Hotels for Families in Bangkok

Bangkok › Kid-Friendly Hotels
Updated: September 2, 2023
By Santorini Dave

My Favorite Hotels in Bangkok

• 5-Star Hotel: Mandarin Oriental
• Midrange Hotel: Buddy Lodge
• For Families: Anantara Riverside
• Hotel Pool: Anantara Siam
• Best for Shopping: Siam Kempinski
• Best Airport Hotel: Novotel
• Best New Hotel: Four Seasons

Bangkok Best Hotels for Kids

My boys relaxing on Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Bangkok Family Hotels – My Advice

The 10 Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Bangkok

1. Anantara Riverside Resort – Riverside

Best resort with large pool for families in Bangkok.
This is the best kid-friendly hotel in Bangkok. It has large rooms, several restaurants, and a quiet location. The pool is huge (one of the best in Bangkok) and sits amid beautiful green grounds. The hotel is located across the river from central Bangkok but remains a short taxi or free shuttle boat ride from the action. It feels more like a resort and is great if you need a break from the chaos of the city. The air here is also noticeably cleaner making this a good choice if someone in the family suffers from allergies. (My son does and within a few hours of moving from a Sukhumvit hotel to the Anantara he was breathing more easily.) The kids club is great and has some fun activities (including Thai boxing).

2. Holiday Inn Bangkok – Siam Square

Large family suites have separate rooms and bunk beds for kids. Wonderful location steps from the Skytrain, Central World, and many malls. Thailand’s largest aquarium (in Siam Paragon mall) is within a short walk on a covered footbridge. The hotel has a great swimming pool, free wifi, and free breakfast. This is one of the best value hotels in Bangkok.

3. Anantara Siam Bangkok – Siam Square

Best kid-friendly pool in Bangkok.
Large luxurious rooms, huge beautiful pool, great restaurants with a family-friendly vibe. Convenient location in the center of the city, close to several shopping malls, and steps from a Skytrain station. The Sunday brunch is one of the best in Bangkok. (This is formerly the Four Seasons Hotel).

4. Amari Watergate Bangkok – Pratunam

Good sized rooms and a great location if you want to shop at the Pratunam market or the Platinum Fashion Mall (for cheap clothes). Beautiful pool on the 8th floor offers wonderful views of central Bangkok.

5. Siam Kempinski Hotel – Siam Square

Large family room in Bangkok with kitchen.
Luxurious 2 bedroom suites feature a living room, bunk beds, fully equipped kitchen, and washing machine and dryer. Wonderful swimming pool. Great location for shopping.

6. Chatrium Hotel Riverside – Sathorn

The best hotel for short-term rental in Bangkok. It’s both a hotel (rent by the night) and an apartment (rent by the month). It has fully furnished 1 and 2 bedroom suites (family of five) with large fully equipped kitchens. The pool is huge and very kid-friendly. Lots of families stay here so kids are likely to find playmates easily. It’s located in a quiet neighborhood but still a short taxi ride to a Skytrain station.

7. Ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai – Khao San Road

The nicest pool of any budget hotel in Bangkok – with a very nice kids pool. Rooms are clean and simply decorated. The triple rooms are great for most families. The family suite (there’s only one) is huge and comfortably sleeps a family of four.

8. Dang Derm Hotel – Khao San

Central location off Khao San Road with large family rooms and a nice rooftop pool. Thai style hotel with mattresses on the floor.

9. Shama Lakeview Asoke – Sukhumvit Road

Apartment-style suites are huge (2 and 3 bedrooms available). Indoor and outdoor pool, full kitchen, washer and dryer, children’s playroom, free wi-fi. Location is a small drawback. Nice neighborhood but not a lot of attractions nearby. Free shuttle bus takes you to Asok Skytrain station and subway.

10. Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Airport

Bangkok airport hotel with swimming pool.
Great hotel if you need to stay near the airport (the terminal is a short indoor walk or free shuttle bus away). Nice rooms for family of four, beautiful pool, good restaurants.

More Bangkok Hotels for Families

Hotels with Swimming Pools

Read More

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Family Holiday in Thailand

    What a great webpage. Planning a family holiday to Thailand this November but on a medium budget. We have two weeks which we want to split between sightseeing, shopping, and relaxing. My kids will be 16, 11, and 3. Please advice:

    1. How to split the two weeks.
    2. Where to stay.

    Thanks, Nisha

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In November, I would split time between Bangkok and Chiang Mai (and other towns in the north). November is the end of the rainy season and the islands can still have some wet days. If you need some beach time go to the west coast and go at the end of your trip as the weather improves throughout November.

  2. Where To Go for Family After Bangkok Visit

    Where would you suggest a family of 2 or 3 adults and 1 child aged 12 should go for a week after spending a couple of days in Bangkok? Ideally not too complicated a transfer and not too touristy – not after 5* inclusive but beach and things to do. Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Samui is the easiest to get to (short direct flights from Bangkok). It certainly has its touristy spots and high-end resorts but you can find quieter places too. Koh Phangan (a short ferry ride from Koh Samui) is much less touristy but requires an extra leg of travel as there is no airport there.

  3. Bangkok Hotels with Kid-friendly Swimming Pool

    We’ll have one week in Bangkok and would like a nice family-friendly hotel with good pool for kids. Also would like to be centrally located and walking distance to BTS, shopping, and restaurants. What would you recommend?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Anantara Siam (5 star) and the Holiday Inn (4 star) have very central locations and nice pools. The Ibis Viengtai (3 star) near Khao San Road is a good mid-range choice. The Chatrium Residence Sathon (4 star) offers the largest suites and best value but you’re not walking distance to a BTS train.

  4. Closest Beach to Bangkok for Family

    What is the closest beaches to Bangkok suitable for family with good hotels and what is the travel time and method of travelling (Vehicle or Train) from Bangkok?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The closest good beaches are Cha’am and Hua Hin. Lots of good 4/5 star resorts. It’s about 2.5 hours by car and a little longer by train. Koh Samet has nicer beaches but takes more like 3.5/4 hours to get to with car and ferry.

  5. Thailand in Summer for Family of 4

    Hi David. I’m after some advice, my wife and I are very undecided as to what to do at the moment. We are looking at spending 5 weeks of the kids holidays with our 2 sons in possibly Thailand. They are 6 and 8. My only concern is the weather, we re not looking at going inland, just spending some days in Bangkok then taking the train south. We were just going to island hop on the gulf side. The last time my wife and I went was for a month in October, the weather was nice Andaman side but bad the gulf side. We currently live in Cyprus but we’re moving back to the UK in summer so thought whilst waiting for our stuff to get shipped back we’d go exploring. We have thought about going Bali/Lombok as it’s dry season then but we’d prefer Thailand 1st time with the kids. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Rob

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Good weather is not guaranteed in July and August but it’s still a pretty good bet. I think you’ll be fine on the Gulf coast which usually has better weather than the west in July and August. That said, Bali is wonderful that time of year (though gets busier in August as Australians on holiday arrive).

  6. Rent Car / Hotel with Pool for Family of 5

    Hi David

    I’d really like your advice, we are travelling to Thailand end of July for 7 nights with 16, 14, and 8 year old children my wife and myself.

    We want to spend 2 days in Bangkok, 2 or 3 days in Chiang Mai, and 2 in Chiang Rai.

    We want to go to Chiang Mai by night train.

    Do you recommend me to rent a car in Chiang Mai? We are 5 people.

    Any hotel with pool in our destinations?

    Regards Jesús

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I do not recommend renting a car. Taxi and transportation are so cheap and renting a car such a hassle (and the road rules and customs are hard to figure out for a foreigner) that hiring a driver for the day is a much better way to go.

      Good hotels with pools:
      • In Bangkok: Anantara Riverside (huge pool, great for families)
      • In Chiang Mai: Yaang Come Village (large family rooms, great location and pool)
      • In Chiang Rai: Diamond Park Inn (great rates, good pool)

  7. Khao Yai with Kids

    Hi, We are thinking of a family trip to Khao Yai.
    We will land in BKK but not sure how to travel to Khao Yai and the best option as we have 2 kids age 2.5yr old and 4.5yr old.
    Please advice.

    Is Montana good place to stay in Khao Yai and how many days would you recommend to stay in Khao Yai?

    1. David The Hotel Expert

      The easiest way to Khao Yai National Park from Bangkok is by taxi or minibus which takes about 2.5 hours from Bangkok. You can arrange the trip either with your Bangkok hotel or your hotel in Khao Yai. A taxi would be the most expensive choice but would give you the most freedom to stop and stretch legs/go to the bathroom with the little ones.

      Montana Cotswolds Resort is a good choice, especially for the kids. The tents can be noisy however so you’ll definitely want to go for a room. The kids will probably love the park so two to four days should be a good time frame.

  8. Thailand with 7 Year Old in April

    Hi David,
    I love your site. We are considering going to Thailand for my 7 year old daughter’s spring break (April 9-16). We are thinking to go to Bangkok for three nights and then to a beach for 3 nights (e.g., Koh Samui, Krabi, Koh Samet, Karon, Kala), but cannot decide which. With only a week, we would like to minimize travel time. Questions:

    1. Best beach area for weather/air quality in April?
    2. Best connections (trying to keep budget in minds)?
    3. Songkran Festival and traveling with a child: Is it scary for an easily scared child? If so, recommendations for avoiding the celebrations?
    4. We normally try for 4 star hotels (boutique and/or resorty for kids) but have a tighter budget in mind. Any suggestions for Bangkok and/or the beach areas.
    5. Is it better to fly from the beach destination home? (9 hours with a connection) or, to return to Bangkok on the 15th and stay at a hotel close to the airport for an early morning direct 3.5 hour flight? If the latter…
    6.What hotel would you recommend near the airport for an early flight?

    Thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      1. Air quality is not usually an issue on any of the southern islands. And the weather in early April is sunny and dry pretty much everywhere in the south (though it is getting hot and more humid). So any of the destinations you’re considering would be good choices for weather and air quality.
      2. Bangkok to Koh Samui is the easiest connection to get to a beach quickly. Not only is it the shortest flight (1hour 5minutes to Samui, 1hour 20minutes to Phuket and Krabi) but there are great beach towns within a 10 minute drive of the airport. From Krabi and Phuket you’re looking at an hour or more for most destinations.
      3. Songkran is fun but yeah, it can be intense if you’re a 7 year old. That said, it’s pretty easy to avoid if you stay by the pool in your resort (the craziness never seems to enter into hotel property). But if you go out on the streets then expect to get soaked. In most places the celebration lasts for 2 or 3 days, but Koh Samui is one place where it’s pretty much just the one day and then returns to normal.
      4. In Bangkok, Khao San Road area has inexpensive, clean 2 and 3 star hotels. On Koh Samui, Mae Nam has a good collection of affordable hotels.
      5. I like breaking up the trip, but of course you do lose a day at the beach, so there is a tradeoff.
      6. The Novotel at BKK airport is great. Nice outdoor pool and good restaurants. It’s an easy walk to the terminal (but there’s also a free shuttle if you have lots of luggage). We love staying here when we go through Bangkok.

  9. Koh Samui or Railay with Kids

    Hi David

    I’d really like your advice, we are travelling to Thailand end of April with our 18 month old, we’ll be in Koh Phangan for 1 week and looking for another island for our second week, Koh samui makes most sense but we’ve been before and looking for somewhere a bit more special, we’re considering Railey Beach but I’m quite worried about it being a big journey with a little one, is this doable? Or should we stick to that side of thailand, and if so, do you have any suggestions? We leave in just over a month, thanks, Gemma.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Railay is wonderful and it’s probably worth the effort. I’d suggest spending 2 nights on Koh Samui to break the trip up. So 6 nights on Koh Phangan, 2 on Samui, and 6 in Railay. If you stay in Bophut you’re a short taxi ride to both the ferry and airport, and it’s a great little town with a fun walking street. Definitely fly from Koh Samui to Krabi as the ferry/bus/taxi/boat to get you from Samui to Railay otherwise makes for a very long day.

  10. Thailand in November with Kids

    Hi David. My husband and I are hoping to go to Thailand in November with our little girl who will be 14 months at the time. We would like to go to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and then a beach location. My questions are:
    Where would be best to travel in November?
    How many days should we spend in each? We have a maximum of 14 days in total we can do.

    We are looking for something authentic and cultural and away from the crowds (as much as is possible) and we like to go into local towns and explore local places so somewhere easy to do that would be great.

    Excellent site – not easy to find someone telling to you travel long haul with little ones.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      November is a good time to visit Bangkok and Chiang Mai. For beach weather the west coast will be better than the east coast in November – though still could be wet. The farther into November you can visit the south the better the weather will likely be. Khao Lak (an hour’s taxi drive north of Phuket airport) would be a good mix of local culture and beach that you’re looking for.

      1. Koh Phi Phi with Kids

        Thank you David. One other question – my husband has his heart set on Koh Phi Phi as he feels we will be getting the culture elements in the other locations and he really likes the look of the beach and the cliffs there – would this be a silly place to go with a child? Obviously we would look to not stay in Tonsai. I am worried about getting there and also medical facilities considering we have a child – am I worrying for no reason?

        Begona Castro

        1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

          Hi, Koh Phi Phi is a fine place to go with a child (you don’t mention the age but all ages love the beach!) if you make a wide berth away from Tonsai and the noisy party scene. There are some medical facilities on Phi Phi for minor injuries and illnesses and the Thai hotels are usually great about making sure guests get out and get the care they need in the case of an emergency. With regular boats to Phuket, medical should not be a problem. I personally wouldn’t let that stop you from going and you can also voice concerns in advance with your hotel and find out what services they can offer.

  11. Where To Go with Kids in March in Thailand

    Hi DAvid,

    I came upon your website while looking for a not too touristic place to go with children (2 years and 9 months) and a first-time visitor to Thailand (mother in law) for a one week vacation in mid-March.
    We want to go to the beach and thought of Ko Lanta, Ko Samui, Ko Chang, Railay. We can’t decide on where to go (we’ll stay for 5 to 7 nights) and are looking for the easiest and safest trip to the destination (plane or train).

    What is your suggestion on this? Is it better to go to the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman sea at that season?

    Thank you very much for your advice and suggestions!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The weather on both coasts is great in March so that shouldn’t be an issue. Koh Samui is the easiest of those places to get to and is wonderful island with great beaches and food. The airport is a 10 to 15 minute drive from several good beaches (Chaweng, Choeng Mon, Bophut are different but all great for kids) and has quick direct flights from Koh Samui. Railay and Koh Lanta are also wonderful but require a bit more effort to get to.

  12. Thailand with Kids during Christmas Holidays

    Hello David
    Please could you help me. We are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children (15, 12 & 10). And are looking to go to Thailand for Christmas and New year. The holiday will be 14 nights in total, travelling from 17 December and returning New Year’s Day. We are hoping to do a couple of nights in Bangkok and then from there head south-although we aren’t sure where exactly to go and then return to Bangkok for 3 nights for New Year’s Eve before going home. Please could you offer some advice about where to stay for the Christmas period, and whether It would be a good idea to get the sleeper train down towards Phuket. Ideally we would like to be away from the youths partying at the full moon, but near to amenities. Just too much choice and I’m getting very confused with where we should go.
    Many thanks in advance.

    Zoe Sage

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      A wonderful beach town during Christmas is Bophut (on Koh Samui island). It’s lively, festive, and fun. For a bit of an adventure you can take the overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then the boat over to Koh Samui. It’s a nice trip and worth the effort. There are also direct flights to Koh Samui so you could then fly back. It’s not so easy taking the train to Phuket as you’ll need to take a bus or private van across from the east coast to the west coast and it’s not a very fun or interesting trip. So if you do go to Phuket just fly both ways.

  13. Good Base in Krabi for Family of 4


    Very helpful site.

    Planning a 2 1/2 week trip to Thailand late March, me wife, and two daughters age 3 and 7, already booked 3 nights Bangkok, and 4 night’s Chiang Mai, then have flights down to Krabi. We did plan on staying in Ao Nang as a base to see the islands and around Krabi, but have read mix reviews. Can you suggest aware else to stay as a base?

    Kevin Sands

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Ao Nang would not be my first choice for a base (though it is good for transportation and arranging day trips). Railay is my favorite beach town in the Krabi area.

  14. Air Quality in Chiang Mai in April


    Great resource for Thailand! We (myself, husband and almost 2 yr old) are planning to travel this Easter for just over two weeks, flying into Phuket and then staying at Khao Lak for 6 nights. We were then looking at heading to Chiang Mai for a week but have been slightly put off by the smog/smoke/heat at that time of year, particularly with having a toddler in tow. Is Chiang Mai doable at this time of year? Or better to head else where early April? Thanks in advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Chiang Mai air quality can be very bad in April (March is usually the worst month). Every year is different but the smoke and smog usually don’t clear until the first big rains of the year which come in May or early June.

  15. Hotel with Water Park in Thailand

    I’m looking for a place in Thailand that has a good water park attached, we found the hotel Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villa Phuket seems to be ideal – except it gets quite a lot of bad reports for being rundown / cleanliness and general quality of the hotel.

    Any recommendations, I like the idea of Koh Samui but this seems to be lacking in any big complex hotels I suppose because it’s a little island. First time to anywhere in Asia, so I have no idea what I’m looking at.

    We like to have a nice beach attached, I think that’s also a downfall of the west sands place.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, the water park at West Sands is excellent and the best and biggest in Thailand. I think the hotel is fine for cleanliness and amenities (suites are huge). What it lacks is anything very interesting nearby. The beach is beautiful to look at but not great for swimming. The food at the hotel is average at best. Centara also has a water park hotel in Pattaya. Very nice too though not a full water park like the West Sands. (And Pattaya is not the most family-friendly place in Thailand.) Koh Samui has a small water park in Lamai (good for a visit if your kids are under 12 but teens would be very bored). No hotels on Samui have water parks.

  16. Family Trip to Thailand for Christmas 2016

    Thank you for your blog, we’ve found lots of helpful information already.
    We are planning a family trip to the Andaman coast area of Thailand for Christmas, almost 2 weeks. It will be 6 adults, a 2.5yr old, & a 10mo old.
    We’d like to spend at least a week renting a house with a pool. But are open to traveling w/in the country before/after that. Or even using the house as a “base camp” and doing day or overnight trips from there.
    Some requests from people in my group: great Thai food, cheap massages, snorkeling, rock climbing/cliff jumping, and beaches!
    We’ve been going back and forth between Ko Lanta and Railay/Ao Nang. Which (or elsewhere) would you recommend? Is Ko Phi Phi in a day reasonable or should we plan on an overnight?

    Thanks in advance!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For great food nothing beats Bangkok. Doing a food tour is a great idea for Bangkok. Ko Lanta is good for relaxing and beach time (and has better food than the Railay area). Railay and Ao Nang are better for more active pursuits (like rock climbing) – but also have great beaches. Staying a night in Ko Phi Phi is better than arriving with the day tripping crowds and leaving with the same pack.

  17. Recommended Elephant Camps in Thailand

    Hello David,
    How lovely to find a blog about travelling with children to places other then the typical destinations. There is a lot of useful information here, however I am concerned with some of the places you suggest to visit in Chiang Mai. Have you ever heard of the ‘training crush’; young elephants are torn from their mothers put in a tiny cage and made to endure weeks of brutal beatings, starvation and sleep depravation and other horrors in order to make them suitable for riding and training to do tricks. Most elephants in Thailand are sadly mistreated and if tourists continue to support these types of excursions the abuse will not stop.

    There are a few places that are working towards change.

    I highly recommend the Elephant Nature Park. It is excellent for all ages and there are a variety of different programs to choose from, both day trips and over night. There are some very sad stories in regards to many of the elephants here but this is a place of healing. Visitors get the opportunity to feed, bathe and interact with the resident elephants, it is lovely.
    BLES – another amazing sanctuary suitable for all ages however it is for over night stays and is usually booked up to a year in advance.
    BEES – Chiang Mai area, volunteering, over night stays however very basic conditions.
    Elephants World – Kanchanaburi
    Elephant Hills – you can arrange transportation from various locations. They have a variety of programs, the lodging is very luxiourious tents.

    I haven’t visited all of these places but I have researched them and they all seem legit. We will be travelling around Thailand with our 2 year old in a few weeks. Wish us luck.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Thanks Stephanie. I’ve added links to your comment to make it more helpful to other travelers.

