Lounging on a hammock at your resort and watching your little ones play in the sand. Exploring intricate and beautiful temples watched over by orange-clad monks. Snorkelling in crystal clear water and seeing dazzling colourful fish. Daring each other to try strange new fruits and foods at a bustling street market. Trekking in the jungle and spotting birds, monkeys and more. Thailand is a fascinating travel destination for your entire family.
This Southeast Asian nation offers a lot of benefits for family travellers. First of all, the cost of food, accommodation and transport is very low so you can have a top-notch holiday on a modest budget. The beaches are beautiful, the pace of life is slow, the food is delicious and the people are friendly and welcoming. Thai people love children, so don’t be surprised if your little ones are picked up and cooed-over by the locals. It will give you a chance to take a break!
There are many islands to choose from for your getaway, each one with a slightly different atmosphere and vibe. Here are some ideas for the most family friendly options:
Koh Lanta Yai
This laid back island is ideal for families, especially since the local laws here have prevented certain types of development including jet skis and go-go bars. This has allowed it to remain relatively unspoiled, so you don’t have to try to fall asleep with a nightclub booming next to your hotel!
Koh Lanta Yai offers plenty of nature adventures for active families, including diving, snorkelling, kayaking, elephant trekking and much more. If you have adventurous kids who can’t sit still, they will love this green tropical playground.
Koh Samui is the second most popular island destination in Thailand and it has a lot to offer family travellers. It might be a little too developed for those who are looking for the off-the-beaten-track nature experience in Thailand, but if your priorities are electricity, hotel amenities, reliable internet and a great selection of food then it is ideal. There are even fast food options – because even a child with the most adventurous palate might not be in the mood for Thai cuisine every night!
Chaweng Beach is a cleaner and calmer version of Kuta Beach in Bali with fewer disruptive touts and scooters. The sand is soft and the water is shallow for quite a way out, making it a great place for children to swim.
If you can’t decide whether you want a wild and remote Thai holiday or access to touristic amenities, you can get the best of both worlds at Ko Chang. The western half of the island has the shops, hotels, tour operators and everything you could need. However, when you head out to the unspoiled beaches on the east side you can really escape from the crowds. Your little ones will love wandering around the quiet beaches, collecting sea shells and snorkelling in the clear blue water.
The island of Phuket has everything a family could want on a holiday, including great beaches, restaurants, water sports and more. Patong is the main beach, but it can be a bit of a noisy party zone so many families opt for the smaller and more peaceful beaches such as Karon and Kata.
The island also offers many options for exciting day trips to the neighbouring islands, so that you and your little ones can experience adventures such as snorkelling, kayaking, trekking or elephant riding. You can also check out Phuket FantaSea, which is a giant theme park with animals, a safari exhibit and much more.
Krabi (Ao Nang and Rai Ley)
Another great destination for your active and curious youngsters is Krabi, an island in the south that boasts sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs as well as great opportunities for rock climbing, sea kayaking and elephant trekking. Take a day trip to Rai Ley, which is a remote beach that is accessible only by boat. You can take a picnic and spend the afternoon swimming and playing in the waves. Krabi is very quiet in the low season, so if you don’t mind a bit of rain you can have the beach to yourself and snag some very cheap hotel deals.
So, which Thai island is perfect for you and your kids? Whether you have rambunctious pre-teens who want to ride elephants and go swimming every day, or a chilled out toddler who is happy just digging in the sand, Thailand will be a fantastic place for your next family holiday.