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3 Week Thailand Itinerary Help!

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My boyfriend and I just booked our flight to Bangkok, Thailand, and we need some help figuring out the best destinations to visit and route to take, since neither of us have ever been to Asia.

Background: We are in our mid twenties and are planning on budget traveling. We are only bringing backpacks with us and will most likely be staying in hostels and Air Bnb's, but might splurge on a hotel a couple nights during the trip. (If you have any suggestions on nice hotels that I shouldn't pass up, let me know!) My best friend has an apartment on Koh Tao, so we definitely want to save at least a week to explore the SE islands around Koh Tao. We were thinking we would save this part of the trip for the end, because I have a feeling that once I get a taste of the islands, I won't want to leave that spot!

We want equal parts culture, nature, adventure, and relaxing. We also want to fit in an elephant sanctuary somewhere in our trip. We are thinking of starting in Bangkok, heading north, then heading south before heading back to Bangkok.

What are your thoughts? We enter Bangkok on May 21st and Leave Bangkok on June 11th. Also, if there are any weather differences we should know about, please enlighten us, as we heard the weather can differ depending on what part of Thailand you're in.

Any and all help is much appreciated!

Thank you!

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