30 unmissable Thailand family holiday ideas

Last updated on May 15, 2023

Running on Long Beach

Here’s your complete guide to the best Thailand family holiday ideas, put together by yours truly with help from other Thailand travel experts. It’s one of our favourite places for a family holiday…

Is Thailand good for families?

Thailand is one of the easiest and most fun places to visit with kids in Asia. The Thai people are incredibly welcoming to families, treating kids like guests of honour. And the country is well set up for kids with plenty of family-friendly guesthouses, food and activities. A Thailand family holiday is one of those bucket list family destinations that you’ll likely dream of for years to come.

We went on a family holiday to Thailand with Otis and Arlo, aged 2 and 5, and it was the perfect destination for our first foray into Asia as a family. I admit, despite having travelled extensively in Asia pre-children, I was a little daunted by going with young kids. But I needn’t have worried – Thailand was a perfect choice for us. It made for a beautifully memorable, and fairly easy, trip. We’re already planning our return.

Where’s the best place to travel in Thailand with kids?

Some of the most popular places for a Thailand family vacation are the islands, including Koh Phangan, Koh Lanta and Phuket. But it’s also fun to go inland and explore some of the temples and bigger cities including Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The islands are particularly good for younger kids, but if you and the kids have the stamina, it’s worth including a few different destinations in your Thailand family trip itinerary. Transport in the country makes this pretty doable. It really depends on the type of trip and pace you’re looking for.

Another thing to consider is local festivals like Songkran and Loy Krathong and potentially timing your trip with them.

I’ve put together a guide to Koh Lanta with kids and Phuket with kids. And if you’re looking for inspiration elsewhere in Thailand, we’ve called on other experienced travellers to put together this guide to all the best things to do in Thailand with kids.

From relaxing on the islands to exploring temples and experiencing city life, there’s a whole range of Thailand family holidays to enjoy. Take your pick from the below, and let us know if you have other ideas to add.

Also see our guides to travelling with a baby and flying with a baby for more family travel tips.

30 things to do in Thailand with kids

The best islands in Thailand for families

Koh Lanta

Oasis Yoga Bungalows Koh Lanta

We’re huge fans of Koh Lanta, a laidback island in the Andaman Sea, where it often feels like time’s stood still. It isn’t a party island, and instead a place to go for lazy beach days and time to switch off from everyday life.

It’s a dream for families with all sorts of family-friendly resorts and guesthouses. The beach town of Khlong Dao is particularly geared towards families with play areas along the sand and many restaurants that provide toys for kids to play with.

We’ve written a guide to the best places to stay in Koh Lanta, as well as a full kids guide with all the best things to do in Koh Lanta with kids. Highlights include boat tours, an open-air cinema and beautifully calm beaches, perfect for paddling and play.

Also see our guide on how to get to Koh Lanta from Phuket or Krabi.

Here are some fun kid-friendly tours you can do in Koh Lanta, including the popular four-islands boat trip, which is best suited to kids who can swim or are at least comfortable bobbing around in a life vest.

Phuket

Phuket is by far one of the most built-up, commercialised islands in Thailand, and not the place to go for that charming, laidback vibe. But it’s also super easy and convenient, so if you’re simply looking for a beach or resort holiday then it might be your cup of tea. It’s probably the easiest place to visit in Thailand for families.

As well as the beaches and resorts, there are still some ways to get your cultural fix, for example in Phuket Old Town or by visiting the Big Buddha. And there are also loads of family attractions, including waterparks and the theme-park-style Carnival Magic and Phuket FantaSea (see our separate entry on Carnival Magic).

Phuket is a fairly big island and your experience will largely depend on the area you choose to stay. Families would do well to avoid Patong, famed for its somewhat seedy nightlife, and instead head somewhere like Kamala beach, which is busy but well set up for families. Mai Khao has those desert island vibes, but is mostly home to big resorts. And Phuket Town is a must-see, especially for its food and the Sunday Market. See our full guide to things to do in Phuket with kids.

Here are some fun tours and activities you can do via Get Your Guide in Phuket.

