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Family Holidays in Thailand

Thailand is an ideal destination for family travel due to its beautiful landscapes, nice people, delicious food, and wide range of things to do.

The incredible experiences that families can have in Thailand include trekking through rainforests, interacting with elephants, visiting remote villages, and exploring interesting cities.

In this article, we will explain the ins and outs of traveling to Thailand with a family, including how to plan a family trip to Thailand, where to stay, and what to do. We offer firsthand information based on years of experience in planning unforgettable family trips.

What to expect from a family trip in Thailand

Thailand has a lot to offer in new experiences, rich history, and interesting culture. Here is a brief description of what to expect when traveling to Thailand and some suggestions for some great activities that will be fun for the whole family.

Beautiful landscapes

About 12% of the country is covered in forest. Many of the forests are within national parks and are protected. Overall, there are 79 national parks in the country, just waiting to be explored. 

One of the most famous national parks is Khao Yai. It has stunning grasslands and 615,000 hectares of UNESCO-listed forest. Perhaps the biggest draw to the park is that it’s one of the only places in Thailand where visitors can still see elephants in the wild. The park also has rare Asiatic black bears and even some tigers.

Thailand's famous and beautiful beaches are found along the coast. Railay Beach on an island is incredibly good for families because it is only accessible by boat from Krabi, there are no vehicles on the island, and it is quiet and peaceful.

Because of Thailand's tropical climate, stunning, tall waterfalls are a great attraction in the rainy season. Erawan Waterfall and its 7-level falls cover about 1.5 kilometers. Below the waterfall, there is a calm pool which is great for swimming or for spotting small fish.

Intriguing history

Although from the outside, Thailand may appear to be ethnically homogenous, it actually contains many different ethnic groups. The Central Tai are the dominant ethnic group, but Thailand also contains many Chinese people, who have been emigrating to Thailand since even before the 12th century. 

A great place to learn more about the history of Thailand is the National Museum in Bangkok. The museum offers guided tours and has displays explaining ancient Thai culture as well as the development of Buddism.

Vibrant culture and lifestyle

Thailand is known as the "Land of Smiles" because of the Thai people's natural kindness. In Thailand, you will see that people are very welcoming of foreigners and travelers. They are also very helpful and like to make sure that travelers are not lost or in trouble.

Most people in Thailand are Theravada Buddhists and often visit the many temples there. In Chiang Mai, some temples offer the opportunity for visitors to read alms along with the monks, in order to gain some personal experience of this ancient religion.

Incredible food

Thai cuisine is known for being full of flavor and consists mainly of many fresh, light, and spicy curries. Many Thai meals are curries made with coconut milk, shrimp paste, garlic, chilis, and other seasonings, and many dishes include rice or noodles. 

Plenty of Thai dishes are perfect for kids, such as Pad Thai, fried rice, fruit smoothies, Thai grilled chicken, and sticky rice. For picky eaters, many resorts, hotels, and restaurants offer Western dishes as well as Thai cuisine.

Activities for families

Thailand has a developed tourist industry and offers plenty of great activities for families. Many families enjoy taking tuk-tuk rides through the big cities to see the local lifestyle. This is a fun and different way to explore.

Bangkok is full of incredible temples such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, and the Temple of Wat Pho.

In Chiang Mai, popular activities include cooking on an organic farm, zip-lining through the jungles, visiting night markets, and seeing more fantastic temples. Chiang Mai is famous for its access to Thailand’s tropical jungles and its Elephant Nature Park, where visitors can spend a day learning about and bathing rescued and retired elephants.

In Phuket, families can stay at resorts in Karon or Kata, where there are many activities for children such as kayaking, rafting, and snorkeling. Hanging out on the beach or taking a boat trip around the island is a great way to have some quality family time.

For families with older children, the islands of Similan and Surin offer great opportunities for scuba diving and even the chance to see incredible whale sharks.

Family-friendly hotel options

Booking the best hotel for your family is the first step in creating a dream vacation. At Asia Highlights, we have plenty of experience with hotels and resorts in Thailand and here is a list of our top recommendations based on personal experience.

Bangkok

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok ****

Location: 33/1 South Sathorn Road, Yanawa Sathorn, Sathorn, 10120 Bangkok

Features and why we recommend it:

  • This hotel has an outdoor infinity pool and a well-equipped fitness center
  • Great location only minutes from downtown Bangkok and a great choice for guests interested in seeing temples and other popular sites in the city
  • Hotel has its own direct access to the BTS Sky Train, which allows travelers access to most of the city
  • Only a 45-minute drive from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport
  • The hotel has two restaurants including Chef Man, which offers Chinese cuisine; and the Glass House, which offers buffet lunches

Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit *****

Location: 30 Sukhumvit 21, Asoke Road, Wattana, 10110 Bangkok

Features and why we recommend it:

  • Has air-conditioned rooms and suites with flat-screen TVs, a safety deposit box, and a mini bar
  • Guests can keep up their exercise routine at the fitness center or enjoy a relaxing day at the hotel's spa
  • Kids can have fun at the hotel's swimming pool
  • The hotel is only 400 meters from the BTS Sky Train Station, allowing travelers access to many important parts of Bangkok
  • The hotel has many restaurants, serving a variety of great food such as seafood buffet, Spanish cuisine, and homemade pastries and desserts.

