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Thailand can be divided into three main regions: North, Central and South, with each subregion having something distinctly special to offer. From the northern highlands bordering with Laos and Myanmar, through to the central plains of Bangkok and its surrounds and down to the south towards Malaysia with its abundant coastlines and archipelago of magnificent islands. The country offers adventure and intrigue mixed with a bit of chaos, where old meets new. Thailand attractions are plentiful. Its abundant landscapes of lush mountains and valleys, rice paddy fields, and powder-white fine sandy coastlines and iridescent aquamarine waters, alone make a visit unforgettable.
Family activities in Thailand come in all shapes and sizes. It’s a fantastic country for families to visit with so much to see and do.
Things to do in Thailand with kids include visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary to learn about these gentle giants and giving a baby elephant a mud bath or taking the flight of the Gibbon monkey zipline to experience a monkey’s viewpoint from the jungle canopy. Trekking some simple trails in various national parks scattered across the country to see native wildlife and beautiful waterfalls,
There are several world-class water parks designed for optimal family fun. In Hua Hin, Black Mountain Water Park has a wave pool, several water slides and lots of other water activities. Another thrilling water is Vana Nava Water Jungle. Set within 3.2 hectares of tropical jungle, the park features 19 waterslides and Thailand’s tallest and only thrilling vertical looping slide called the Aqualoop, and the heart-pounding Freefall.
Taking a long-boat cruise around the many islands off the coast of Phuket or Koh Samui and stop to snorkel in some incredibly scenic spots.
From Koh Samui, families can island-hop to Koh Phangan, Ko Tao and the lesser-known Ang Thong islands.
Nestled between Phuket and Krabi, Phang Nga Bay is a bay with breathtaking limestone rock formations, caves, beach havens and hidden lakes. Many tour operators can arrange trips but sea canoeing is a fun way to explore this spectacular region. As well as to the famous Phi Phi islands located off the mainland coast of Krabi.
Krabi province boasts impressive natural attractions and is home to Ko Lanta National Park with famous diving sites. Nearby Ko Lipe is known for its natural beauty and is an idyllic paradise featuring a marine park with impressive coral-rich snorkelling and diving spots. Further afield, Koh Lanta is developed and yet still uncrowded. After sundown, luminescent plankton can be found in the warm surrounding waters.
Khao Sok National Park
Covering a huge 739 square kilometres, it features rich rain-forests, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone structures, and the scenic Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the park where families can stay overnight in floating bungalows. Its climate and weather remain consistent throughout the year making it a must-see destination at any time. Take a local guide and hike throughout some of the most ancient and bio-diverse forests in Thailand.
To break up an urban trip, only two hours drive away from Bangkok you will reach the popular coastal area of Pattaya in Chonburi Province. Pattaya has a notorious reputation for nightlife, but there are lots of activities for families and kids to do. The Sanctuary of Truth, the curiosities at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Khao Kheow Open Zoo and eco-adventure park at the Flight of the Gibbon, Botanical Gardens complete with an animal petting zoo and bird atrium, Underwater World Pattaya and a variety of water parks to splash about in will leave adults and their little ones happily exhausted from so much stimulation overload!
Tour Bangkok by River and Canal
You can sightsee around Bangkok by boat via the extensive river and canal system. Taking the Tourist boats of Bangkok is a picturesque and fun way for the whole family to see all the major attractions such as the famous Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn, Grand Palace, Ratchawongse pier in Chinatown, and Tha Maharaj in the old city. These boats fly blue flags and stop at many of the major piers along the Chao Phraya river. Another option is touring a traditional floating market in canoes and shopping like a local. Certainly, experience kids will never forget!
Bangkok has loads of fun activities for kids in places like Dream World, Safari World and SEA LIFE Ocean World Bangkok, Children’s Discovery Museum, Museum of Siam, Kidzania and Imaginia Playground.
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island with a myriad of activities for families with some beautiful beach spots where young kids can splash in the sea and play on the soft sand while the older ones can enjoy water sports like sea canoeing, wakeboarding, boogie boarding or Water Parks, Phuket Bird Park and Aquarium are great for kids of all ages to learn about the native wildlife.
The top things to do in Thailand for couples are numerous. Here are some unique ideas:
Touring Phi Phi Islands
Another fun adventure and one of the top tourist attractions in Thailand is to tour the Phi Phi islands. Only 45 mins by speed boat from Phuket, this national park range made up of six islands, is most famous for its turquoise waters, abundant marine life, with the most well-known isle being Koh Phi Phi Leh with its Maya Bay which featured in the film named “The Beach”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Snorkelling the crystal-clear seas around Koh Phi Phi Le you will see a rich underwater world amid a backdrop of protruding limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches. You cant stay overnight here as the area is protected. The only inhabited island is Koh Phi Phi Don.