Koh Phi Phi

Ko Phi Phi

We didn’t stay on Ko Phi Phi, and I’m not sure I’d recommend staying there as nowadays it’s most famous for over-tourism and somewhat disrespectful partygoers – so not ideal for kids.

But there’s also no doubt it’s gorgeous, so I do recommend a day trip. We went on our way to Koh Lanta from Phuket and were bowled over by its beauty. The ferry was also a fun and easy way to travel with kids, allowing us to really drink in the sights while the kids stayed comfy and away from the sun in the air-con lounge.

There are fun day trips you can do to Ko Phi Phi from Ko Lanta, Krabi and Phuket, including sunset trip that would suit older kids (you even get the chance to see phosphorescence on some of these!) Here are some options below…

Koh Phangan

By Veronika at Travel Geekery

The whole island of Koh Phangan is a wonderful family-friendly place to visit. The tropical island has no shortage of beautiful beaches. Many are safe for kids and the water stays shallow for a long stretch before slowly starting to get deeper, for example on Long Beach, Secret Beach, or Sri Thanu Beach.

Koh Phangan temples are fun for the whole family too. Chinese Temple especially is extra colourful, offers amazing views and you can even try a gong.

Little ones will be thrilled to watch animals at Zoo Café near the entrance to the Phaeng Waterfall. And at jungle-like Koh Raham Restaurant and Beach Bar near the Secret Beach, you’ll find swings and hammocks to chill at and sometimes they feed fish from there. There’s lots to see for kids of all ages, just be aware that little ones will have to be watched at all times.

If your family likes a good street market, you can visit Saturday walking market in Thong Sala and Sunday Market in Chaloklum.

Bigger kids can enjoy a game of minigolf near Wok Tum temple. Teenagers will love a paintball battle at La Casa de Paintball, which has recently opened on the island.

These are only a few things to do in Koh Phangan for the whole family. You’re sure to have loads of fun!

[Note from Victoria: Also see my guide to The Sanctuary on Koh Phangan – one of my favourite retreats in the world]

Koh Samet

By Lotte at Eschbach Consulting 

While Thailand isn’t off the beaten path, there are still many beautiful places that – while not undiscovered – aren’t overrun by tourists. Koh Samet is one such a gem and a great place to add to your Thailand itinerary.  

Koh Samet is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand with a laid-back vibe. Because it’s located just a couple of hours from Bangkok (220km), it’s a popular weekend escape for many Thai people living in the capital. Visit during the week, however, and you may have the tropical beaches of Koh Samet (almost) to yourself! Plus, accommodation prices are much lower during weekdays, meaning you can stay at a high-end hotel such as Ao Prao Resort for less than €100 a night.  

The main town, Hat Sai Kaew, is where the ferries land, but this isn’t the prettiest part of the island. Either head south to Ao Wai or west to Ao Prao. Ao Prao means ‘Paradise Bay’ and rightfully so, it’s a gorgeous beach with the most amazing sunsets. 

Because the island is very small, just 13km2, it’s perfect for families with kids as you never have to travel far and it’s easy to explore the entire island in a few days.  

For parents with young children, base yourself in a nice resort with a swimming pool (such as Ao Prao Resort) and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Build a sand castle on one of the 14 beaches, go for a swim in the beautiful ocean or eat pizza (or better yet, great Thai food) in one of the restaurants along Ao Prao beach. Parents with older kids can join a snorkelling tour to explore the underwater world and enjoy a wonderful day out at sea.  

Koh Samet’s rainy season is from May until October. However, you can visit this lovely little island even during these months. Usually you’ll experience a heavy shower in the afternoon or during the evening while the rest of the day is still sunny and warm.  

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Koh Samui

Koh Samui is all about the beaches, the food, and the laid-back vibe, right?

Actually, unlike nearby islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, Samui has so much crammed onto the island that you can really make it what you want. And if you have kids who are tired of lounging on the beach and want a little more thrill, Samui’s Pink Elephant Waterpark has a variety of water slides, splash pools, and other aquatic attractions. If you’re looking for a more natural waterpark adventure, the Na Muang Waterfall is a fun and accessible waterfall that provides a welcome break from the heat.

