Thailand is a great destination for families. It can be budget friendly or high end, it has mountains, jungles, beaches and islands to explore. There are all kinds of activities for children to partake in such as water sports, cooking classes and riding elephants. It is easy to get around with comfortable trains and buses and lots of choices for accommodations. While it may have a reputation for full moon parties, sex tourism, and craziness, these are easy to avoid and Thailand can offer a whole different side to a traveling family. Below are ten reasons to head to Thailand for your next holiday.
The Beaches – The beach is the perfect destination for a relaxing family holiday. While trekking in the mountains or wandering through art museums risk the potential of a lot of whining and complaining, I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy the beach. Playing in the sand, exploring tidal pools, and swimming are fun for children of all ages. Thailand offers small tropical islands with white sand beaches and turquoise water. Different islands have different feels such as Phuket. Phuket is an island connected to the mainland via a land bridge, making it easy to get to. It has a lot of development but still has beautiful beaches that offer activities like snorkeling, sailing, jet skiing and parasailing. Pattaya is known more as a party destination, though it also has been developing more family friendly activities as well. Koh Samui is a more upscale, secluded destination with gorgeous scenery.
The Food – Even picky eaters can find something they like in the diversity of Thai cuisine. Though Thailand is known for its spicy foods, but there are some more mild dishes such as pad thai, sticky rice and omelets. Of course, there is also a good selection of fresh exotic fruits such as the mangosteen, mangos, strawberries and more.
Elephants – Even the adults in the family will act like children again when they get the opportunity to fulfill the childhood fantasy of riding an elephant. It is best to go to a reputable organization to support people who treat their animals well.
Bangkok – The crazy bustle of the capital may be exciting or overwhelming for kids (and adults!) but there is plenty to do here. From boat trips on the river, floating markets, Siam Ocean World aquarium, and the Grand Palace there is so much to explore. If your children are smaller aim for one activity a day with plenty of relaxing time.
Child-friendly Culture – Thai people are famous for their adoration of children. Strangers on the street may want to pick up, take pictures of or play with your kids.
Temples – From mountain temples with resident monkeys to gold plaited city temples, there are all different kinds of temples. Many temples have small fortune telling activities such as rolling dice, and incense to light, making them hands on for young children.
Chiang Mai – Generally cooler and more laid back than Bangkok, this city in the north of Thailand can be a great stop for families. There is a famous night market, lots of temples including Doi Suthep, and it makes a great city from which to explore the northern part of the country.
Festivals – Thailand has a number of unique, interesting and fun holidays. Songrakan or Thai New Year is celebrated in April with water fights. The Phuket vegetarian festival features bizarre acts of toughness and strength. In November Loi Krathung is a lantern festival. Days to celebrate the King and Queen are also observed as well as religious Buddhist holidays.
Jungles and Wildlife – Thailand has beautiful countryside. Good tourist infrastructure makes it easy to get out into the jungles and go for hikes. There are plenty of mountains and waterfalls to find. But a highlight for children of course are the monkeys. Alternatively, if you are on the beach, whale sharks pass by and all kinds of sea animals live off the islands.
Convenient Location – Thailand has great flight connections and is relatively cheap to fly to. If you are looking to go on a longer holiday around Asia, it is easy to include a stop in Thailand.
Add to all these reasons the bonus great weather and the fact that the dollar will go pretty far in Thailand, and Thailand makes a great destination for your next holiday. Even if you aren’t traveling with your family.