On a trip with the kids, we are used to filling the schedule with as many things as possible to do – move from park to park, zoo for a day hike, and generally keep everyone as busy as possible from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. But a trip to Thailand is not a trip to Europe, and the landscape, which is so different from what we Israelis know, means that everyday life can also be fun and fascinating. Whether it’s a huge and diverse city like Bangkok, or a green and vibrant town like Chiang Mai, you don’t have to do much more than walk down the street to find what to do.
One way to make sure everyone is happy all the time, is to check in advance that the hotel is suitable for children (and not just be willing to accept them). Centara Grand Mirage Hotel in Pattaya, for example, is built like a huge amusement park with a water park inside, and will provide hours of activities for the whole family. Marriott Resort in Hua Hin has dedicated an entire building to children, with changing classes and activities included in the room rate. When you choose a hotel that is suitable for the whole family, you promise that even if there is no desire or strength to go for a walk, no one will be bored. In fact, in most hotels you can even split up – leave the kids for a fun day at the hotel, and go out to explore the city for a few hours.
This may sound like a non-recommended recommendation, but Thailand is a very safe country, and very accessible. In major cities like Bangkok , Chiang Mai , Samui or Hua Hin for example, it is very fun to get off the train and just start walking. The familiar streets will be replaced by narrow alleys and low-rise buildings. These are the places that will introduce you to the real Thailand. With less western influences and more authentic atmosphere. Here you will find the best food stalls, which cater to locals and do not flatter tourists. The views will usually be more pleasant and the people more smiling. Most of all – it’s an adventure you go on as a family. And when you get tired, it’s always very simple to catch a taxi (or bus, if the adventurous spirit is still on you), and return to the city center.
While this is not an attraction in the traditional sense, the markets in Thailand are one of the things you should not miss. Of course, you have long since included in your schedule the weekend market in Bangkok, the night market in Chiang Mai and the fishing village in Kosmoy. But it is precisely the lesser-known markets that are the ones where the real reality is hidden. In Bangkok for example, you will find a market dedicated to graffiti art and street art. In Chiang Mai there are several markets dedicated to local art, and in Pai you will find locals and tourists offering everything from food to dragon cans in the tiny market. Look for the unfamiliar and you will find some wonderful and intriguing hours.
If you’re afraid that you’ll get tired of all the diving tours, food tours, omega trips and jeep routes that await you in southern Thailand – do not worry. There is no island in Thailand that is not surrounded by breathtaking beaches. Get up early in the morning and skip between beaches, until you find one that will be just yours. On the way, you can eat something, because why not. Usually, in the vicinity of the beach you will find restaurants, shops and directions to the nearest nearby beach. You can spend such a great day in the sun, until you are ready to return to the hotel.
Discover Thailand's top must-see destinations & everything you need to know for your next trip to "the land of Smiles".
Follow our accommodation guide to choose the best places to stay during your holiday to suit your plans, budget and expectations.
Plan for an unforgettable holiday escapade and uncover the fascinating assortment of things to do and see in Thailand's most popular destinations as well as those lesser known travel spots and routes.