the north of the island I recommend speaking to your accommodation to see if they can book you a joint taxi with anyone else that might also be leaving that day, or to book you a private taxi.

‼️ Note that when you get to Railay the ferries are too large to approach the floating pier so you will be transferred from the ferry onto a longtail boat in the middle of the ocean, this works very smoothly but just ensure you keep an eye on your bag and make sure it gets onto the longtail boat – when we did this someone’s bag got left on the ferry!

Ba Kan Tieng Beach

Railay — 2 nights

Most people skip staying in Railay and just visit for a day from Ao Nang in Krabi but doing it this way means you miss so much!

Railay had to have a spot in my 3 week South Thailand Itinerary, it may be small but it has so much to offer from lazing on the beach, hiking to viewpoints, amazing food and rock climbing there is something here for everyone.

Imagine stunning white sand beaches lined with palm trees and huge limestone cliffs as the backdrop.

Not accessible by car there is no major infrastructure here meaning it gives off small island vibes without being an island.

Things to do in Railay

  • Railay Beach
  • Tonsai Beach
  • Phra Nang Cave Beach
  • Phra Nang Cave
  • Phra Nang Beach Viewpoint
  • Hike to Railay Viewpoint & Lagoon
  • Phra Nang Nai Cave (Diamond Cave)
  • Rock Climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Wander the boutique shops
  • Eat some local food
  • Visit one of the many cute cafes
  • Relax in a Reggae Bar
  • Take a day trip to Phi Phi – check out my full guide

Embrace the tranquility of Railay and check out my ‘12 Best Things to Do in Railay in 2024‘ guide to give you a more in-depth insight into the best things to do here and to plan your perfect stay.

Where to Stay in Railay

Luxury: Sand Sea Resort Railay & Railay Phutawan Resort

Mid-Range: Avatar Railay & Railay Princess Resort

Budget: Blanco Hideout Railay & Rapala Rock Wood Resort

Railay ➡️ Ao Nang, Krabi 

Getting from Railay to Krabi is very simple and only a short 5/10 minute journey each way by longtail boat. It’s getting to and from the longtail boat that is the interesting part!

The longtail boats at Railay are always docked just off the shore on the main beach, to get a ticket just head to Railay Beach from the main path and head right, just a little way along you will see a small wooden hut, here you can buy a one-way ticket from Railay to Ao Nang for 200 THB (£4.50).

‼️ Note that you will have to carry your belongings into the ocean, depending on the tide this could be up to about knee height or just below your bum! Of course, depending on how tall you are… It was a very interesting experience having to carry 2 big backpacks into almost waist-height water! Luckily we made it to the boat with our bags all dry.

View from Railay Viewpoint

Ao Nang, Krabi — 3 nights

Ao Nang is located in Krabi and is the perfect place to stay if you are planning on visiting some of the surrounding islands on a boat trip, from here you can get to The Phi Phi islands, Maya Bay and do the 4 Islands Tour.

This popular tourist hub has a lot to offer from bars and vibrant nightlife to traditional spas and sunset spots. Located on the seafront it is also a great place to have the best of both worlds with a busy town offering almost everything to a white sandy beach to relax at.

Things to do in Ao Nang, Krabi

Where to Stay in Ao Nang, Krabi

Luxury: Anana Ecological Resort Railay & Ban Sainai Resort

Mid-Range: The Moon Night Ao Nang Hotel & Sea Seeker Krabi Resort

Budget: @Aonang Guesthouse & Nomads Ao Nang

Ao Nang, Krabi ➡️ Khao Sok

Ao Nang to Khao Sok will be one of your longest travel journeys so far, located about a 4-hour drive north. 

I would recommend completing this journey in a minivan from Ao Nang directly to Khao Sok Van Station. 

Check out 12go.asia to find departure times and to book your journey. When booking make sure your pick-up point is from somewhere in Ao Nang, if you choose a starting point from the Krabi bus terminal you will have to pay for additional transport to get you into Krabi.

Girl at Maya Bay, Phi Phi

Khao Sok — 2 nights

Khao Sok is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South Thailand, it is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, here you can see huge limestone cliffs, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, caves and wild animals.

There are 2 main destinations in Khao Sok, either Khao Sok village located near the entrance of the national park or Khao Sok Lake (Cheow Lan Lake). 

Both are equally as beautiful but offer very different things. 

Khao Sok Village is known for its hiking trails, from here you can access tons of incredible walks through the jungle and visit plenty of waterfalls along the way.

Khao Sok Lake is known for its famous raft housing, wooden huts floating on the lake, limestone cliffs, caves and viewpoints.

The Wildlife Diaries give you a more in-depth overview of Khao Sok to plan your visit yourself.

Alternatively, you can prebook a multiday trip and everything will be included for you in the one package.

Things to do in Khao Sok

  • Visit the Caves
  • Hike to Viewpoints
  • Spot the Wildlife
  • Kayaking or Canoeing
  • Jungle trekking
  • Boat tour on the lake
  • Glamping on Khao Sok Lake
  • From January – March look out for the world’s biggest flower Rafflesia arnoldii
  • Jungle Cooking
  • Night Safari

Where to Stay in Khao Sok

Luxury: 500 Rai Floating Resort & Praiwan Raft House

Mid-Range: Khaosok Good View Resort & The Bliss Khao Sok

Budget: Ample Forest Khao Sok & Khao Sok PalmviewResort

Khao Sok ➡️ Koh Tao

This will be the longest travel day so far out of your whole 3 week South Thailand Itinerary, taking around 8 hours.