If you’d like get up close and personal with elephants, make sure to visit The Samui Elephant Home, which provides a responsible way to connect with these majestic creatures while staying on the ethical side of things (remember to never ride elephants). Lastly, Koh Samui Canopy Adventures is a great choice if you have older children seeking some heart-pounding adventure as the activity features zipline courses for all ages and skill levels.

The most popular beach for families in Koh Samui is Hat Chaweng which is a great place to meet other travellers. And Ang Thong National Marine Park is fantastic for snorkelling and kayaking.

Here are some fun tours you can do in Koh Samui too.

Pig Island (Koh Mad Sum)

By Jolene from Wanderlust Storytellers

Pig Island is a small island located off Koh Samui in Thailand. 

It’s a popular tourist destination, especially for families with children, and makes a great day trip if you are based in Koh Samui (perhaps at one of these Koh Samui family resorts).

A visit to Pig Island is mostly about interacting with the friendly pigs that inhabit the island. Your kids will love the opportunity to pet and play with them.

The waters around Pig Island are clear and ideal for snorkelling, making it a great opportunity for kids to see marine life up close. They can explore coral reefs full of tropical fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating sea creatures.

The island is relatively untouched by tourism, and the lack of crowds and noise makes it a peaceful and relaxing place to spend the day. Go there to enjoy quality time together, meet the pigs, and perhaps even try out a game of beach volleyball, or do some kayaking and paddle boarding. 

Khao Lak

By Nikki of She Saves She Travels

If you’re looking for amazing things to do with kids in Thailand, then visiting Khao Lak must be on your list! This beach town on the Andaman Sea is less than two hours north of Phuket in the province of Phang Nga, and great for families. 

One of the best things to do in Khao Lak for kids is bamboo rafting. You’ll want to book a tour in advance or ask your hotel to help set it up. Bamboo rafting is fun for all ages, but especially ages 3+ as kids will need to sit nicely during the rafting ride. Wear swimming attire and take a ride through the jungle while sitting on a bamboo raft. A guide will paddle as you weave through the gentle flowing river.

Another fun activity in Khao Lak is visiting the Big Buddha. Young kids will love running up the stairs to the oversized statue! The views from the top are spectacular too. Before leaving Khao Lak, be sure to visit the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Center and Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park.

Try this tour, which combines rafting and a visit to the sea turtle centre.

Families with kids ages 10+ will love snorkelling and taking a beach day at Similan Islands National Park, a one-hour boat ride from Khao Lak.

The best time to visit Khao Lak, Phang Nga is from November through April to avoid the rainy season. A perfect beach-front property with pool access is the La Flora Khao Lak.

Historical places to visit in Thailand with kids

Ayutthaya

By Catherine Xu at Nomadicated

Ayutthaya is a beautiful, historical city located in central Thailand, a short train ride from Bangkok. Exploring the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya Historical Park, is a great way for families to learn about Thai culture and history.

Dotted with countless ruins spread across the city linked by rivers, bridges, and roads, there are plenty of sights to explore, including temples, statues, and even an elephant camp. Discover its unique story that spans centuries – from its beginnings as the capital of Siam in the 14th century to its eventual destruction by the Burmese army.

An Ayutthaya itinerary with younger children requires some planning, as it can be quite hot during the summer months. The best time to visit is between November and February, when temperatures are more comfortable. During these months, festivals like Loi Krathong and Songkran may coincide with your visit, which provides great fun for visitors of all ages. You can also join a tour from Bangkok.

Finally, there is a wealth of accommodation in Ayutthaya, like Luang Chumni Village, which offers standard family rooms near the historical park.

Sukhothai Historical Park

By Saskia from Sas Crossing Countries

Sukhothai is an ancient Siamese city in central Thailand. Not as famous as its southern sister Ayutthaya, but as impressive and without the crowds. What makes a visit to Sukhothai really interesting for kids is the fact that you can roam around here by bike.

