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The Ultimate Guide to a Family Vacation in Thailand

Written by
Kit Wong

Published on: October 12th, 2017

Last modified: July 27th, 2023

This Southeast Asian gem is a dream come true for many travellers – but is Thailand good for families? Absolutely. From bustling cities and flavourful food to idyllic beaches and majestic temples, it’s bursting with family-friendly activities. Whether you’re seeking adventure, wildlife, culture or cuisine, Thailand is an ideal destination for all ages.

We’ve asked our travel designers to share their tips for the perfect family trip to Thailand. According to them, this is an incredibly friendly country where family is highly valued – plus, it boasts lovely weather and plenty of family-friendly accommodation. With that in mind, here’s our ultimate guide to Thailand for families.

What to Know When Travelling to Thailand with Children

 

When preparing for family holidays in Thailand, there are some important things to consider. For example, what’s the best time to visit Thailand with kids? And how long should you stay in each place? Below we’ll answer these questions and more.

The Best Time to Travel to Thailand with Children

In Thailand, the year is divided into three seasons: rainy (June – October), cool (November to March) and hot (March – June). Each one has its pros and cons; temperatures soar in the hot season, but it’s also full of fun festivals. The rainy season brings monsoons, as well as lush green landscapes.

 

chiang-rai-countryside

The cool season is generally considered the best time to visit Thailand, as the weather is less extreme – so everyone in your family will be comfortable. But you might prefer the shoulder season from April to June (when it’s less rainy) or September to October (for smaller crowds).

How Long Should a Family Trip to Thailand Be?

For family trips to Thailand, we recommend spending at least a few days in each place – so the length of your trip will depend on how many places you want to visit. To start with, our travel designers suggest spending two nights in Bangkok to enjoy its food, culture and history.

Then you can head north to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, where the whole family will be enthralled with ancient temples, local traditions and thrilling outdoor adventures. You’ll need at least three nights here to fully experience it.

 

Finally, we suggest spending up to five nights in one of Thailand’s top coastal destinations, like Phuket or Koh Samui. Travellers of all ages will love the sandy beaches, turquoise waters and relaxed vibe – not to mention some of the best family resorts in Thailand.

If your family is interested in history, you can also tack on time in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or if remote beaches and fishing villages are more your style, get off the beaten track for a few days in Koh Kood.

How to Respect Thai Culture

Thailand is a Buddhist country, and there are some cultural practices that travellers of all ages should be aware of. When visiting a temple or rural area, you should cover your shoulders and legs out of respect – so make sure to pack thin layers for everyone in your family. It’s also common to remove your shoes when entering Thai houses and certain temples. 

Doi Suthep temple, landmark of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Remember that you should always ask permission before taking photos of people, and avoid touching anyone on the head, as this is considered disrespectful. As long as you and your family stay aware and open-minded, you’ll find that Thai culture is incredibly welcoming.

Where to Go in Thailand with Family

 

Every region of Thailand offers an endless array of activities, whether you’re looking for a deep dive into local culture or a meaningful experience with wildlife. No matter where you are, you’ll find something to entertain and amaze each member of your family.

That said, different parts of Thailand are ideal for certain interests. In this section we’ll share the most family-friendly aspects of each destination, with suggestions for what to do and see in some of our favourite cities and regions.

Chiang Mai – Best for Cooking Classes

There’s nothing else quite like Thai cuisine, and there’s no better place to learn about it than Chiang Mai. Here your family can take a Thai cooking class to discover the secrets of local dishes. You’ll visit the market for ingredients, prepare a traditional meal and enjoy the fruits of your labour together.

Bangkok – Best for Markets & Street Food

If you want to taste as much Thai food as possible, Bangkok is the place for you. This lively city is chock-full of street food stalls and local markets where you’ll find authentic cuisine. Make sure to check out the fascinating floating markets and explore the city on an exciting tuk tuk tour.

Chiang Rai – Best for Culture

Some cultural experiences can be exhausting for families, but Chiang Rai has much more to offer than museums. Here you can tour the magical White Temple or visit the surrounding hill tribes to get a glimpse into local culture. We guarantee that these excursions will hold the attention of children and adults alike.

Phuket – Best for Outdoor Activities

Phuket is an ideal destination for adventurous families. Hop in a kayak to discover hidden caves, go ziplining through the forest, hike to a waterfall or arrange a private boat trip to go island hopping. After all the exploring, parents can enjoy some much-deserved relaxation on the beaches of Phang Nga Bay.

Kanchanaburi – Best for Elephants

Located west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is among the best, responsible, places in Thailand to see elephants. It’s home to Elephant Haven Thailand, where the animals roam free and the focus is on education and observation. Here kids can learn about these majestic creatures in an ethical and sustainable setting.

Koh Samui – Best for Snorkelling

If you want to discover Thailand’s brilliant underwater world, Koh Samui is hard to beat. This pristine island offers some of the country’s best snorkelling, which your family can enjoy on a private boat expedition. In Ang Thong Marine Park you can expect to see coral reefs, tropical fish and even whale sharks.

Luxury family accommodation in Thailand

There are many incredible places to stay in Thailand. Here are some of our favourites, handpicked by our travel designers:

Ready to plan your adventure?
Whatever you want from your Thailand tour, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.