  18. Best Hospital near Beach Locale

    Hi David
    Your website is very informative, thank you! We are thinking of going to Thailand in April, myself and my husband have been before, but this time we would like to take our two boys aged five and seven. My eldest son has epilepsy, which is well controlled, but has required a quick trip to A and E before over a year ago. I wanted to know if there was an area that had better hospital facilities than others? I was thinking about Krabi? Any advice would be greatly apreciated.
    Many Thanks

  19. Thailand with Kids / Red Light Worries


    We are planning a trip to Thailand during our 9 year-old daughter’s semester break. A few friends told us not to go to Thailand as a family due to many places being like a red light district. Do you think that visiting the usual tourist places in Bangkok, Phuket, or Pattaya is risky in terms of being exposed to red light district-like sights?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Red Light Districts are not the norm in Thailand. You have to go out of your way to find them and they are certainly easy to avoid. I’ve been all over Thailand with my kids and have only encountered a few undesirable areas in passing. I would avoid staying in Pattaya or Patong (on Phuket). And I’d highly recommend places like kata Beach (on Phuket), Khao Lak (north of Phuket), and Bophut or Choeng Mon (on Koh Samui) as places where you won’t see anything red-light in nature. And they all have beautiful beaches.

  20. 3 Weeks in Koh Samui with Kids

    Ciao David,
    In this website you provide such in depth information and you take the time to reply. I’m impressed.Thank you so much for answering questions and helping with planning. For me, it’s a real blessing!
    I’ve followed your advice and decided against 3 weeks in Railay. I opted for three weeks in Koh Samui instead. So, as stated previously, it’s me, my three kids (7,3, and 8 months) and a babysitter.
    I’m looking for a peaceful laid-back spot where kids can interact with nature and other little ones and where I can interact with like-minded people, more of the backpacker/hippie type than resort dwellers, and maybe even listen to some live music.
    Mae Nam vs Boput vs Choeng Mon: where I am most likely to get away from the charter crowds and find some peaceful place where there’s still some Thai culture?
    What is the south side of the island like?
    Can you recommend any specific host for a two-bedroom house with kitchen in any one of these localities?
    Do you know any guest houses with a shared kitchen?
    If there’s a pool all the better. My max budget is of Euro 50 per night.
    I’ve backpacked around the world for a long time also with kids, but it’s the first time making all these decisions on my own and I’m overwhelmed. Thanks again for your time and kind advice.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Mae Nam is more what you’re looking for than Bophut or Choeng Mon. is a good place to look for longer-term rentals.

  21. Last Minute Hotels in Chiang Mai and Phuket

    This info has been extremely valuable to me as I plan my family’s first trip to Thailand. We will be there for 4 weeks in January. The primary purpose is to spend about 10 days in Mae Sot for a school project. The rest of the time we will be traveling probably to Chaing Mai and Phuket. You mentioned that it is necessary to book hotels well in advance as this is the busy season, however we have the constraint that we will not be told the timeline for the 10 days in Mae Sot until we arrive in Thailand. Unfortunately there is no way around this. How difficult is it to book last-minute hotels in January in Chaing Mai and Phuket? Thank you!!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You’ll be able to find something in Chiang Mai – but it won’t be your first, second, or third choices. Phuket is trickier and it’s possible you’ll have a difficult time finding anything suitable. Once you find out your available dates I would look to book Phuket first and then depending on what you find base the rest of your travels around the dates that work best for Phuket.

  22. Best Way for Family of 4 from Airport to Bangkok

    Wonderful site. So helpful. We are on a 3 week trip around Thailand (and then Singapore). Got 2 kids. We’re staying at the Anantara Riverside. When we arrive in Bangkok it will be 9pm. What will be the best way to get from the airport to the Anantara, taxi or train/metro? And our flight to Koh Samui leaves 3 days later at 2pm. Would that make any difference in choosing the best transport method?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Taxi is definitely the best way to get from the airport to the Anantara Riverside. For hotels around Siam Square and central Bangkok it can be better and faster to take the train. Especially during rush hour when traffic into Bangkok can come to a standstill. But to get to the Anantara it would require 1 train, 1 Skytrain, and then a taxi for the final mile. And you won’t be arriving or departing during the thickest rush hour so I’d just hop in a taxi. There are bigger taxi vans too if the typical taxi sedan won’t fit all 4 of you and your luggage.

  23. Northern Thailand with Kids

    Hi David,
    I am enjoying reading your site and reading all the fellow travelers questions and replies. My husband and I will be going to Thailand in November for a month with our 2 children (5.5 and 2.5). We have been 4 times before, once with our daughter when she was 20 months old, backpacking every time. We love Chiang Mai and would like to do the Mae Hong Son loop, then fly to Koh Samui from CM. We were thinking of taking our time to get to CM from BKK, taking buses/trains and stopping in Sukhothai and onwards to CM. We have been to Pai but no further and that was 8 years ago. I am interested in your input on places to see/stop at on the loop and whether you feel it would be good for young children. They have traveled lots already but not sure about the windy roads.
    Thank you in advance for your input.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good grasp of it all so not sure what I can add. Traveling by train is certainly easier (for both kids and adults) than bus so that might be a consideration in choosing where to go. It can still be pretty wet in early November so be prepared for that.

  24. Air Quality in Bangkok – Where To Stay?

    Our son is very sensitive to dirty air and pollution. It’s not life or death but he does get a runny nose when in polluted areas for more than a day or 2. We’re aware that Bangkok doesn’t have great air quality but have 36 hours there between flights from Sydney to London. Can you recommend a hotel to stay that will not be too bad and not in the worst of it. We don’t want to be way out in the countryside though. Suggestions?
    Thank you,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The air quality in Bangkok is not great. Not horrific, but not great. Staying across the river in Thonburi does make a huge difference. It’s still easy (and fun by boat) to get across the river to the main side where most attractions are found. The Anantara Riverside is the best family hotel on the “opposite shore”. The hotel has a huge pool and is one of the most kid-friendly hotels in Bangkok. Boats pull up right to the Anantara’s dock and makes getting across the river quick and easy. Highly recommended.

  25. One Week in Thailand with Kids

    We are planning a week long trip with family and friends to Thailand in mid Nov – will have kids from age group of 4 to 14 with us. Can you suggest a 2/3 places that we can cover in a week without too much time spent on inter city travel? Also suggest good hotels, places to visit in these places.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      My 3 favorite places in Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui. If you follow that route you’ll get a bit of everything: great city, great outdoors and adventure, and great beaches. All 3 have great food if you seek it out.

  26. Remote Island for Family of 6

    Hey David!
    We’re taking our 4 kids (ages 10, 8, 8 & 7) to Thailand in August and want to enjoy Thailand’s best natural beauty (the less man-made the better!). We have a week planned in Khao Sok national park (been there twice before, pre-kids, and love it), but want to find a remote beach destination for week #2 (we’ll be traveling from Khao Sok, then flying out of Phuket after the beach week). I was at PhiPhi in 2000 and then my wife and I found Koh Racha in Jan 2005 (right after the tsunami), and what we loved best was the “nearly deserted island” feel. Fast forward a decade and it’s time to bring the kids with this time… what island would you recommend? We’re the “quiet bamboo bungalow on a beach” kind of family.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d suggest Koh Lanta. If that’s too developed how about Koh Mak and Koh Kut.

  27. Is Thailand Safe for Kids?

    Hi David,

    I have dreamed of a trip to Thailand since I was little and just booked a trip leaving New Years Eve for me, my husband, and my 11 year old girl and 9 year old boy. I was super excited but now I am terrified because everyone I know has told me stories about kidnapping and terrorists to the point I am thinking about forfeiting my flights. We are flying into Bangkok, then want to go to Chaing Mai and then spend a week on the beaches somewhere safe for swimming and relaxing. When I look “is thailand safe for kids” up on the internet I get conflicting stories yes and no and the american and australian governments are warning people not to go. I am sick and just need to know the real scoop as I have no one to get it from. You seem like my best source. I am fine with forfeiting my tickets if need be. I just need to know.
    Do I need to be concerned?

    Worried Mom,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Your biggest danger in Thailand (as in pretty much any country) is the risk of being in a car accident. If you wanted to do the most for your safety (and children’s safety) look for taxis that have working seat belts. As in any country, flying is always safer than driving by car or bus. The chance of dying in a terrorist attack or kidnapping is pretty close to zero. For example, the number of terrorist-related deaths outside of countries with active wars or unrest is (very roughly) around 1,000/year. The number of road deaths in the world is about 1.3 million/year. That’s 1300 times as many deaths from vehicles as from terrorists. If you’re worrying about the terrorists you’re worrying about the wrong thing. And the warnings from the U.S State Department are for southern Thailand where there is active unrest – very few tourists go to these parts. The warnings do not include tourist destinations like Krabi, Phuket, or Koh Samui.

  28. Fishing Tours in Thailand/Beaches

    Hi David
    Fabulous site! I have found a couple of my answers already just reading through. We will be visiting Thailand for the first time next April with out 10 year old son, we are looking at staying for just over two weeks. The boys would like to include lots of fishing trips while we are out there, and I would like to spend time on the beaches. Can you recommend anywhere? we are hoping to travel to around 3 different places.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The fishing (both deep sea and game fishing) are better on the west coast: Phuket and out to the Similian islands). Both Phuket and Koh Samui have fishing day trips that get good reviews for being fun even if there aren’t a lot of fish caught. For Beaches Koh Samui, Railay, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak, Phuket and many more all have great beaches. The weather in April is good all over the country so you’ve got lots of choice.

  29. Thailand with 2 Kids

    Hi David

    I am planing to go to Thailand late May with a 1 year old and possibly a 10 year old. Where would be the best place to go, I have never been before and am travelling as a single mum.

    Great site btw!

    Thanks :)

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are many destinations that could work for you but I’d put Koh Samui right at the top. Direct flights from Bangkok. Good beach towns that are a short drive from the airport. Great kid-friendly beaches.

  30. Best Time of Year for Thailand with Kids

    Hi David,
    I want to travel with 2 girls 10 and 11 years old. I would like to go around 20-25 days all around Thailand. when is the best time of the year. I Was thinking to go in middle December to January. What is the best way to travel to one city to another? Bangkok, Golden Triangle, Phuket, Hua Hin, Ko Samui, Ko Phangan. Did I miss something?

    Thank you in advance for your help.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      February is probably the best month to experience the whole country. But anything from late December until April is good.

