The beach is always great for children but Thailand doubles the fun. Thais love kids (especially babies) and will shower them with attention. Even grumpy taxi drivers enjoy playing já ăir (peekaboo) with little ones.
Of the Thai islands, Ko Samui is the most relaxed and family friendly. Keep our tips in mind and your family holiday will be all smiles.
- Only in the best hotels will you find high chairs, and strollers are rarely seen outside top resort areas. Most Thais just carry their children in their arms and hold them at the dinner table. While strollers might be convenient, most Thai pavements will feel more like off-roading then strolling.
- If you're using a baby backpack, make sure the child's head doesn't sit higher than yours: there are lots of hanging obstacles poised at forehead level
- Disposable nappies in big sizes are available at Samui's Tesco Lotus and Tops Market
- International-style beach resorts and upmarket hotels usually provide childcare facilities and crèches
- Thai food is often a little too spicy for young palates, but fried rice, roti, pasta and fried noodles are widely available
- The best beaches for families with young children are Bo Phut and Mae Nam. The waves are gentle, the footpaths wide enough to push a stroller (if you bring one), and there are other families to provide international playmates.
- For families with older children, especially teenagers, Chaweng will provide the most entertainment. The waves are powerful, there's plenty of shopping and eating, and most hotels have pools if you get tired of sand.
- There are lots of kid-oriented animal shows, such as monkey theatres and tiger zoos, that rarely live up to Western standards of animal welfare. Instead, head to the south coast where kids can ride elephants to the two jungle waterfalls or wonder at the Samui Butterfly Garden.
- There is some snorkelling off Ko Samui, but to really explore the underwater landscape take a trip to Ko Tao.
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Want more? Check out our Travel with children resource page, which features links to all our family-travel tips and tricks.