FAMILY FRIENDLY GUIDE
Population: 68 million (2016)
Official Language(s): Thai
Time zone: 3hrs behind EST. UTC+07:00
Landmass: 513,120 km˛
Currency: Thai Baht
Emergency Number: Tourist Police: 1155, General Emergency Call: 191
Thailand with Kids
The land of smiles
Thailand means "land of the free" and is known
as the "land of smiles" and both descriptions are apparent while
you laze on a pristine beach watching children with mile wide
smiles frolic at the water's edge without a care in the world.
The kingdom embraces a rich diversity of cultures and
traditions, and combined with the scenic splendour of a
diverse countryside, offers something for everyone. Its
proud history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality
are an endless source of fascination and pleasure for families,
from the more adventurous longing to explore, to the more
vacation minded dreaming of lazy days and heavenly, exotic nights.
The three main destinations that cater for families are Hua Hin, Phuket and Bangkok. Hua Hin is just a three-hour drive from Bangkok or a short flight, and it boasts good swimming beaches, golf courses, spa resorts and excellent shopping.
Phuket is an island known as the "pearl of the south" and has a huge choice of resorts from three to five star. The scenery is beautiful and diverse and the attractions are many, including the spectacular limestone scenery of Phang Nga Bay, the idyllic Phi Phi Island, canoeing, rock climbing and horse riding.
Most resorts have excellent facilities for kids. In Hua Hin, the Sofitel in Central Hua Hin village is excellent, while in Phuket, Laguna Beach Resort's Kids Club has a large, safe, outdoor playground containing a paddling pool, a large games room with six Sony and Dreamcast playstations, a water park and a Batik painting centre.
The Allamanda Laguna Phuket offers spacious bedrooms, family rooms, kids' menus and a kids' club, Allamanda's Camp Laguna. The Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort's Penguin Club has an impressive array of activities for children; the Novotel Coralia Phuket is also very good, with an indoor playground, baby sitting and a kids club, while Rydges Beach Resort has interconnecting family rooms available in all three room categories, in-house movies and cable TV in all rooms. The JW Marriott Resort has children's activities and babysitting, with some fantastic activities like elephant trekking.
Samui and Pattaya are other areas to consider; they too have stunning beaches and several family hotels and resorts.
Thailand's capital is the fantastically hot, crowded, traffic-choked city of "Krung Thep" - Bangkok. But don't let that put you off for a second. Bangkok is an exciting city with plenty of rewards in store for adventurous travellers. Built on the banks of the Chao Phraya River it is home to many of Thailand's most spectacular temples and monuments and amazing shopping, dining and nightlife.
Where is Thailand & how do I get there?
The Kingdom of Thailand is in the heart of South East Asia, roughly equidistant between India and China.Airlines that fly from Australia to Bangkok include Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airlines. Thai Airlines also offers flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to Phuket.
When should I go to Thailand?
Thailand has three major seasons, rainy, cool and hot. During the rainy season, from June to October, there is still plenty of sunshine and showers rarely last more than an hour or two, although the south of Thailand receives considerably more rain during this period.
Where to stay
The three main destinations that cater for families are Hua Hin, Phuket and Bangkok. Hua Hin is just a three-hour drive from Bangkok or a short flight, and boasts good swimming beaches, golf courses, spa resorts and excellent shopping.
Phuket is an island known as the "pearl of the south" and has a huge choice of resorts from three to five star. The scenery is beautiful and diverse and the attractions are many, including the spectacular limestone scenery of Phang Nga Bay, the idyllic Phi Phi Island, elephant rides, canoeing, rock climbing and horse riding.
Resorts with kids clubs/facilities offered
Sofitel Hua Hin Beach Resort is an excellent choice for families wanting to stay in Hua Hin. This colonial-style hotel right on the beach and is nestled in tranquil tropical gardens. Thereâ€™s an outdoor playground and a childrenâ€™s club for kids aged 6 to 12.
Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa is another excellent choice in this region. The kidsâ€™ club cares for children from 4-12 years with a wide range of organised activities for young guests to enjoy. All activities are free of charge. There is also a babysitting service throughout the entire day Further information: www.hilton.com/worldwideresorts
Club Med Phuketis located on a stunning white sandy beach overlooking the bay of Kata this resort offers an all inclusive option which includes free kids' clubopen for children aged 4-13 years, three meals per day and unlimited beer and wine at lunch and dinner, plus a huge choice of sports and activities with tuition and live evening entertainment.
Laguna Beach Resort in Phuket has a kids club with a large, safe, outdoor playground containing a paddling pool, a large games room with six Sony Playstations and Dreamcasts, a water park and a Batik painting centre.
Allamanda Laguna Phuket offers spacious bedrooms, family rooms, kids' menus and a kids' club, Allamanda's Camp Laguna.
Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is a first-class resort located on Phuketâ€™s beautiful Nai Harn Beach. Kids will love the Penguin Club with its impressive array of activities for children from indoor fun like fan painting, necklace making and limbo dancing to outdoor games like treasuring hunting, kite flying and water polo.
Maekok River Village, Chang Mai resort will give you a different experience. Located on the banks of the Maekok River with just 29 rooms you will stay in homely villas or poolside rooms. For the kids there is The Bamboo Adventure Club where they will experience climbing, canoeing or an assault course. Further information: www.maekok-river-village-resort.com
Tipping is not expected in Thailand. You can tip a small amount at more tourist-oriented hotels, bars and restaurants if you feel you've received good service.
220 volts, 50 hertz AC, using straight, twin-prong plugs.
No vaccinations are required to enter Thailand, but see your doctor at least six weeks before your trip to check which shots are recommended. Generally malaria is not a risk in Thailand except in border areas ďż˝ again, check with your doctor before you leave. Mosquitoes and other bugs are rife throughout the country, so make liberal use of insect repellent, especially at night. Thailand is an amazingly hot and humid country, so be sure to have hats, sunscreen and plenty of bottled water.
The locals in Thailand don't drink tap water so it's a good idea for tourists to stick to bottled water too. Water and ice served in eateries is generally made from filtered or treated water.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Australians do not require a for stays of less than 30 days, but you must have a passport that is current for at least 6 months from the date of
HWK Family Travel Tips
Bargaining is a skill worth learning and practicing if you plan to do any shopping, and kids can try their hand and it too. Friendly bargaining is expected at market stalls and makes the shopping experience fun for both the buyer and the seller. When you want to negotiate a price with a seller, have the absolute maximum you're willing to pay in your mind, then ask the seller what the lowest price he's willing to offer is. Offer considerably less than this (between about two-thirds and half the price is OK!) then keep haggling until you reach a happy medium.