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Thailand for Families: 6 Best Places to Visit with Kids 

Looking for the best places to holiday in Thailand with kids? From Phuket to Pattaya, an exciting city stay in Bangkok or visiting hill tribes in Chiang Mai, we reveal the best destinations for families

Kingdom of Lights at Carnival Magic in Thailand
Kingdom of Lights at Carnival Magic in Thailand

Discover the best of Thailand for families in these six holiday hotspots, including the best times to visit and must-see family attractions. You’ll also find a selection of family-friendly resorts for each island and city, packed with activities to keep kids entertained.  

If you’re keen to plan a Thai getaway, you’ll find all the information you need below.  

1. Bangkok

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok
The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok

It’s worth spending at least a couple of days in Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital, to soak up the energy of one of Asia’s most vibrant cities – and introduce the kids to Thai street food!  

Bangkok Attractions for Families  

Here are some of the highlights when visiting Bangkok with kids 

  • The Grand Palace: Begin your Bangkok trip by visiting this incredible complex, which was built for the king in the 1780s.  
  • Wat Pho: Located next to the Grand Palace, Buddhist temple Wat Pho houses the largest reclining Buddha statue in the country. 
  • The Jim Thompson House: Originally home to American businessman and “Thai silk king” Jim Thompson’s, the house is now a museum showcasing his impressive art collection, and an oasis in the middle of Bangkok. 
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market: Seeing goods sold out of wooden boats on a tour at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market will be an eye opener for the kids.    
  • Dream World Park: One of Bangkok’s top family attractions, the theme park offers something for all ages, with kids’ rides, rollercoasters, and themed areas. At Snow Town, you can even go sledding or build a snowman!  
  • Bangkok’s animal attractions: There’s lots to see and do at Safari World Zoo and SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World, which includes immersive virtual reality experiences throughout the aquarium.  

Where to Stay in Bangkok

The pool at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok
The pool at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok

There’s no shortage of great family accommodation in Thailand’s capital city. Here are some of Bangkok’s top family resorts: 

  • The five-star Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld is a 55-storey hotel with fabulous views over the city from its rooftop restaurant Red Sky. Attached to Asia’s largest shopping centre, with fantastic restaurants and the Skytrain, it has a large pool with a sundeck on the 26th floor, along with an award-winning SPA Cenvaree, a gym and tennis courts. 
  • The five-star Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok is located on the northern side of Bangkok, a short walk from the Chatuchak weekend market and the subway. It has a large resort-style pool and is connected to the Central Plaza shopping centre.  
  • The four-star Centra Phra Nang in the old part of Bangkok, close to Khao San Road and the Grand Palace, is an affordable option for families. 

Best Time to Visit Bangkok 

Bangkok is a buzzing destination year-round, but the most popular time to visit is between November and January, when the weather is cooler and drier.  

2. Phuket 

The lagoon at Blue Tree Phuket.
The lagoon at Blue Tree Phuket.

A longtime favourite of Australian travellers, the island of Phuket off Thailand’s south-west coast has an abundance of gorgeous beaches and loads of family-friendly attractions.  

Phuket Attractions for Families 

There’s no shortage of kid-friendly things to do in Phuket: 

  • Carnival Magic: This fantasy and adventure-themed theme park is inspired by festivals, carnivals, and fairs around the world. It features an enchanted palace, exciting parades and spectacular light and fountain shows. 
  • Phuket’s water parks: Got kids who love waterslides? Head to Andamanda Phuket, Splash Jungle Water Park or Blue Tree Island Phuket Water Park, which also has a huge lagoon and ziplines. 
  • Sunday Walking Street Market: Also known as the Lard Yai Market, this popular shopping event takes place in Old Phuket Town on Thalang Road between 4pm and 10pm. Don’t miss it! 
The River Carnival Parade at Carnival Magic in Phuket
The River Carnival Parade at Carnival Magic in Phuket
  • Phuket’s wildlife attractions: Little animal lovers will be delighted as they explore Thailand’s biggest aquarium, Aquaria Phuket; feed, shower and walk with elephants at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and learn about conservation at The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project and Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation. 
  • Hanuman World Phuket: Zoom through lush tropical rainforest at Thailand’s biggest ziplining park, which also features abseiling, a treetop walk and on-site restaurant.  
  • Phuket 3D Museum: See, touch and experience immersive 3D art at this creative attraction that puts kids right in the canvas.  
  • Dino Park Phuket: Dinosaur-themed mini golf is a guaranteed hit with the whole family. Life-size dino animatronics take the Jurassic experience to the next level, with 18 holes to play.  
  • Island hopping tour: Be sure to see Phi Phi Lee, where the movie The Beach was filmed, and Khao Phing Kan, which was the setting for the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. 