Sukhothai Historical Park is spread out all over Sukhothai, so make sure to book accommodation in the city centre. This is also where the main site is. You can walk and climb everywhere. But while climbing on statues isn’t forbidden, it is frowned upon, so keep an eye on the kids.

You need a day to check out all the highlights. Split this over two mornings to avoid the heat and save the afternoons for a swim at your hotel.

Exploring Sukhothai is fun for kids of all ages. Visit Sas Crossing Countries to read more about the top 5 things to do in Sukhothai with kids.

Cultural experiences for kids in Thailand

Take A Muay Thai Lesson

By Katie from KatieCafTravel.com 

If you’re planning a family trip to Thailand, taking a Muay Thai lesson with your older kids is a fun activity to try. Muay Thai is a traditional Thai sport that has been practiced all the way back to around the 13th century, and it’s a great way to get active and learn about Thai culture at the same time.

While Muay Thai shows can be a bit intense and violent, taking a lesson is a completely different experience. You and your kids will be able to learn the techniques and skills involved in this sport in a safe and controlled environment, with the guidance of experienced instructors. With the adequate gear, such as padded helmets, mouth guards, and padded gloves, you can rest assured that your family is well-protected during the lesson.

Not only is Muay Thai a fun activity that will get your family moving and sweating, but it’s also a great way to learn about Thai culture. You’ll get to experience first-hand the discipline and dedication that goes into practicing this sport, as well as the history and traditions that have shaped it over time.

Here are a few lessons you could try in: Bangkok, Krabi and Koh Samui.

Visit a floating market

By Catrina of 24 Hours Layover

Visiting a Floating Market is a great thing to do with kids in Thailand. It’s a unique cultural experience that’s both fun and educational for the whole family. Children of all ages can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the floating markets, where you can ride on a small boat and travel down the river, admiring the colourful boats and produce for sale.


One of the most popular and impressive floating markets in Thailand is Damnoen Saduak (about 1.5 hours from Bangkok) which is perfect if you’re visiting with older children. For younger children, Taling Chan Floating Market in Bangkok is a better option as this market is smaller, less crowded, easier to reach and can also be explored on foot.

The best time to visit floating markets is in the morning when the markets are most lively. It’s a good idea to visit on weekdays to avoid the weekend tourist crowds.

See more unique activities like this on my guide to Asia bucket list destinations.

Go to the Loy Krathong/Yi Peng Festival

By Chelsea from Adventures of Chels

A great activity to experience in Thailand with kids of all ages is the Loy Krathong festival, which is doubly impressive in Chiang Mai as it coincides with the Yi Peng festival too.

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated on the full moon in the month of November. (This means it happens on a different date every year). It’s frequently associated with the worship of Buddha and the water goddess. However, it’s not necessarily considered a religious festival.

Krathongs, or small floating vessels, are decorated with flowers and candles and placed onto bodies of water. Hundreds if not thousands of krathongs beautifully light up the rivers and lakes around Thailand during this festival.

The Yi Peng celebration coincides with Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai. Yi Peng is associated with floating lanterns that are released into the sky.  It’s truly a breath-taking experience that shouldn’t be missed in Thailand.

Songkran

Songkran is another fantastic festival to experience in Thailand. It’s a three-day water festival to celebrate the Thai New year and is most famed with tourists for being like a giant water fight on the streets. I was there for it during my first trip to Thailand at 18 and had the time of my life!

Despite being a local festival, tourists are encouraged to join in the fun, spraying people with water-pistols or even drenching them with buckets! Be aware that in the most touristy areas, it can get a bit raucous with alcohol, so best to join in the fun earlier on with kids.

Take a Thai cooking class

By Melissa at The Family Voyage

One of the best things to do in Thailand with kids is take a family-friendly cooking class. It’s a great way to get your children more comfortable with the country’s unique, delicious foods while also engaging them in an important life skill. Kids are more likely to eat the foods they’ve cooked even if they haven’t tried them at home before. 

We did a fabulous family cooking class in Chiang Mai at Yummy Tasty Thai Cooking School. Our experience began with shopping at the market and learning what important ingredients to buy, then we continued back to the cooking school to learn techniques specific to Thai cooking. 

