Thailand isn’t just for backpackers. Last year friends of ours took their children there for two months and their experience made me see that Thailand is an amazing destination for families too – whether you choose to backpack or book luxury Thailand holidays your trip to Thailand will be a vibrant experience that you will never forget.
Take a look at our five reasons to visit Thailand with children:
1. Affordable to Travel Around
Although Thailand is quite a trek to get to from the UK (over eleven hours direct flight) once you get there it’s very easy, enjoyable and inexpensive to travel around the country with children due to the different forms of transport available. If travelling with younger children plan a stopover to break up your flight time but older kids should be able to cope with longer flights and there are many strategies you can use for stress free travel to keep them happy.
Once in Thailand cheap domestic flights are available to transport you to different cities around the country if you want to cover as much of Thailand as you can. The buses and trains are good value as well. Travelling on the classic sleeper train from Bangkok to Ko Samhui or Chiang Mai is one of the attractions of the holiday. If you travel by taxi choose one with a meter. In the cities be sure to experience a ride on a Tuk-tuk or cycle rickshaw and you’ll most likely find yourself on a boat during at least one part of the holiday too especially if you visit one of the many Thai islands.
Thailand’s geography is impressive and the beaches are stunning. With over 1,500 miles of coast to choose from you can decide weather to visit a busier tourist beach or to look for a quieter secluded beach to enjoy in peace. Highly recommended beaches in Thailand are Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe (enjoy at least one morning watching the sun rise here) and Freedom Beach in Phuket. While visiting the coast, diving and watching sea turtles is another great activity. Koh Tao, Koh Change and Chumpon are amazing places to dive. Thailand beaches really are paradise.
Thai Culture is greatly influenced by religion, with around 95% of the population being Theravada Buddhist. There are over 40,000 Buddhist Temples and over 30,000 of them are still in use today. Thai’s come to the temples to pray to Buddha and they are also popular tourist spots. As well as being spiritually important they are also stunning- they are among the most beautiful and impressive structure you will ever see. Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn (lets call it Wat Pho) is one of the most popular Buddhist temples and one of the major tourist attractions in Bangkok. For a quieter temple visit consider the ancient temple in Phanom Rung.
Thai markets are popular too. They sell a variety of goods and people say there are no other markets like it. They are colourful to all the senses and kids will love the vibrant scene. Remember to keep your money close to you (as you would in any busy areas) to keep safe. The nighttime markets offer a carnival atmosphere and can be more enjoyable for families especially if you find shopping in the day too humid and stuffy. Learn some Thai expressions and how to barter before you visit.
Sa-wat dee (hello)
Gee baht? (how much?)
Lot noi dai mai? (can you make it cheaper?)
Khop koon (thank you)
4. Thai Food
Thai food is very popular and it’s easy to see why- it’s fresh, healthy and delicious. There is also a lot of variety. There are lots of vegan options available and most Thai restaurants will leave out egg and oyster oil from vegetarian dishes when requested to make them SFV. Be sure to try tofu pad chai, street noodles and bubble tea (vegan if made from coconut milk). If the kids do crave food “from home” westernised dishes are also available and there are lots of international fast food chains in Bangkok. Getting excited seeing familiar shops and restaurants in a different part of the world is part of the experience too.
5. Wildlife – Seeing Elephants
There is an abundance of wildlife to spot in Thailand. Visit Khao Yai National Park, Thailand’s oldest rain forest for the chance to see wild elephants, tigers, bears, porcupines, gibbons, snakes and parrots. A visit to an elephant sanctuary makes an unforgettable experience. Before you visit make sure it is an ethical sanctuary where the rescue elephants are treated well, such as The Happy Elephant Home in Chiang Mai.
Good to Know
To travel to Thailand your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country. If you plan to stay for over thirty days you must apply for a visa.
The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht.
Always visit the Foreign Travel Advice page before you book your trip to Thailand.
Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance and that it includes all the activities that you will be taking part in.
Avoid visiting in March and April if you suffer from asthma or bronchial conditions as the regional smoke haze could affect your health.
There are so many reasons to visit Thailand with kids. As well as all the tourist attractions, children will be happy swimming in a villa pool and relaxing on the shaded sun beds enjoying the view. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country with rich culture, glorious temples and stunning paradise beaches.
Have you visited Thailand?