Thinking about traveling in Thailand with the kids?
Out of all the places I’ve visited or lived in, I think Thailand is absolutely one of the most kid-friendly places.
More and more Thai families are flying within Thailand, which has prompted airlines to make flying easier for kids. Nok Air has a playroom in the gate area at Don Muang airport, which my daughter loves to play in.
Perhaps the best thing about traveling with kids in Thailand is just how friendly the staff are, at most airports, hotels, and even customs. Yes, I find the customs people to be the friendliest here than anywhere else I’ve visited!
In fact, Kaya used to be let behind the customs area whenever we went to the Andaman Club in Myanmar, across from Ranong. We would take a boat to Myanmar, and the waiting area before boarding was open and she had fun looking out at the Andaman.
My husband frequently takes the train down to Bangkok from Chiang Mai, and usually sees families eating in the dining car. Because there are several different types of seats you can purchase ( different classes), you can find something appropriate for kids of all ages, including your own private seating area where the seats turn into beds.
Roadtripping through Thailand with kids is also very doable. We’ve done many long drives with Kaya, including the regular 4 hour drive to Ranong from Phuket. At one point, we were driving there every 15 days! And now that we live in Chiang Mai, we’ve begun exploring Northern Thailand by car, and took a trip to Chiang Rai recently.
Because of how beautiful the country is and the many roadside restaurants, cafes, 7/11s, and attractions, it’s extremely easy to drive here with kids. Plus, it’s safe.
Unlike in certain parts of Europe, children are very welcome at restaurants, even if they are ‘hi-so’ upscale ones. And more and more restaurants are understanding that having a play area for kids ( like what DaVinci has done in Phuket) is the way to attract more families, and help give parents time to eat.
Speaking of giving parent’s time to eat, one of our friends said that she loved how her favorite local restaurant would watch her young son while she finished her meal. They would play with him or give him a tour of the kitchen while she had a much needed break. This is perhaps one of the things that lead us to move back to Thailand when Kaya was 2 years old: there is a kid-friendly atmosphere here unlike anywhere else.
Older kids will probably love eating at food stalls on the side of the road. Our daughter isn’t a huge fan of eating outside when it’s hot out, but she does well at some of the covered markets that have food courts. Most malls have an array of cuisines to choose from, with restaurants and food courts that offer dishes for all price ranges.
Thailand has loads of kid-friendly activities for families. Here in Chiang Mai, you can find everything from cooking classes to outdoor activities and indoor play areas ( see here for a full list of activities in Chiang Mai).
Most malls ( such as Central and Maya) have movie theaters showing films in English, or with English subtitles.
All in all, Thailand is a wonderful place for families to visit. Whether you go to the North or South ( or anywhere in between) you’ll find loads of friendly people and places that the kids will love to visit.