Our children were 3.5 and 6 when we did the cooking class and they participated as they wanted, but I do recommend bringing activities with you if you’re bringing pre-schoolers. I don’t recommend that children be any younger than 3-4, and 6-7 is a more ideal age to participate. 

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Here’s a selection of cooking classes you can do in Thailand with Get Your Guide.

Rice planting

By Nichola at Family Hotel Expert

If you’re travelling to Thailand, one of the fun things to do with kids is have a go at rice planting. Thailand has very strong links with rice planting – being the world’s second largest exporter of rice. It’s also a staple of most meals in Thailand and of course a child favourite.

There are a number of places across the country to try your hand at rice planting and Chiang Mai has a few. Hotels like the Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa offer it as part of the stay.

You get to help out with planting season, taking the new shoots and pressing them into the mud in lines to become the next crop of plants. Getting to step down into the warm, squelchy mud will be of great fun for most kids. And with frogs bounding through the water, it’s sure to create lots of squeals of delight. This can work for all ages, with supervision, from very small children right through to teenagers. It’s a great way to get an insight into an important part of Thai life.

Here’s another rice planting experience you can do in Krabi.

Try the street food

Pancake stall, Koh Lanta

One of the best things about a visit to Thailand is the food, and there’s lots of safe and accessible street food on offer. Big hits with kids often include pad Thai (ask for it not to be spicy), chicken skewers and mango sticky rice. And perhaps most popular of all with little ones (and me!) is the abundant pancake stands, serving delicious fruit-filled pancakes.

Read this guide from Jodi at Legal Nomads on how to eat street food without getting sick.

You could also do a food tour in Thailand, such as one from the selection below.

Do a home stay

We love to get an insight into local life and one of the best ways to do this is to arrange a homestay in your host country. Thailand has lots of opportunities like this and Responsible Thailand has put together a useful guide to some of the country’s best options. Remember some places will call themselves a homestay even though they’re more of a guesthouse where you won’t necessarily interact with local people. A true homestay is one where you stay with a local family in their own home and have the chance to learn about each other’s way of life.

Another option could be to do a Home Exchange in Thailand. With Home Exchange, you don’t normally stay in the house alongside the host family, but you will be staying in their home, so it’s still a good way to experience a more local way of life than, say, staying in a resort. See our guide to Home Exchange.

Carnival Magic

Toy-lets at Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic is an absolute feast for the senses. It’s a kind of Disney-meets-carnival-meets-Thailand kind of vibe, including a sit-down show where a parade of ever-more fantastical floats fill the world’s longest stage.

Prior to the show, guests can enjoy the Carnival Magic funfair and shopping streets, where there are all sorts of rainbow-coloured games, rides and curiosities, including the world’s largest popcorn machine and a petting zoo with a Fenix fox.

Even the toilets are an event with themed cubicles and animatronic designs, like a massive dinosaur that pops his head over when you flush. There are a few different toilet themes, but especially don’t miss the toy-lets in the funfair section.

There’s also a massive buffet hall with food from around the world and a psychedelic peacock design.

Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, at the end there’s a huge light show to walk through with some of the world’s biggest LED displays (this place breaks records all over the place!).

Carnival Magic is a far cry from the laidback island vibes we most love in Thailand, but it’s also a fantastic experience and our kids (and us!) were completely enthralled by it. Don’t miss it if you’re in Phuket with kids.

National parks and outdoor adventures for kids in Thailand

Khao Sok National Park

By Jess from I’m Jess Traveling 

Khao Sok National Park is a hidden gem and a great destination in Thailand for families with children aged four and up.  For the full experience, book a night at a floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake. In between boat trips and traditional Thai meals, the kids (and adults) can enjoy the lake by kayaking or jumping off your private deck into the refreshing water.

The man-made lake is surrounded by towering limestone mountains and lush rainforest.  The stunning karsts are known as the Guilin of Thailand and can be seen via a longtail boat or bamboo raft trip. Along the way you’ll spot exotic wildlife, and if you’re lucky, you may get a glimpse of the herd of wild elephants that live inside the park.

