Over the past years, Thailand has worked hard to create more family-friendly destinations to help better cater to the needs of visitors travelling with kids. There are plenty of reasons why Thailand is one of the most perfect destinations for families travelling to Southeast Asia. With an extremely warm and welcoming population and incredibly delicious food, your children will surely come home wanting another holiday in Thailand.
Thailand is considered one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. That being said, no country is a hundred percent safe. Like any other country, Thailand is ripe for opportunistic crimes, including pickpocketing, burglary, and scams. These are more common in the big cities of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. Thugs also often target travellers who changed money at currency exchanges.
In addition to the risks mentioned above, some of the country’s beaches may lack enough lifeguards. This puts tourists in danger if no one warns them about rip tides, which can bring about waves as high as four feet. There is also a possibility of jellyfish stings, especially during rainy seasons.
In terms of travel, Thailand offers taxis and tuk-tuks that are generally safe. However, there have been incidences where taxi drivers overcharge tourists or harass Grab drivers (and their passengers) for charging lower fares. As such, it is advised to organize your travel with your hotel. The drivers they partner with are less likely to rip you off. If you enter a taxi, make sure the meter starts reading at 35 Thai Baht.
Thailand does not follow a four-season weather pattern. The warm season, also known as the peak season, lasts from November through to April. During this time, temperatures range from 84℉ to 97℉ (28℃ to 36℃). The Lower Gulf, however, is a major exception as it is the rainiest from September to December.
That being said, the climate varies throughout the country, which means you can visit all year round.
Children are celebrated and loved in the Land of Smiles, making it a great holiday destination for families. The country has the right ingredients for a memorable holiday, including gorgeous sandy beaches, diverse nature, and exciting attractions. That being said, it is important to remember that some destinations are more suitable for travellers with kids than others.
Located along the southwest coast, Khao Lak is an incredible destination for families looking for Thai beach life. This tourist-oriented coastal destination covers several miles of soft sand and family resorts and restaurants offering affordable Thai and Western food.
The nightlife is minimal in Khao Lak. But what it lacks in parties it makes up for its series of night markets and boutiques. Additionally, the overall mood is laid-back, giving everyone a chance to relax and rewind.
Why Khao Lak?
Khao Lak, specifically Thap Lamu Pier, is a popular jumping-off point for day trips to the beautiful Similan Islands, which offers some of the finest diving and snorkelling excursions in the world.
Khao Lak is also home to a number of world-renowned beaches, including Nang Thong, where tourists often come to take photos alongside an offshore light tower (which is featured in many sunset photos). There are also the nearby beaches of Bang Niang, Pakarang, Maphrao, Pak Weep, and Bang Sak—each of which is home to family-friendly resorts.
Home to over one million people, Chiang Mai is a scenic city in Thailand’s north famously known for its family-friendly temples, markets and wildlife. The city is a great destination of choice for families, especially those who are coming to Thailand for the first time.
Chiang Mai is a popular tourist destination, which means families won’t be hard-pressed to find a place to stay. There are also plenty of restaurants and family-run eateries in the city’s historic district offering a range of food options that your kids will surely love.
Why Chiang Mai?
There’s plenty for families to see and do in Chiang Mai. Firstly, it’s home to towering 14th to 17th-century Lanna-style temples featuring gilded surfaces and multi-tiered sloped roofs. The city’s Mae Ping River is also near sprawling monasteries and towering chedis honouring Chiang Mai’s Lanna legacy.
The city is also famous for its night markets, particularly the Saturday and Sunday “walking street” where local craftsmen and artists gather to sell their wares and showcase their works. In fact, some artists also create their products and portraits on the spot. The walking streets also offer a variety of Thai street food, such as grilled meat or veggie sticks, noodle soups, pad thai, and papaya salad.
Another highlight for families visiting Chiang Mai is the city’s Elephant Nature Park, a popular sanctuary leading the way to educate visitors about ethical elephant tourism.
Located along the River Kwai, and in the province of the same name, Kanchanaburi is a scenic and historic town with a long and dark history. In fact, it is home to the Death Railway Bridge, a railway that claimed the lives of a sheer number of lives during construction, including British, Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war.
Just steps away from the Death Railway Bridge are the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, which commemorates prisoners of war who died building the railway; the JEATH War Museum, which chronicles the region’s World War II history; and the Ban Kao National Museum, which displays Kanchanaburi’s regional and natural history.
Kanchanaburi’s sobering history is balanced by a wide range of natural attractions, including the popular Erawan waterfall and the slightly remote Huai Mae Khamin waterfall. Kanchanaburi is also near the misty lakeside town of Sangkhlaburi where families can go for a quick swim.
It is important to note that while Kanchanaburi is generally family-friendly, the southern end of Mae Nam Kwai Road is a nightlife area. If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly setting, we recommend staying near the northern end of this road or along the river’s west bank.
Koh Mak and Koh Kood are two beautiful islands in the Koh Chang archipelago that offers amazing island holidays for families. Spending a few days on each of these islands is sure to give you reenergize you for the rest of your Thailand holiday.
