Discover the incredible sights of city and rural Thailand

Want a family getaway that’s a little different? The combination of culture, friendly people, exciting activities, yummy food and stunning scenery make Thailand an ideal family destination. Visit the legendary Bridge on the River Kwai near Kanchanaburi, explore ancient ruins at Ayuthaya, shop in colourful markets in Bangkok and visit an Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Introduce the kids to a new world and have a great holiday at the same time on this fun-filled Thailand family adventure.

Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Thailand
Themes
Family
Code
TTFA
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2 Max 16
Carbon offset
236kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Take in the sights on a boat tour down Bangkok's waterways
  • Admire the huge Reclining Buddha
  • Visit the historic Bridge on the River Kwai near Kanchanaburi
  • Swim beneath a seven-tiered waterfall in Erawan National Park
  • Explore ancient ruins at Ayuthaya
  • Learn about the plight of the Asian Elephant in Chiang Mai
  • Experience village life at a homestay
  • Learn about herbal medicine in a community forest

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Our adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

After arriving in Bangkok, there will be plenty of time for relaxing and meeting the other members of your group, or head out and explore the crowded streets, visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road or indlge in a Thai massage.
Today we will travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok (approx 1 hr). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Then pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage.

This afternoon we jump on a local bus to Kanchanaburi (approx 2 hrs) and check into our hotel. Located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge, Kanchanaburi is home to the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'.

This morning we travel to Erawan National Park (approx 1.5 hrs each way), where you can explore the famous seven-level waterfall or simply swim and relax. On the return journey, there's the possibility of grabbing a kayak and taking the River Kwai back towards town, paddling under the infamous bridge for a unique view. If kayaking isn't your thing, there are also majestic Buddhist temples to explore.
Transfer by minibus to the nearby city of Ayuthaya (approx 2.5 hrs).
Once the capital of ancient Siam, Ayutthaya offers a great opportunity to stroll the World Heritage-listed ruins of this once magnificent city.
There's time for a guided tour of the picturesque ruins and temples spread across the town. The ruins at Wat Phra Mahathat provide many photo opportunities and the Buddha head surrounded by Banyan tree roots is perhaps the most photographed site in Ayutthaya.
Board an overnight train bound for Chiang Mai (approx 11 hrs). We use soft sleeper class trains for all of our overnight train journeys. Multishare compartments with air-conditioning and bunk beds - sheets and a pillow are provided. Our baggage travels in the carriage with us. There's a food and drink service available on board.
The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. This 'Rose of the North' is also known for its beauty and the friendliness of the local people.
Explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approx 45 mins). The rewards justify the climb with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention fantastic panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to listen to hypnotic evening chanting by resident Buddhist monks.
We also visit Bor Sang, a traditional Umbrella factory.
In the evening you can choose to wander through the enormous, colourful Night Bazaar, and perhaps relax at a fine restaurant along the riverfront. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food - the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
We set off early (approx 8am) and drive along Mae Taeng Valley to Elephant Nature Park (approx 60 km), a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants.

Greeted by an expert guide we learn about the story of rescued elephants and elephants problem in South-East Asia. After that you will have a chance to feed the elephant from the viewing platform.

Lunch is provided before elephant bathing time. After a safety briefing you can join in to scrub and bathe the elephant (bring some shorts/swim gear and change of clothing) or alternatively just kick back and enjoy watching the elephants bathe.

Set off to the warm and welcoming village of Ban Hua Tung (approx 45 mins) for a truly unique experience when the local Thai community accept us into their village for the night. In the evening, we're treated to a home-cooked dinner by your host family and there is traditional Thai dancing awaiting you at the centre of the community.

Although accommodation is basic, this is an experience that will be cherished by the whole family. We'll be accommodated in village homes with fold-out mattresses on the floor and shared bathrooms.
Please note that the days we spend in Chiang Mai and the family homestay may vary depending on the commitments of our host family at the homestay.
This morning we say goodbye to our village hosts and head into the sacred community forest at the base of Chiang Dao mountain. Here, local guides will show you the community forest, which community members manage together. The biodiversity of the forest is protected by a sacred 'forest ordination' by Buddhist monks whereby trees are ordained as monks - the people nurture the forest, and the forest nurtures the people in return. Every year the local community participate in the annual bamboo harvest where all the profits are divided amongst the village families.

The Hua Tung is a new community initiative and the local villagers take great pride in showing you the development of their village and the many different kinds of herbal medicines and wild foods in the forest.
Return to Chiang Mai. There are loads of optional activities to keep you fully occupied, you could hire bicycles to ride around town and further explore the city's historic temples or visit one of the many Royal Projects that have been initiated in and around this region of the country. Why not learn the art of Thai cooking at a local school or try a traditional massage.

Another unique attraction for kids is the Northern Thai Doll museum at Baan Tawai wood handicraft village, south of Chiang Mai. Here you'll find a delightful collection of dolls decked out in the colourful costume of Northern Thailand's ethnic minorities. Stroll through the serene Queen Sirikit Gardens where the family can enjoy the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Today is free to explore Chiang Mai before we had to the railway station for the overnight train at 4 pm.
There are so many things to do here - spectacular temples, delicious food, an enormous night market, picturesque river-front and fantastic shopping. Join your leader on a walk through the old city, or undertake the many optional activities available. Chiang Mai is a great place for hiring a bicycle, climb to Doi Suthep temple, sign up for a Thai cooking class or loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage.
Transfer by minivan south to the beach town of Hua Hin (approx. 3 hours).
Spend your time exploring and swimming in the numerous white sandy beaches, and by night indulge in amazing food.
Today is free to relax on the beaches of Hua Hin or take time to uncover a little more of Thailand's original beach resort. Our leader is on hand to take us to the night market which is always fun and interesting.
Return by minivan to bustling Bangkok. This afternoon you have free time, you could grab a taxi and head over to Siam Ocean World to enjoy their interactive show and daily feedings. Or explore the streets markets and relax with a massage.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport
Bus, Longtail boat, Minivan, Overnight sleeper train, Songthaew
Accommodation
Homestay (1 night), Hotel (6 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan Water Falls
  • Kanchanaburi - Erawan National Park
  • Ayutthaya - Temple Ruins Guided Tour
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Traditional Umbrella Factory
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park day trip

Dates

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Important notes

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 14 years and under at the time of travel.

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Thailand Family Holiday trips score an average of 4.95 out of 5 based on 22 reviews in the last year.

Thailand Family Holiday , April 2016

Thailand Family Holiday , March 2016

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