  31. Bangkok and Thailand for Family of 4

    Thanks so much for this valuable resource!! Traveling in August with 12 and 15 year old kids. Starting Bangkok then staying with friends in Kanchanburi. After that we would like a beach stay in a nice hotel/resort/bungalow in the beach in a location with the least rain and the ability to snorkel and/or dive. Ideally the location would not be overly touristy but we would like some options for dining out. Any recommendations? Thank you, Wendy

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Samui would be your best bet for weather. Mae Nam or Choeng Mon are great beaches and probably just what you’re looking for. Snorkeling on Koh Samui is not great so you might want to make a day trip to Koh Tao.

  32. Where To Go with Baby in Thailand

    Hi David,
    I am planning a trip to Tailand for this Christmas holidays.
    We have a 7 months baby with us, and we want to spend 25 days in Tailand, with plenty of time on a nice relaxing beach.
    Due to our baby, we would like to be on a beach that will not be difficult to get there.
    What would you suggest?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Samui is the best combination of great beaches and easy-to-get-to. There are direct flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui and great beaches like Choeng Mon, Bophut, Chaweng, and Mae Nam are all within 15 minutes of the airport.

  33. Travel Safety in Thailand

    Hi, we are planning a trip to Phuket for February. Taking 3.5yr old and a 9 month old, do you think it is necessary to take car seats for their safety? Also should I bring life jackets that fit them for day trips to Koh Phi Phi etc?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you want car seats then you’ll need to take them. But depending on your itinerary you might not use them much. Life jackets for kids are usually available (not sure on a 9 month old though) but their quality and condition will likely not be up to western standards. Take them if you won’t be comfortable without them.

  34. November/December in Thailand

    Hi David,
    My husband and I are headed to Thailand in late November-early December with my in-laws and our 3 and 5 year old children. Your site is a wealth of information, thank you. We’d like to go to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket or Ko Samui. What would be the easiest form of travel between cities? We are looking for nice family friendly hotels and activities for us and our children.

    Thank you in advance,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Flying is the easiest by far but doing one overnight train trip is fun and what I recommend. Bangkok to Chiang Mai is a good candidate for an overnight train trip as you’re right in the city when your train stops, unlike if you were heading to Koh Samui or Phuket where you would have a bus and/or ferry trip after you get off the train. Check Nok Air and Air Asia for inexpensive flights in Thailand. The weather in Phuket should be much better than Koh Samui in late November and early December.

  35. One Week in Thailand with Kids

    I am planning for a trip to Thailand with family. Request your help to propose an itinerary. Following are the details

    Duration – 6 nights and 7 days

    Date of travel – start date 21st Nov

    Type of vacation – I would be with my kids and hence would want trip to be focused around kids. Would want to cover, zoo (wild life sanctuary), amusement parks, beaches (quite & peaceful), Thailand original culture.

    Would await your revert. Kindly let me know if you need any additional information


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would do a combination of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Try to book air tickets now so you can get a direct flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket (and save time).

  36. Calm Beaches for Kids

    Hi David
    Lots of great advice on your site, thank you. My daughter (5) and I are spending a month in Thailand this Nov-Dec and I am in need of a bit of direction :o) Since I am travelling as a solo parent it’s important that we stay/go places where we will meet other people. I’m a seasoned backpacker…
    My daughter wants to start with the elephants (Chiang Mai and the nature park). Then I am contemplating a lake house “safari” on Khao Laem Lake. And then I want to hit the beaches for the remainder of our time. Just two, kids don’t like to move too much. But which ones???
    I’ve looked at Koh Pha Ngan (fond memories) – my no. 1 priority is a kid-friendly quiet beach with shallow water and a bungalow on the beach. I checked out Koh Samui too but I reckon I get more value for money in Koh Pha Ngan… And then there’s the West Coast… I’m drowning! I’m looking at 1500-2000 baht per night.
    I would love your input :o) Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sounds like a great trip. For beaches I’d recommend Choeng Mon and Bophut on Koh Samui – quieter calm beaches that are still close to Chaweng if you want more shopping, restaurants, energy. Koh Phangan is great but if you’re wanting to limit travel and moving about maybe not the best choice. It’s another boat ride from Koh Samui and then a longish drive from the port up to the quieter beaches. All very doable and not too taxing but Koh Samui is definitely much easier. The airport is right there just 10 minutes from the beaches.

  37. Thailand for Family of 6

    Dear David
    I’m from Denmark – just overlooking your site with pleasure.
    We are a family of 2 adults and 4 kids (age-12-14) planning to go to Pran Buri 2 weeks during Christmas and new year’s time.
    We would love to make some special things with our teen kids. For instance elephant riding, cooking lessons – how to make the Thai food, visiting an International/or Thai school, visiting a reservation for baby animals (monkeys/elephants) or just some of it, depends on possibilities. We think the best way will be to find a local guide to coordinate and make an agreement for us to come and visit. Do you have any idea to help us?
    We have planned this area because we also would like to play 3-4 rounds of golf during our time there, and this area is wonderful to golf.
    A second question, I have a little doubt whether we have chosen the wrong area… could it be better to choose Chiang Mai to full fill our whiches for the kids? It is possible with golf in Chiang Mai area as well??
    Hope to receive your kind help.
    Thanks a lot.
    My best

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Chiang Mai will have more elephant and cooking schools. Chiang Mai has a couple of top notch golf courses that are very close to the Four Seasons Chiang Mai.

  38. Weather in October in Thailand

    Hi David, My husband and I are travelling with our 2 boys aged 10 & 8 and are planning a week in Thailand half way through October. We want to do some snorkelling and elephant rides and general beach relaxing. Where is the best place at this time of the year for the beach? What would be the best way to combine a few days in Chiang Mai with a good beach as well. Thanks heaps for your time.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Chiang Mai in October is over the heavy rains and should be good for elephant rides and exploring. Unfortunately southern Thailand is getting hit with a lot of rain in October and good beach destinations are hard to find. Koh Samet in eastern Thailand is known for its drier climate so it might be a good choice but even there you can still see a lot of rain. I’d probably go for an island in western Thailand but it’s really just a flip of coin for that time of year.

  39. Kid-Friendly Destinations near Bangkok

    Other than Samui, what do you advise close to Bangkok within an hour or so distance. We’ll be flying more than 6 hours from Tashkent and taking another plane with kids wouldn’t be enjoyable.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Pattaya (1.5 hours from Bangkok by car) and Hua Hin (2.5 hours from Bangkok) are both nice beach resorts. Pattaya has more to do but also has a seedier side. Hua Hin is quieter and more family-friendly.

  40. Travelling to Thailand in October first week with 4.5 month old baby

    Hello David,

    At the outset thanks for taking efforts in providing such insightful information.

    I had visited Bankgok Phuket and Phi-Phi in Aug 2008 and thought of revisiting our sweet memories, of course with expanded family of 2 boys accompanying us. My elder son is 5 years and younger one will be turning 4.5 months in October and was thinking whether it will be safe to travel to Thailand in October with lil one..especially considering the rains..Plan to cover Krabi / Bangkok.

    There have been some other blogs which do claim it is safe, nevertheless reading your posts – I was tempted to ask you this lingering question.

    I have had some prior experience travelling with my elder boy who was 5 months when we travelled to South Africa (that was more of a long term stay and not island hopping as this one would be).

    Will appreciate your response and do look forward to visit Thailand (If not this time – hopefully few years down the line!!)

    Many thanks in advance


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I consider Thailand a very safe country. Like pretty much everywhere the biggest risk is driving and being on the road – the single biggest thing you can do is try to only hire cars that have working seat belts in front and back (easier said than done and we’re far from perfect on this one). It will be rainy season so sea can be rough and unsafe at times but just use common sense and watch for the red flags which indicate dangerous swimming conditions.

  41. How to break things up?

    Hi David,
    Thank you so much for this site. This is the best discussion I have found on the web about Thailand.

    I am planning to visit Thailand June 28-July 12 (2 weeks) with my 10 year old daughter (I am a single mom).

    I have already decided that we’ll visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the Koh Samui area. But I’m trying to decide whether to spend more time in Bangkok (4 days instead of 3 and do a day trip to Ayuthaya), or more time in Chiang Mai (and do day trips to the villages, as you suggest, or the caves, which sound interesting), or just do a 3/3/6 split and get at least 6 days on the coast.

    Assuming the weather will be just ok in July, what will be our better bet? Will Ayuthaya (potentially in the rain) be worth losing a day on the coast? Ditto for the villages around Chiang Mai?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      We enjoyed Ayuthaya but it’s not a must see. If you’re going to Chiang Mai then you can easily skip Ayuthaya. (On the other hand you can visit Ayuthaya for a day then hop on the night train as it’s coming through from Bangkok and take it to Chiang Mai.) And just to make your decision harder still, the coast can get very nice weather in July. Just make a decision and go with it. No regrets right?

  42. Thailand for Family of 3

    Hi David,

    Very nice site and very pertinent information. Me, Wife & my 13 year old daughter are planning to go to Thailand in April End. I will spend 2 full days in Bangkok showing them around. Then I want to head to the beach for 4-5 nights. Can you please recommend an island & resort which suits our requirement. I want to chill and enjoy for 2 days like get massage, soak the sun on the beach and read a book, walk around, swim, drink, eat etc. Other 2 days we would like to do some activity like a day trip to some attraction, snorkelling or things that will interest a 13 year old girl.

    You help will be appreciated.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Samui sounds perfect for you. Either Bophut or Choeng Mon for chilling out, or Chaweng for a bit more activity. Samui has direct flights from Bangkok which makes it great for a short trip. Good luck.

  43. December in Thailand

    Hi David,me an my partner an 4yr old daughter are planning to come to Thailand in December an we enjoy family day trips,markets,shopping where would you recommend to go/stay where we could do a bit if both?.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Sounds like Chiang Mai to me.

  44. Family of 4 in Thailand in Late December

    Hi, Have found your site very informative, however am still trying to decide where to go. We (myself, husband and 2 children ages 8 and 6) will be going to Si sa ket to visit extended family for 4 days then Bangkok, Kanchanburi (don’t know whether to stay for 1 or 2 nights) then not sure whether to go to Koh Samui or ??. Ideally, I’d like to stay somewhere where the beach is breathtaking, but don’t want it too touristy. We will be going late December and only for 2 weeks.
    Thanks in advance :)


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Koh Samui would be great. Easy connections by air. But lots of choices. Koh Phangan and Krabi area would also be great.

  45. Chaweng Kid-friendly Hotels


    I’m struggling to find accommodation on Chaweng beach for my family of 5. 2 adults 3 kids (11, 9 & 5)

    Any suggestions?