Where to Stay in Phuket 

The lazy river and water slides at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
The lazy river and water slides at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

As you would expect, there are fantastic family-friendly resorts in Phuket: 

  • Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket Karon Beach, a short walk from Karon village, has its own water park, a large pool with a lazy river and waterslide, a kids’ club, and an award-winning spa. 
  • Centara Karon Resort Phuket is an Aussie favourite reopening in November 2024 after a major renovation. The resort has three pools with swim-up bars, waterslides, and an awesome kids’ club.  
  • Centara Kata Resort Phuket on the south-west coast has a small toddler pool with a mushroom waterfall, a waterslide and a separate children’s pool. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, it has an awesome kids’ club with bunk beds that’s open until 10pm, so children can sleep while their parents go out to dinner. 

Best Time to Visit Phuket 

Phuket is at its best from December to March, when you can expect clear blue skies and temperatures averaging 24°C to 32°C. Locals often visit the beaches during the hottest months, March and April.  

3. Krabi 

An aerial view of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
An aerial view of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi

Instantly recognisable by its sheer limestone cliffs, Krabi is on the Thai mainland around 650 kilometres south of Bangkok. Like Phuket, it makes a great base for island hopping and kayaking. A family trip to Krabi offers plenty of outdoor fun, with beautiful beaches and jungles where you can visit cave temples and go swimming in waterfalls.  

The resort town of Ao nang is an excellent spot for a family holiday, lined with beachfront seafood restaurants where you can dine with your feet in the sand. 

Krabi Attractions for Families 

There’s plenty for families to do in Krabi:  

  • Railay Beach: This secret beach is accessible only by boat but is well worth a visit! Krabi is renowned for rock climbing, and Railay Beach is the best spot to try it.  
  • Khao Phra Khram Nature Reserve: Explore lowland forest on the 2.7km walking trail, take a dip in the famous Emerald Pool, and soak in the Krabi Hot Springs, where picturesque tiered rock pools offer an all-natural spa experience. The park is open to visitors from January to April, and November to December.   
  • Krabi Night Market: Catch a taxi or local bus, called a songthaew, to Krabi Town to check out the markets which are held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. 
  • Krabi temples: Wat Kaew Korawaram in Krabi Town is stunning at sunset, with a 2500 square metre terrace, and Wat Klong Thom to the east boasts a museum full of historical artifacts. Monks still live and worship at Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple). It’s worth climbing the 1237 steps to see the large golden Buddha statue and Krabi’s most spectacular views.   

Where to Stay in Krabi 

Relax at Coast Beach Club and Bistro at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Relax at Coast Beach Club and Bistro at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi

Krabi’s beach resorts offer some fantastic facilities for kids:  

  • The five-star Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi is ideal for families. Set on its own 500-metre-long beach amongst the karst cliffs, the resort features a cascading pool with a waterslide, a colourful kids’ club with a ball pit and a lively beach club with an outdoor pool table.  
  • The four-star Centara Ao nang Beach Resort & Spa, located at the quieter end of the beach, is set around a free-form pool and beachfront terrace, with a kids’ club and a range of free activities. Its mix of accommodation includes family rooms with bunk beds, pool access rooms and rooms with private pools. 
  • Nearby Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa has a large pool with a waterslide, a kids’ club, pool access rooms and family suites. 
The pool and waterslides at Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi
The pool and waterslides at Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi

Best Time to Visit Krabi 

December to March is high season in Krabi, with ideal weather for outdoor activities. Temperatures are highest in April and May, while the rainy season between June and October is the cheapest time to visit.  