Chiang Mai

The Rim Resort ****

Location: 51/2 Arrak Rd., T. Phrasingh, Muang, 50200 Chiang Mai

Features and why we recommend it:

  • This beautiful hotel has classic Lanna architecture, tropical gardens, and a nice outdoor swimming pool.
  • Rooms have private balconies and are decorated with beautiful wood and Thai fabric
  • Each room has a flat-screen TV and a mini bar
  • The hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the Chiang Mai International Airport and the famous night bazaar
  • Staff can help guests make sightseeing arrangements
  • A buffet breakfast is served, with local and international dishes

Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai *****

Location:  89/8 Chang Klan Road, Muang, Chang Khlan, 50100 Chiang Mai

Features and why we recommend it:

  • Great location only about 1.5 kilometers from the Night Bazaar, Tha Pae Gate, and Sunday Walking Street
  • The hotel is only 10 minutes from the Chiang Mai International Airport
  • The Spa offers relaxing beauty treatments and massages
  • The beautiful rooms are decorated with northern Thai materials and art, and each room comes with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, and a mini bar
  • The hotel has many restaurants, serving a variety of cuisine, such as all-day international dishes, Szechuan and Cantonese food, and drinks or tea which can alternatively be served at the pool bar or in the lobby

Chiang Rai

Le Patta Hotel Chiang Rai ****

Location: 610 Phaholyothin Road, T. Wieng. A.Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai

Features and why we recommend it:

  • Has an outdoor pool, and restaurant offering both Thai and Western options
  • Rooms have free Wi-Fi, private balconies, a flat-screen TV, an electric kettle, and a refrigerator
  • The hotel can help arrange tours and also offers a bicycle-rental service
  • Great location only about 100 meters from the Saturday Night Walking Street

Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort *****

Location: 21/2 Moo 20 Kwaewai Road, Tamboon Robwieng, Amphur Muang, 57000 Chiang Rai

Features and why we recommend it:

  • Guests can enjoy the two-level outdoor pool that overlooks the Mae Kok River
  • There is a spa that offers pampering massage treatments, such as oil therapies
  • The front desk can arrange tours, such as elephant trekking and river cruises
  • Great location only 15 minutes from the airport and very close to the Night Market and Hill Tribe Museum
  • The rooms are elegant, with large balconies, a sofa bed, and separate bathtub and shower stalls
  • It has many different restaurants, offering Italian and other international food. Drinks and snacks are also served at the pool-side.

Phuket

Centara Kata Resort Phuket ****

Location: 54 Ked Kwan Road, 83100 Kata Beach

Features and why we recommend it:

  • From the hotel it is only a 3-minute walk to the beach, and the hotel is surrounded by tropical landscapes
  • There are 3 pools, 3 dining options, and a spa
  • The elegant, air-conditioned rooms have private balconies, satellite TV, and a safety-deposit box
  • There is a games room and fitness center, as well as a kid's pool with a slide 
  • Snorkeling and diving trips can be arranged at the front desk

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort *****

Location: 14 Kata Noi Rd., 83100 Kata Beach

Features and why we recommend it:

  • This award-winning resort has 6 pools and 6 dining options as well as a great spa and tennis courts
  • The spacious rooms have private balconies overlooking the resort grounds. Rooms are also equipped with Thai-style furnishings and cable TV
  • The eating options range from beachside barbecues to luxury dining experiences
  • There are 5 onsite bars and the resort also offers 24-hour room service
  • Cooking classes are offered to guests

Samui

Pavilion Samui Villas & Resorts ****

Location: 124/24 Moo 3, Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Surathani, 84310 Lamai

Features and why we recommend it:

  • The resort is only a 2-minute walk from the beach
  • It includes Thai-style units with private hot tubs or pools, and offering stunning beachside views
  • Relaxed afternoons can be spent at the resort’s spa or library
  • The tour desk can help guests book water sports and sightseeing trips
  • The Patio offers great breakfasts and the evening restaurants make great Thai and Italian food. The resort's two bars offer refreshing cocktails.
  • The resort is only a 20-minute drive from Koh Samui Airport

Kirikayan Luxury Pool Villas & Spa Samui *****

Location: 28/4 Moo1, Maenam, Koh Samui, 84330 Mae Nam

Features and why we recommend it:

  • The resort is located within tropical landscape and offers an infinity-edge pool, spa, and spacious villas with their own private pools
  • Suites are equipped with a 42-inch flat-screen TV, DVD player, and each comes with a separate living area, dining area, and kitchenette
  • The staff at the resort can make arrangements for day trips
  • The restaurants serve both Thai and international food, with fresh seafood
  • Coffee and cocktails are served at the bar

How to plan a family trip to Thailand

Here are some tips for planning a great family trip to Thailand

  • October to March is the best time to travel but it can be crowded and expensive. Sometimes hotels and flights sell out, so it is important to book at least 3 months in advance.
  • It is a good idea to visit the must-see attractions at each site but also to plan special and meaningful activities such as hiking in national parks, cooking in an organic garden, or offering alms to the monks in Chiang Mai.
  • When traveling in Thailand it is a good idea to use an Asia-based provider offering a full package of services, so that the stress of planning will not be on the traveler.

Book with Confidence Through Asia Highlights

Take a look at our Essence of Thailand Tour, covering Bangkok, Khao Yi, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. This tour is ideal for families who are first-time travelers, or any traveler who wants quality service and expertise. 

Discover your way with Asia Highlights. Contact us for interesting ideas and amazing value.

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