Why Koh Mak and Koh Kood?
Koh Mak and Koh Kood offer different vibes and accommodations to travellers. Koh Mak, a star-shaped island, allows guests to travel around on bicycles and explore the gently rolling hills and terrain of the island’s pineapple and rubber farms. Additionally, it is also near the islets of Koh Rang, known as a prime snorkelling and diving destination; Koh Kradat, where herds of deers roam freely; and Koh Kham, where the island’s two main beaches are located.
Koh Kood, on the other hand, is a larger island that serves as a home to more than a dozen of the country’s finest beaches. The island is also home to mangrove-draped rivers, three waterfalls, and centuries-old Macca trees.
Located south of Krabi on the Andaman coast is the peaceful province of Trang. Compared to its neighbouring provinces, Trang does not see as many tourists. However, the province offers some of the best island-hopping experiences for holidaygoers who drop by.
There are plenty of reasons why Trang is worth a chance. Firstly, the province offers some of the best kid-friendly Thai dishes in the country—from dim sum to deep-fried tofu to steamed buns and roast pork.
Secondly, the smaller islands of Ko Kradan and Ko Ngai offer fine family-friendly resorts settled near colourful reefs for snorkelling activities and forest trails and coves for trekking activities.
Lastly, Ko Libong Island offers tourists a chance to see one of the last herds of dugongs (manatees) living in Thailand. In fact, there are boat tours that can take families close to some of these endangered creatures.
Thailand offers a wide array of delicious and unique dishes that can be enjoyed by children visiting the country. Here are some popular and child-friendly Thai dishes that you might consider:
This classic Thai stir-fried noodle dish is a quintessential item on most Thai menus. The dish is usually made with rice noodles, eggs, tofu or shrimp, bean sprouts, and a sweet tangy sauce. Typically, the noodles are mild in flavor and generally well-liked by children. Some restaurants, however, serve Pad Thai with sliced chilis.
You can never go wrong with Thai-style fried rice. Locally known as Khao Pad, Thai fried rice is similar to the classic fried rice bowls found in many other cuisines. There are many variations to this dish. It typically includes rice, eggs, vegetables, and your choice of protein such as chicken or shrimp. One of the best (and safest) kid-friendly choices, however, is the American fried rice, which comes with a fried egg on top.
Honestly, who doesn’t love good ol’ fried chicken? Often found in Phuket, this fuss-free, kid-friendly meal serves chopped-up fried rice along with a good helping of sticky rice. To top it off, vendors also sprinkle crispy fried shallots, giving this dish that signature salty and umami flavour.
It is important to look out for the occasional shard of bone as vendors chop up an entire fried chicken using a meat cleaver.
If there is any dish that can easily be associated with Thailand, that’s Mango Sticky Rice. A popular Thai dessert, this dish consists of sticky rice topped with fresh mango slices and drizzled with sweet coconut milk. It’s a delightful treat that appeals to kids with its combination of textures and flavours.
This dish can be found just about anywhere, from high-end restaurants to stalls in the country’s many night markets.
A meal is never complete without a bite of something sweet. Banana pancakes, also known as Roti, feature bite-sized pancakes with a variety of fillings, including chocolate syrup, Nutella, strawberries, and eggs. The pancakes are then coated in a generous drizzle of condensed milk or more chocolate syrup.
Banana pancakes are often sold by street vendors in the night markets and small local eateries.
Satay is a Thai dish that features skewered and marinated meat. The most common version of this is Chicken Satay, which are skewered and grilled chicken pieces that were marinated in a flavourful blend of spices and served with a peanut sauce.
Some vendors might sell Chicken Satays with peanut sauce and chillies, but the flavour is often mild enough that it is still enjoyable for children with low tolerance for spice.
Tom Yum Soup is a classic Thai dish made with a base of chicken broth or shrimp stock that has been infused with aromatics, including lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai red chillies.
While this spicy and sour soup may not be suitable for all children, it can be a hit with those who enjoy a little heat. You can request a milder version with reduced spiciness and choose a kid-friendly protein like shrimp or chicken.
Dim sum is famous in Chinese cuisine… so much so that it has become a favourite among locals in cities across Thailand. These little steamed bowls are often served any time of the day. In fact, you can find plenty of smaller local restaurants serving dim sum for breakfast.
Dim Sum has a wide variety of fillings, none of which are spicy. One of the top dim sum choices among Thai locals is the shumai—a pork and shrimp dumpling wrapped in a noodle wrapper.
Thailand is famous for its abundant tropical fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, watermelons, and dragon fruits. These fruits are refreshing, healthy, and widely available throughout the country.
Omelettes are often fluffy and involve the use of milk. However, in Thailand, omelettes are made with eggs, fish sauce, and spring onions to make a truly savoury recipe. These omelettes are less fluffy than those made back home, but they go incredibly well with a bowl of steamed rice. It is simple, healthy, and most importantly, spice-free.