The Best Family-Friendly Destinations in Thailand

Sunset on Koh Chang | © Pietro Motta/Flickr
Sunset on Koh Chang | © Pietro Motta/Flickr
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.

Chiang Mai

Enjoy Chiang Mai’s calm and relaxed atmosphere © Noppasin Wongchum / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Pai

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.

Bangkok

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.

Krabi

Krabi is the perfect destination for beach lovers © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Phuket

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.

Koh Chang

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.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations for families © Cavan / Alamy Stock Photo

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.