Traveling to Thailand with Children - Kelionės su vaikais
Traveling to Thailand with Children

Traveling to Thailand with Children

Are you dreaming of a long vacation, or perhaps spending the winter in Thailand? Agnė, one of the founders of “Travelling with Children ®”, talks about her impressions from her trip to Thailand that have not yet faded. What are your impressions after the trip and, of course, advice for other travelers who are still timidly dreaming about it. Let’s dive into her story and let’s at least travel in our thoughts and dream together.

Traveling with children to Thailand – if you asked me why we chose Thailand for our vacation for two months, I would say without a doubt that it is an ideal place for everyone. Both for families with children, for young people longing for fun, and for older foreigners who enjoy peace and well-deserved rest.

In my opinion, Thailand has everything you need for an ideal vacation and for everyone’s taste. It’s noisy parties and secluded beaches, it’s peace, yoga classes, massages or fun-filled Bangkok, it’s national parks and divers’ paradise, it’s the world-famous Thai cuisine with its street food or world-class restaurants, not to mention the extremely rich country’s history.

Everyone can find what they are looking for, they just need to make the right choice. We lived on three islands – Ko Tao, Ko Pangan and Ko Samui. All different, but all very charming in their own way.

Ko Tao – the Perfect Paradise on a Small Island

We discovered this island for the first time when we were in Ko Samui and went diving there. The island impressed us so much that we decided to return there for a longer stay. Koh Tao is only an island of 21 square meters, it is quite far from the mainland, so it is definitely not quick and easy to reach. The nearest airport is either Ko Samui or Chumpong. Only the ferry continues. We flew to Bangkok from there to Surat Thani and then continued by ferry.

Koh Tao means turtle in Thai. This island is a paradise for divers. Not only is it the best dive site in Southeast Asia, but it is also the one that annually issues the most PADI diver certifications in the world. You don’t even need to swim to bays or special places, although there are plenty of them, it’s enough to wade in up to your knees and you can see full of fish, because the water is extremely clear.

Ferries come to the island’s largest town, Mae Haad, but we didn’t like it right away, because the water is really very cloudy from the ferries and boats. We did not choose other places on the island, because they are very secluded. If you want to eat or have a cocktail in the evening in a bar, you will have to either take a water taxi or ride a scooter, unless the bar of the hotel where you will be staying is suitable for you.

Sairee Beach

Sairee beach is the most popular place on the island, the seashore is perfect for a vacation with children. The sea is shallow, the water is clear. Our little one just played or swam, and we could sit quietly on the shore. A very wide selection of hotels and villas, many shops, cafes and a cozy promenade is available. Other parts of the island are less urbanized, but no less beautiful, only in most of their shores are steep and stony.

Visiting Thailand with Kids

Visiting Thailand with Kids

I highly recommend renting a scooter, because the island is so beautiful that it takes away the promise, but you have to remember that most of the roads on the island are cobbled, so you have to evaluate your driving skills. The roads are steep and winding.

The island is mostly German, French and British, which makes me really happy – there are no Russians like in Pattaya or Phuket. The island is versatile, there are really many young people, because it is full of bars and fun, but it is perfect for a quiet family vacation. If you like snorkeling, this is a paradise for you, the excursions are really inexpensive – if you want to visit the top 5 diving spots, it will set you back about 25 euros. You can also book private tours. Our TOP three places are Mango bay, Ao Luek and Nangyuan. Nangyuan is three islands connected by narrow paths of white sand. The view is fabulous, and just wading into the water opens up a perfect view – the water is clear, and under it there are 100 different fish and corals. If you hold food in your hands underwater, the fish will eat directly from your hands.

Prices from minimum to maximum. Shared rooms for budget travelers from 5 euros per night. Renting an exclusive villa can cost as much as 1,000 euros. There is really plenty to choose from. It’s the same with food – you can find Thai street food for a few euros, but you can also choose dinners in luxury restaurants.

If you are looking for a place to relax in Thailand, we recommend that you take a look at the island of Ko Tao. It’s a really amazing place!

