The 12 Best Family-Friendly Destinations in Thailand

| Andreas M / Unsplash
Iona Proebst

Children are celebrated and doted on in the Land of Smiles, making it a great place for a family holiday. Besides the Thais’ natural love for kids, Thailand’s affordability, weather and array of activities make it a perfect getaway destination. Here is our list of the best family-friendly places to visit in Thailand.

1. Chiang Mai

Natural Feature

Temple Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Peter Borter / Unsplash
Chiang Mai, Thailand’s mountainous cultural hub, is a fantastic place to travel with the whole family. Chiang Mai has a calm and relaxed atmosphere and is small enough to easily gain your orientation. Here, you’ll find plenty of fun and exciting activities for all ages, including museums, a great zoo, local markets, cooking schools and much more. The surrounding countryside offers trekking, rafting, zip-lining, elephant sanctuaries and the opportunity to visit remote hill tribe communities.

2. Pai

Architectural Landmark

Pai Canyon, Pai, Thailand
Ronny Sison / Unsplash

If you are interested in an alternative option, look no further than Pai. Pai not only is a great place for a family holiday, but it also has a thriving community of local Thai and migrant families. Visit a circus training school, go jungle trekking or rafting, and enjoy the huge variety of healthy food. Pai is best reached by renting a car in Chiang Mai and driving. Chiang Dao is a great place to visit en route to explore the caves and stunning temple.

3. Bangkok

Museum, Art Gallery, Building

Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
Vitalijs Barilo / Unsplash
Bangkok is a bustling hub of exciting and fun things to explore. The city has a huge number of family-friendly activities – from theme parks, snake farms and museums to indoor playgrounds for the little ones. Sometimes, the best travel memories are created by small activities, for example, trying new foods, exploring local markets or simply playing in one of Bangkok’s many green parks.

4. Krabi

Architectural Landmark, Natural Feature

sumit-chinchane-jWKk-0ZBUyg-unsplash (1)
Photo by Sumit Chinchane on Unsplash

The beach lovers’ destination of Krabi is the perfect place to relax. Not only are some of the country’s best beaches in Krabi, but it is also a fantastic place to pick up a snorkel and mask and become acquainted with Thailand’s beautiful underwater world. In the surrounding area, there are also plenty of options for fun day trips to national parks, waterfalls, elephant sanctuaries or, for older kids, rock climbing in some of the world’s best climbing spots.

5. Phuket

Natural Feature

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Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash
Phuket is one of Thailand’s most popular destinations. From gorgeous beaches and a fascinating old town to aquariums and horseback riding, Phuket has it all. Many of the island’s resorts offer children’s clubs and babysitting services, enabling mum and dad to get a well-earned break, too. Phuket is easily reached from most parts of Thailand and has direct flights from many other countries, which makes getting there hassle-free.

6. Koh Chang

Natural Feature

Island hopping in Koh Chang, Thailand
Flowdzine Creativity / Unsplash

For a more laid-back beach option, head to Koh Chang. This is a popular destination for backpackers and families alike. It has every accommodation option available, from cheap bungalows on the beach to boutique dream-like resorts. Koh Chang offers simple, genuine family fun, including swimming, snorkelling, building sandcastles and exploring waterfalls.

7. Koh Samui

Natural Feature

Ko Samui, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani, Thailand
Nehal Patel / Unsplash
Koh Samui has long been one of Thailand’s most popular family holiday destinations. Not only is Koh Samui easy to get to, but it also has everything one would want and more packed onto one island. If you prefer to be in the thick of it, head to Chaweng Beach, or, for a quieter beach getaway, base yourself in Mae Nam. Many resorts have kids’ programs on offer, and you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to choose from. For something a little different, take your tribe to make new furry friends by volunteering at the animal rescue centre for the day.