  46. Family of 6 in Thailand

    Hi David, Great site.
    I am planning to travel to Thailand with husband and 4 kids (5-11) around March. Don’t have a timeframe yet, but a couple of months at least, could be longer depending on how much we spend! Do you know of any sites I could find some longer term cheap family accomodation, thought we may want to hang out at a beach or in the hills for a few weeks at a time. Also not too keen to do much plane travel, do you think we could train around the whole country easily/cheaply or do you think its worth booking some fights? Thanks Kirsty

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Kirsty.

      For long-term accommodation look at

      Getting around the country by train is cheap and easy – but some flights are so cheap and save so much time (e.g. getting from Chiang Mai to Krabi) that they make good sense. Book flights early and you’ll get the cheapest fare.

  47. Family of 3 in Thailand

    Hi David,
    your web site is very helpful, lot of information.
    but i am still confused in deciding what place to visit so that i get a complete feel of Thailand.
    I will be traveling with Kid (4 yrs old) n my husband. I am interested in Bangkok and Pattaya but I am not able to decide between Koh Samui/Chiang Mai/ Hua Hin. which will be the best to visit. Oh Totally confused.. all sound same in terms of beaches. please help me in “selecting one” as i have budgetary constrains too.

    I am planning to visit in December end.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      In December both Koh Samui and Chiang Mai should have good weather (though there can still be rain until mid-December on K.S.). So I’d recommend those.

  48. 3 Weeks in Thailand

    Hi David,

    I leave for bangkok first week of August and going to Thailand for 3 weeks I’ve booked 5 nights in Bangkok and there are lots of things I want to do and see. I was planning to take the night train and go to Phuket and koh Lanta but I’ve just realised its rainy season. As I haven’t booked that part of my trip is it worth changing it to the other side, I want a mixed of fun activities , elephant trekking, cooking, water activities, site seeing and also pampering with maybe a bit of yoga or something to relax on before heading back.

    I’m also traveling alone as a female so any advice would be great.

    Money isn’t too much of a bother I’ve budget £1k for 3 weeks not including the flights and hotel in Bangkok I’ve already paid. So Hotel suggestions would be great.



    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Emma. It’s rainy season on both coasts. Considering your interests I think Phuket and Koh Lanta would be more in line. Perhaps fly one-way, Bangkok to Phuket, and then plan on the train north from Surat Thani to Bangkok (the train doesn’t go directly to Phuket so the closest stop is a 3 hour drive away). If the weather is lousy in Phuket you could stop in Hua Hin (which is on the train line to Bangkok) on the way north as it usually has better weather than the islands farther south. Just an idea. Hope that helps. Good luck.

  49. Thailand for Family of 4

    Hi David,
    Going to Thailand with my two kids, ages 4 and 10, can’t wait. I was wondering if in the bigger ruins and temples that require biking around, is it ever possible to have a child seat in the back? Would you recommend Sukhothai with children?
    Thanks so much you’re site is so very helpful!

    David Viers

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’ve never heard (or seen) a child seat on a bike. Some places do have bike carts (or bike taxis) that will seat multiple people. Sukhothai has a park-like setting and would be good if the kids are into sightseeing.

      1. Rebekah

        Try Cycling Sukhothai. I emailed the owner of the biking company and they have bike carriers for kids that attach to the back of bikes and helmets. They organize half day and full day tours.

  50. Month in Thailand for Family of 4

    Hi David,

    My wife and i are hoping to spend up to a month in Thailand with our kids who will be 4.5 and 2 looking for recommendations on maybe a 2/3 stop stay – thinking maybe a few days in Bangkok, then up north somewhere and then to an island. I have travelled thailand on my own before and spent a long time in Chaing Mai – is Chaing Rai or Pai child friendly?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Both Pai and Chiang Rai have a family-friendly vibe. If you want a place to hang out and spend a few days relaxing they’re great. Just don’t be expecting kid-oriented attractions like in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Lots of interesting and fun day trips from both if that’s what you’re looking for. Pai is much smaller than Chiang Rai but has a nearby waterfall and hot spring that kids will like.

  51. Family of 3 around Thailand

    Love your site and wish I had found it earlier. We (my husband, myself, and 11 year old son) will be traveling through Thailand from June 22- July 22. We have nothing booked after our 3 nights in Bangkok, but our rough itinerary is night train to Chiang Mai, 5-7 days there. Get a rental car and travel south, stop at Sukothai, and on to Hua Hin. Drop the car and bus ferry to Koh Phangnan, 5 days on Bottle Beach. Go (how?) to Khoa Sok Park for three days and then to Phuket where we have a return flight home. First question do you think Bottle Beach will be good for swimming in July? The second question is do you have suggestions for sights/stops between Chiang Mai and Hua Hin if we drive? Third question do you think we are being too ambitious with distances, etc? We’re all experienced travelers, but have never been to Thailand. Thanks.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Bottle Beach will be fine in July. As for driving and distances, driving in Thailand (and from CM to the south) is challenging but doable. That is a good distance. Personally, unless you had a week or more I would fly or take the train. Stops along the way would include Lampang, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi (a bit out of the way), and Prachuap Khiri Khan. Both Avis and Budget have car rentals in CM and Hua Hin so either would work. Hope that helps.

  52. Bangkok and Thailand with 2 Kids

    Hi David, Great site! My wife and I are coming to Thailand with our four and one year old boys. Two weeks from Dec 21st to Jan 5th. My wife’s sister has just moved to Khon Kaen with her Japanese husband. Wanting to spend a few days there and then travel with their family (2 girls aged 5 and 2) somewhere. Ideally would like some local village, elephants, national park sort of stuff for a few days (I’ve been to Chiang Mai years ago and would like somewhere different) and then a week or so on a beach (I’ve been to Koh Samui three times)..ideally nothing too tourist resorty, but nice-ish huts on a great beach (not in the old Charlie’s Huts style on Chaweng but the equivalent now I’m 38 and have kids!!) and then a day or so in Bangkok before flying out. Have read your other suggestions above and can’t quite make my mind up. Also what is Ko Chang like? Many thanks.!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d visit Kanchanaburi (about 3 hours by bus or train from Bangkok). Lots of outdoor activities for kids and adults. There’s swimming in waterfalls, the Tiger Temple, elephant camps, and some of Thailand’s best national parks. It might be just what you’re looking for.

  53. Family Vacation to Thailand in July

    Hi David: Our family will travel to Thailand this July. We are really liking the sound of places like Railay and the islands on that side of the island. Are we really taking a risk with weather and things being open because it is low season? We don’t need a lot of touristy things but definitely will want to snorkel and enjoy the beaches and hike. Are there any islands that you would recommend as better during the low season? Otherwise if we stick to the east coast – what beach would you rank as most beautiful with good snorkeling? Thanks for any info! Love your blog.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, I guess I would say you are taking some risk with the weather. But you can also get a stretch of great weather in July too. The east coast (Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan) will usually get better weather in July than the west coast. Resorts in the north gulf coast (e.g. Hua Hin and Koh Samet) often have great weather all year round so they’re your best bet if you really want dry weather.

      Snorkeling and scuba diving are not great during the west coast rainy season so even if the weather is ok I would have modest expectations with clear high-visibility water.

      Hope that helps.

  54. Family of 4 in Thailand in December and January

    Hi David

    My husband and I are travelling with our 2 boys, ages 7 and 9, to Asia for 2 weeks in late December early January. We will have 15 days total, approx 7 of which will be spent in Hong Kong visiting Canadian relatives. The remaining 7 or 8 days we are going to Thailand, and are trying to decide between spending it in/around Chiang Mai, or in the south, likely Koh Samui. We’d love to do both the north and south, but are concerned we will be too short on time. We are looking for adventure and Thai culture, but the kids also love the beach. I realize due to time we probably can’t get too far off the beaten path. We are coming from Toronto, Canada, and will likely not be back that way for a while, so want to make sure we maximize our time, and that the kids have a really fun, interesting and unique experience.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would do an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (the kids will love it) and then fly direct from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui (book early). You’ll have 3 full days in each place which isn’t a lot but is enough.

  55. Thailand in June for Family of 3

    Hello there…

    I’m planning for my first Thailand trip this June with my husband and a 2 yrs 8 months old hyper active son…. it will be a short trip of 5 night/6 day so I need your help to plan it in such a way that we all enjoy our vacation without spending too much time in travelling from here and there…

    Reading through the comment above, I’m thinking of a combination of Bangkok and Chiang Mei instead of the typical Bangkok and Phuket / Pataya. Will this be a good idea considering the duration and weather in particular at this time of the year?

    Also I’m very concerned about my son’s meals during the day as he’s not much exposed to restaurant foods and can’t handle hot and spicy food… will this add any limitations in my tour plan? Pls suggest…

    Also suggest me of some cheap but good hotels / serviced apartments (with refrigerator, microwave, bowls etc) in each of these cities.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds like a fine plan – though will see some rain, heat, and humidity in Chiang Mai, but shouldn’t be too bad.

      For hotels with kitchenettes in Bangkok: Somerset Lake Point.

      In Chiang Mai the Smith Residences have small kitchens.

      Good luck.

  56. December in Thailand for Family

    Hello David, this site is so fantastic & just what I was looking for.

    Im planning a holiday to Thailand for 3weeks in mid December. Travelling from Paris with my husband and two children who will be aged 3 & 15months. Looking to head to chaing Mai (I’m convinced this is what we should do after reading this site). Where should we stay there given the ages of the kids? Planning to stay for 4-5 days max then I’m looking for a relaxed, beautiful, island beach. Those picture post card places that I’ve never been to. I’d like to do a bit of exploring on the island. Where would you recommend? Really struggling with this decision – it has to be ‘right’ and it has to be workable with the kids. Plus staying there for Xmas & new year & I want it to be special. Not asking for much then!!! :-) any help would be massively appreciated. Maria

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I would fly from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui (book early so you get a direct flight without stopping in Bangkok). Easy with kids as the airport on Koh Samui is minutes from some of the island’s best beaches. For New Years, I’m guessing that either Bophut or Choeng Mon would have a great family-friendly vibe.

      For hotels check these pages:
      Chiang Mai Family Hotels
      Koh Samui Family Hotels

      Good luck.