Another great experience for the whole family is to float down the river on inner tubes to view Khao Sok from a different perspective.  The best time to enjoy these activities are between November to February during Thailand’s dry season.  

An alternative place to stay in Khao Sok is in a treehouse at Our Jungle House where monkeys come knocking at your door.

Kayaking on River Kwai

By Celine at Family Can Travel

While known by most for the Death Railway and the Bridge over the River Kwai, visiting Kanchanaburi with kids offers a multitude of outdoor experiences for families. One such experience is to kayak on the River Kwai. The river is calm and tranquil, making it ideal for those kayaking with young children. 

Expect to be picked up by truck, which will delight kids who can sit in the back, for the short drive to the launch area. Throughout the float on the river, the scenery changes from lush jungle teeming with birds to the resorts and restaurants that line the riverbanks.

Kayaking continues under the Bridge over the River Kwai, a unique way to see this famous landmark, eventually ending at the Chinese Temple. 

This is a fun experience for families of children as young as three-years-old. While lifejackets are provided, the sizes for small children aren’t always available, so if possible, bring your own. A wet/dry bag, hats and sun protection are the only other items you’ll need for this fun family activity in Thailand.

Kayaking in Krabi (and elsewhere in Thailand)

By Paula at Truly Expat Travel

As a family of five with active children, we’re always looking for things to do on vacation that the kids can enjoy. And kayaking anywhere is a great activity. However, kayaking in Krabi takes it to the next level. 

We first brought the kids to Krabi when they were in primary school (middle school ages), and it slowly became our go-to vacation while living in Asia because, as the kids grew, they started to venture out kayaking in Krabi on their own. The best time to kayak in Krabi is between November and May, when the monsoon season has passed. 

I highly recommend staying at the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Krabi. It’s ideally located at the private Pai Plong Bay, and the rooms have fantastic views overlooking the ocean that can accompany a family of four. You can pick up the kayaks on a private beach connected to the resort. 

Sticky Waterfalls

By Abbey at Trips on Abbey Road

One of the very best things to do in Thailand with kids is to visit the Bau Tong or sticky waterfalls in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is one of the most popular Northern cities in Thailand and it’s very family-friendly. The sticky waterfalls are a popular attraction about 30 minutes outside of Chiang Mai. 

What makes these falls in Thailand so special is that the limestone rocks are sticky and you can walk up and down them easily. You and your children can pretend to be spiderman climbing up and down the waterfalls enjoying the perfect day outdoors.

There are three different sections of waterfalls throughout the Bau Tong site. The main section, level two, would be the best spot for children to climb and play on the rocks. The giant rocks are soft and give a little when you step on them, which makes the perfect grip for your toes. 

It’s best to try to visit during the dry season because the water can come in fast during the rainier months of the year. This family-friendly activity is inside a national park, is always free to enter, and is fun for all ages.

You could spend hours exploring the three different layers of sticky rocks before heading to the small market at the entrance for drinks and lunch. 

Here’s a sticky waterfall tour you could join.

Snorkelling and diving

If you’re heading to the islands or the coast, snorkelling is a must-do for kids who can swim. The warm waters are filled with tropical fish and corals, and the calm sea makes for a perfect intro to snorkelling. Older kids might also like to try their hand at diving.

Nearly all the islands have hotels and tour providers offering equipment or guided tours. You could even get your PADI. See some options for snorkelling and diving tours around Thailand below.

Water parks

There are some amazing world-class waterparks in Thailand for families to enjoy. Some of the best include: Andamanda in Phuket, Pink Elephant Samui Water Park on Koh Samui, and Siam Amazing Park in Bangkok, which also has a separate theme park.

Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary

Elephant Nature Park

Elephants are revered in Thailand, and getting up close to the magnificent animals is a popular tourist activity. But many of the elephant activities on offer are far from ethical – for example it’s cruel to ride an elephant. So do make sure to seek out one of the country’s ethical elephant sanctuaries.

