Thailand is a great destination for family holidays. Good infrastructure and facilities makes traveling in Thailand with the kids effortless. Shops are well equipped with diapers and other baby care necessities.
Health is not a great concern, since Thailand is rather clean and hygienic – at least compared to many other tropical countries. And Thailand’s private medical care facilities are world class.
If your family gets struck by a sudden bout of homesickness in Thailand, it is easy to find good food from your home country – no matter where you are from. It is guaranteed that at least your kids will appreciate the familiar food pretty fast.
And best of all: Thais really love children. Your kids will get a lot of positive attention from the locals. Staff at restaurants will be more than happy to play with your children while you and your partner are having a little quality time together over a relaxing meal without the need to entertain the kids yourself.
But where should you head for a family vacation in Thailand?
First of all, select a hotel with a good swimming pool. The children usually prefer the pool over the sea, and you won’t need much else to keep them entertained. The kids can play for ages in the pool, and your only concern will be how to get them out of there.
Read more: Thailand’s Best Hotels for Families
Phuket for families – Good Pools and Loads to Do
The most versatile family destination in Thailand is Phuket, where your children will be entertained with an endless array of things to do, be it elephant riding, water parks, zip-lines in the jungle, rolling down hills on a Zorb ball, snorkeling, visiting an aquarium or a dinosaur themed mini golf course, aside from swimming.
Phuket has a number of especially kid-friendly hotels with superb pools like the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket.
Traveling to Phuket with children is easy with direct charter flights from all over Europe and frequent flight connections from Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian travel hubs.
Which beach you stay in in Phuket will make a great difference to your holiday. Some beaches get very busy while others are surprisingly quiet. Read more about Phuket’s best beaches, hotels and activities for kids on Phuket with Kids
Hua Hin with Kids – Easy to Reach from Bangkok
Another popular family holiday destination in Thailand is Hua Hin, which can be reached in just over two hours by taxi from the Bangkok international airport (taxis are cheap in Thailand).
Hua Hin’s strengths as a destination for kids are great hotels with superb swimming pools and good shopping malls to keep the kids entertained.
Hua Hin is a much more compact destination than Phuket, which makes it cheap and easy to move around. The taxis in Hua Hin cost much less than in Phuket.
Both Phuket and Hua Hin have excellent international hospitals, so your kids will be in safe hands.
Which one is better for you and your family, Hua Hin or Phuket? Read more: Phuket vs. Hua Hin
Cha-Am’s Easy-going Charm
An easy-going alternative to Hua Hin for a family holiday is Cha-Am, which is situated just 20 kilometers away from Hua Hin. Cha-Am is smaller and more rustic, and life in here is focused right on the beach, whereas Hua Hin is a much bigger coastal town where quite a few of the restaurants and other services are inland.
Cha-Am is also a bit cheaper than Hua Hin or Phuket. The abundance of Hua Hin’s services, however, is only twenty minutes away by taxi.
Cha-Am’s best family-friendly hotels are the luxurious Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa and affordable The Cha-Am Methavalai, both of them having excellent pool areas. Sheraton is on its own quiet and cozy beach between Cha-Am and Hua Hin, whereas Methavalai is located in the main Cha-Am beach village with plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Dolphin Bay has Thailand’s Best Hotel for Families
Less than an hour south of Hua Hin is Dolphin Bay (also known as Sam Roi Yot Beach), a very quiet beach destination, with almost all the travelers being families. This is a favorite long-weekend destination for many of Bangkok’s expat to come with their kids.
There are only a handful of hotels in Dolphin Bay, the most popular of them being the namesake Dolphin Bay Resort, one of Thailand’s most family-friendly hotels all throughout.
Pretty much everything in Dolphin Bay Resort has been designed with children in mind, starting from the breakfasts that are served next to the kid’s pool. Adults have plenty of time to sip their morning coffee in peace while the kids can frolic in the pool.
Ko Lanta – Thailand’s Best Island for Families
If one should choose one island in Thailand that is best for families, our pick is Ko Lanta. You won’t find many fancy swimming pools in Ko Lanta, but Ko Lanta has a wonderful relaxing island atmosphere, and the beaches are long, beautiful and peaceful – and popular with families. Your kids will certainly find new friends to play with on Ko Lanta.
There are also enough of things to do to in Ko Lanta to keep your kids happy: you can ride an elephant to the waterfalls and kayak in the middle of a mangrove forest. Snorkeling can be done on a day trip.
Read more: Ko Lanta with Kids
Thailand’s Kid-Friendly Paradise Islands
Ko Lanta is one of Thailand’s most charming islands indeed. But if you are looking for shining white sand and crystal clear water, you have to travel to smaller islands further offshore. There are two especially good small paradise islands for families, both completely free of cars and other motorized vehicles.
A boat ride away from Ko Lanta is Ko Kradan, which is surrounded by coral reefs. Ko Kradan’s main beach is stunningly beautiful. What’s especially good for children is that big trees line the beach, and in some places their shadows reach out to the sea meaning the kids can splash in the water under the shade even in the middle of the day when the sun is at its fiercest.
Kradan is a true isolated island. There’s never been a permanent settlement on the island, and even now there are only a handful of guesthouses. The only up-market place is the elegant The Sevenseas Resort, which even has a small swimming pool.
The other places on the island are simple, hut style guesthouses. The best of the lot is Kradan Island Resort, which has cheap and fun, two-storey bamboo bungalows for families.
An alternative for Ko Kradan as a child-friendly paradise island could be Ko Bulon Lee (also written as Ko Bulone), which is even less known than Ko Kradan. The big difference between the two islands is that whereas Ko Kradan don’t have any local settlement, Ko Bulon Lee has a small fisherman village, what brings a bit of local flavor to the island life.
Ko Bulon Lee attracts adventurous families, who want to enjoy simple island life and are not afraid of a long boat trip to the open seas. Traveler’s kids play here among the local fishermen’s children.
Ko Samet, Island Paradise Close To Bangkok
If you don’t want to travel all that far with the kids, you can opt for the closest paradise island to Bangkok, which is Ko Samet. The island has wonderful powdery white sand and the sea gets nice shades of turquoise. Ko Samet is only a three-hour drive and a short boat ride away from Bangkok. The best choice for a hotel on the island is Sai Kaew Beach Resort, which has two pools and a perfect location.
On the way to Ko Samet you can stop in Pattaya and spend a memorable couple of days at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, an amazing family-friendly hotel with a gigantic pool that beats most water parks with its water slides, “lazy rivers” and swim through tunnels.
Yeah, yeah, we know. Pattaya is notorious as an age-old sex tourism destination but it also has a family-friendly side with some great hotels and loads of things to do. Read more: Why Kids Love Pattaya?