Thailand family holidays

Many travellers fall head over heels for Thailand while backpacking, and then dream of bringing their own kids back to discover the country’s magic. It’s a remarkable place to revisit, some of the SA team have been upwards of half a dozen times and none would lay claim to having 'done Thailand'. Each time we return we find something new and there is no question that it's an ideal fit for families.

Whether you’re cycling around Chiang Mai, kayaking along Bangkok’s klongs, or getting hands-on with ethical wildlife conservation, your holiday can be designed to spark your whole family’s imaginations. 

Balance the high-adrenalin of a Bangkok Muay Thai workshop with chilled out time on Thai island beaches, and watch your children make memories that will fuel a lifetime of love for travel...

Highlights of a Thailand family holiday

  • Walk beside rescued elephants at inspirational conservation projects
  • Pedal and paddle around Thailand’s lush northern landscape
  • Scoff delicious pad thai on a Chiang Mai streetfood tour
  • Imagine yourselves as castaways on remote island beaches
  • Go treasure-hunting through Bangkok’s neon landscape

Our Destination Specialists have both lived and travelled extensively in Thailand and across Asia, researching the best hotels, sights and activities - read all about it in our Thailand travel guides.

You can also visit our ‘when to go’ pages for the best time to visit Thailand based on weather and climate, or get in touch with one of our Thailand specialists to discuss your travel plans.

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Thailand with your kids - what to expect

Thailand is one of Asia’s best-loved destinations, and makes a wonderful ‘first stop’ for families starting out on their travel adventures. There are direct flights from the UK, and kids are always made a fuss of throughout the country!

Thailand’s idyllic islands are as incredible in real life as they appear in glossy photos. Koh Samui balances true Treasure Island vibes with first-rate facilities. Go island hopping around the Angthong Marine National Park, and settle into villa life at the Belmond Napasai, where keen kids can get involved with everything from art classes to tennis and Thai boxing.

As well as lazing on Phuket’s fantastic sands, families can paddle board out in the bay, splash around at a waterpark, and go zorbing, ziplining or trapezing across the island. Keep all ages entertained posing for mind-bending pictures in the optical illusion Trickeye museum, and meet rescued elephants at the island’s pioneering sanctuary. 

If elephants are top of your kids’ wish list, head straight for Elephant Hills in Khao Sok National Park, or further north to Anantara, to get them involved with inspirational elephant care and conservation.

In chilled-out Chiang Mai, inquisitive youngsters will love taking the tuk-tuk between fascinating temples and bustling markets. Go trekking, kayaking and cycling in the surrounding jungle, and get a glimpse of rural family life with a stay at the Khum Lanna farming retreat.

When in Bangkok, take some time out from the bright lights with a boat trip down the canals. Fill up on mango and sticky rice from a street market, get active with a Muay Thai class, and embark on a treasure hunt through the streets. Deciphering clues set by a trained Treasure Hunt Master is a great way to see the city’s top sights, and a few hidden gems, with kid-friendly flair.

Things you’ll all love in Thailand

What to do in Thailand: Discover more with our hand-picked experiences & highlights
Cooking class in Chiang Mai for kids

Get hands-on with a cooking class in Chiang Mai

The whole family will love getting hands-on in this cookery class in a Thai family home, where you'll gain a better understanding of everyday life in Northern Thailand, and enjoy an opportunity to spend time with a local family, learn about traditional basket-weaving and the architecture of traditional Thai homes, before strolling around the local market to gather fresh ingredients for your cooking extravaganza.

Bangkok tuk tuk

We are often questioned over Bangkok's suitability for families - surely a traffic congested city is best avoided? The decision is always a personal one of course, but we love the great public transport links, both by skytrain and boat, world-beating food and an energy like few other cities.  Highlights to consider are Asiatique with its nightly, family-friendly streetfood and market shopping, the Chang Chui Creative Park featuring the shell of a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar among slides, treehouses and swings. 

Immerse yourself in hill tribe village life in Khum Lanna

Immerse yourself in hill tribe village life in Khum Lanna

Hill trekking experiences are commonplace in Northern Thailand, but Khum Lanna stands out from the crowd. Surrounded by rice paddy fields, equidistant between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, this quaint lodge is more than a comfortable trekking base. More akin to a country retreat, it brings the northern region to life through excellent cooking classes, tribal village visits and scenic cycle rides. 

Rainforest experience at Elephant Hills

Rainforest experience at Elephant Hills

Heading deep into the Thai tropical forest for a unique safari experience, you’ll meander down the Sok River in a canoe piloted by your own guide, drinking in the beauty of the distant limestone mountains and rainforest that surrounds you for as far as the eye can see. The highlight of the trip, however, has to be the time you’ll spend feeding and hosing down Elephant Hill’s approachable community of Asian elephants.

Inspire young naturalists with pioneering elephant conservation at Anantara

Inspire young naturalists with pioneering elephant conservation at Anantara

Of all South-East Asia’s wildlife, elephants have had an especially hard time, but well-run rescue facilities like the Anantara’s Elephant Camp are turning the situation around, letting you interact respectfully with the elephants and contribute to their future wellbeing. The Anantara itself provides spotless luxury surrounded by jungle, attentive staff and excellent restaurants.

 
 

Where to rest your head..

Three of our favourite family-friendly hotels in Thailand

Our Thailand Specialists' top tips for families

With quite a few parents among our well-travelled Destination Specialists, we know how important it is to get the finer details sorted before travelling with kids, and we always go the extra mile to make sure they are. We want everyone to enjoy each moment without sweating the small stuff.

If you have any questions, or want to have a chat about planning your family holiday to Thailand, we'd love to have a chat. In the meantime, here are a few FAQs to help you get started…

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