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

  • This trip has a fabulous pace to it. There's plenty of action, and lots of room for quality family time in which to play, swim or stroll in some of Thailand's most amazing coastal and jungle destinations
  • A long-tail boat trip on the canals is the perfect introduction to Bangkok. Follow it up with a visit to Wat Pho, where the larger-than-life reclining Buddha will blow your mind
  • The food is excellent, with a great spread of local restaurants, and your Ban Hua Tung homestay takes the hospitality to the next level, with home cooking and a cultural dance perfomance
  • Lovely hotels with interconnected rooms are ideal for the family, making everyone nice and comfortable in each location
  • The activities in Chiang Mai are a great mix of fun and educational. One minute you're bathing elephants rescued from the wild, the next you're walking through the sacred foothills of Chiang Dao learning about natural medicines and wild foods

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, there is plenty to see and do in this exciting city. Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Perhaps take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. 
Today you will travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River and explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals) of Bangkok (approximately 1 hour). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. After that you will pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the six most important temples in the country. It's home to the country's largest reclining Buddha, which is a seriously impressive sight. This place is also the gatekeeper of the secrets of Thai medicine and massage. After exploring the site, you and the family will take a local bus to Kanchanaburi (approximately 2 hours) and check into your hotel. The hotel is situated where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge. Kanchanaburi is home to the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. 

This morning you will travel to Erawan National Park (approximately 1.5 hours each way). Located on West Thailand in the Tenasserim Hills of Kanchanaburi Province, this national park boasts the incredible Erawan Falls, a famous seven-level waterfall of luminous turquoise pools and exotic tropical fish. It's a great place to explore or simply swim and relax in the tranquil waters. If you do some exploring of these lush surrounds, keep your eyes peeled for eagles, pheasants or leafbirds among many others who might be soaring above or perched in the treetops. On the return journey, there's the possibility of a kayaking adventure down the River Kwai back towards town, during which you'll paddle 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 (approximately 2.5 hours). 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. Afterwards, board an overnight train bound for Chiang Mai (approximately 11 hours). You will be travelling in soft sleeper class, as per Intrepid style. Multishare compartments, air-conditioning, bunk beds, sheets and a pillow are provided. There's also a food and drink service on board. Note that your baggage will travel in the carriage with you.
Wake up in Chiang Mai, the most vibrant city of Northern Thailand. As well as amazing temples and an interesting old town area, the city known for its friendly, smiling locals. Drive along a scenic, winding mountain road that ends at an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway (approximately 45 minutes). The rewards will justify the climb, as one of Thailand's most stunning temples reveals itself. This is Doi Suthep. You'll be treated to panoramic views of the city from up here. You might also be able to listen to the evening chants of the resident Buddhist monks later on. You'll also visit Bor Sang today, a traditional umbrella factory. With free time in the evening, perhaps wander through the colourful night bazaar or visit one of the quality restaurants along the riverfront. In any case, don't miss out on the signature northern dish of kao soy – yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth with chicken or beef.
Set off early, around 8 am, and drive along Mae Taeng Valley to Elephant Nature Park. The drive is about 60 kilometres (approximately 1.5 hours). This unique project provides a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. Greeted by an expert guide, you will learn about the problems these creatures face in South East Asia. You'll have the chance to see these amazing beasts from the viewing platform. Lunch will be provided before elephant bathing time. After a safety briefing, you can join in to scrub and bathe the elephants (be sure to brings wimmer and a change of clothing). Then set off to the warm and welcoming village of Ban Hua Tung (approximately 45 minutes). The community will invite you and your family into their village for the night, for a truly unique experience. Be treated to a home-cooked dinner and a traditional Thai dancing performance. 

Notes: The Chiang Mai and homestay days may be swapped or shuffled around, depending on the committments and availability of the host family.
Bid farewell to your village hosts and head into the forest at the base of Chiang Dao mountain. Local guides will show you around the forest which the local Hua Tung people manage together as part of a new community intitiative. 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. There's a yearly bamboo harvest which raises money for the village. The locals take great pride in showing you the development of their village and the many different herbal medicines and wild foods in the forest. Return to Chiang Mai and enjoy free time – perhaps a bicycle ride or cooking class. 

Today is free for you to explore Chiang Mai before your 4 pm overnight train journey (which heads in the direction of Hua Hin, tomorrow's destination). Perhaps join your leader on a walk through the old city, or take up one of many optional activities. A unique and fun attraction for kids is Northern Thai Doll museum at Baan Tawai wood handicraft village. Here you'll find a delightful collection of dolls decked out in the colourful costume of Northern Thailand's ethnic minorities. Here you can also stroll through the serene Queen Sirikit Gardens where the family can enjoy the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
Take a minivan south to the beach town of Hua Hin (approximately 3 hours). Spend your free time here exploring and swimming in the numerous white sandy beaches and indulging in amazing food by night. This beautiful coastal spot is located right by a sophisticated city that has everything you need. But its slickness takes nothing away from the gorgeous beach and blue-green waters, which are perfect to laze around in. Hua Hin was once a sleepy fishing village, before Thai royalty made it their beachside getaway in the '20s. Hin Beach is the main strip – grab a coconut, settle in and be sure to sample the delicious thom kha (spicy seafood soup).
Today is free to spend as you please. A bicycle tour is always an excellent choice for the family, and there are many nearby vineyards and mountainous trails to explore, depending on how far you would like to venture. You might like to just stay at the beach and soak up the atmosphere of Thailand's original beach resort. Perhaps stroll north on the main shore to check out some of the opulent Victoria-style garden estates. The day market, Chatchai, is well worth a visit, boasting fresh fruit, delicious donuts and traditional sweetened coffee. The real hit, however, is the night market, and your leader will be on hand to take you there if you wish.
Return by minivan to Bangkok and enjoy an afternoon of free time. The shopping is excellent here, and the malls sometimes feel like their own kind of theme park. A great option for the family is to take a taxi over to Siam Ocean World to enjoy their interactive show and daily feedings. This is home to one of the largest aquariums in South East Asia, and its 'Weird and Wonderful' zone is sure to impress the young ones, with striped frogfish, garden eels and gigantic spider crabs peeking at you through the glass. Alternatively, visit the excellent Art in Paradise museum for some 3-D fun and quirky photo opportunities.
There are no activities planned for the final day, and you are free 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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