You will have to get a minivan/taxi from Khao Sok to the pier in Surat Thani, where you will then catch the ferry from Don Sak Pier to Koh Tao.

To make sure your travel day runs smoothly many companies offer this journey in one complete package from pick up to drop off at Koh Tao’s pier. 

You can either choose a day transfer taking about 8 hours or if you only want to spend 1 night in Khao Sok you can take an overnight ferry which takes around 13/16 hours from start to finish.

You can check out all of the options on 12go.asia and book directly with instant confirmation.

Jungle walkways

Koh Tao — 3 nights

Koh Tao holds the spot for my favourite place in Thailand, this small island is so tranquil and has so much to offer. 

Famously known for its diving and underwater world, thousands visit every year to get their PADI open water diving certification. 

But it has just as much to offer above land too such as jungle hikes, yoga studios, stunning beaches and plenty of amazing food to try.

Things to do in Koh Tao

Girl snorkelling with fish Koh Tao

For more information on Koh Tao, where to stay, where to eat and what to do check out my ‘Complete Travel Guide

Where to Stay in Koh Tao

Luxury: Cape Shark Villas & Sensi Paradise Beach Resort

Mid-Range: View Point Resort & DD Hut Koh Tao

Budget: The Dearly & Blue Chitta

Koh Tao ➡️ Koh Phangan 

Getting between the 3 islands in Thailand’s Gulf is very simple, there are 2 major ferry operators running these routes, Lomprayah and Seatran.

They both offer a wide selection of departure times and boat sizes. The Lomprayah ferries from Koh Tao depart daily at 9.30 am and 3.30 pm.

Head to 12go.asia to pick the time that works for you and book your ticket with instant confirmation. 

Mae Head Beach Koh Tao

Koh Phangan — 2 nights

Famously known for its full moon parties Koh Phangan has been welcoming thousands of partygoers for decades, however, if partying is not your thing there’s plenty more to see!

With a massive Wellness and Yoga scene you can make sure your time in Koh Phangan is suited to you.

Despite its size, Koh Phangan has still kept hold of its slow-paced chilled-out vibe. As more people visit it continues to grow its name as a bucket list destination and not only for the full moon party, here you can find crystal clear waters, jungle treks, waterfalls and viewpoints.

Things to do in Koh Phangan

  • Full Moon Party
  • Learn to Scuba Dive
  • Thong Sala Night Market
  • Hike Khao Ra
  • Half Moon Party
  • Watch the Sunset
  • Kayak around the coast
  • Bottle Beach
  • Zen Beach
  • Secret Beach
  • Thai Cooking Class
  • Explore the Island on a scooter
  • Take a Yoga Class or book in for a Yoga Retreat
  • Do your 200hr Yoga Teacher Training
  • Meditate with Phra Olarn
  • Visit the Waterfalls
  • Kitesurf

Where to Stay in Koh Phangan

Luxury: Zee Luxury Boutique Hotel & Buri Rasa Village Phangan

Mid-Range: Baan Manali Resort & Zama Resort 

Budget: Yangyai Garden Lodge & Blessings

💡 If you are planning to visit around the full moon you can stay anywhere on the island and tons of tuk-tuks run back and forth all night – make sure to prebook well in advance though as prices rise dramatically and the island often gets fully booked!

Koh Phangan ➡️ Koh Samui

Departing from either Thongsala Pier or Haad Rin Queen Pier you can find a large selection of speedboats or ferries to catch over to Koh Samui.

When booking if you would like to use a speedboat this journey usually takes around 30 minutes, however, be warned that if it’s choppy there’s a good chance you could get wet!

If you would prefer to take a larger ferry these take anything over 45/50 minutes depending on which pier you are arriving at in Koh Samui. I would recommend arriving at either Maenam Pier or Bangrak Pier, these are the easiest to then transfer to most destinations around the island.

You can find tickets with instant confirmation on 12go.asia.

Girls at full moon party Koh Phangan

Koh Samui — 4 nights 

Koh Samui has so much to offer which is why I suggest you spend 4 nights here! It will also be some nice down time as the last stop during your 3 week South Thailand Itinerary.

This large island has some amazing beaches, vibrant nightlife, chilled areas, upmarket areas, a massive yoga and wellness scene, waterfalls, jungles and so much more!

It is also a great place to book some day trips out to other islands or to book an ethical elephant encounter! It is such a diverse and incredible island, there is so much to see so I guarantee you will be super busy trying to fit it all in.

Things to do in Koh Samui

Check out my ‘Complete Guide to Koh Samui‘ for more information about where to stay, where to eat and more in-depth information about what to do to help plan your 3 week South Thailand itinerary!

Where to Stay in Koh Samui

Luxury: Melia Koh Samui & Vikasa Yoga Retreat

Mid-Range: Moon Cottage & Erawan Villa Hotel

Budget: Chill Inn Samui & Golden Monkey Samui

Koh Samui ➡️ Phuket Airport ➡️ Home

Then it’s time to head home!

After 3 weeks in South Thailand, sipping from coconuts, lying on white sandy beaches, exploring crystal clear oceans and hiking through jungles. I hope the South of Thailand has brought you as much joy as it does me.

Depending on which journey you booked you may need to make your way back to Phuket airport, you can easily do this by flying from Samui International, where you can find direct flights to Phuket.

Alternatively, if you are on more of a budget you can go via boat/bus, you can book this journey on 12go.asia.

If you are planning your 3 week South Thailand Itinerary and have any questions please drop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help!