Thailand is famous for it’s stunning beaches, beautiful hospitality and enriching culture. In recent years Thailand has become a popular place for families to vacay – a part of which might be attributed to how strong the Aussie dollar is against the Thai Baht. In Thailand, it’s very possible to stay at a 4 or 5-star resort for a fraction of the price of a similar hotel in Australia.
In addition to being an affordable holiday, Thailand is very welcoming to families. There are plenty of things to do in Phuket with kids! We visited Phuket with our five-year-old and found plenty to see outside of the resorts that spanned nature, culture and religion, all in just a few short days. We found plenty in Phuket for kids to entertain us for several days.
There is no doubt that the beaches in Thailand are just stunning. White sand and clear blue water – just heavenly. Depending on the time of year you visit swimming at the beaches may or may not be an option. During the wet season, box jellyfish are more prevalent, so keep a look out. Some of the Phuket beaches are also known for heavy rips, so be safe when you swim.
It’s hard not to notice Phuket’s Big Buddha from around the island. The imposing 45 metre tall statue and temple sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and is one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks.
The view from the top of the hill is also stunning, making it a popular place to watch the sunset.
Old Phuket Town
Take a stroll through Old Phuket Town to discover shrines, temples (Buddhist and Chinese), beautifully preserved ‘shophouses’ and little cafés. The town was built during Phuket’s tin boom of the 19th Century and has several excellently preserved, grandiose Sino-colonial mansions once lived in by the tin barons over a hundred years ago.
While you will need to hire a car to get to Phuket Old Town, it’s small enough to walk around in when you get there. If it’s raining or too hot, the Phuket Trickeye Museum is a fun place to stop by in Old Phuket Town with kids.
Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (Karon Temple or Wat Karon)
Wander through the main road in Karon and you’ll find the stunning Wat Karon. This relatively new temple is a stunning place to visit any day of the week. We met kind monks who introduced us to one of their chickens, George.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 4pm the Karon markets pop up inside the compound.
Day trip: Phang Nga Bay
The islands surrounding Phuket are just gorgeous. We took the Two Sea Tour sea kayaking around Phang Nga Bay. You can read more about it here.
What to avoid:
Please don’t ride elephants, watch an elephant show or have your photo taken with an animal on the street (such as monkeys). These animals are treated cruelly and participating in these activities enables the businesses to continue to run. More info on animal cruelty in Thailand here.
When to visit Thailand:
We visited Phuket at the end of monsoon season (early October), and did experience quite a lot of rain. The rain was mostly in the mornings and late afternoon/evening, however, so there was still enough of the day that was try to get out and enjoy.
What to pack:
Scarf to cover shoulders if visiting temples
Loose, light layers
Hat, swimmers, sunglasses, goggles
Comfortable walking shoes
What to wear:
The Thai people tend to dress quite conservatively. Tourists can wear shorts and tanks tops, but avoid showing too much skin when you’re not at the hotel. If you’re visiting a temple, wear pants or a skirt that covers your knees. Some temples will also require shoulders being covered.
Money in Thailand
1AUD is about equal to 30THB. A plate of Thai food at a local restaurant will cost about 50-60THB.
Getting around: common forms of transport
Red buses: We caught one and it cost 40THB for the three of us. It’s basically a small bus with the back area wide open. Please jump on and off when they need to.
Tuk-tuk: Around 100THB for a short distance. Ask for the cost in advance and wedge kids in the middle, tight.
Taxi: Arrange the amount in advance. Call for a taxi from hotels.
Hire car and driver: We hired a car and driver to take us to Old Phuket Town and Big Buddha. It was quite pricey, at 700THB an hour, with a minimum of three hours plus the fourth hour for free.
Where to stay:
In Phuket we were hosted at the Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort for three nights, and the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa for three nights. Both hotels were gorgeous, 4-star properties.
Read about visiting the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.
Find where to stay in Phuket.
Read about the best bits of Phuket.
Check out temples in Chiang Mai.
A great article. We head to Thailand this week and I am considering Phuket for our family. So glad you shared. Your daughter is cute in her sunsuit!
Thank you so much! We enjoyed it – it’s a very pretty area. We really loved Chiang Mai if you have time to go there too. LMK if you’d like more info. Haven’t blogged it yet!
I’d love to go there one day!
Thanks Amy, it’s a gorgeous spot in the world 🙂
We have been tossing up between Thailand and Bali for our second “big family holiday”. I’ve never been to Thailand, and have been to Bali several times- it actually looks like ideal family holiday now!
It’s got a bit of something for everyone, I reckon!
Phuket is on my list! I loved following along with your adventures on IG and here on the blog. Look like you had an amazing time. All of those pool and beach shots have me yearning for summer!!
Thanks Tash, we loved it! A really great mix of lots to do. We loved Chiang Mai too, perhaps even more, so if you plan to go, maybe think of both!
Wow, thanks for sharing this today Christine. I grew up in Fiji so when I think family overseas holidays I typically think Fiji or South Pacific islands. We are planning one at the moment and it never crossed my mind to head west (well from Sydney we need to go back across Oz). Probably because I hate flying so the length of the plane flight is always a factor for me lol. My hubby worked for QF for 14yrs and aside from the fact it was at the poorest time of our marriage 3 kids, mortgage etc I was so scared I flying we rarely made use of our cheap flights! Will definitely investigate Thailand for our holiday.