4. Ko Samui 

A family with elephants at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Samui
A family with elephants at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Samui

On the other side of the isthmus to Krabi and Phuket, Samui is Thailand’s second largest island. It also offers its fair share of beautiful beaches, including Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach and Maenam Beach.  

Ko Samui Attractions for Families 

Here are some of the top things to do with kids in Samui:  

  • Ang Thong National Marine Park: Book a boat trip to Ang Thong National Marine Park to explore some of the 42 islands in the Thai archipelago, which feature limestone cliffs, caves and waterfalls. 
  • Samui temples: Visit Wat Plai Laem Temple to see its 18-armed statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and smiling Buddha statues, and the 12-metre-high gold ‘Big Buddha’ at the nearby Wat Phra Yai temple.  
  • Elephant Jungle Sanctuary: Feed and walk with rescued elephants at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, an ethical and eco-friendly wildlife experience.  
  • Fisherman’s Village: Check out this charming area of Bophut Beach, where traditional shophouses have been converted into cool boutiques, cafes and restaurants. 
  • Lamai Night Market: Kids will get a kick out of seeing things like fried worms and grasshoppers for sale at the Lamai Night Market. Don’t miss it for an authentic Thai cultural experience.  
Smiling Buddha of wealths statue
Smiling Buddha of wealths statue

Where to Stay in Ko Samui 

Discover some of Thailand’s best family resorts in Samui: 

  • The luxurious Centara Reserve Samui, on the widest part of Chaweng Beach, has a kids’ club with an array of activities and huge outdoor wet area for littlies, as well as a swim-up pool bar and adults-only pool. It offers a range of connecting and pool-access rooms.  
  • Centara Villas Samui is located on the southern tip of the island near Lamai Beach. The resort has 102 contemporary villas cascading down the hillside to the resort’s own private beach, with three pools, a playground, full-service spa, gym and three restaurants. 
Relax on a sun lounge at Centara Reserve Samui
Relax on a sun lounge at Centara Reserve Samui

Best Time to Visit Ko Samui 

Samui has its own weather system, and it’s the best place in Thailand to visit during the Australian winter, in July and August. January and February are the driest months, averaging temperatures of 24°C to 25°C.  

5. Pattaya

Sunset at the famous Pattaya Floating Market
Sunset at the famous Pattaya Floating Market

Around 100 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, Pattaya is a favoured destination for Thai locals and expats.  

Pattaya Attractions for Families 

You’ll find an abundance of cultural attractions for families in Pattaya: 

  • Pratamnak Hill: An 18-metre-high golden Buddha statue overlooks the city from the peak of Pratamnak Hill, also known as Big Buddha Hill.  
  • The Buddha Mountain: A large golden Buddha is engraved in the limestone at Khao Chi Chan, which is known as The Buddha Mountain. 
  • Sanctuary of Truth Museum: This intricately carved wooden structure, a cross between a temple and a castle, is worth seeing when visiting Pattaya.  
  • Pattaya Floating Market: Fruit, vegetables and flowers are sold at this floating market, an incredible authentic cultural experience. 
  • Pattaya’s water parks: Kids will enjoy spending a day at either Ramayana Water Park or Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park. 
  • Art in Paradise: Take fun and memorable holiday pictures with the 3D artworks at Art in Paradise vision illusion museum. 

Where to Stay in Pattaya

A family at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya
A family at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya

Pattaya’s family-friendly resorts have something for everyone:  

  • Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya is a great place for families to stay. The five-star resort is set on a private beach with a water park, three-storey playground and lazy rivers throughout. Every room has ocean views, and it has an outdoor adventure park, two kids’ clubs, a kids’ cinema, trampoline zone, family club lounge and a digging pit where young archaeologists can excavate dinosaur bones.  
  • The four-star Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien, a few kilometres south of the city suits families with kids of all ages. Activities for kids include Thailand’s first hobbit-themed kids’ club, a water playground, waterslides, a teen-focused entertainment zone and animation programs.  
  • Centara Azure Hotel Pattaya is perfect if you prefer to be close to the action. It features a pool with a swim-up bar, a separate kids’ pool with waterslides and a restaurant with a 360-degree aquarium. 

