Kids won’t get bored in Phuket! Thailand’s favorite holiday island has loads of child-friendly activities and sights, and most hotels have great swimming pools and kid’s clubs to keep your little monsters happy.
Phuket’s Family-friendly Beaches and Hotels
The best beaches for families are Karon and Bang Tao. Both have several kid-friendly hotels and resorts.
Karon is a long and mostly quiet beach, just a short drive away from busy Patong Beach’s shopping centers. Karon’s best hotels for families are the Centara Grand Beach Resort, Movenpick Resort & Spa and a much cheaper Phuket Orchid Resort. All three have great pool areas.
Bang Tao is even quieter than Karon. And best of all, Bang Tao’s hotels are located right on the beach, whereas in Karon and almost all the other beaches of Phuket, there is a road or a promenade running between the hotels and the sea. On Bang Tao you can run directly from the hotel’s pool to the sand and the sea.
Great family-friendly hotels on Bang Tao are the Sunwing Resort and Amora Beach Resort. Both have large pool areas. Sunwing is especially designed for families, and the hotel has a very active kids club full of activities thru the day. Amora has a much more laid back feeling (with all the fun for kids the Sunwing Resort can get rather noisy).
Both Karon and Bang Tao have restaurants that offer Western food, if your kids want their pizza fix.
Animal Encounters in Phuket
Phuket has a number of elephant camps, allowing you to ride elephants and feed the gentle giants. By far the best of them is Siam Safari, which has earned official recognition from the Thai government as one the most eco-friendly elephant camps in the country.
Siam Safari’s high quality experience also includes a monkey show, which shows how trained macaque monkeys collect coconuts from palm trees (a common practice in Southern Thailand).
Phuket Aquarium is a nice and affordable spot, though quite small. The highlight is a glass tube where you can walk in the middle of schools of fish. On the way to the aquarium you can stop and relax on Cape Panwa peninsula’s peaceful shores.
What about Phuket Zoo? That one you should give a miss – in Phuket Zoo the animals are kept in cramped and barren cages.
Instead go to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, a gibbon orphanage, where you can marvel at the long-armed and very human-like gibbons at close range. Your money (no entrance fee but donations are highly appreciated) will go to a good cause, as the center is specialized in rehabilitating captive gibbons and introducing them back into the wild.
Phuket’s Underwater Adventures
Kids can learn to snorkel on a day trip to Coral Island, also known as Ko He. Once they are comfortable with the snorkeling gear, you can take them to another trip to the spectacular Ko Racha Yai Island, which has much better coral reefs.
Get Your Kids-Friendly Adrenaline Rush in Phuket
Splash Jungle Water Park has a number of action-packed water slides on Mai Khao Beach, about an hour’s drive from Karon Beach. From Bang Tao Beach the drive is much shorter.
Close to Patong Beach you can bounce down a hill on a Zorb ball, feeling more or less like an Angry Bird on the run (Rollerball Zorbing Phuket).
Phuket has two different zipline tracks, Flying Hanuman and the Cable Jungle Adventures. There’s not a big difference between the two companies. You will be hanging on the tree canopies and sliding from tree to tree on cables hundreds of feet long. Don’t forget to release your mightiest Tarzan-yell!
Hole in One – with the Dinosaurs!
In Dino Park you can play mini-golf amid real-life like dinosaur statues. The mini-golf course is located on a hill between Karon and Kata beaches.
Phuket’s other mini-golf course, Adventure Mini Golf, is located next to Bang Tao Beach, close to Sunwing hotel.
Practice Your Bargaining Skills
The easiest way to do the activities is to organize them through a local travel agent. Tour prices include transportation from your hotel.
Remember to try to haggle down the prices, especially if you are taking the whole family with you. You are most likely to be rewarded with a good discount.