If there’s one exotic location you know the kids are going to love, it’s Thailand. There are pools with water slides! Unlimited fruit mocktails! Other kids to play with! More pools! Thailand really does tick all the right boxes for an incredible family holiday.
If you’re going to book a trip to Thailand, you should know that there are some holiday destinations that are more family-friendly than others. So think of this as your Thailand travel guide; we’ve got the lowdown on the best places to visit in Thailand, the best Thailand holiday destinations and the best Thailand beaches.
The kids are going to love you for it, and we promise you’ll have an amazing time too.
5 of the Best Family Holiday Destinations in Thailand
1. Phuket, a family favourite
When it comes to fail-safe locations for a Thailand family holiday, look no further than a holiday in Phuket. Home to stunning beaches and an impressive variety of tours and activities, it’s also a relatively cheap, safe and easily accessible destination.
Plus, it’s no secret that the Phuket family resorts are out of this world. Boasting everything from kids clubs, pools, playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants — some resorts even offer cooking classes, traditional Thai dancing lessons or stand up paddleboarding sessions. Talk about being spoiled for choice!
Just make sure you bypass Patong and Bangla Road, which aren’t exactly family destinations. Instead, head to the quiet, relaxed areas of Mai Khao Beach or Karon for an escape from tourists, rowdy bars and crowded beaches to enjoy a slice of the real Phuket. While in Phuket, visit and feed adorable elephants at the ethical TreeTops Elephant Reserve Phuket, discover more than 25,000 animals at the Phuket Aquarium and take the kids to Rawai Park — a spacious kids park with outdoor playgrounds, a safe waterpark and a restaurant for the whole family to recharge their batteries.
2. Bangkok, an exciting and bustling city
Loud, overwhelming and crowded; although it may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of a ‘family holiday’, there are hundreds of reasons to make the trip to Bangkok with your family. Yes, it’s all of the aforementioned things and more, but it’s also a vibrant city with plenty to offer in terms of culture, activities and dining experiences.
Start your exploration of Bangkok with a cruise through the canals, which weave through quiet neighbourhoods, under wooden bridges and past floating marketplaces. Bangkok’s many revered temples are well worth a visit, and the stunning Grand Palace and gold-plated Temple of the Emerald Buddha are incredible highlights. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a great option for a shopping day that you and the little ones will remember forever. If you’re up for an adventure, Siam Amazing Park is also a must-visit, with over 30 thrilling rides for different ages and heights.
The foodies in the family will love the Thai street food in Bangkok. From a vast array of spicy noodle dishes, to delicious skewered meats, and sweet mango sticky rice with coconut cream — there’s no chance of anyone going hungry.
3. Koh Samui, the ultimate beach break
Ask any frequent Thai traveller and they’ll tell you why visiting Koh Samui is great for families. Located off the east coast of Thailand, it’s an island paradise renowned for unspoiled natural attractions, gorgeous beaches and ridiculously good family-friendly resorts.
Expect to pay top dollar for a hotel with all the kid-friendly luxuries though — Koh Samui can be significantly more expensive than Phuket. Some of these resorts also offer nanny services, action-packed activities and water sports, gaming areas and family-sized villas.
Must-do activities in Koh Samui include a visit to the lush Secret Buddha Garden, a boat trip out to Ang Thong Marine Park, or a day at Samui Water Park. Sometimes all kids want to do is slip around on giant inflatable water slides all day and we don’t blame them. For swimming and sunbathing, visit the laidback Choeng Mon Beach, the breathtaking Lipa Noi Beach or the popular Bophut Beach. If you choose the latter, make sure to explore Fisherman’s Village — one of the oldest places on the island that has turned into a prime shopping and dining spot.
4. Chiang Mai, for inland adventurers
Wondering where to go in Thailand that isn’t a beachy tourist hotspot? You should definitely consider flying in to Chiang Mai. Tucked away in the misty mountains of northern Thailand, this ancient settlement offers a cool and calming antidote to the heat and hustle of Thailand’s beaches.
For the active family, Chiang Mai is an explorer’s playground. A number of awesome hiking trails (of varying difficulty levels) snake through the surrounding mountains. There’s also the Flight of the Gibbon — an eco-friendly adventure park where you can zoom through the air along some of the longest and highest zip lines in Asia. And if you’re a family of cyclists, exploring Chiang Mai on two wheels is one of the best ways to see the city.
Other highlights include the Chiang Mai Night Safari park, where you’ll get to tour three animal zones — Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl, Jaguar Trail — and end the night with a mesmerizing laser light show. If you’re up for something… different… the Elephant PooPooPaper is another eco-friendly attraction where you can learn how elephant poop fibres get turned into paper! Thailand is not afraid to get weird and wonderful and nor should you.
5. Hua Hin, for exploring something a bit different
Long before Phuket became the go-to Thai destination for sun-seeking families, there was Hua Hin. As the country’s original beach resort town, it’s one of the most underrated places to visit in Thailand with family these days. Just a short flight from Bangkok, this former fishing village is even the holiday location of choice for the Thai royal family, who have been vacationing here since the 1920s.
Everything you could possibly need for an unbeatable family vacation is here: the beach is clean, relatively uncrowded and shallow, the resorts are world-class and lack nothing in the way of kid-friendly amenities, and a visit to the Summer Palace of King Rama VI is the perfect cultural excursion for youngsters of all ages.
At Vana Nava Water Jungle you’ll have an adventure-filled day, and those feeling brave have to slide down Boomerango, the longest water slide in Thailand. For a day in nature, plan a day trip to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and enjoy awe-inspiring views, spot beautiful birds and go on a boat trip up the Pranburi River. Plus, there are seven (yes, seven!) golf courses to practise your swing on. What more could you want?
Thailand is bursting with kid-friendly destinations and attractions for a family trip your little ones will never forget. No matter what type of vacation you’re planning, have your family on the way to an incredible time by booking flights to Thailand, hotels or holiday packages with Webjet.