Thailand seems a world away from the United States or Europe but any family with young children can do it. And I highly recommend it, as Thailand is a beautiful country full of friendly, kid loving people. The entire country is very child friendly and families in general are revered. Thailand is also known as the “land of smiles.”
When we went to Thailand, we had our 2 1/2 year old and I was pregnant with our second. We traveled to the southeast Asian country with our friends, also pregnant with their 2nd with a 2 1/2 year old in tow. So finding kid friendly activities was essential. We started our trip in Bangkok and spent 3 days there and then it was off for a week in Phuket. A word of warning about Thailand with young ones – bring a car seat if at all possible. A lot of the transportation is dodgy and car seats give an extra level of comfort. For some tips in traveling with car seats, check this out.
Bangkok is a very easy city to get around, as they have plenty of cabs, tuk-tuks and a very clean Skytrain and Underground. Both Bangkok and the island of Phuket have plenty of things to do with kids.
The Floating Market
Our son LOVED the floating market. Floating markets are a staple in Thai culture and tourists and locals alike flock to the for everything from trinkets and souvenirs to fresh fish and vegetables. The Khlong Lat Mayom market in particular is not too far from Bangkok. Any hotel can easily book a tour there for you and provide transportation. Max was fascinated by the boats and the sounds and the colors. And all the ladies selling things loved him 🙂
Visit a Snake Farm
Have you ever seen a Mongoose attack a Cobra? It’s something to see and Max still mentions it 5 years later. The Snake Farm in Bangkok is clean and very interesting and there is a snake handling demonstration at 1:30 on weekdays and 11 on weekends and holidays. Some of the snakes are quite beautiful and the snake handling demonstration is very exciting. The Snake Farm is located the Thai Red Cross Institute by the corner of Rama IV and Henry Durant Roads right in Bangkok.
Visit the Hilarious Robot Restaurant
Can you imagine anything more hilarious than your food delivered by a robot? Well look no further because the Hajimer Robot Restaurant has a robot not only serving you, but dancing for you also. It goes without saying that kids find this completely fascinating. And the food isn’t too bad either. The food is mostly sushi, but they can find something appealing for picky kids. Hajimer is open Monday through Sunday from 11am to 11pm and is located in Monopoly Park.
Visit the Phuket Aquarium
The aquarium has over 30 tanks of fish and a really cool underground tunnel for optimum fish viewing! Many of the fish are very unusual and not typically seen in aquariums closer to home and the children love it! There are even turtles on site. The aquarium is open 7 days a week and very easy to get to via taxi.
Find the Perfect Beach
Phuket is known for getting a little crazy, especially after dark. For this reason, we did not want to go to Kata, Karon or Patong beaches, which we heard were very crowded and you never know what you’re going to see! Not the ideal place for children. We asked our hotel for a recommendation and they drove us to a small beach, not to far from the hotel. It was peaceful and had some local shacks nearby for getting drinks and snacks. There was also a little shack we rented some beach chairs from. It was fabulous and in true Thai fashion, some ladies meandered up and asked us pregnant ladies if we wanted foot massages. The answer was yes! I recommend asking your hotel’s front desk for a recommendation on a close, quiet beach with limited facilities. They are all over the island and a pleasant departure from the craziness of the other beaches and the hotel beach.
Get Up Close and Personal with Elephants
This is on most people’s bucket lists when they come to Thailand and there are plenty of places to do it. Elephants are so gentle and children light up when an elephant eats a peanut out of their hand. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip. When we went to Thailand we rode elephants, but we have since found out that riding elephants can be unethical and many of these elephants are mistreated. There are plenty of places to see, feed and wash elephants without riding them so do your research if the ethics of riding elephants are important to you. A good site to investigate is this one.
^^^ George with an elephant
I can’t recommend Thailand enough. It was seriously one of the best trips we have ever taken. The culture, the people and the sites and sounds are simply amazing and so different from home. I can’t believe it but Max still remembers the trip and he was only 2 1/2 years old. Stay tuned for more posts on Thailand!