Thailand is a heaven for family travel – turquoise beaches, extraordinary mountains, bustling cities, amazing foods, and wonderful parks. There are so many things to discover, activities to do and life lessons to learn in this exotic country. However, if you find that Phuket and Pattaya are a little bit outrageous and not suitable for your children, we recommend 9 family destinations in Thailand for you.

1. Chiang Mai

Why Chiang Mai?

Located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the second largest city of this country after Bangkok. If your family wishes to see an authentic Thailand and Thai unique culture, as well as not spending too much time on a beach, Chiang Mai is your place.

This city is the combination of splendid natural scenery and architectural reminders of an ancient capital city. Doi Suthep Temple which overlooks the city from a beautiful hill is the main tourist attraction in Chiang Mai. For nature lovers, there are many thrilling activities you can enjoy here, such as cruising along Mae Ping River, visiting hill tribes and experience an elephant ride.

Chiang Mai - Thailand
Chiang Mai – Thailand

Best For

Trekking, natural and cultural discovery and visit Elephant Nature Park

Getting to Chiang Mai

You can get to Chiang Mai via Chiang Mai International Airport. The Bangkok – Chiang Mai route is the busiest one which offers around 50 flights daily.

Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai

The ideal time to travel to Chiang Mai is from September to February. It will be torrid from March to June; and rainy from July to mid-September.

2. Pai

Why Pai?

4 hours drive (135 kilometers) from Chiang Mai, Pai has a laid-back beauty which is a pleasant option for a family getaway in Thailand. Along the road to Pai, travelers will be thrilled by extraordinary mountainside views of rural Northern Thailand.

This small town is an ideal place for trekking, rafting, and exploring peaceful local life. Renting a bicycle in Pai is the best way to discover the tranquility of this countryside; your family will come across many spectacular waterfalls, green trails and hill tribe villages.

Pai - Thailand
Pai – Thailand

Best For

Cycling, relaxing and countryside discovery

Getting to Pai

Buses from Chiang Mai are the easiest way to get to Pai. The journey will take around 4 hours.

Best Time to Visit Pai

November – February, Pai will experience a high level of rainfall from June to October.

3. Bangkok

Why Bangkok?

This exquisite capital city is always included in tourists’ itineraries when planning a vacation to Thailand. Bangkok is famous for its eye-widening Grand Palace and the spectacular Wat Phra Kaew Temple, one of three national treasures in Thailand. A Thailand river cruise from Bangkok is a one-of-a-kind experience to discover ancient ruins.

Your kids will have a chance to try numerous delicious local foods in this city. Don’t forget to buy fresh tropical fruits and sample some street foods such as Som Tam (papaya salad), Khao Pad (fried rice), Pad Thai (noodles with shrimps) and Khao Neeo Mamuang (Thai mango sticky rice).

Bangkok - Thailand
Bangkok – Thailand

Best For

Shopping, sampling street foods and visiting some parks and pagodas

Getting to Bangkok

There are two airports in Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport. These two are 30 kilometers from the city center.

Best Time to Visit Bangkok

Year-round, but remember that March – May are the hottest months in Bangkok.

4. Hua Hin

Why Hua Hin?

200 kilometers from the southwest of Bangkok, Hua Hin is famous for its seaside resorts. Used to be a relaxing getaway of Thai royal family, Hua Hin is now becoming a perfect destination to detach yourself from the sultry Bangkok in summers.

Some must-see attractions in Hua Hin are the ancient Summer Palace, bustling night markets and local street vendors which sell delicious Khao Neeo Mamuang (Thai mango sticky rice).

Hua Hin - Thailand
Hua Hin – Thailand

Best For

Relaxing and sampling local cuisines

Getting to Hua Hin

  • It only takes 2 hours and a half drive from Bangkok to Hua Hin. You can rent a car with driver in Thailand to get there.
  • It is also cheap and easy to take a train or bus to Hua Hin.

Best Time to Visit Hua Hin

Year-round, but the best time to travel to this place is from November to February. Rainy season lasts from June to October; however, it will not rain every day.

5. Koh Chang

Why Koh Chang?

