In traditional Thai culture, family has always been important. And that effortlessly extends into the tourism sector making Thailand one of the best destinations in the world for a family holiday. We’ve asked UK holiday company, Tropical Sky, for their recommendations for a family holiday in Thailand.
There are ethical ways to get up close to elephants, such as a visit to an elephant sanctuary like the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Run by, Lek Chailert, an award-winning conservationist, Elephant Nature Park is dedicated to rescuing injured and mistreated elephants. Rather than riding the elephants, you’ll enjoy personal interactions, observing their personalities, feeding them and even bathing them.
If close encounters with elephants is a priority on your trip, you may want to consider a stay at Elephant Hills. Thailand’s first luxury tent camp is located in the south of the country in beautiful Khao Sok National Park. Taking inspiration from African safari reserves, Elephant Hills offers an immersive jungle experience which combines luxury with responsible tourism. You’ll learn about local village life and conservation efforts and, while it’s strictly forbidden to ride the animals, there are 11 elephants that you can watch freely roam as well as feed and bathe them.
Watch wildlife at Khao Yai National Park
There are many other opportunities for wildlife watching in Thailand, including Khao Yai National Park. The massive National Park straddles four of Thailand’s north-east provinces and features a lush mountain landscape dotted with magnificent waterfalls. The area is home to more than 300 bird species and nearly 70 species of mammals, including elephants, gibbons, bears and deer.
Sample exotic fruits at a floating market
Even the pickiest kids are likely to be fascinated with all the exotic fruits they’ve probably never seen before at Thailand’s floating markets. Many of the best are in and around Bangkok including the especially popular Damnoen Saduak floating market just to the west of the Thai capital in Ratchaburi province. Seeing the river houses raised on stilts with farmers selling their produce and other wares on the wooden boats is an education in itself.
Sample something you’ve never tried and get the kids interested in doing the same. The colourful market is jam-packed with vendors who are cooking up Thai dishes or selling produce while paddling boats on the river. You can also pick up some cheap souvenirs, or even have a meal served to you from a boat via a fishing pole.
Phuket is famous for its beaches, but there are so many family-friendly activities on the island which make Phuket a good choice for a family holiday. These are our top tips for families holidaying in Phuket
Visit the upside-down house
Phuket is one of the few places in the world where you can see a house that was built upside down. At Baan Teelanka, everything is the opposite of what you’d expect. Not only is the home upside down, but all of its furnishings are too.
Soak up the fun at Splash Jungle Waterpark
Located inside the Grand West Sands Villa Phuket on Mai Khao Beach, Splash Jungle Waterpark includes a lazy river, water rides, water slides and a wave pool.
At Surf House Phuket, visitors of all ages can ride the waves every day, no matter what the weather is like. If you’d prefer to kick back and relax, there is an adjacent bar and restaurant to enjoy while the younger ones get to try surfing under expert supervision.
Some of the best family-friendly hotels can be found on the islands of Ko Samui and Phuket. And on the mainland, Hua Hin is another good choice for a family beach holiday. Hua Hin is only around 3 hours by road from Bangkok, making it a solid option for a twin-centre break combined with the Thai capital. These are some of our top picks for family hotels in Thailand:
Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, Phuket
This lush, luxurious property sits on the unspoiled sands of Mai Khao Beach with spacious villas and private pools. The kids can enjoy all the entertainment and activities the Turtles Club offers, like arts and crafts and nature excursions. And adults can enjoy decadent spa treatments or an evening out sipping cocktails and dining on Thai-style tapas at The Tree House.
Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf & Spa, Ko Samui
For families looking for a mix of beach time, golfing and spa treatments, Santiburi Beach Resort on Ko Samui is ideal. It has an activity centre dedicated to the younger ones, including table tennis, darts, and a room with video games and a PlayStation, as well as offering fun workshops, classes and sports. Parents will appreciate the spa massage treatments and the luxurious indoor and outdoor baths.
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Hua Hin
Staying at Centara Grand in Hua Hin allows all the family to enjoy the beautiful grounds of this elegant hotel. Easy to reach from Bangkok, this colonial-style beachfront property offers loads of activities to keep you and your children entertained. With four gorgeous swimming pools, special programmes geared for children and teens, a selection of nearby golf courses, and luxurious spa treatments, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas should keep all the family happy.
Keen to explore Thailand on a family holiday? Let Tropical Sky help you out.
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