Koh Phangan – the Island of the World’s Most Famous Party, Yoga Schools and Perfect Beaches

This island is considered a backpacker’s paradise, it really has a lot of young people, but you can also have a great vacation with children. It is here that the “Fool Moon” party takes place, for which this island is known all over the world. It’s like the Ibiza of Europe. It happens once a month when the full moon is at its brightest on Haad Rin Beach. Personally, if possible, I would recommend visiting the island on any other day, except when the party is taking place (and a few before or after), because hotel prices, especially in the southern part where the party is taking place, go up significantly. In addition, on the days of the party, there are significantly more young people on the island, sometimes drunk, and the noise sometimes becomes tiresome, especially when traveling with the family.

Our Recommendations

  • Haad Rin – the southernmost beach of the island, where famous parties take place. It did not make a big impression on me personally, because the beach is quite narrow and full of young people, there are many cafes, it is very noisy. In addition, the town itself is not convenient because it is mountainous, so it is not convenient with a stroller. But the road from Thong Sala to Haad Rin is very picturesque, in the distance you can see the island of Koh Samui, the ocean. Make sure to take a ride.
  • Baan Tai – this is a town along the road from Thong Sala to Haad Rin. The beach is not very clean, cafes are located along the busy road.
  • Mae Haad is a small cozy town and a beautiful beach with a coral reef. We liked it a lot.
  • Baan Chalokum is a traditional fishing town in the bay, so the sea is good for swimming. It is from here that the majority of tourists go to the so-called most beautiful seashore on the island, Bottle beach.
  • Bottle beach is the most beautiful beach on the island. Only accessible by foot over the mountains or by boat. Just idyllically beautiful, I recommend it.
  • Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. Two small towns in the eastern part of the island, on a hill, with very beautiful beaches, so they can be reached by the only road through the mountains. The road is scenic, but may not be very pleasant to drive for an inexperienced driver. But the beaches themselves are just perfect for a vacation: the entrance to the sea is shallow, so the bay is calm and calm. An ideal place for children to swim. Noi town has more luxury hotels, cafes and restaurants in the town itself, while Yai is more bohemian. We lived precisely in Yai. All cafes and hotels are located on the seashore. We walked barefoot the whole time we were there. From the hotel to the seaside cafe, from it back. There are not many people, it’s quiet. I would definitely recommend this place to everyone for a vacation with children. It is true that there are many other unmentioned towns, but we have not been to them, so it would be difficult to comment on something.

Beaches Worth Visiting

There are countless beautiful beaches on the island, so don’t be lazy and take the time to visit them. Some are easily accessible, some only by boat, but all are worth the trip. All the beaches are amazing in their own way, so try to visit as many of them as possible. The Mae Haad beach left a big impression and we highly recommend it – there two water currents meet and water has different colors. It is in that place that there is a sandy path that leads to a nearby island. Only ride in the second part of the day, when there is low tide, because in the morning or at lunch you will still have to wade or even swim somewhere, because the track will be flooded. In addition, there is a great reef nearby for snorkeling. Take a boat, taxi, or take a couple of hours hike through the mountains to Bottle beach. The Instagram-worthy beach is surrounded by hills too.

What Else is Worth Doing or Seeing in Thailand?

One of the biggest recommendations is to rent a scooter, of course, if you have assessed your ability to drive. Taxis on the island are expensive, besides, it is not possible to go everywhere, and with a scooter you will be able to reach all the most beautiful places on the island. It should be noted that the roads on the island are not paved everywhere, in order to get to the waterfalls or observation decks, you may have to overcome quite a rocky and steep section of the road – be prepared for that. Make sure to ride a scooter. The roads on the island are surrounded by enchanting nature along the ocean, jungle or palm plantations. You won’t even notice how you will discover beautiful places just by riding or driving. Such driving was like a relaxation therapy for us.

Night markets are an integral part of Thai life. On Saturday, in the capital of the island, Thong Sala, a large market is held right next to the harbor, and the street of the Chinese district is closed to traffic. You can buy everything – from various foods to cosmetics and clothes. Also, this city hosts a night food market every night, where you will find a very large selection of various foods, both Thai and European, Indian, Japanese or roasted exotic worms. Even if you live further away, it’s worth coming here at least once in a while, and we visited almost every other night.

The sunsets on the island are simply unique. We accompanied the sun several times on a scooter, as the road winds right along the ocean. And for those who want to soak up the sun comfortably in a cafe, there are two very popular cafes – Amsterdam bar and Roof Top bar & restaurant, where many people gather.