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Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai is one of these. Located just outside the city, there are over a hundred elephants living at the park and all have been rescued from terrible conditions. Go there to learn about elephants and how the sanctuary works to protect them and keep them safe.

Other ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand include Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and Khao Sok Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.  

Things to do with kids in Thailand’s cities

Bangkok

Bangkok can be overwhelming but it’s definitely possible to visit with kids and is a fantastic cultural experience for the family. A good introduction to the city can be done via river cruise, which Kenny has written a separate entry for below.

Some of the cultural “must-see” attractions include the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, the Golden Mount and the Grand Palace. And we’ve included a separate entry on Bangkok’s floating markets.

Specific Bangkok family attractions include the Children’s Discovery Museum, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World (a huge aquarium in the bottom of Siam Paragon Mall), and Dream World theme park.

A good place to escape the urban sprawl and have some time in nature is Lumpini Park, a lovely green space in the city complete with kids’ play areas.

Here are some tours you can do in and around Bangkok…

Bangkok River Cruise 

By Kenny at Knycx Journeying 

The Chao Phraya River Cruise is a hop-on-hop-off river cruise that runs on the Chao Phraya River, the main body of water in the city of Bangkok. It’s a convenient way to visit several major attractions in Bangkok – from historic monuments, landmarks and shopping malls, to markets and entertainment. That’s why it is a wonderful thing to do for family travelers because the route always offers something fun for everyone.

To plan a one-day trip on Bangkok’s riverside, purchase a one-day river pass, head to the Grand Palace, and admire the beauty of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Afterwards, enjoy a fluffy pancake at Gram, view the huge reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, and climb the step of the pagodas in Wat Arun. 

Continue the journey after sharing a mango sticky rice at Make Me Mango, and appreciate the mix of old and new at Lhong 1919. ICONSIAM is a recently completed shopping and entertainment complex with an indoor floating market. For those who prefer outdoor, the cruise also connects to Asiatique, a popular night bazaar by the river. 

Chiang Mai

By Ami Bhat

The largest city in northern Thailand is surrounded by mountains, rainforests, and rivers, making it a perfect for some outdoor fun. Plus there are many cultural activities, which add a different element of fun for the kids. In short, there are just so many things to do in Chiang Mai with kids of all ages.

You can start with a simple hike up Thailand’s highest peak Doi Inthanon and try some bird watching with kids. You can soak up some culture by visiting the oldest temple in Chiang Mai – Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. 

Other outdoor adventures you can embark with your kids are kayaking on Ping River or Jungle kayaking, which is recommended only for older teens. A great way to get your kids to enjoy a view of the green pastures and golden temples of Chiang Mai is to sign up for a hot air balloon ride.

Chiang Mai is also a center for traditional Thai arts and crafts, such as silk weaving, woodcarving, and pottery. You and your kids should head out to the Bo Sang Umbrella village and try making one of the colourful umbrellas with their classes there. It’s a great way to bond and learn about the local culture.

Here are some tours you can do in Chiang Mai…

Chiang Mai Museums

By Babs at Mums on Flip Flops

Like Ami says above, visiting Chiang Mai with your children is a great option when you’re looking for the best places in Thailand with kids. As well as all the cultural and outdoor activities she mentions, Chiang Mai also has lots of cool museums to explore. They’re the perfect place to escape the heat.

One of them is Art in Paradise, Chiang Mai’s 3D Art Museum. It’s just a short taxi ride away and will bring your kids 1-2 hours of illusion fun. The floor-to-ceiling artwork is pretty impressive and the large spaces invite the kids to run around in. The museum is best suited for ages three or older. Younger children will enjoy themselves as well, but might not appreciate the 3D aspect of each photo yet.

The most awesome museum in the city is without a doubt the NARIT Astropark en Platenerium. This museum has big educational value, as your kids will learn all about the universe, astronomy, and physics. But everything is set up in an interactive way so the learning happens through experiments, games, and even workshops (paid). They also offer a weekly English planetarium show with stunning projections and music.

