If you are looking for an adventure of a lifetime then you might want to take a look at traveling to Southeast Asia. While you could spend months or years traveling around the several countries that make up the region, most people don’t have that time. We’ve put together our favorite itinerary for 2 weeks in Southeast Asia.
This journey will take you through some of the cultural treasures of two of the most popular countries as well as provide a few options to build your own adventure. We start with the must see highlights of Thailand before moving on to the amazing ruins and history on display in Angkor Wat Cambodia.
Of course no trip to South East Asia would be complete without spending a few days at a beautiful beach. We’ve got that covered to, and you’ll be enjoying the powdery white sands, blue tropical waters, and amazing sunsets on this itinerary.
First stop is Thailand. This country is known as the gateway to the orient for a reason. A first stop on many Far East itineraries, this is a must do location for any traveler.
You’ll arrive in Bangkok for the first part of your tour. This is a large, modern, metropolitan city where you can have a variety of cultural, food, and historical experiences. You’ll be exposed to the hustle and bustle of this exciting city. You’ll be spending three days in the capitol of Thailand.
Day 1: Bangkok
You’ll spend the first day taking it easy, overcoming your almost certain jetlag, while at the same time taking in some of the wonders the city has to offer. Today you’ll head out to enjoy two of Bangkok’s best tourist attractions, The Grand Palace (and Wat Phraw Kaew) and Wat Pho. Both of these tourist attractions are within a short walk of each other.
Start your tour at the Grand Palace. On the inside of the compound you will be go on a self-paced walking tour of the grounds. You’ll take a wander through beautiful temple inlaid with gold, glass, and jewels sparkling in the warm Bangkok sun.
Inside you’ll find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), a national treasure of Thailand. This small emerald Buddha has huge cultural and historical significance for the country. If you are fortunate this temple will be open on your visit.
After finishing up your tour of Bangkok’s Grand Palace, you’ll be taking a short walk around the block to see the amazing reclining Buddha of Wat Pho. This is another of Bangkok’s iconic attractions, a gigantic golden Buddha over 100 feet long and 20 feet high.
Day 2: Bangkok
Yesterday you hit the two most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok. Today you’ll take in the Floating market and some street food. You’ll head out to the Daemon Saduak Floating Market. This is one of the last few true floating market in Thailand, reflecting on the past when Bangkok was known as the Venice of the east for tall the canal running through it.
You’ll enjoy the atmosphere and shopping from the boats floating by. You’ll have a bit to eat of the local cuisine and experience some local Thai Food.
Day 3: Bangkok
Today is shopping day. Bangkok has some of the best shopping in Southeast Asia. You’ll hit up some of Bangkok’s shopping malls and a vibrant night market.
You’ll take the Bangkok Skytrain to the first stop is the MBK Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia. Here you’ll find just about anything you are looking for. From clothing to cell phones, MBK has it all, at reasonable prices. After wandering around the 7 floors checking out the various vendors it will be time to get back on the rail system and see some of the best shopping Bangkok has to offer.
Next stop is Siam Paragon. This is a high end mall, with some of the biggest fashion labels in the world. It is also one of the most photographed places on Instagram in the world. This is where the upper class of Thailand come to shop.
After a taste of high-end shopping it’s time to head over to what could be the coolest mall in Thailand, Terminal 21. Each floor of this shopping mall is decorated like a different country or city in the world. You’ll find representations of Paris, Hollywood, and Japan among others.
Day 4 – 6: Chiang Mai, Thailand
It’s time to get away from the craziness of Bangkok and head up to the more laid back life in Chiang Mai Thailand. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city and a completely different experience than you have just been through.
Chiang Mai is located in the mountains of Thailand and is best known for it’s temples, trekking, and elephant rides.
Day 7 - 10: Siem Reap, Cambodia
It’s time to head over to Cambodia and enjoy the ruins and history of Angkor Wat. These are some of the oldest and best preserved ruins in Southeast Asia. You can easily spend two full days wandering around the ruins.
If you want to save time and enjoy the ruins at a faster pace and in more comfort you might want to hire a guide. You’ll see the ruins in the comfort of an air conditioned SUV and have someone to explain things to you. The prices are reasonable and worth every penny.
Day 11 – 14: Phuket
Time to enjoy the beaches. Head to Phuket Thailand where the waters are warm and the beers are cool. This is largest of the tourist islands in Thailand and well worth a visit. You can spend your days soaking up the sun on the beach or heading to some of the nearby islands for a little exploration.
Close by to Phuket are two islands used in big Hollywood Movies. The first is Phi Phi Island, where the movie The Beach was filmed. The second is aptly named James Bond Island for it’s starring role in The Man with the Golden Gun. Both are worth a day trip to see the beauty these islands have to offer.
After three days on the beach your Southeast Asian adventure is over and it is time to head home. Two weeks gives you just enough time to sample the area. After this trip you will surely be back for more and there is plenty more to see and do here.