Think about Thailand and you’ll probably imagine half-naked tourists and locals writhing around while under the influence. It doesn’t have the best reputation for family-friendly fun, that’s for sure! However, to say that Bangkok or the islands are packed with unscrupulous backpackers isn’t fair. The country is diverse, which makes it an ideal destination for families and young adults.
Of course, it’s not as PC as other places in Asia or the world, so you have to be careful if you want to shield the kids. Still, it’s not overly difficult as long as you’re prepared and understand a few simple rules. If you are, your family will have a blast taking in the customs and culture that are hard to locate anywhere else in the region.
For those who don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. By following these basic considerations, you’ll have a family vacation in Thailand you won’t forget!
Research Family Locations
Because Thailand is diverse, a lot can change from one area to the next, meaning that your destination may not be appropriate. That’s true even if it’s around the corner from a family-friendly neighborhood. Therefore, it’s better to research the regions that are known to be good for kids and young families, particularly in Bangkok.
For example, Patpong and Nana Plaza are inappropriate. However, Siam is an incredibly beautiful and safe place for children. The same goes for Sukhumvit (stick to the middle and high numbered streets) and Phra Khanong. The latter is very peaceful and has Yogi-like vibes that are great for chilling out and relaxing.
The brilliant thing about the world today is that it is small. All it takes is a quick internet search and you can find out everything about a place before you arrive, so there’s no reason to take risks.
A hotel is usually ideal for families, but Thailand tends to mix groups. So, one night may be quiet, and the next as if you’re back at a college rager. Thankfully, houses and apartments are accessible, and the fact that Thailand is affordable makes them cheap to rent. Airbnb is available, so you can always start with this site.
But, don’t be afraid to check out different platforms as you may stumble across hidden gems that are ideal for the duration of your stay. Whether it’s a townhouse in Bangna or a beach hut in Phi Phi, there’s a ton of choice. Hotels are fine if you find one you love, yet remember the kids prefer open spaces such as apartments and villas as they’re less cramped and feel homely.
Whatever you do, don’t book a hostel! There’s no way to guarantee it will be appropriate since Southeast Asia is backpacker-country and caters to young adults.
Rent A Car
Thailand is a country with excellent transport links, from the Skytrain in Bangkok to the comfortable long-haul buses with fantastic facilities. Plus, small motorcycles and scooters are common as the sun always shines and they are effective at nipping in and out of traffic-lined roads.
Regardless, none of the transport options are suitable for children. Traveling for hours on a bus, no matter if there is a toilet and a TV, will make them cranky. A motorcycle is unsafe, and the Skytrain only takes you so far in Bangkok. To see everything the country has to offer without a flurry of meltdowns, you should rent a car.
The costs are low – around $20 a day for comprehensive coverage – and there are reputable companies to choose from if you aren’t sure about the local dealers. Driving on the left is weird, yet it’s easy to get used to as the road rules are the same as anywhere else. At least a vehicle is private, quicker, and more familiar for children.
Go In April
April is the month when the Thai New Year occurs, an event that looks as if it’s designed for kids. Songkran, as it’s known in Thailand, is a water festival where the locals delight in pouring ice-cold H2O over each other (including unsuspecting tourists) for three days in a row.
Whereas you may find it old after two, the kids will fall in love with the childlike festival that includes water pistols, buckets, and twenty-four-hours of fun. Essentially, it’s a bucket list activity they don’t even know exists! Plus, it’s a brilliant way to keep cool when the temperature and humidity skyrocket.
Thailand is an incredible country all-year-around, but it’s at its best during the New Year.