It’s fun time in the Land of Smiles
December 4, 2019
Going to Thailand is now easier than ever, especially for the Indians, and yes, with families. And as an added bonus, the Royal Thai Government has again approved an extension of visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 nations including India, for another six months, from November 1, 2019 until April 30, 2020. But after landing in Thailand, what do they do to keep everyone in the family equally happy? Know more to not miss next time or for that matter, the first time!
What are the checkboxes for an Indian family?
Thailand is indeed the preferred destination for family holidays, at least for Indians, for many practical reasons. From budget-friendly packages to easier flight connectivity, availability of Indian food options everywhere to all kinds of shopping opportunities make Thailand a preferred choice.
When holidaying, Indian families prefer to cover multiple cities in each visit instead of sticking to one city. While this can be challenging in many other countries, it is easily doable in Thailand as families can explore the length and breadth of Thailand easily. Whether hopping on an internal flight as the domestic flights are quite affordable, or more intrepidly, board a train or simply book a minivan to take them through the exotic countryside, tailoring transportation to fit with the ages of children and senior citizens in the family is very easy.
Tourism Authority of Thailand has identified 14 different types of family routes all over Thailand. While some already figure in popular Indian packages, some more need to be added. More families are exploring destinations beyond Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket than ever. If you are still confused, here are our top picks for offbeat family destinations in Thailand.
Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai: Thrills in the lap of serenity
The northern capital of Thailand offers a well-balanced mix of nature and city life, with an added bonus of cool and fresh air, thanks to its mountainous landscape and lush jungles. Visit Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, walk in the rainforest glasshouse to learn about plants from the Asian tropical forests. Take the kids to the Chiang Mai Zoo, that also features a Snow Dome offering snow activities, and not to forget the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium. You may reserve the second day for the Chiang Mai Tiger Kingdom to start your morning with some thrills. For some adrenaline-pumping action, go zip-lining to explore Chiang Mai’s pristine nature in an exciting way. In addition to its beautiful gardens, the Royal Park Rajapruek has worth-seeing Thai-style architecture. The best time to visit is during the floral festival in winter. The Chiang Mai Night Safari has a lot of fun activities and shows suitable for all ages. There is also an amusement park for the children.
Chiang Rai, a lesser-known city closer to Chiang Mai, is becoming famous for a breathtaking white temple, the Wat Rong Khun. A family can visit Chiang Rai simply just to visit this work of art. Of course, the trip must include the one-of-a-kind golden Clock Tower, especially the light and sound show. Checking out the Night Bazaar for an excellent collection of clothes which goes on till midnight is highly recommended.
Lampang: Charmed by horses and elephants
Lampang is the only province in Thailand that still has horse carriages, and it has enough of its own charms to attract visitors with its rich culture and unspoiled nature. Kat Kong Ta is a walking street on weekend evenings with lots of food and fun activities. Other than horses, Lampang is also famous for elephants. The Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC) cares for more than 50 Asian elephants, as well as 10 royal white elephants, in a beautiful forest which must be visited with the entire family.
Samut Songkram: The city of Siamese twins
Samut Songkram is located just southwest of Bangkok, along the Gulf of Thailand. Attractions in the province include floating markets, temples and a famous Siamese cat house, other than its beautiful tropical jungles. It is absolutely a must to get wet and a little bit dirty at the Klong Klone Mangrove Forest with mud ski. Get closer to the locals by wearing a Thai dress and participating in activities at the Rama II Memorial Park, where the absolute peaceful atmosphere transports you back to the days of ancient Thailand.
Hua Hin: Interactive theme parks for kids
Hua Hin is a city of historical importance and a favourite family destination offering a balanced mix of nature, culture and leisure, which makes it a perfect place to kick back and relax. While kids will absolutely enjoy the Camel Republic that has more than just camels within its Moroccan-style buildings, the elders in the family are sure to like Mrigadayavan Palace, a former royal residence by the sea. After a rather lazy first day, your family may head to Hua Hin Safari & Adventure Park where they can watch snake shows, crocodile shows, elephant shows, ride an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), go trekking on an elephant or simply have fun with paintballs. Vana Nava is one of the best water parks in Hua Hin where there is something called Kiddie Cove with 11 interactive fountains and play structures which kids can splash down into a child-friendly pool. The Cicada Market is full of cool, creative crafts and delicious snacks, and if you happen to be there at the right time, there are also performances that you can watch for free.