Best Places to Visit In Thailand with Kids
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Best Places to See In Thailand with Kids
Thailand is considered to be a backpackers party hub. The weather, affordability and diversity makes it an amazing travel destination. But not just backpackers flock to Thailand because of this, families do as well.
In the land of smiles, kids are doted on. That’s why Thailand is one of the best family friendly destinations in Southeast Asia.
If you’re planning a Thailand family trip this list of best places to visit in Thailand with kids offers a great source of inspiration. I’ve asked other family travel experts to help me compile a list of must sees. They contributed by sharing destinations in Thailand they loved the most.
This list covers some of the best cities in Thailand to visit and the best islands in Thailand for families. In addition to that, historical and national parks are also amongst the best places to go in Thailand with children.
Getting to and around Thailand with kids
When booking international flights, we always use Expedia.
Once we have arrived at our destination we use 12Go to book domestic flight, bus, train and transfer tickets.
While Thailand is a great country to road trip through by public transportation, there’s also the awesome option of renting your own car for your ultimate family road trip through Thailand. We always opt for Discover Cars.
How to plan a family trip to Thailand
Thailand is a relatively easy destination for families. It gives you a great first taste of Southeast Asia. When thinking about traveling to Thailand or when you’re already planning a family road trip to Thailand my free ultimate beginners guide to planning a family road trip might be helpful.
If you’re a seasoned family traveler do some cherry picking from this list of best places to visit in Thailand with kids and check out this Thailand family holiday itinerary. This itinerary takes you through the country in about 2,5 weeks and along some of the most kid friendly places in Thailand.
Read more >> Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide: Thailand
Best spots to visit with kids in Thailand
Now without further ado, let’s dive into the list of best places to visit in Thailand with kids. From North to South our contributors share the family friendly destinations you should visit when on a family vacation in Thailand.
Best Places to Visit In Thailand With Kids
Chiang Rai Province
Sukhothai Historical Park
Khao Sok National Park
Chiang Rai Province
Tip and picture contributed by Meenakshi from Polka Junction
On a recent family trip to Northern Thailand we opted to explore some of the Chiang Rai Province. Although underrated, our visit to Thailand’s remotest province turned out to be a riveting family experience!
With our kid in tow, we stopped at Mae Kachan to sink our feet in the hot springs. Our first stop in the province of Chiang Rai with kids, that my son thoroughly enjoyed.
We proceeded along the highway towards the striking and Instagrammable White Temple, locally known as Wat Rong Khun. This temple has been under construction since 1997, with new elements being added often to the architecture of the place. While we adults were bowled over by its evolving architectural elements, my son was excited to spot his favorite Michael Jackson mural inside the walls of the temple!
After having spent considerable time exploring the white temple, we reached the banks of the Mekong river — where Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar. This piece of land is known as the Golden Triangle, amply dotted with tourist amenities.
Time spent here on a boat ride along the Mekong river, and also a cross-over to the Laos side to visit its market, made this trip through the Chiang Rai Province a memorable one for us.
Read more about the experiences that Meenakshi and her family had in this region by visiting her blog on Thailand.
Top tours in the Chiang Rai Province with kids
Chiang Mai is a unique blend of Thai and Western culture and almost everyone speaks English. It’s less big and less crowded, but just as amazing as Bangkok. And that makes for a softer landing. Chiang Mai is known as the unofficial capital of Northern Thailand. It offers tons of family friendly adventures.
Our family loves Chiang Mai, we went there twice and will definitely go back again. In and around this wonderful city you can take cooking classes, go on hikes, enjoy scenic bike rides and zip line through the rainforest. And you’ll get lots of chances to visit temples.
Chiang Mai is known as Temple City. When visiting Chiang Mai with kids come up with a mix of temple visits and kid friendly activities like zip lining, renting a bike and exploring the city center. Our top 3 things to do in Chiang Mai are exploring the city by bike, zip lining through the jungle and hiking up to Doi Suthep temple.
Read more >> 8 Things to Do In Chiang Mai With Kids
Top tours in Chiang Mai with kids
Tip and picture contributed by Barbara from Mums on Flip Flops
Pai is a must-visit destination for families! My family and I recently visited this small mountain town in northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province during our family vacation to Thailand, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip.
One of the things we loved about Pai was how relaxed the atmosphere was, which was refreshing after spending time in busy Bangkok and Chiang Mai! We rented a scooter with a sidecar. This gave us a lot of freedom to explore the area at our own pace and the kids loved it too!