  57. Thailand with 2 Young Girls

    Hi there David I’m glad I found this site just a couple of questions to ask ..I am a single father of 2 young girls whom I see each fortnight and have them for the holidays ..I’m looking too take them to Thailand or Bali this year not sure when but sometime around mid yr my kids are 5 and 6 yrs of age do you know of any good resorts that are catering for this age group and are farely resonabley priced bareing in mind im a single father on a some good site seeing and places we would enjoy I also love golf and would like to play golf there as well are baby sitters a concern within trust and safety of your child ..regards dean

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You usually have to stay at a luxury hotel to find kids clubs. World Resort Koh Samui in Bophut is a great mid-range hotel with a nice pool and located right on the beach. Most hotels will be able to hook you up with a babysitter.

      Hope that helps. Cheers.

  58. Vaccines for Thailand Family Trip

    Hi David,

    We are planning to go to Thailand in February with our 6 yrs old daughter and was wondering if we all need to take any vacinnes shot for precaution?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It can vary depending on their age, what shots they’ve already received, when you’re traveling, current conditions in the country, and where you’re going.

      Check with your doctor and read the CDC page on Thailand.

      Good luck.

  59. Thailand in June for Family of 4

    Hey there, you’ve got a wonderfully informative blog. My husband and I plan to take our two kids, aged 6, to Thailand in early June for about 10-12 days. I gather from your blog that the Andaman coast will have major rainfall during June and hence, going to, say, KohSamui, would be better than Phuket. We were thinking of 3-4 days in Bangkok, about 4 days in Koh Samui. Is it possible to take a train from Bangkok to Koh Samui? Is there another place we can visit, apart from these two? Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, there is a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. It’s best if you can do an overnight train. Book in advance or immediately after you arrive (at the train station). 3 days in advance will usually be enough to secure sleeper tickets – but no guarantees. From Surat Thani you take a bus to the ferry terminal (about an hour) and then a ferry to Koh Samui (about an hour+ as well). Buy a combination ticket when you buy your train which will include the train, bus, and ferry tickets so you needn’t worry about separate tickets. (More info here on the train to Samui.) Koh Pha Ngan is a great island just north of Samui. You can take a ferry there from Samui that will take about 30 minutes. It’s less developed than Samui and a nice change of pace.

      Good luck.

  60. Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai for Family of 4 in July

    Hi David, I am going to Thailand in July with my husband, a 4 and 6 year old and my 75 year old Mother. We have 5 days booked in both Bangkok and Phuket. We we hoping to add five or so days in another place, and were considering somewhere like Chiang Mai. My Mum’s asthma has recently flared up and I am now concerned it might be too polluted in CM. Any other suggestions for a non- beach stop? Thanks so much, Catherine

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, the air in Chiang Mai can get bad but the worst months for air pollution are February and March. The rains arrive in May which brings humidity but clears the air a bit (and the farmers can no longer burn their fires which causes the smoke in the first place).

      Kanchanaburi is a good alternative to Chiang Mai. A beautiful area with national parks, elephant rides, waterfalls. And much closer to Bangkok than Chiang Mai.

      Good luck.

  61. Hotels for Family Trip to Thailand

    Hi David

    My wife and I are looking at around a 3 week holiday in Thailand after Christmas/New Year, spending a few days in Bangkok, and then the remaining bulk of the holiday in a beach location (Phuket or Ko Samui).

    We are considering booking flights and hotels seperately, rather than as a package, and wondered if you knew of, perhaps, a website where you can get deals on hotels if you’re staying for several days?


  62. Chiang Mai to Phuket with Kids

    Hi David,
    I would like to go to Koh Phayam, near Ranong. I am in Chang Mai and I don’t know how to plan the trip down with our 2 children. There is only one flight going from Chiang Mai to Phuket. But there it is pretty far from the island. What do you suggest for traveling down there?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There is a ferry twice a day from Phayam pier to Koh Phayam (9:30 and 14:00). If those times don’t work for you, you can take a speed boat that will leave at pretty much any time but costs twice as much.

  63. Thailand for Family of 4

    Hi there, we are looking to travel to Thailand with our 2 boys age 2 and 4 years. We will probably have around 2 weeks. We thought we would try and head to one beach place and one other, limiting travel as much as we can within Thailand. We’ve been to Koh samui pre kids so we thought we’d give that a miss. We’d add in Ko Sok for a few days if we can without too much of a detour. Where would you recommend, trying to keep internal travel to a minimum?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are so many places. The Krabi area has some great options and the airport has direct flights to Bangkok which saves a lot of time and effort. Railay makes a great base for seeing the area.

  64. Hotels over New Years Visit

    Hi David. Your blog has been very helpful. We will be in Thailand with some Thai friends over the holidays and wanted to visit Koh Samet right after New Year’s. Any recommendations for hotels? We have an 11 year old boy and would like to do some snorkeling. Thanks!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Brad. You’re best bet is to use as it has the widest choice of hotels and consistently finds the best rates. As for specific hotels the Ao Prao Resort is fantastic.

      Good luck.

  65. Bangkok and Thailand for Family of 5

    What an amazingly informative website, thank you so much.
    My husband and I are hoping to fly into Bangkok towards the end of July for 3 weeks (we realise this isn’t the best time of year but we are tied to summer holidays).
    We will be travelling with our 3 children (12, 9 and 2 years old). We want to stay in Bangkok for a couple of days to recover from the journey and see the sites and then we want to head south to Koh Sammet, for 10 days, as we have been advised this is a great destination. We then don’t really know what to do for a week before heading back to Bangkok. Do you have any ideas?
    We are wanting to try an overnight train somewhere as we have read from your site how fun it is for families (although I’m happy to save that for another trip to Thailand if necessary) and we also would like to do elephant rides. Apart from this we are clueless!
    Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d do the overnight train ride to Chiang Mai. It’s the best place in Thailand to ride and see elephants and also a great way to see “the real Thailand” as there are many non-touristy towns and villages that you can visit from CM.

      Good luck.

  66. Family Vacation to Thailand over Christmas Holidays

    Hi dave, We’re going with 2 children (7,11) to Thailand over christmas holiday for 3 weeks. We wanted to spend 2 weeks in the north/east and then go to the beaches for one week. We don’t like very much the “resort lifestyle”. Can you suggest an island or spot where we can spend time by the see but still keep contact with the inhabitants life, going to markets, etc..not stay only in a place with tourists? Is it still exhisting in thai a place with simple bungalow by the sea, in a village? Can you suggest the best place? Thank’s a lot

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d suggest Mae Nam on Koh Samui. It’s still touristy, for sure, but it feels more like a little Thai town than most places. It has two markets that are fun to visit (one is in the morning and starts at about 4am). Nathon is the main town on the island, has some great markets, and feels the most Thai – but it doesn’t have any good beaches to speak of. And that pretty much sums up the trade-off: if you want to be by a nice beach you’ll need to be around other tourists. If you want to be around the locals you’ll need to forego the beaches.

  67. Thailand in January with 2 Kids

    Hi David, I am taking my 2 teens, 16 & 14 to Thailand this January. The kids wish list is Tigers, Monkeys & Elephants. As we live in Queensland, we have had several holidays on the Great Barrier Reef, and I plan to take spend some time in Bangkok and head north. My daughter really wants a beach holiday, so I was thinking Railay or Samui after reading your posts. Is there beaches up north with as dramatic coastlines and available snorkeling or do you think it best to catch a few days south or would Hua Hin be a good alternative. At this stage I think we will only have 2 1/2 weeks holiday. So thinking a few days in Bangkok, overnight train to Chiang Mai, overnight village stay, and ….. what would you recommend? Also, should I try and book accommodation now online for best deals as well as trains / flights or is it better to do once in Thailand?

    1. Santorini Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The train is definitely “easier” to book in Thailand but since it sounds like you’ll be on a tight schedule I’d get it done in advance (and delivered to your hotel). Good info here on how to buy tickets online: How to buy train tickets from outside Thailand.

      Buy your plane tickets in advance too – and do this first before you book hotels or train as it has the least flexibility.

      You can get away with not booking hotels in advance but once again as you don’t have too much time no sense wasting your time hunting for hotels. January is also high season so you’ll do best having something booked.

      Samui or Railay are the way to go especially if you can get direct flights from Chiang Mai down to either Samui or Krabi airports. Semi-direct flights that go through Bangkok are nearly as good and will save you a big chunk of time from taking the train from the north to the south. Book soon as the cheapest tickets get snapped up early. Check,,, and

      Hua Hin is nice but takes just as much time and hassle to get to as flying to somewhere farther south. Good luck.

      1. Sharon

        Thanks for the info David. we are back and had a great time. I got train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but couldn’t get sleeper back so took VIP bus over night which was 6 hours faster and very comfortable having bigger seats and more leg room. I found public transport and taxis fabulous and easy in Bangkok, but in Chiang Mai I ended up renting the red cabs (?) for the day which was an excellent way to see everything at our own pace and very cheap. I think for parents worried about safety of child seats, forget the tuk tuks and go cabs or red cars. Koh Samui was much more expensive for public transport. Hiring bikes was off the table with my kids (too young for driving themselves and too old to get on back of me). Bikes were 200 baht and cars 1500 baht for the day. Both much cheaper than taxis, but I didn’t want the worry of driving, so opted for tours which were quite cheap. I was very impressed with how safe we all felt and the padlocks for the suitcases and money belts were unnecessary. Overall a very family friendly country :)

  68. Thailand in March with Toddler

    Hi David,

    My husband and I are heading to Thailand this March with our 18 month old for 3.5 weeks. Our itinerary is not confirmed but right now we are thinking of spending a bit of time in Bangkok, a few days in Ayuthaya and then heading to Ko Mak for a bit. We then want to head to Khao Sok National Park by train from Bangkok and finish up at Railay Beach.

    My biggest concern right now is travel in locations such as Bangkok. I have read that many taxis don’t have seatbelts so there is no point in bringing a car seat. Also in many smaller places travel by bike is recommended but I am guessing it is difficult or impossible to rent bikes with child seats. We obviously want to be as safe as possible but don’t want to drag around a lot of extra gear if it will not be helpful. What would you recommend in terms of getting around within a city or island.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yeah, you’re right. Many taxis (even the nicer looking ones) don’t have seatbelts in the back. Some do however, so if you look around and ask your hotel for help you’ll eventually find something that works. Many people will do this for the longer trips, say if you’re hiring a car for the trip from Bangkok to Hua Hin, but for local stuff they just do it the Thai-way.

      Good luck.

