Planning a family-friendly vacation that has something for everyone is often easier said than done, especially if you have young children. You want to strike the right balance between fun, relaxation, and cultural experiences, but that can often be a tall order. But what if there were a place that checked all the boxes on your vacation checklist? Whether your goal is to relax on a pristine beach, explore temples and delve into a new culture, or try snorkeling, kayaking, or visiting an elephant sanctuary, a family vacation to Thailand has something for everyone.
If you’ve always wanted to journey to Thailand but were curious if a Thailand vacation could be family-friendly, here’s your sign that Thailand is the perfect destination for families of all ages. With so many ways to explore nature and Thailand’s rich cultural heritage, a vacation to Thailand is one your family will remember for a lifetime.
Here are just a few fun activities to show you just how family-friendly Thailand is!
Thailand has no shortage of beaches, with different beaches to suit different needs. While some are decidedly quieter and others are known for their party vibe, Thailand has its fair share of family-friendly beaches to choose from as well.
Klong Chao Beach, Ko Kood (Ko Kut)
Klong Chao Beach in Ko Kood is nestled in a resort town that is decidedly child friendly. Located in Trat, the easternmost province in Thailand, Ko Kood sits on the Gulf of Thailand. The town itself hosts many family-friendly resorts with beach access and pools, as well as lots of little shops and restaurants to explore. Klong Chao also boasts a safe, gradual decline into the water, so beach revelers can safely explore the beach without fear of a deep drop into the ocean.
Furthermore, because most of inland Ko Kood is packed with dense rainforest, there are many inland activities for families, including a visit to the famous Klong Chao Waterfall, which is perfect for taking a refreshing dip!
Wong Duean Bay, Ko Samet
Wong Duean Beach is a crescent-shaped beach, making the waters much safer for small children to splash in and play on the pure khaki sand.
Wong Duean is home to many family-friendly resorts but is also known for its proximity to nightlife, so there’s truly something for everyone. Wong Duean Beach’s central location also makes it an excellent spot for beach hoppers looking to explore some other amazing beaches in Ko Samet.
Tha Khao Beach, Ko Yao Noi
If adventure is on the agenda for your Thailand vacation, a trip to Tha Khao Beach in Ko Yao Noi is an absolute must. Ko Yao Noi is located in the Phang Nga province – a short distance from Phuket. Tha Khao Beach presents visitors at high tide with crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches. At low tide, a magical world of wildlife is revealed, with crabs darting through the sand, perfect for entertaining the nature-loving family.
Tha Khao Beach is also near a functioning fishing village, where families can see fishermen and vibrant buildings dotting the landscape. Finally, the impeccable view of the Hong Islands from the beach is a sight for revelers of any age.
Family-Friendly Cultural Experiences
There are many fun things to do and see in Thailand that children will love. For older children, a visit to a Buddhist temple provides not just a fantastic look at some breathtaking architecture but a lesson in the history of the Thai people. Some of the most family-friendly temples of Thailand leave plenty of room to satiate the curiosity of anyone of any age.
Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai
Also known as the White Temple, the famous Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai is a marvel of architectural design and a lesson in Thai history. The temple, rebuilt in 1997, is now considered an art exhibit for revelers to come and photograph.
Hidden within the temple’s main hall, artist Chalermchai Kositpipat has dreamt up elaborately unconventional murals, primarily focused on Western pop cultural references. Flames and the face of a giant demon whose mouth makes the doorway is then paired with Hello Kitty, Elvis, Harry Potter, a few Pokémon, Spider-Man, Iron Man, a Transformer, Neo from The Matrix, Superman, Captain Jack Sparrow, and even Michael Jackson.
The temple is open to the public, but donations are accepted.
Khao Sok National Park
At Khao Sok National Park, you can experience everything from one of Asia’s oldest rainforests to Rajjaprabha Dam (Chiao Lan Dam), a stunning reservoir home to deep green waters, cascading waterfalls, and unique flora, including the Rafflesia kerrii, one of the most giant flowers on earth. Known as the dinosaur flower, the Rafflesia kerrii is a deep scarlet red. But don’t get too close, as it’s also known for its less-than-perfumey smell!
Khao Sok National Park is a veritable paradise for hikers, swimmers, and kayakers.
Khao Sok National Park also offers lodging for those looking to stay a while, with camping as well as bungalows, which come with a kayak for use during your stay. Tour packages are also available for the park.