Shipwrecked Dining in Khao Lak
For romantic places to go in Thailand, the southern coastline and nearby islands are most popular for romantic getaways and honeymoons. The Sarojin luxury boutique beach resort in Khao Lak offers its guests two stand-out experiences among others. Couples can be transported by the resorts private yacht and get “shipwrecked in style” with a private dinner on a secluded sand isle under the stars. Or have a magical fine dining experience in a lantern-lit enclave while you admire a tropical waterfall cascading in front of you on Laem Pakarang Beach. The sight is truly breath-taking and a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Discovering Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach in Krabi is accessible only by longtail boat as its surrounded by limestone cliffs and lush rainforest. It makes for a popular day trip to go snorkelling its pristine waters. Especially those who enjoy rock climbing activities Railay is divided into East Railay Beach And West Railay Beach But if you want to stay overnight, a handful of accommodation options ranging from basic bungalows to luxurious resorts.
Exploring Koh Lanta
Still, in Krabi province and only one hour away from the mainland, Koh Lanta is developed and yet still uncrowded enough to enjoy romantic sandy white beaches, ancient caves, dense jungle, and a myriad of waterfalls. After sundown, luminescent plankton can be found in the warm surrounding waters. Its the perfect romantic getaway for quiet moments in nature or if you feel like dancing under the moonlight, there’s a full moon party held on Long Beach every month.
Hot Ballooning in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is one of the best places in Thailand to experience ancient history, art and culture along with lush natural surroundings. For a mesmerising experience make sure you fly to new heights with a hot air balloon ride. Panoramic views of rolling mountains and valleys while floating amongst the clouds from 2000 metres above the ground, is the ultimate romantic thing to do. Choose a sunrise flight followed by a luxurious spa treatment for two on the ground.
Hiking in Doi Inthanon National Park
Do a hiking trek together along a scenic trail in Doi Inthanon National Park, two-hour drive southwest of Chiang Mai. Discover rainforest temples, cascading waterfalls, terraced rice fields, and coffee plantations on route to Thailand’s highest peak with an elevation of 2,565 metres and its best known for its two iconic gold-tipped stupas perched on its summit. It is one of the most magnificent places to see in Thailand. The park covers an area of 482 sq km and is part of the Himalayan mountain range. Bird watchers will be in awe with over 360 bird species to sight.
Jungle Canopy Dining in Koh Kood
Soneva Kiri luxury resort on Koh Kood takes fine dining to new heights by offering guests a remarkable experience of feasting in nature’s rainforest canopy. Guests are hoisted into eco-friendly bamboo pods and serviced by a personal waiter via a zip-line.
Couples massage is always a good idea to soothe away any cares in the world and something you can experience together. Thai massage is therapeutic and very affordable. Visit a spa in a joint room or enjoy a massage on the beach.
Hiring a private and charming long-tail boat for the day with your beloved and cruising the archipelago of islands off the coast of Phuket is one of the best things Thailand activities. You can tour at your own pace and hop on and off at the various isles in the Andaman Sea, capturing picture-perfect moments along the way amongst turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and limestone cliffs.
Be sure to only participate in ethical tourism and avoid funding the mistreatment of animals such as elephants and monkeys. When considering transport, only choose metered taxis. It’s illegal for drivers to refuse to use their meters.In Thailand, monks are highly revered so you should never make any physical contact with a monk as touching them is a sign of utter disrespect. Furthermore, avoid public displays of affection in general, as this is considered bad taste and disrespectful for the Thai people as well as patting another person on their head. The same goes for pointing with your index finger or gesturing with an open palm.When visiting temples, always cover your shoulders and knees as these places of worship are considered sacred. Lastly never criticise or speak badly of the king or Royal family. This is considered to be highly offensive and may even lead to criminal charges due to strict Thai defamation laws.
Thailand is considered one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. But from time to time there are political tensions and public protests in Bangkok, and it is advised to avoid some provinces in the southern tip of Thailand because of ongoing ethnic and racial conflicts. Check your home country’s travel advice on this. Thailand also has strict laws (lèse majesté) about defaming the monarchy, therefore its best to avoid discussing the Royal family altogether. It is recommended to exercise standard safety precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings, not carrying too many valuables around and generally staying alert as you would in any new environment.
Avoid eating food that’s been sitting around for a while. The safest option is to pick food stalls that are popular with a high turnover of produce. Water and ice tend to cause more upsets than street food. Avoid drinking the tap water; it’s not treated and thus unsafe to consume. Make sure to only consume tubular-shaped ice with a hole through it. This type of ice produced in factories using only filtered water. Don’t eat raw foods because you will not know if it has been washed using clean water or not.
Theravada Buddhism is the most common religion in Thailand with approximately 95% of the population practising this religion. Other minority religions include Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Christianity.
Thailand has several airports connecting international and domestic flights throughout the country with the main Thailand airport in Bangkok having a direct rail link. Bangkok metropolitan area has an extensive rail network which extends throughout the kingdom to get you to some of the top Thailand destinations. Buses are readily available and travel cross country. Ferry services are used from the mainland to travel to many of the islands in the south. There’s also rental cars, taxis, motorcycle taxis, minivans, Thai local-style tuk-tuks (rickshaws) and songthaews (pick-up trucks).
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.