The Astropark is free, but a small entrance fee (50 baht) is charged for the show. The Astropark is suitable for any age, but the workshops only allow kids aged 8 or older. There’s a great restaurant (with a small indoor playground!) on site, which is a good thing as you can spend several hours at this museum.

Chiang Rai

By Martina at PlacesofJuma

Chiang Rai is a great destination in Thailand for families with kids. From visiting amazing temples to exploring the natural wonders, there is something for everyone in this charming city.

You can also go on some really cool excursions, such as the Golden Triangle, the Scorpion Temple or the Monkey Temple Wat Tham Pla, where you can observe numerous monkeys.

There are also ethical elephant camps in the area dedicated to the welfare of the pachyderms, which are a popular family trip. And there are numerous outdoor activities in the area like hiking, cycling and rafting.

You can also find a lot of cool things to do for the kids right in the city of Chiang Rai. Be sure to visit a night market, the Singha Park with gifraffes, and the 9-tier temple where you can take an elevator to the 25th floor. A visit to the White Temple and the Blue Temple is highly recommended for kids. But the Black Temple with its bones and skeletons is scary and not suitable for smaller children.

The best time to visit Chiang Rai is certainly the winter months. The region is recommended for families with children of all ages, as there is a wide range of activities. Read more on the best attractions in Chiang Rai

You can also visit Chiang Rai as a day trip from Chiang Mai.

How to get around Thailand with kids

Thailand is fairly easy to get around on public transport, including trains, buses, minivans and tuk-tuks. The best place to plan and book your journey is 12go.com where they give you the whole variety of transport options, plus different companies to try. Also see this guide to Uber/Grab in Thailand.

Tuk-tuks are a big hit with kids, but best kept for short tips and avoided on highways.

And for walking around, it’s usually better to baby wear than use a stroller, especially if you’re on the islands where you’ll often be on sand. That said, we found it useful to have a stroller for our two-year-old as he’s too heavy to carry. We hired one through Phuket Baby Rentals as we only needed it for a few days while in Phuket Old Town.

Where to stay in Thailand with kids

Banana Beach Bungalow Koh Lanta

Thailand has all sorts of family-friendly accommodation, from fully fledged family resorts to cute little guesthouses that welcome kids with open arms. We’ve put together a guide with some of the most popular family guesthouses and hotels in Thailand. And also see our detailed guide for where to stay in Koh Lanta.

Is Thailand safe to travel with a family?

Thailand is generally considered one of the best and safest destinations in Asia. But it’s a good idea to avoid the party places like Patong and Pattaya.

Other things to bear in mind when it comes to safety in Thailand:

  • Tuk-tuks don’t have seat belts, and taxis rarely do (if you hire one through a higher end hotel, they normally do).
  • And be more vigilant with hygiene too, being sure to wash hands regularly.
  • Monkeys may look cute, but they can have rabies and be aggressive (remember our run in with them in Bali!), so best to stay clear.
  • Dengue fever is common in Thailand so be sure to avoid bites by using a kid-friendly mozzie spray. We also used these mosquito bands, which seemed to work well. The kids didn’t get bitten whereas I got quite a few, so next time I think I’ll get one of those bands too!
  • Don’t forget your travel insurance!

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Our top travel planning tips

If you’re planning a trip, be sure to have a look at all our top travel planning tips, including how to save money with the best credit cards, what to bring, and all our favourite tools and tricks.

For car rentals, we recommend booking with Discover Cars. We’ve found they always have the cheapest deals for mainstream retailers.

If you decide to book any Airbnb apartments, use this link, as it’ll give you £25 off your first trip.

We found great last-minute deals on Booking.com, getting a discount of up to 60%.

Have you ever considered a home exchange? It’s our favourite way to travel (and the most affordable).

Our favourite place to book flights is Skyscanner – again, they always have great deals.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! We recommend True Traveller who offer reliable, comprehensive cover, including medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. You can buy True Traveller insurance even when you’ve left home, which is unusual for travel insurance companies.

And if you’re travelling with a baby, see our survival guide to flying with a baby and all our best travelling with a baby tips.

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