We can totally recommend going to the playground in front of homestay Good Life Dasha. This area is a little outside of the center, but it’s the best place to go in Pai with kids. Don’t miss out on the Saturday morning market there either.
There are plenty of things to do in and around Pai to keep you busy for at least a week.
Although it’s said that Northern Thailand is less hot, take that with a grain of salt. November to January is ‘winter’ time, which means that it can get quite chilly at night and early in the morning, but temperatures still rise up to 35°C during the day. So make sure to book a hotel with a pool in Pai. That way the kids can cool off after a busy day of exploring.
Top tours in Pai with kids
Sukhothai Historical Park
Sukhothai is an ancient Siamese city in central Thailand. Not as famous as its southern sister Ayutthaya, but as impressive and without the crowds. A visit to Sukhothai is crucial to understanding the history of Thailand, as it was the capital of the first kingdom of Thailand.
Sukhothai Historical Park is spread out all over the city. There’s the Central Zone, with some of the most impressive and largest temples, like Wat Mahathat. Visiting the North Zone offers a chance to explore Wat Si Chum. While in Sukhothai, don’t skip Wat Sorasak, the elephant temple just outside the Central Zone. All in all, there are 26 temples to see in 5 different zones.
Exploring Sukhothai Historical Park is great with kids. Our family really enjoyed renting bikes and visiting all the different zones at our own pace with our trusty bikes. There are also lots of hotels with pools in the area around the Central Zone. Ideal for a dip after a morning of exploring the temples in the area.
Read more >> 5 things to do in Sukhothai with kids
Top tours in Sukhothai with kids
Tip and picture contributed by Kellie from 4 Worn Passports
Kanchanaburi is a not-to-be-missed gem on every family’s itinerary. Located two hours west of Bangkok, it’s perfect for a 2 to 3 day visit. Our kids loved stopping at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on the way to enjoy mango sticky rice and coconut milk from the vendors floating next to us.
Kanchanaburi is rich in WWII history, it offers many kid-friendly things to do, such as walking across the Death Railway Bridge, famously known from the novel and movie as the Bridge over the River Kwai. Today, this bridge features friendly buskers instead of POW labor.
Don’t miss out on a hike through Hellfire Pass. Our kids loved exploring this beautiful trail while learning about its tragic history.
However, our favorite part of Kanchanaburi was hiking the seven levels of Erawan Falls at the spectacular Erawan National Park. Each level features a unique waterfall. And if you aren’t too ticklish, you can enjoy a poor man’s pedicure from the fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet.
Kanchanaburi is great for kids of all ages, and families with older children should definitely stay at one of the floating raft resorts on the River Kwai.
Kellie wrote a book about 2 sisters ditching school for a journey around the world with their parents, called The Passport Project.
We’re already halfway through this list of 10 best places to visit in Thailand with kids, but don’t worry we still have 5 amazing destinations for you to add to your Thailand family trip itinerary.
Top tours in Kanchanaburi with kids
Tip and picture contributed by Lisa from Flip Flops Globetrotters
We’ve been to Bangkok with kids many times and it’s one of our favorite cities in the world. We love Bangkok’s vibe, great street food and amazing culture.
A Bangkok family visit requires a bit of planning. The traffic is maddening and the sights, sounds and smells can be overpowering for kids. Regardless of the time of year, Bangkok is always hot and humid. So rule number 1 for a fun family trip to Bangkok is to pick a hotel with a pool.
There are thousands of temples in Bangkok, in various shapes and sizes. One of our favorites is Wat Pho, with the massive reclining buddha. Personally, we enjoyed our visit there more than the Grand Palace.
Wat Arun is another great temple to visit with kids. It’s across the Chao Phraya river and the best way to get there is with the Chao Phraya Express river taxi. Another fun thing to do is a khlong tour on a longtail boat. It’s pretty touristy, but a great way to see another side of the city.
Lastly, visiting one of Bangkok’s night and floating markets is perfect for tasting different Thai foods and finding good bargains.
One of our family its fondest travel memories was spending New Year’s Eve in Bangkok, when our son was a toddler.
Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Bangkok With Kids
Top tours in Bangkok with kids
Koh Samet (aka Koh Samed) is an island in the Gulf of Thailand. With its gorgeous white sandy beaches and lush forests it ticks off all the boxes! Koh Samet is the perfect island for a family getaway. Ao Wong Duean Beach is one of the most family friendly beaches with a low-keyed ambience. We absolutely loved our time on this part of the island. No loud music from the bars, no full moon party, lots of family friendly activities and amazing (sea)food.
Koh Samet is easy to get to from Bangkok. Take the bus from Ekkamai Station to Ban Phe pier. This will take about 3,5 hours. A ferry or speedboat will get you to your beach of choice.
