With such a diverse range of family-friendly destinations to choose from and an exciting range of experiences waiting for you, Thailand is ideal for a family holiday. And if you can only travel during the school holidays, it’s good to know that Thailand is a year round destination. While the summer school holidays in July and August correspond to the high season in Europe, this is actually the low season in Thailand so you can often find good deals on hotels, tours and internal travel. Take a look at our list of seven reasons why we think Thailand is perfect for a family holiday.
1) Importance of family in Thai culture
In traditional Thai culture, family has always been important and that effortlessly extends into the tourism sector helping to make Thailand a welcoming destination for a family holiday. Although many people, especially those involved in the tourism industry, may move away from their family and hometown, family bonds remain strong. If you’re travelling with younger children, don’t be surprised if hotel staff and restaurant workers make a fuss of them in the same way they would with members of their own family. This can take some getting used to if you’re visiting Thailand for the first time, but it is a Thai way of showing respect to you as parents and is a friendly welcome for your children.
With family being so important in Thai culture, eating out together as a family is common in Thailand. There is also the added bonus that food is another important aspect of Thai culture. This means that many restaurants are welcoming to families and just makes the whole dining experience more relaxed and enjoyable for parents and children alike.
2) Family friendly destinations
Whichever region of Thailand you want to travel to, you have an abundance of choice for a family holiday. Whether you’re looking for a beach holiday, a trip to the mountains or somewhere off the beaten track, Thailand is home to an array of amazing destinations waiting to welcome your family. Visit an ethical elephant centre in Chiang Mai, swim in the calm seas of Ko Lanta and wander off the main tourist trail and visit Chumphon.
If you are looking to book a Thailand beach holiday for your family, the country’s best-known islands and beach resorts tend to offer a little bit of everything. Locations such as Khao Lak, Ko Samui, Krabi and Phuket are a good option which all offer a broad range of accommodation to choose from, a wide selection of restaurants and lots of things to see and do away from the beach. More adventurous families may also enjoy some of the less well-known Thai beach destinations like Khanom and the Trang Islands.
3) Easy to get around
Wherever you want to travel in Thailand, getting around is easy to arrange. With Bangkok located in the centre of the country, internal flights to all regions are quick and convenient. An hour’s flight north brings you to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, while a similar length of journey travelling south brings you to Ko Samui, Krabi or Phuket.
Train travel in Thailand is a very different experience to the UK or Ireland. Travelling by train is all part of the adventure for younger travellers and a great way to see more of the country. Sleeping in comfort on an overnight train between Bangkok and Chiang Mai or making the memorable journey on the historic Death Railway in Kanchanaburi are unforgettable and educational experiences for your children.
Travelling on the modern elevated Skytrain in Bangkok or taking a boat trip along the Chao Phraya River are both fun ways to travel that many children will enjoy. Even a simple short journey by songthaew or tuk-tuk can be exciting. If you want to take your family travel adventures to the next level and earn your children serious bragging rights at school, take a look at the fabulous trips arranged by The Tuk Tuk Club in North Thailand.
4) Great value family hotels
Accommodation in Thailand represents excellent value for money and you’ll find some fabulous family hotels in the main cities and beach resorts. For a fraction of the price you’d pay at most destinations in Europe, you can have a family villa with separate bedrooms, balcony, and a pool. And to make your stay extra safe, many hotels in Thailand have already signed up to the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) scheme. To be granted a certificate under the SHA scheme, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and other facilities need to meet the strict Covid-19 control guidelines issued by the Ministry of Public Health.
5) Amazing attractions
All across Thailand you will find incredible natural attractions like Khao Sok National Park and Tarutao National Marine Park. In addition to all these natural wonders, there are lots of fun attractions to keep children of all ages occupied. Whether you’re splashing around at Vana Nava Water Jungle in Hua Hin or enjoying a game of Football Golf on Ko Samui, there is no shortage of family entertainment in Thailand.
6) Cultural experiences and fun festivals
Whatever time of the year you visit Thailand, there’s a good chance you’ll find a local festival waiting to be enjoyed. One of the most amazing for all the family to enjoy is the Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival. Held annually in April, the event is famous for the good-natured water fights that take place around the country and taking part in this colourful event is something your children will never forget.
Check dates of Thailand festivals here
For a memorable cultural exchange, book a homestay and stay with a local family or visit any of Thailand’s many community based tourism projects and help support responsible tourism. When you arrive in Thailand, hire a registered local guide to show you around and for advice on the best local restaurants to visit with your family, ask for recommendations from the staff at your hotel.
7) Family adventures
We hope we’ve already convinced you that Thailand is ideal for a family holiday. If you still need some persuading on where to go and what to do, check out the first-hand accounts below.
Caroline Dolby-Bingham is a mum of two and a Thailand travel expert for family adventure specialists, Stubborn Mule Travel. From her previous trips to Thailand, Caroline has picked her top 9 (a lucky number in Thai culture) activities in Thailand to suit families with children of all ages. Find out more here: 9 fabulous family friendly activities in Thailand
Journalist Lee Hayhurst and his family are regular visitors to Thailand and recount their experiences travelling from Bangkok to Southern Thailand here: It’s a family affair
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