Our recent trip to Phuket was the second time that we have been to Phuket with our children (though this time they were a much more manageable age for the flights). But I have had a few people ask me about Thailand with children and how we managed it, but it is honestly a great destination for families. Of course, it is far from the UK, so that is something to bear in mind. But from the climate, to the weather, and what there is to do, Phuket really works as a great destination for families.
So I just thought I’d share a few of the things that we got up to on our trip, as well as some of the other family-friendly things to do on the island. I’ll just add the note that we were only looking to do ethical things and those things that treat animals well (unfortunately there are a few places like Phuket Zoo that could work for kids, but they don’t treat the animals well so they’re not on our list). It would be great to hear what you think.
Being an island that has lots of other small islands all around it, you have to take a boat trip when you’re over there. The good news is that children don’t cost as much on a trip, and are usually free if they are under three. We took a trip with Phuket Sail Tours, and it was honestly amazing. They provide food and drink all day, and are set-up for families to be there, with life jackets and goggles for kids. It is a great way to try some new things, do things that we and they have never done before, like canoeing through mangrove forests and walking through caves (not to emotion snorkelling and visiting the picturesque and tiny islands that you stop off at along the way).
There are a couple of sanctuaries for elephants in Phuket, that all involve either a morning or an afternoon, where you help to care for and feed the elephants. There is no elephant riding (though there are places to do that if that is your thing). You can get in the mud with the elephants and just have lots of fun. A meal is also included with this kind of thing too, and children will be sure to love it.
If you are looking for show that really highlights and shows off some of the Thai culture, then Fantasea will be the place to be. it is basically dinner and a show, with music, dancing, and animals (though I am assured that in this instance it isn’t like a circus and the animals are treated well). It can be good way to introduce children to a different culture and some amazing Thai food.
We were staying in the north of the island, but further down south of the island is Phuket Town, which is the main town or city on the island. It is quite busy, as you might imagine, but is a good place to see some sights, experience a bit more of what Thai culture is all about, and even go to a Buddhist temple. We went to the Wat Mongkol Nimit shrine in Phuket Town, and it was such a cool experience. Although small, the decree is bright and stunning, and there was a monk in there that was talking to us about what goes on, and was even teaching us how they pray and worship. Really fascinating, and the children even talk about it to this day.
Beaches and Swimming
Of course, being an island there is plenty of swimming and water sports to see and do. And you can be pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to which beaches to go to. Some of the best beaches in Phuket are:
- Karon Beach
- Kata Beach
- Kamala Beach
- Bangtao Beach
- Surin Beach
- Nai Harn Beach
- Kata Noi Beach
- Mai Khao Beach (where we were staying – the others were a drive away)
This is just the start, but there are so many places that are good for families on Phuket. Even the restaurants and so on cater for children, so don’t be put off going. I think Bangkok will be a whole different thing with children as it is much busier. But Phuket is amazing and well worth the trip with children.