There’s lots to see and do on the island. While we got a massage our son played in the sand, looking for little bubbler crabs.
Make sure to be on time for sunset from the beach at least once, and watch the sun disappear behind a sparkling turquoise ocean. Once the darkness arrives the daily fire shows start all over the island.
We also loved to go parasailing (ages 8 and up) for the views and adrenaline rush. All in all, Koh Samet is perfect for families with kids of all ages. Our family stayed for 4 days and we easily could’ve stayed for a week. Next time, we will!
Read more >> 5 Things to Do In Koh Samet With Kids
Top tours on Koh Samet
Tip and picture contributed by Jolene from Wanderlust Storytellers
Koh Samui is a great destination for families of all ages due to the large variety of family friendly activities that you can do. It is also really easy to find some fantastic family-friendly resorts in Koh Samui.
When we traveled to Koh Samui we loved that the island, although popular with tourists, was relaxed enough for us to still enjoy as a family.
Koh Samui has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand with crystal-clear waters. This was perfect for our family as we could enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and even build sandcastles with our youngest.
Our older children loved the fact that they could enjoy water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. The best place to experience Koh Samui’s beautiful wilderness is to explore Ang Thong Marine National Park.
For more adrenaline filled activities, we swooshed through the natural forests of Koh Samui with a ziplining activity.
Other cultural activities that families with children of all ages will enjoy is to explore the island’s cultural attractions, like the Big Buddha Temple and the Fisherman’s Village.
Traveling to Koh Samui with kids is really great any time of year. However the weather is cooler and drier during the months of December and March for families with younger children this may be a better time to travel.
Top tours on Koh Samui with kids
Khao Sok National Park
Tip and picture contributed by Cassandra from Have Kids Still Traveling
Khao Sok National Park, located in Southwest Thailand, is home to most of Thailand’s untouched forests. To date, visiting the jungles of Khao Sok remains one of our most memorable family vacations.
The best time to visit Khao Sok with kids is during the cool season, from the end of October until the end of February. During this time you will enjoy warm temperatures, but skip the sweltering heat and the monsoon rains.
Although there are many activities to enjoy in Khao Sok National Park, our favorite was seeing it from Cheow Lan Lake. Views from the longtail boat were breathtaking. This is a kid friendly activity. Our baby (8 months old) was warmly welcomed by the captain and we saw older kids enjoying a swim with life jackets that were provided.
Another Khao Sok highlight and must do is hiking. There are many trails for all skill levels. One particular hike we will never forget. This attempt was washed away by some of the heaviest, warm raindrops we have ever encountered. Despite the heavy raindrops and lack of shelter we had a great time.
Most of the park’s accommodations are eco-resorts. Our accommodation was an open air hut with mosquito nets around our bed. We enjoyed mornings with monkeys on our doorstep, views of the Klong Sok River and birds chirping.
Our family made some great memories. Visiting Khao Sok National Park with kids is a must do in Thailand.
Top tours in Khao Sok National Park with kids
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Tip and picture contributed by Jo from World Wild Schooling
Last but not least on this compilation of best places to visit in Thailand with kids is Phuket. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, is a paradise for beach lovers with its stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. We love its delicious Thai cuisine coupled with the relaxed vibe and how kid-friendly it is. While the beaches are the main attraction, there are plenty of other activities for families to enjoy.
One of the best things to do with kids in Phuket is the Blue Tree Phuket Water Park. The water slides and huge lagoon are sure to keep everyone entertained. This water park offers a kids club and a water play area for younger kids, making it an ideal destination for families with young children.
Another fun activity is the Dino Park Mini Golf. This mini-golf course has a prehistoric theme, complete with life-size dinosaur statue. The restaurant serves delicious food, making it a great spot for a family meal.
For a day trip, we headed to the Phi Phi islands, which are known for their stunning beaches and natural beauty. Like Maya Beach, famous from Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach”. Monkey Beach, which was the highlight of the trip for our toddler, as it offers the chance to see monkeys in their natural habitat. We even spot one swimming!
Overall, Phuket is a fantastic destination for families looking for a mix of relaxation and adventure. The tropical paradise that is Phuket offers something for everyone.
Top tours in Phuket with kids
Other great destinations to visit in Thailand with kids
That’s the end of this list of best places to visit in Thailand with kids. Here are some other destinations in Thailand that are worth a visit, in no particular order:
- Nakhon Pathom
- Sai Yok National Park
- Hua Hin
- The floating market in Damnoen Saduak