  69. Wedding in Thailand

    Hi David,

    Great reading here thanks for all the info. I am trying to plan a trip with my fiance and two children (7 and 3) The main purpose of the trip is to find a location for our wedding. We were wanting to go to Vietnam and Thailand and compare the two to see which we prefer. We don’t want to waste the trip though and were hoping to do 10 days total whilst entertaing our kids in the process. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance – Dylan Brisbane Australia

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Bophut or Railay both come to mind as great places for a wedding. In both cases, very nice hotels on a beautiful beach. If you’re looking for something quieter and more secluded then try northwest and north coast of Koh Pha Ngan.

  70. Bangkok Over Christmas

    Hi David,

    My 12 year old son and I have 11 days over Christmas with a start and end out of BKK. Chiang Mai seemingly a must-see and would like to spend a few days at family-friendly beach, avoiding Phuket and party atmosphere. Also considered Angkor Wat since I teach history. Any thoughts on the best itinerary? Thanks for your kind help!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are direct flights on Bangkok Air to Siem Reap from Bangkok. You could also fly to Phnom Penh, boat to Siem Reap, then bus and train back to Bangkok. Do the overnight train at least one-way between Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

  71. Phuket and Bangkok with 2 Kids

    Hi David,

    Can I say how wonderful it was to stumble across your webpage! I have a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old and. We took the kids to India back in January, our first travelling experience with them and had such fun over there. Everything you say in your blog is so true and some of the moments were truly rewarding! We are planning our next few trips which I would appreciate some advice on.

    This December my husband and I are planning to take the kids to Thailand. We will be splitting our stay between Phuket & Bangkok. We have not booked our flights into the country yet and do not mind which place we visit first. We are also thinking about travelling to Cambodia from Thailand. Do you have any recommendations on where to go in Cambodia with kids and advice on how best to travel there from Thailand?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      You can fly one-way from Bangkok to Phnom Penh on Air Asia, then a 4 or 5 hour boat trip to Siem Reap. From Siem Reap you can hire a car or take a bus to the border (3 hours), then train back to Bangkok (4 hours) – or fly Siem Reap to Bangkok on Bangkok Air (which I believe is the only direct flight). It’s a nice loop, with lots to see, and not too painful.

  72. One Week in Thailand for Family

    Hi David,

    Great blog with lot of information. I wonder you can help us out in planning 7 nights in Thailand. We are looking for family holiday where there is good activity for kids but at the same time we can relax as well.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Phuket and Koh Samui have the most family-friendly activities. One way to get a good combination of fun for the kids and relaxation for the parents is to go to a resort that has a kids club.

      For example, the Four Seasons on Koh Samui has a top notch Kids’ Club that would keep the kids entertained through most of the day.

  73. Railay Beach for 1 Week with Kids

    Hello! What a great site :)

    Just wondering if you think Railay Beach for 1 week would be ok with a 6 mth old and a 2 yr old? Just concerned about it being only accessible by boat if medical attention was needed? Also, enough to keep a 2 year old happy for a week? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are simple medical clinics in Ao Nang and a hospital in Krabi. Really serious stuff and you’d have to get to either Phuket or Bangkok.

      There isn’t a lot in Railay besides the beach and the pool but if they’re like my kids that should be lots. We loved our time there.

  74. December Trip to Bangkok and Thailand with Kids

    Hello! I am starting to plan our trip to Thailand and was feeling overwhelmed, but finding your site I am starting to feel like it will be doable :)

    I would love your advice for our best options for our travels. My husband and I would like to spend 2 weeks in Thailand from approximately Dec 14-28. We have 2 children aged 2y & 6mth. From reading your blog we are thinking Bangkok, train to Chiang Mai, then fly to Railey. We would like to combine adventure but end with a relaxing beach atmosphere. Could you recommend timelines for these 3 areas, activities and transport between the 3 and accomodation? Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d do 3 nights in Bangkok, the overnight train to Chiang Mai, 3 nights in Chiang Mai, and then fly to Krabi (you’ll probably have to go through Bangkok). From Krabi you get a taxi to Ao Nang and from there take the boat to Railay (which takes about 30 minutes).

      There is a boat from Ao Nang to Phuket if you wanted to go there for a few nights and then fly from Phuket to Bangkok.

      Good luck.

  75. Where To Go in Thailand with Kids

    Hi David

    Great site you have here, and so kind of you to share your knowledge and advice with so many people. Me an my wife are thinking of going to Thailand for a post Christmas/New Year holiday with our son, who will be 6-7 months at the point. It’s either Thailand or Cuba, but we’re tending towards Thailand. It’s a long flight, but sure he’ll be ok and will be worth it. We definitely want a few days in Bangkok, and are then thinking of a beach holiday for the rest of the time. Chiang Mai does also sound nice, however. We’ve been the backpacking type, but are thinking an all-inclusive holiday might not be a bad idea with such a little one. We have seen all-inclsuives in Cuba where you spent some time in Havana, and then the rest of the time at a beachside location, and are thinking we will try and get the same for Thailand. We’re not a fan of the all-inclusive concept, but just seems as though it will be so much cheaper.

    Is there any particular place or places you’d suggest for the beach location? I suppose a bit of an island-hopping excursion would be a nice thing if that helps narrow it down?

    Also, if you have any suggestions for all-inclusive holidays, or if you have any experience that suggests we should avoid them, then would be great to hear.

    Many thanks in advance,


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Ian. There are very few all-inclusive resorts in Thailand. The Club Med in Kata is one of the few I know of. Many places include breakfast but a large part of the appeal of Thailand is eating out so few hotels offer such a package. It wouldn’t make sense for the majority of visitors.

      Hope that helps.

  76. Bangkok and Island with Kids

    Hi David,
    We are 2 families travelling to Thailand for a short 2 weeks first half of March. We have in all 7 kids (3-7-8-11-15). We were thinking Bangkok and an island south (avoiding Phuket). Do you have any recommendation on which Island best to go at that time of year where we could combine beach, snorkelling. I am sure the kids would love to see elephants without mass tourism.
    We thought we would not have time to go to Chang Mai, but reading the reviews and from what I have heard, it seems a great place to go. Touring with so many kids, do you think it is too much of a rush to add a stay in Chang Mai?
    Is it easy to find cars to carry so many of us? We dont want to drive ourselves.
    All your recommandations and advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Emma

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Samui is your best bet for what you’re looking for. Some parts are touristy but others (like Bophut and Choeng Mon) are quiet and laid back. I think you could include Chiang Mai in your plans but I’d recommend having your train and plane tickets (to travel within the country) booked before arrival. It is tricky pre-booking train tickets. Cars won’t be a problem to hire though you’ll need to get several I’m sure. Good luck.

  77. Thailand with Young Child

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the useful info.

    We are planning to go to thailand in January next week with our 3 months old daughter (she will be 7 months by then). We would like to go Phuket, Phi Phi and Koh Lipe and was wondering whether Koh Lipe is safe for children. Would you be able to give us any advice?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Koh Lipe is definitely kid friendly. It’s not nearly as developed as Phuket or Phi Phi (and wouldn’t have the medical facilities that Phuket has) but other than that concern it shouldn’t be a problem.

  78. January in Thailand

    We are Peruvians and are planing a trip to Thailand for January, for my 40th bday. We have a 12yo son and a 10yo daughter. We’ll start in Siam Reap, then Bangkok, Khao Yai, Chiang Mai and then a beach. The agency we are working with recommended going to Ko Phi Phi, but we have heard it is very commercial and crowded, we are looking for a relax beach not so commercial, very simple, a comfortable, but not necessary luxury hotel. Can you please give us a hint?
    thanks a Lot.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Yes, Koh Phi Phi is very touristy and commercial. Railay is a great mix of beautiful beaches without being too crowded. It’s very low key so no big parties. Koh Pha Ngan is another great choice (as long as you avoid Haad Rin where the big full moon party takes place).

      For hotels, Santhiya Resort And Spa Koh Phangan is great. A luxury hotel that offers great value for the money. It has a huge pool (and kids’ pool).

      In Railay, Railay Bay Resort & Spa is very nice, has a nice pool, and is right on a great beach.

      Good luck.

  79. October Weather in Thailand

    Hello David

    I come back to you again.

    For a visit in October between Koh Samui and Chiang Mai, which is better from the perspective of Rains? Having a 10 year old son, Koh Samui looks exciting because of the beaches but then wondering if it is too much rain….pls let me know your point of view ?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The weather in Chiang Mai is (usually) drying out in October but last year the flooding was still bad in October – so you never know. Generally though, Chiang Mai should have better weather. Good overview here.

  80. September in Bangkok and Thailand for Family of 3

    Hi David, thanks for all the useful info that you’ve given as replies to other people.

    I am going to Thailand with my wife and 2 year-old daughter for the month of September. We know that it’s not the best period, but it’s the only time of the year that we can make it.

    More than the rain that might keep us indoors sometimes, we are concerned about the humidity. We had an experience in a hot & humid place with our daughter last year and she suffered from a skin rash and fell ill often. In your experience, do the kids in rainy Thailand suffer from similar/other problems?

    We would like to spend the time on a island where there are nice beaches, the possibility to rent a house & ideally some things to do with small people when it’s raining. From what we’ve understood already Ko Samui, Ko Phangan or Ko Tao might be our best bet. Any recommendations?

    Much appreciated,

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’ve never had any experience with skin rashes from the humidity so can’t say. It tends to feel hotter in April and May before the rains arrive so maybe it won’t be as bad as you fear.

      The good news is that visiting during September will make renting a house or villa very easy and cheap. Samui probably has the most choice and selection. You’ll get the best deal doing it in person. Ask around at cafes and restaurants on where to rent. Mae Nam in particular has many rentals for longer-term visitors. Good luck.

  81. Car Seats in Bangkok

    Hi David,
    I am Thai and have not been back in a while and plan on taking my husband and my 2yr old and 5 yr old for their first time. The only month we can go is June because my son will be on summer break and I was concerned about weather. I wanted to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket but not sure if it would be safe with the kids. How worried should I be? Do you think they are too young? (weather, mosquitos, food, transporation) Also, I am very concerned about getting around with kids and the car seat issue. Do I just let go and travel with out them? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think they’ll be just fine. You do have to let go a bit and accept that things are different there. The car seat problem, in particular, is a tough adjustment. If you’re very committed and take your own car seat you should always be able to find a car (with rear seat belts) that will accomodate it. It does require patience and perseverance however. I hope that helps.