After Phuket, Koh Chang is the second biggest island in this country. Koh Chang is the home to many long turquoise beaches such as Lonely Beach (this beach hardly gets lonely now!), Klong Koi Beach and White Sand Beach. Koh Chang is a marvelous place for snorkeling, diving the coral reefs and swimming.

Not only are the beaches attractive here, Koh Chang is also the home to spectacular mountains, beautiful waterfalls, and unique stone cliffs. This island inhabits a diverse wildlife with a wide range of birds, insects and elephants.

Koh Chang - Thailand
Koh Chang – Thailand

Best For

Swimming, discovering waterfalls and staying in a bungalow

Getting to Koh Chang

There are two ways to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok:

  • Fly from Bangkok to Trat city, then take a ferry to Koh Chang
  • Take a bus from Bangkok to Laem Ngop piers (where there are ferries to Koh Chang)

Best Time to Visit Koh Chang

November – February, it will rain between June and October.

6. Koh Kood

Why Koh Kood?

Koh Kood is a pristine island in Trat Province and is the home to many undeveloped and unspoiled beaches. Thanks to its seclusion and tranquility, this is the place where celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne sought for their getaway trips.

Koh Kood is located near the Thailand – Cambodia maritime border, so it is possible to make a short trip to Angkor Wat as well.

Koh Kood - Thailand
Koh Kood – Thailand

Best For

Getaway

Getting to Koh Kood

The easiest way to get to Koh Kood is taking a ferry from Laem Sok pier.

Best Time to Visit Koh Kood

October to the end of February since it is cool and sunny here.

7. Koh Samui

Why Koh Samui?

Long white beaches with swaying coconut trees have become an iconic image of Koh Samui. Used to be a fishing village back in the 1800s, nowadays this ‘coconut island’ has become a popular tourist destination in Thailand. Compared to Phuket, it is a more quiet and tranquil island.

Koh Samui is excellent for snorkeling, diving and surfing, especially in Chaweng Beach. There are many animal rescue centers on this island for your kids to discover wildlife and learn survival skills.

Koh Samui - Thailand
Koh Samui – Thailand

Best For

Quiet beach getaway, taking part in water sports and day trip to Koh Tao

Getting to Koh Samui

There are direct flights from Phuket and Bangkok which will take you about an hour.

Best Time to Visit Koh Samui

May to September, it will rain in Koh Samui from October to November.

8. Khao Lak

Why Khao Lak?

100 kilometers from Phuket Town, Khao Lak is the loveliest resort town of Thailand. Outrageous night-life options are hardly found in Khao Lak, but it is the opportunity for you to step into that postcard image of Thailand: tall coconut trees along a turquoise beach in an ultimately tranquil atmosphere.

Khao Lak means ‘Lak Mountain’ in local language. Spectacular mountains and unspoiled nature in Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park will be an add-on to a common beach vacation.

Khao Lak - Thailand
Khao Lak – Thailand

Best For

Luxury stays

Getting to Khao Lak

It takes one and a half hour to drive from Phuket to Khao Lak.

Best Time to Visit Khao Lak

The dry season from November to March

9. Koh Phi Phi

Why Koh Phi Phi?

This is a small archipelago which belongs to Krabi Province. Not far from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi contains two dreamy islands: Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh, which was the filming location of ‘The Beach’ featuring Leonardo De Caprio.

Powdery sand, mighty mountains, turquoise beaches and diverse marine life – Koh Phi Phi has everything your family needs for a perfect beach vacation. Families often come to this archipelago to snorkel, swim or just stroll along the shore.

Koh Phi Phi - Thailand
Koh Phi Phi – Thailand

Best For

Staying in an island resort and participating in water sports

Getting to Koh Phi Phi

  • From Phuket: You can take a 45-minute ferry trip from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi.
  • From Bangkok: You can get a flight from Bangkok to Krabi, then take a 90-minute ferry trip to Koh Phi Phi.

Best Time to Visit Koh Phi Phi

November – February; monsoon season in Koh Phi Phi will last from May to October.

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A Hanoian lover of art, cuisine and culture, Chi Nguyen enjoys exploring all elegant aspects of this city as well as discovering off-the-beaten-track destinations in the beautiful S-shaped country.

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