8. Prachuap Khiri Khan

Park

Hua Hin District, Thailand
QUI NGUYEN / Unsplash
Located between southern Thailand and Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan is perhaps most famous for the seaside town of Hua Hin. There are many accommodations and dining options in the town and it’s a great base for exploring the wider area. Old and young alike can have heaps of fun at Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle and Black Mountain Water Park.
The provincial capital of Prachuap Khiri Khan boasts Ao Manao, a tranquil beach favoured by locals, and kids can get up close and personal with cute dusky leaf monkeys at Khao Lommuak. Unlike their macaque cousins at the nearby temple of Wat Thammikaram Worawihan, the lovely dusky leaf monkeys will gently take food from the palm of your hand. Plus, their babies are bright yellow! Take a boat ride to Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park and peer inside the atmospheric cave or join an elephant-spotting safari at Kui Buri National Park. With an almost 99% chance of seeing wild elephants, it’s sure to be an exciting experience for children and adults alike. Recommended by Sarah Williams.

9. Chiang Rai

Natural Feature

White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Peter Borter / Unsplash

Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, Chiang Rai is perfect for families who like adventure and stepping somewhat off the beaten track. There are plentiful opportunities for jungle trekking and meeting hill-tribe groups, with trips that are tailored for kids. Visit the Golden Triangle and stand at the point where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Venture a little further and stop by hot springs and spurting geysers.
Don’t miss seeing Chiang Rai’s town clock in action as it strikes the hour, when it lights up and plays music in a brilliant display. Children and adults alike can marvel at the gleaming White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Seua Ten) and the Black House (Baan Dam). Stay in a rustic homestay or cute guesthouse to immerse your kids in the Thai way of life. Recommended by Sarah Williams.

10. Kanchanaburi

Bridge, Natural Feature

A charming riverside gem in western Thailand, Kanchanaburi has spectacular nature and interesting history to discover. While younger visitors may not be so interested in learning about the area’s past, a train ride along the scenic Death Railway is both poignant and thrilling.
Admire beautiful waterfalls like Sai Yok Noi and Erawan, explore caves filled with interesting rock formations and see the huge raintree at Dan Makham Tia District. You can trek through jungles and meet elephants at ethical camps and, while there are plentiful accommodation options, a few nights stay on a floating raft house makes for something really memorable. Add fascinating temples like Wat Tham Sua, water parks and an exhilarating treetop adventure park and the whole family is sure to have a brilliant time. Recommended by Sarah Williams.

11. Chonburi

Natural Feature

Chonburi, Thailand
Nopparuj Lamaikul / Unsplash

Chonburi Province is located along the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand. Although primarily associated with Pattaya (one of Thailand’s most notorious nightlife destinations), there is also a huge amount of things to see and do with children. Spend days lazing on sandy beaches, visit nearby islands and try an array of water sports. Marvel at the intricate wooden carved beauty of The Sanctuary of Truth and be mystified by the curiosities at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
Observe numerous creatures at Khao Kheow Open Zoo and shriek for joy on an exhilarating eco-adventure at Chonburi Flight of the Gibbon. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a colourful wonderland filled with fragrant flowers, statues and water features, whilst the petting zoo and bird zone are sure to appeal to younger members of the family. Learn more about the ocean deep at Underwater World Pattaya and get wet and wild at a variety of water parks. A floating market, urban farms, temples and museums provide even more great outings. Recommended by Sarah Williams.

12. Nakhon Ratchasima

Natural Feature, Park

Thailand’s largest province of Nakhon Ratchasima, located in Isan, is famous for being home to the country’s first national park: Khao Yai National Park. Take the kids exploring in the jungle and spot a range of flora and fauna. There are trails to suit all ability levels, though many of the park’s main features can also be easily accessed by road. Thundering waterfalls and scenic lookout points add to the diversity. Have fun camping in the wild or check into a lovely guesthouse for some home comforts.

You’ll find attractions like the working Farm Chokchai, with its cowboy-style appeal, and the countryside adventure park of Thongsomboon Club, located close to the park’s main entrance. Feeling the heat? Check out the water park of Scenical World. Elsewhere in the province, the hilly town of Wang Nam Khiao is home to tourist-focused farms, waterfalls and quirky attractions, while Phimai offers a journey back in time at ancient ruins. Recommended by Sarah Williams.

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