Best Time to Visit Pattaya

Pattaya is most popular during the dry season from November to February. Between April and October, expect more rain and humidity, but also fewer crowds.  

6. Chiang Mai

A girl sliding down the mudslide at the Ginger Farm in Chiang Mai
A girl sliding down the mudslide at the Ginger Farm in Chiang Mai

Northern Thailand’s biggest city, Chiang Mai, is the place to go for adventure activities such as trekking and whitewater rafting, as well as cultural experiences like hill tribe visits. Located on the Ping River, it also offers amazing food, bustling markets and an abundance of kid-friendly restaurants.  

Family Attractions in Chiang Mai 

Here are some of Chiang Mai’s top activities with kids: 

  • The Royal Park Ratchaphruek: Chiang Mai was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, and a beautiful pavilion showcasing architecture typical of the era can be found in the park.  
  • Chiang Mai temples: The city has some of the most impressive Buddhist temples in the country, including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara and Wat Umong.  
  • Elephant Nature Park: Founded by animal rights advocate Lek Saengduean Chailert, Elephant Nature Park is home to more than 100 rescued elephants.  
  • Elephant POOPOOPAPER Park: Kids will get a giggle out of this one-of-a-kind attraction, where eco-friendly toilet paper is made from elephant dung. The park features a walking tour, craft activities and a “Poo-tique” where you can purchase unique souvenirs.  
  • Ginger Farm: This organic rice farm offers daily workshops including Thai cooking classes, rice planting and harvesting experiences. Ginger farm Kitchen serves incredible ‘farm to table’ meals in Northern Thai style.  
  • Siam Insect Zoo: Kids will be amazed by a walk through the butterfly garden at Siam Insect Zoo. Explore 50 showrooms housing exotic insects like the Thai forest jewel beetle and several local species of long-horned beetles.  
The Ginger Farm at Chiang Mai
The Ginger Farm at Chiang Mai

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai 

When it comes to accommodation, Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai has impressive views over the river and Doi Suthep Mountain from floor-to-ceiling windows in its 526 rooms and suites. The hotel also has a pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre and is around 10 to 15 minutes’ drive from Chiang Mai International Airport, the night markets and weekend walking streets. 

Read more: Where to Eat, Stay & Play in Chiang Mai  

River Terrace at Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai
River Terrace at Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai

Thailand Family Travel: What You Need to Know

When is the Best Time to Visit Thailand?

November to February is peak tourist season in Thailand because of the cool and dry weather. Temperatures are more comfortable, and there is less humidity, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. 

The cheapest time to visit Thailand is June to October, during monsoon season. While there is a higher chance of rain, it’s not constant. The countryside becomes lush and green during this time. 

From March to May, temperatures can be quite high, but it’s a good time to visit if you prefer beach activities. Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, such as Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, are in their prime during these months. 

A family at Blue Tree Phuket
A family at Blue Tree Phuket

What is the Best Way to Get Around Thailand?

If you’re traveling long distances between major cities or popular tourist destinations, domestic flights can be a quick and convenient option. Thailand has several well-connected airports. 

Thailand has an extensive railway network, and trains are a scenic and relatively comfortable way to travel, especially between major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Surat Thani (for access to the islands). 

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Thailand? 

Thailand generally offers visa-free entry for short visits to citizens of many countries for tourism purposes. The length of stay permitted without a visa varies depending on your nationality. For some countries, it’s 30 days, while for others, it might be 15 or 90 days. 

Remember that visa policies can change, so it’s crucial to verify the requirements close to your intended travel date. 

How Can I Get to Thailand?

Qantas plane
Qantas plane

Visit the official websites of airlines that operate flights between Australia and Thailand. Some major airlines that frequently offer flights on this route include Qantas, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, and others. Check their schedules, prices, and any promotions they may have. 

More Information 

Proudly produced in partnership with Centara Hotels & Resorts. 

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