Sukhothai is home to the Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Park containing ruins and carvings. The park can be seen in about two days and is perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring.
The park covers an area of over 70 square kilometers and contains the ruins of many important temples, palaces, and monuments that date back to the 13th century. Visitors to the park can witness the grandeur of ancient Thai architecture and learn about the cultural and historical significance of the Sukhothai kingdom.
The park also offers a peaceful and beautiful environment for visitors to relax, with lush green gardens, serene ponds, and stunning Buddhist monuments scattered throughout the grounds. Overall, Sukhothai Historical Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Thailand’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Ayutthaya is another historically significant area of Thailand. There are many ruins to explore and rivers where you can take a longtail boat ride or hop on a frog-shaped tuk-tuk. Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage park with ruins of Thailand’s former capital.
Ayutthaya also boasts an impressive museum, The Million Toy Museum, which will surely be a hit with children and children at heart. The museum contains modern and antique toys and features a beautiful garden and quaint cafe for visitors to enjoy while on the premises.
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
For those fascinated by these stunning pachyderms, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is an ethical elephant sanctuary that houses elderly and injured elephants. Visitors are welcome to stop by and view these magnificent animals by traversing a 600-meter-long walkway that takes visitors above the refuge.
For those looking to get on the ground, there are also guided tours of the expansive 30-acre park, which allow for some spectacular views of the elephants.
There’s no denying that Thai food is some of the best cuisines in the world. Thai recipes are not usually complicated to make but often require special techniques that the masters best teach. Many classes even offer to take students to the market or through a garden to collect and learn about various ingredients that will go into a dish.
Cooking lessons in Thailand are fun for the whole family. Many instructors speak English, making the classes more accessible to children.
The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is a very family-friendly city if you know the right places to go.
Bangkok is home to many day and night markets, where artisans peddle wares such as jewelry, clothing, ornate silk fabrics, and souvenirs. They also have ample Thai street food for tasting to introduce your family’s palate to new cuisine. Vendors can customize any dish to suit any level of spice tolerance.
Bangkok is also home to Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. Housed in the Siam Paragon Mall basement, the aquarium joins such fun excursions as Dream World, a famous waterpark, and the Children’s Discovery Museum.
Phuket has roughly 30 beaches to choose from and is a great family-friendly spot. Here, you can find inclusive resorts with beach access and pools. Phuket is also home to water parks, zip lining, watersports, go-karting, museums, and mini golf.
Temples, hiking, biking, and more are also available for the adventurous family, as is terrific cuisine.
If you’re looking for a breathtaking backdrop to family fun, Phuket is a must-see on your family’s Thailand vacation.
Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a vibrant and culturally rich city, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Some of the most popular things to do in Chiang Mai include visiting the historic city walls and moat, exploring the famous night markets, and taking cooking classes to learn about Thai cuisine.
For those interested in Thai culture and history, visiting the ancient temples of Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang is a must. Adventure seekers can enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking through the city’s lush forests, visiting elephant sanctuaries, and rafting down the Mae Taeng River.
Shopping is also a popular pastime in Chiang Mai, with street markets, boutiques, and artisan shops selling handmade crafts, textiles, and jewelry. Visitors can enjoy live music, street performances, and traditional dance shows at night.
With so much to see and do, Chiang Mai is a perfect destination for anyone looking to experience Thailand’s unique culture and natural beauty.
Kanchanaburi, Thailand, offers a variety of activities for families with kids. The famous Death Railway and the Bridge Over the River Kwai are must-see historical landmarks.
The Erawan National Park is an excellent choice for a day trip with its seven-tiered waterfall and scenic hiking trails. The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is another popular attraction where visitors can learn about the experiences of Allied prisoners of war during World War II. Children will enjoy the interactive exhibits at the JEATH War Museum and the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre.
For a more laid-back experience, families can take a boat ride along the river to watch fireflies, visit the Kanchanaburi Night Market, or relax at one of the many resorts or hot springs in the area. Kanachanaburi is the perfect stop on your family-friendly Thailand vacation!
The Vacation of a Lifetime
Whether you’re looking to relax, learn more about Thai culture, climb a mountain, explore a cave, fly through the sky on a zip line, or meet some new elephant friends, Thailand truly has something to enthrall everyone in the family.
With a bit of research and planning, you’ll find there are many activities to make a family-friendly Thailand vacation; visiting the Land of Smiles is a trip that your clan will never forget!