Thailand is a great destination for the family that just wants to hang by the beach, or who are keen to get out and explore the natural and cultural landscape of this diverse Southeast Asian country. From the Royal Palace and famed watts of Bangkok, to the jungles, waterfalls, and railway of Kanchanaburi, to the pristine sandy stretches of the southern peninsula, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy in Thailand. Here are just a few of the best family outings the country has to offer.
1. The Grand Palace and Wat Phrakaew
The Grand Palace sits in the heart of Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River. It’s stunning complex, whose regal architecture is filled with Thai decorations and craftsmanship, is home to both the monarchy’s seat of power as well as Wat Phrakaew (The Emerald Buddha Temple), the most important Buddhist religious site in Thailand. Whether you’re simply in Bangkok for a brief stay before heading out to other regions, or if you are in the city for an extended stay, the Grand Palace is one of the country’s must-visit sites.
Sukhothai is named for the Kingdom that reigned in this region over the 13th and 14th centuries, and this eras achievements in architecture and artwork have made it recognized as the Golden Age of Thai civilization. Today, the historical park, which is known as the old city, is home to a beautiful array of ancient and ruined temples, sculptures, and statues. If you’re a family who enjoy a bike ride, this area is a great place to explore on bike.
This small jungle town is a great place to base yourself for some extravagant cultural and natural exploration. Not far from the town sits the famous Death Railway, where ally POWs were forced to work on a deadly rail project that went on to inspire famous films such as The Bridge Over the River Kwai, and the recent Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. A few miles from town you will also find Erawan falls, whose river path will lead you past an array of beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes.
The old capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya stood for over 400 years before it was invaded and sacked by the Burmese. The wealth of this ancient kingdom has been poured into its temples, palaces, and Buddha statues (many of which were beheaded in the sacking), and much of it is still visible today. The ruins are a wonderful place for children to explore, as the mythical feeling brings to mind scenes from The Jungle Book.
5. The Beaches
Wherever you end up, whether it’s the eastern Island of Ko Chang with its mountainous jungle interior and palm tree dotted white sands, or the rocky cliffs and hidden coves of southern islands like Ko Samui, you will find stunning vistas and perfect waters to relax and unwind.
So now that you know all the greatest places to visit, there is no reason to put off booking your Thailand flights, you’ll certainly be glad you did.
Image by Kai Lehmann used under the Creative Commons License.