  82. Thailand Boats and Ferries for Limited Mobility

    Hi David. We’re planning trip to southern Thailand with my mum who has weak knees (so in wheelchair). Are ferry trips to Railey, Kolanta, Phi Phi or Ko Samui suitable for a person in wheelchair? Our other option is to stay in Aonang.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The ferries to Koh Lanta, Phi Phi, and Koh Samui should be doable. Require a little effort but doable. The boat to Railay is a long tail boat (basically a really big canoe) and is not suitable at all. I hope that helps.

      1. Steve Davidson

        Hi dave have been reading you reviews, myself and my wife intend to take a holiday in thailand for 2 weeks, in november,(2nd week in november) not sure which would be the best area to go for a beach holiday, looked at samui, but would this be the rainy season, we wants lots of sun, hope you can help

        1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

          Samui would have better weather than the west coast but still might get some rain and cloud cover. Koh Samet has the best weather during rainy season of pretty much any island.

  83. Thailand Holiday for Family of 5

    Hi David
    We are traveling to Phuket early July 10 days with 3 kids ages 15,13,10. Not sure where to stay because of the wet season. Thinking of splitting between Phuket and Khao Lak, but heard Khao Lak is very quiet during this time with many restaurants closed. Not sure now and tossing up Soh Samui as well. Really unsure of best place to go during this season. I want to mix up the holiday between sightseeing and relaxing. I hear that you can’t really snorkel, or swim during these months. Julie

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I usually err on the side of going to the east coast during the summer and autumn months. But you can have a fine trip on either side. You’re right though, Khao Lak will likely be quiet. Koh Samui will be much much busier so if you’re looking for some fellow travelers that’s the place to head.

  84. Bangkok and Koh Samui in June

    Hi, We were considering a trip to Thailand in late June with our 2 children (3 years and 7 months). We were thinking of Bangkok and then on to Koh Samui. Any suggestions with having such little ones? Also a little concerned about the weather at that time, would you suggest delaying?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      As long as you’re prepared for a few rainy days and a bit of cloud it should be fine.

  85. Bangkok and Thailand in October

    My wife and me are planning to be in Thailand in the last week of October for a week. We will have our kids (10 yrs and 7 years) with us. Please suggest the places we should visit given the weather and that kids too should enjoy. Thanks.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That’s a tough time to find good weather in Thailand. But even when it rains it’s usually not a full day event and the sun will come out later. The east coast (Koh Samui) will usually have better weather at this time of year than the west coast. Good luck.

  86. 3 Weeks in Thailand in September

    Hi David, I have just stumbled upon your blog after googling Thailands best 5 bests. My family and I are planning a 3 week holiday in mid September to Thailand, we are travelling from Australia. My thoughts are 6 nights in Chiang Mai, 3 nights in Bangkok and then 8-10 in Hua Hin, at the Six Senses (the beach doesn’t look that great though), after reading your info I realise September is the rainy season. Does it rain all day? Is there anywhere that there is less rain? I am looking for adventure and opening my daughters (7 & 9) eyes to another culture and then sitting on a gorgeous beach and relaxing. It is my big 40 so I would like the beach sitting to be gorgeous and the resort heavenly. I have googled Phuket (it looks quite built up), Krabi, Khoa Lak, Koh Kham, Koh Samet, and Koh Chang and I am kohfused I mean confused. I would love some advice, I am open to all suggestions. Thank you so much for your time and your excellent advice. Zoe

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      HI Zoe, the weather on the east coast will likely be better than the Phuket side of Thailand. Personally, I would fly down to Samui with your girls. The beaches are nicer and there’s more to do there. If it rains, there are hotels where you could take a family cooking course for 1 to 5 days. They’d probably love it. It usually involves tours to the local markets where you buy all the ingredients for the dishes you’ll make that day. (Just an idea.) Good luck.

  87. 2 Weeks in Bangkok and Area

    Love this forum and it is so informative. We are travelling to Bangkok in early July and have just over 2 weeks. We have 2 kids aged 8 & 10. The plan was to spend a few nights in Bangkok, a few nights in Kanchanaburi then the remainder in Hua Hin. Recent reports I have read however describe the beach at Hua Hin as muddy and dirty. I was there 5 years ago (stayed at grand central hua hin) and found the beach to be fantastic so just wondering if it has changed?

    Any suggestions on an alternative itinerary would be welcome.


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Janette. I can’t speak to what it’s like right now but beaches in Thailand can change a lot depending on the season. For example, the beaches on the west coast of Koh Pha Ngan can turn to mad flats in May and June when the tide is really low. So if you talked to someone who visited then, you’d get reports of the beaches being terrible. So, if possible, take a look at what time of year those travelers visited Hua Hin and see if there’s a pattern to when the “muddy-reports” appear. Good luck.

  88. Family of 3 in Bangkok

    What a great forum. I am confused with my decision on where to go in Thailand with my 6yo and husband from 20 march. We need to do a visa run from Bali to Bangkok (takes 3 days but will allow 5 days just in case). I was thinking I would want to relax on an island ?Phuket after being in the city but having read these reviews Chang Mai and Railay sound like a great trip too. We have maximum 2 weeks and would prefer to fly back to bali from the last destination. We like swimming, want somewhere big enough that we can explore but can also relax and eat great food. We have a budget but enjoy a little spoiling as well. Could you please help me with my final decision. . Bali > Bangkok 4-5days >? Overnight train Chang Mai >? Island or coast > bali. Thank you so much in advance as I am getting very confused.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I’d start in Bangkok then over night train to Chiang Mai (stay at The Chedi) then fly Air Asia to Phuket and Air Asia again from Phuket to Bali. That’s what I’d do. Good luck.

  89. Thailand in April and May

    We are thinking of taking a trip to Thailand with our kids (4,9). we are planning to go during Apr-May timeframe. Is it going to be too warm? What part of Thailand we should go where we can enjoy beaches and some outdoor activities without worrying about weather?

    -thanks in advance

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Bangkok will be very warm that time of year but either coast should be great for swimming. Samui, Krabi, or Phuket should be perfect. Good luck.

  90. Where To Go in Thailand for Family of 4

    Hi David,

    We are planing a trip to Thailand maybe february or march for 1 week. We have two kids (4 and 2 years old) but we don’t know where to go, it’s Phuket or Krabi. Which one do you recommend?? We want to do the elephant rides, I’ve heard about the baby tigers. Maybe take a boat to Phi Phi island. But still don’t know where and which hotels. Do you have any suggestions?


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Karen. It probably sounds a bit more like Phuket to me. You could also fly into Phuket, go to Phi Phi, and then boat to Krabi and home, though that might be a bit too rushed.

      Good luck.

  91. Thailand for Family of 6

    This is a great website and is making me look forward to our 4 week trip to Thailand. We are a family of 6 (2 parents, 2 boys aged 4,5 and 2,5 and twins aged 4 months). At present we plan to fly in to Phuket and take it from there. Any thoughts on travelling with so many young kids? Can you recommend a hotel in Phuket, preferably on Naithon beach? We are not keen on everything being extremely touristy so would like to stay away from the masses if possible in Phuket.
    We would really Like to head to Railay from Phuket but it appears to be a fairly long trip…Once in Railay do you have any recommendations for moderate to budget hotels?
    And what about Koh Lanta? I figure visiting Phuket, Railay and Koh Lanta is sufficient travelling round for our kids but at the same time will enable us to see a bit of the south of Thailand. Thank you very much for any helpful hints.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That sounds like a fair bit of moving for a family of 6 in just 4 weeks, but the ferry from Phuket to Koh Lanta to Krabi would work well for you. Railay’s a bit of a trip from Krabi and another boat ride so you might want to skip that. These are good links for hotels, reviews and pictures: Nai Thon and Railay. Good luck.

  92. Thailand with Young Daughter

    Hi There and thanks for the wonderful info. I have two questions. We are travelling to Kho Samui in February with our 13 month old daughter. Regarding driving and car seats – will we be able to hire a car seat with the car hire? If not and we travel by taxi, is it ok to travel with the baby in a sling in the taxi? Are there any laws we need to be aware of with toddlers and hiring cars? (i am guessing there aren’t?)

    Also, we are looking at perhaps a day trip to one of the islands, I am a bit concerned about travelling on a boat with my toddler…should I be? Do the boats carry toddler life jackets etc? Or is there another, safer way of getting to the islands? Is there an island you recommend visiting or any boat companies you can recommend? we like snorkeling…

    Thanks, Leighan

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For car seats and the like, no, there are no laws (or none enforced anyways) so it’s just what you feel comfortable with. Finding a car with a working seat belt can sometimes be an issue. Often back seats won’t have seat belts at all. I would not expect to find a boat that had toddler life jackets. Perhaps in the most touristy areas and with boats that deal solely with travelers (say, a charter tour company) it might happen. When the monsoon hits the seas can get very rough and boats do go over, but in February you should get calm seas where ever you are. I hope that helps.

  93. Thailand in August for 2 Weeks

    Hi David
    We have just confirmed flights to Bangkok from 11th Aug for 2 weeks (unfortunately very restricted to Aug school holidays!) traveling myself husband and 3 children 16,13 & 7. My plan was to stay in BKK for 3 nts and then fly down to Krabi £35 PP oneway (bargain!) then 8nts there. Although I am now concerned about the weather and if this is the best place to stay. We wanted to go over to Maya bay (obviously due to the film “the Beach”) but again wondering if there will be enough in Krabi to keep us occupied for 8 days. We definitely want to do an overnight 2nd class train trip back up to Bkk and stay for another 2nts before returning home. Can you reassure me about the different areas regarding the weather and places to go/stay with teenagers.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Hi Claire. Not sure what part of Krabi you’ll be staying – is it Krabi town or out in one of the resorts, or Ko Lanta or Ko Phi Phi? I think you’ll find lots to do if you’re so inclined, if you’re staying on an island, or say, in Railay or Ao Nang. If your kids are like my kids, as long as they have a pool they should have fun. The weather is definitely an uncertainty in August – it can be nice in August, it can be rainy – you’ll probably get a bit of both. In all my trips there though, the weather has never been so bad as to not have fun. Rain one day, sun the next – you’ll usually always get some of both this time of year. So I guess the best advice is just be prepared. Be ready to have some rainy days, and don’t let an overcast morning make you feel like your trip’s ruined. The weather can often change quickly and most days will see at least a little sun. Not sure if that helps at all but that’s my advice. Good luck.

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