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5 family adventures in South-Thailand

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

Southern Thailand, home to tropical islands, hidden beaches, the jungle and elephants. An area full of adventures for you and your children! Let’s embark on a family travel South Thailand adventure…

The first part of this post was an introduction to traveling with your children in Thailand, including a call upon you to discover Bangkok (especially by bike if you’re up to it). This second post describes (family) adventures in South-Thailand. Hope you and your family get inspired! Are you ready for Thailand with kids?

Thailand with kids

Adventure 1: Overnight Jungle Stay

Fruit that can be hand-picked from trees alongside the road. A river eroding rocks and thereby slowly creating more room to manoeuvre. Monkeys, elephants and huge spider webs. When you are heading to the tropical islands in Southern Thailand, the Khao Sok Natural Park is a good transit place where you can spend 1 or 2 days hiking, rafting or do other adventurous things.

Thailand with kids

During the day it’s rather quiet. We arrived early afternoon and after storing our luggage in the cabin we just relaxed. But after the sun sets, the jungle music begins!

Thailand with kids

Thailand with kids

Spending the night in a jungle cabin is a true adventure. At night your ears go wild listening to the almost deafening sounds of all night creatures… It’s hard to describe, but when you’re lying in your bed, it feels like a blanket of sound is gently spread over your cabin. It’s not threatening, it’s just pure astonishment… the sounds of the jungle. We spent a couple of days in the Khao Sok national park.

Adventure 2: Feeding Elephants

I have a confession to make. Back in 2010 we went for one of those elephant rides in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park. It was a big adventure but with the recent controversy about such elephant rides, I feel a bit ashamed. The awareness about the negative sides of elephant rides was not that familiar back in 2010. Right now I would never, ever book an elephant ride again. However, you can opt for a visit to a camp where abused or wounded animals are being treated. You can feed and watch them. This is a great opportunity for your kids as well.

How can you not be impressed by these majestic animals. With their huge bodies they are still able to walk with grace. Their presence alone humbly forces us to treat them with the utmost care and respect.

Thailand with kids

Thailand with kids

Adventure 3: Relax on Stunning Beaches

Lying on the beach of a tropical island after two days of jungle adventures, what better way to end a holiday. But don’t consider it only as the end of your holiday, choosing the right beach will provide you with a dream experience.

Beach Thailand

There a lot of stunning islands to choose from. Depending on the time of year (rainy season) and your personal preference, you might even find it difficult to make the final decision! We chose for Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Samui is somewhat different from Phangan as it is more touristic.

Our hotel at Koh Phangan was situated on the northern part of the island. We were amazed by the curved bay and white sandy beach, just like you see in movies and read about in travel guides. The northern part is not very easy to reach (it takes a bumpy ride of about an hour but very much worth it!) and there is far less (or even no) night life. But when you travel with your children, this might just be the place you were looking for!

Thailand with kids

Adventure 4: Massage and Diner on the Beach

Thai massage…if you ever got one, you will surely come back for more. Did you think massages are not suitable for your children? Don’t worry, they will love it! On the beach, eyes closed and listening to the sounds of the waves…even your children will enjoy 1 hour of relaxation (just as you will!)

Thailand with kids

When the sun sets the hotels change their beach into an open-air restaurant. At night you enjoy the sounds of the small waves, dig your bare feet in the warm sand, watch lanterns being lit and see them floating away in the air….we couldn’t feel more happy. This was a holiday where you really, really don’t want to go back home.

Thailand with kids

Adventure 5: Snorkeling to Watch Coral and Fish

You can easily arrange a snorkeling experience with your children. After a short boat trip you dive into the clear water and explore the world under the sea level. They will see fish and if the water is clear, also some breathtaking coral. For us it was our first time snorkeling and I can truly recommend it. For me personally it was the silence I enjoyed the most. The complete underwater silence, far away from our noisy world above the water level. This was an experience I will not easily forget.

Thailand with kids

Health & Safety

Thailand is a really safe place to travel, we never felt threatened or even uncomfortable. If you want some specific travel tips about Thailand or traveling with children in general, just drop me a message. The hotels we stayed in were very child-friendly and all had connecting doors. After travel experiences with our family in other countries, I can confirm that Thailand is ahead in providing families a carefree vacation.

Thailand with kids

Oops, I almost forget: one more TIP about safety: if you want to get a tattoo, no worries because they use a new needle every time!

Thailand with kids

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Heather on her travels November 14, 2010 - 21:28

You really make me want to visit Thailand with my family – I especially think they would enjoy an elephant ride – there are many beautiful beaches, but that would be a unique experience

Emiel van den Boomen November 15, 2010 - 21:44

Thanks Heather and great to see you here! I loved your post on the Eiffel Tower. Traveling with kids offers new experiences, new adventures. If you get the chance to travel to Thailand with your children, don’t hesitate!

Farnoosh November 11, 2010 - 11:50

Dearest Emiel, what a great fantastic post about how to vacation (in style and in exotic locales) with kids 🙂
“The ride on the back of an elephant is wonderful. With every step the animal conquers, with every step it retakes ownership of that part of the forest. You feel like a king, on the back of another king.” – my favorite phrase.
Thank you for the link love on the elephants…..And for writing your travel adventures so consistently lately and in flawless English no less….Bravo, and thank you for the glimpse into Thailand!

Emiel van den Boomen November 11, 2010 - 12:51

Dearest Farnoosh,
You make me blush… all those compliments. But keep them coming lol. You really are a great supporter and again we have a shared admiration.
I try to be consistent indeed, next post is already finished and scheduled 🙂

maryrichardson November 10, 2010 - 23:34

I looked into doing a jungle stay myself… did your hut have electricity or running water? it looks so fun!

Emiel van den Boomen November 11, 2010 - 09:02

Hi Mary,
You should! Our cabins did have electricity and running water (only cold water). You want some ‘luxury’ when you travel with your family. But I will never forget the ‘jungle music’ at night, really amazing.


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