Thailand is a multi-faceted country full of adventure, beauty, and culture that offers an endless array of landscapes and cities to see and explore. You could spend days in Bangkok, getting a full metropolitan experience, or you can head to the north and get a taste of Lanna culture and spend time discovering the rugged mountains and lush forests. Then, of course, there are the beaches and islands in the south that are so enchanting and serene you’ll want to stay forever. It can be overwhelming to plan out exactly what to do, but luckily we’ve got the top tips to make it easy so you’ll be ready to book your flight in no time.
With so many world destinations to choose from, you might be wondering why Thailand should be your pick. This gorgeous country offers an incredible variety of terrains and experiences from the mountains to the beaches to the cuisine and the culture that will make it a truly unforgettable vacation. Perhaps the best part of Thailand is just how varied its different regions are; it’s like experiencing multiple vacations in one. This means there’s endless options for you and your family and everyone can get a taste of their favorites. If one of your children likes hiking, but the other likes surfing, and you’d like to visit museums, you can do all that and more here.
One place you want to make sure you visit is Bangkok. Your kids will love seeing the bustling streets and the ways the motorbikes, cars, tuk-tuks and people flow seamlessly around one another to keep the day moving. They’ll be enamored by the way the lights illuminate the city at night. Bangkok is also sometimes referred to as the Venice of the East because of its intricate canal system. You can take your kids down these canals passing by quaint shops, stilt houses and floating markets where you can stop your boat and buy a snack right on the water.
Chiang Mai, the heart of the northern region of the country is another must visit city. While smaller than Bangkok, it’s surrounded by national parks and offers some of the best places to hike through the mountain and jungle landscapes where you can spot everything from waterfalls to wildlife. One of the most famous animals are the elephants. It’s also a city that has been heavily influenced by traditional Lanna culture, which influences everything from the architecture to the cuisine.
No family should miss out on the blissful islands in the south. There are plenty to choose from, ranging from large ones like Phuket to smaller options like Koh Yao Noi or Koh Tao. Here you can take a friendly dip into the sea, bury your feet in silky smooth white sand, swim amongst tropical fish and kayak between tall lime stone karsts that jut out of the water. It’s a paradise so tranquil you just may never come back home.
Thailand is a place that embraces fun, excitement and adventure in multiple forms.
The Royal Grand Palace is a large complex full of buildings intricately decorated in colorful gemstones and gold leaf, that will leave even the most seasoned traveler in awe. Another spectacular place to visit is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is not only a beautiful temple complex, but home to a 150 feet long and 49 feet tall gold statue of Buddha. Kids and adults alike will crane their necks to take it all in.
The best way to do Chiang Mai is to spend the days outside and the evenings at the night markets. Your family can hike up Doi Inthanon, the tallest point in Thailand, and visit the temple at its peak. Not only will you hike through a gorgeous mountain forest, but you’ll be rewarded with a peaceful temple and incredible views of Chiang Mai below. Another great spot for nature-lovers is Sri Lanna National Park. You can spend an entire day hiking, bike riding and kayaking through the pristine land. For a fun lunch, kayak out to a floating restaurant on the lake.
Chiang Mai is famous for its night markets—they’re a true representation of the local life in the area and offer great opportunities to buy souvenirs, sample a plethora of local foods and desserts, listen and dance to local musicians and become a part of the fabric of nightlife in the city. There’s no better place to get a real understanding of the culture of the area than at the night market.
A truly unforgettable adventure awaits just outside Chiang Mai with a visit to an elephant conservation farm. These facilities rehabilitate elephants damaged by decreasing forests and reintroduce them to safe places in the wild. Your kids can be paired with an elephant, learn to care for it, feed it, and play in the water with it. Talk about a lifelong memory!
Head down south to find a nice stretch of beach and watch your stress and worries melt away into the clear, emerald-turquoise waters. One of the most famous spots in Phuket to visit is Phang Nga Bay, known as one of the most scenic places in the world. Other fun and relaxing spots to check out are James Bond Island, the small secluded island Koh Yao Noi and Koh Tao. It’s impossible to go wrong when choosing where to go—there’s no bad beach in this part of the world.
For more information visit Thompson Family Adventures.