If you have already rested and recovered, don’t be lazy and choose various excursions to other islands. The nature here is enchanting, and the choice of excursions is also large. Our recommendations are Koh Tao or Angthong National Park. If you ask me if we would go back, we would definitely go! So we confidently recommend it to you!

The Third Largest island in Thailand – Ko Samui

Ko Samui is one of the biggest tourist meccas in Thailand. Compared to other islands, it is quite small, but you can go around the whole island in a couple of hours. It is considered an island for romantic rest and honeymooners. And it’s not for nothing that the sunsets and beaches are just breathtaking. The big and most popular towns with their beaches are Chaewng, Lamai and Bophut. If you are looking for peace, we recommend Mae Nam Beach.

Tourism is really developed on the island, there are many Europeans who spend the winters here with their children. The entire infrastructure is highly developed – international schools, hospitals, large hotel chains, European stores. Those who are looking for luxury and those who are ready to pay ten euros for a night will find suitable rest on the island.

It is interesting that this island has the largest coconut palm plantations, so it is not surprising that you can buy coconuts everywhere, and the selection of products from them is large. The island is full of attractions for tourists and their favorite places – a Buddha sculpture standing on the water, waterfalls, various viewing platforms , aquariums, butterfly park, elephant shelters, secret Buddha garden.

The most popular sport on the island is Muay Thai boxing. If you have time, visit it, an emotional bomb is guaranteed. There are many different excursions – to the islands in the country, diving spots, but our most liked and unique excursion was to the island of Ko Madsum, where you can swim with pigs. Be sure to check it out, because travel agencies don’t advertise it very much.

And I will repeat it again, but if you really want to see the true beauty of the island, get on a scooter and ride as far as the eye can see. Especially in the central part of the island in the mountains. The view is such that sometimes I even forgot to take my phone and take pictures.

Traveling to Thailand with Children

We received a lot of questions “…how was traveling with a child?/how did the child feel..” I can once again confirm that Thailand is suitable for vacationing with a child. In larger cities and islands, there are medical facilities that meet all European standards, beautiful beaches, a large selection of accommodation facilities, a supply of European products (formulas, diapers, purees), really tasty food, and you always feel safe. Many hotels will always cook oatmeal or other cereal porridge for the child, and the restaurant will prepare a dish of your choice without spices.

And the most important thing is that you feel safe everywhere, both day and night, even if you are walking on an unlit road. We kept a pram and toys near the villa, and nothing ever went missing. Sometimes we didn’t even book the villa for the night. During the entire two months spent, I never encountered any kind of fraud, which often happens when traveling in other countries. Thai people adore children, they will always help, smile, lift a stroller from a ferry, carry a suitcase or open a door without expecting a tip – they are simply friendly, warm and life-loving people.

Is it worth traveling with a child to Thailand? OF COURSE! In addition, almost everything is free for children under 3 years old in Thailand – ferries, parks, excursions, and transport.

How Much Does a Holiday in Thailand cost?

Finally, the answer to the most common question “…how much?…”. The biggest investment when traveling to Thailand is plane tickets. Everything else depends on you and your needs. If you can spend 50 euros per day for your family, that’s enough, if you can spend 200 euros, you can spend them with confidence.

  • Overnight stay. You can find accommodation in a cabin for 10 euros per night, you can rent a room in a hotel for 30 euros, and you can pay 100 euros for a peaceful villa with a private pool. The choice of apartment prices and quality is very wide!
  • Food. Food prices also vary widely. You may have to pay more in a European restaurant than here, but 10 euros will be enough for dinner if you eat national dishes in a local night market or cafes. If you try national street food, you will definitely save money.

Other prices. I would say that food prices in stores are similar to ours, but you will have to pay a lot for European products – dark bread, fermented cheese, cottage cheese. Their prices are three times higher than ours. Imported alcohol is especially expensive – a bottle of wine, which costs 7 euros here, costs about 30 euros there. Renting a scooter for a day is from 5 to 10 euros, and taxis are really expensive in the resorts.

In conclusion, Thailand impressed our family with the sincerity and goodwill of the people, the breathtaking nature, the wonderful weather and the good value for money. If possible, I recommend it to everyone, and we would definitely do it again. To exchange Lithuanian grayness and cold for a couple of months for colors and flavors was one of the best and most fun decisions for our family.

This article is author’s work and was prepared by “Travelling with Children ®”. Copying and use without the permission of the author or “Travelling with Children ®” is strictly prohibited.
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