Explore Thailand

Thailand – Family holiday guide

Children are pretty much welcome everywhere and treated like honoured guests most of the time. The combination of fantastic beaches, wonderful weather, thrilling wildlife and endless natural and manmade wonders works for every age from toddler to teenager.

Travel times to resorts can seem daunting but usually turn out to be just another part of the adventure.

And surprisingly, for one of the most popular places to visit on earth, it’s still possible to escape completely in Thailand and find quieter beaches, undiscovered lagoons and pockets of complete peace.


Why go on holiday to Thailand

  • Weather

    Average year round temperatures of 27˚C with highs of 30˚C in the dry season from November to March. Highest rainfall between April and late September.

  • Direct flights

    Direct flights from UK to Bangkok year round with good connections to popular holiday islands and mainland resorts.

  • Accommodations

    Wide range of family friendly resorts, holiday villages, spas and international brand hotels in all tourist areas.

  • National Parks

    Thailand has 127 National Parks and 22 National Marine Parks for day trips by boat or overnight stays.

  • Location

    Traditional Thailand is never too far from even the busiest beach resorts, whether it’s street food, Buddhist shrines, local markets or trekking in the untamed jungle.

  • Museums

    Siriraj Hospital and Phra Nakhon museum are just two of Bangkok’s many truly eccentric museums.

  • Cultural highlights

    Bangkok has over 50 different districts, is a culture shock to kids at first but one of the most fascinating and deeply historic world capitals to explore.



Where to go and stay in Thailand

Phuket

Thailand’s largest island enjoys the warm, clear waters of the Andaman Sea in the sheltered south west. Phuket’s popular and on the plus side that means a wide choice of family hotels, good transport and plenty of activities for kids. Busy beaches and Phuket Town are easy to escape and there’s more than enough here that’s unspoiled and lovely to meet all paradise expectations.

  • Crowded fun-soaked beaches like Patong are balanced by long and family-friendly Karon Beach to the west and lesser known but no less beautiful Mai Khao Beach.
  • This is the island for Wat Khao Rang and the Golden Buddha, Jui Tui Shrine, Khao Sak National Park, turtle-rich Sirinat and Ao Phang Nga marine park.
  • South coast is good for family resorts, holiday villages and beachfront hotels.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui floats in the Gulf of Thailand, beautiful but less busy than Phuket and perfect for a first time family holiday. With more beaches than other island, there’s always space on the sand here whether you choose lovely long Chaweng Beach or give kids the gentle waters of Bophut and Maenam to splash around in.

  • Teenagers love Koh Samui for jungle zip-lines, buzzy Lamai village and colourful local markets.
  • Don’t miss sailing, swimming and exploring round Mu Koh Ang thong Marine Park and trekking to see the amazing falls at Namtok Na Muang.
  • North east of Koh Samui is best for family-friendly accommodation.

Koh Phi Phi

The tiny Phi Phi islands are paradise and if they weren’t so idyllically lovely they’d almost be a cliché right down to the towering limestone karst, vivid seas, impossibly white beaches and dense, lush jungle.

  • Bustling Tonsai Village is a lively antidote to long days playing on perfect beaches like Loh Mee Dee and the famous sands of Maya Bay.
  • Great reputation for water sports and dive schools this is a good place for young scuba fiends to take their first dip.
  • Less developed than some larger islands, Phi Phi Island Village is a lovely family resort complete with cute thatched cottages and fun kids’ clubs.

Krabi

Thailand’s beach capital has Phuket’s gorgeous, deep blue Andaman Sea with a hint of Pattaya’s lively spirit and it’s a great mainland holiday base for teenagers. Night markets, island hopping and the buzz of Krabi Town mixed with a soaring, cliff-strewn coastline and gorgeous (seemingly endless) sands, work plenty of magic for younger kids too.

  • Snorkelling round Krabi’s top islands is an unforgettable, sea-creature-rich adventure for kids.
  • Exploring Kjao Khanap Nam caves and climbing up to Wat Tham Sua are top holiday highlights.
  • Find the best all-round family resorts on beautiful West Railay Beach, Ao Nang and Pai Plong.

What do and see with kids in Thailand

  • Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok

    Thailand’s most visited Buddhist temple, Wat Prachetuphon Vimon Mangkararam AKA Wat Pho, is in the city’s Phra Nakorn district. A UNESCO Memory of the World site and best known for its 46m long reclining gold Buddha.

  • Koh Tao, Koh Samui

    Considered to be the best diving site in Thailand, Koh Tao is a 90 minute sail from Koh Samui.

  • Mu Koh Lanta National Park

    152km² national park reached by ferry from various islands and Krabi. The park’s home to the traditional Chao Le people. Ancient Moon Festivals here in November are breathtaking.

  • Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi

    Now one of Thailand’s best known bays, Maya was the paradise beach in ‘The Beach’. Great place to see iconic limestone karst.

  • Baan Kwai, Suphan Buri

    Just over an hour’s drive north of Bangkok, this working water buffalo ranch gives kids a glimpse of Thai rural life and customs.

  • Baiyoke Sky Tower, Bangkok

    A must-do in Bangkok, this 88 storey tower is filled with shops and restaurants but the showstopper is the 360˚ revolving deck on the top floor, best views of the city, in the city.

  • Bang Kachao Bike Tour, Bangkok

    Guided cycle through the jungle in the middle of frenetic Bangkok. Exciting way for older kids to see several only-in-Thailand sights like floating markets and city canals. Bang

  • Jui Tui Shrine, Phuket

    One of the largest and most elaborate shrines on the island. Fascinating for the intricate architecture and frequent local rituals.

  • Mu Koh Ang Thong Marine Park, Koh Samui

    50 island archipelago and one of Thailand’s most accessible natural wonders. Site of the stunning Koh Mae Ko lagoon sunk into the summit of a limestone mountain.

  • Old Phuket Town

    For a hint of how culturally significant Phuket was in the late 18th and early 19th century take the kids on a tour of Old Phuket Town to see the merchant’s mansions and historic shophouses.



Educational value for kids

  • Colourful Thai festivals like Songkran in April and autumn’s beautiful Half-Moon festival are wonderful experiences, especially for older kids.
  • Shrines, temples and palaces are a startling and delightful contrast to resorts.
  • Take kids snorkelling to see the fabulous marine life round Thailand’s islands.
  • Boat trips to national parks can take up to three hours but the journey’s are fascinating for kids.
  • Thai food is strange at first for most children, start off with simple rice dishes and take it from there – they may draw the line at crispy insects.
  • Visiting street markets, night markets and floating markets is a fun learning experience for even the youngest kids.
  • Bangkok has several interesting museums, they can seem a little haphazard in places but seldom dull for kids.

 

Getting about with kids in Thailand

Tuk-Tuk, taxis or on foot is the best way to get about cities. Charter boats and ferries connect most islands to the mainland, national parks, more remote beaches and lagoons. Songtaew (open air buses) and taxis are great on islands – micro-buses with air con are good in very hot weather. Most resorts and hotels will arrange transport to attractions and very few towns and villages aren’t walkable.



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