Family Fun in the Land of Smiles


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Family Fun in the Land of Smiles

Thailand is a popular destination for families and is well geared to provide a memorable holiday for your clan.

Couple on river in Thailand

The ‘Land of Smiles’ is a country of contrasts and offers the big city life of Bangkok to laid back rural villages and white sandy beaches. Thai people are also some of the warmest and welcoming on the planet and you will be best friends with someone you’ve just met!

Thailand for families is whatever you want to make it – from a relaxing break to a more adventurous holiday packed full of thrill seeking activities. The country has a well-established tourist infrastructure to make your stay a memorable one.

Here are a few things to do with your family in Thailand, plus some practical tips to make your stay an enjoyable one:

Life's A Beach

Thai Island rock formations aqua coloured water

Hanging around the beach is by far one of the most popular things to do in Thailand, especially around the Phuket area which has direct flights from Australia. Whilst most beach areas cater for families, two particularly family friendly locations are the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Lanta.

There are plenty of options available to keep the entire family occupied such as snorkelling, sailing, kayaking or just lazing on the beach. For the movie buffs, a visit to “James Bond Island” (Khao Phing Kan) is an interesting day trip from Phuket to experience the real life set where the movie adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel “The Man With The Golden Gun” was filmed.

Culture and Food

Thai Island rock formations aqua coloured water

Thai food is probably some of the most mouth-watering in the world and is incredibly diverse. Good options for kids include noodles, dumplings, barbecue pork or sticky rice. While many Thai dishes are spicy, you can always ask to have the spiciness removed so your kids won’t find them too hot. However, western style food is readily available, especially in areas frequented by tourists.

Activities

Snorkelling kids tropical island

From national parks, waterfalls, to caves, Thailand provides many opportunities to experience the great outdoors. There are also numerous theme parks, play centres and zoos around to keep the kids occupied.

For the thrill seekers, the Flying Hanuman zip line near Phuket is something the whole family can undertake. Located within a rainforest, the zip lining experience involves zooming through the canopy on a series of zip lines suspended between trees.

For something quirky, Phuket has a couple of attractions that are little offbeat. Baan Teelanka is a fully furnished house that is literally built upside down – the roof is on the ground with the floor as the roof! The Phuket Trickeye Museum is an interactive experience and contains many three dimensional paintings that are going fool your brain and others into thinking you’re somewhere else.

Chiang Mai is good place for families to take their kids to experience traditional Thailand culture, walk among elephants and cycle about town.

Of course, there is always time to go shopping at the local markets or at the large western style shopping centres.

Transport

Colourful tuk tuks

If you’re planning to visit multiple places in Thailand, the country has a good bus, train and flight network to move you around with ease and comfort. Otherwise, private transfers between nearby cities are always an option as they are affordable and timely.

Safety Tips

Bangkok skyline at dusk

Tap water may be unsafe to drink so choose sealed bottled water, which you can get easily and cheaply from many places. It is also recommended that you brush your teeth with it too. Drink plenty of water during the hot and humid days to remain hydrated.

The tropical climate attracts mosquitos, and a mozzie bite can carry infectious diseases such as dengue fever. Make sure you pack and regularly use a DEET-containing insect repellent during your stay.
Tropical beaches and beautiful waterways line the coast of Thailand and can offer some relief from the hot and humid weather. However, they can also attract operators looking to make some quick cash. Petty crime including theft from hotel rooms, pickpocketing and bag-snatching is common, so keep your valuables close to your body and stay alert, particularly in crowded areas.

Take care with adventure activities such as cliff jumping and ski boating as Thailand does not have the same safety standards that you may be used to in Australia. An injury during these activities could be life threatening. Check your policy includes cover for your adventure activity in case of injury — if not it may be possible to add on cover for a small fee.

Other Practicalities

Temple and elephant silhouette

Thailand is a popular destination for families for a very good reason as there is something for every member of the family. Many resorts in Phuket offer kids clubs with events catering for different age groups.

While many people speak English, knowing a few phrases of Thai will take your experiences a long way and you are sure to receive a hearty smile back.

  • "Sawatdee" (Hello/Goodbye)
  • "Khob Khun" (Thank you)
  • "Chai" (Yes)
  • "Mai chai" (No)
  • "Nee Tao Rai?" (How much?)

The electricity is 220 AC voltage so you will not need a converter, but you will require plug adaptors as outlets are either two flat pins or the European style two round pins.

Regardless if you have small or big kids, Thailand is bound to offer something to keep everyone happy during your holiday!