Once the reserve of young backpackers and top end package tourists Thailand is becoming an ever more popular place for families to take a holiday. Many former backpackers are returning with their children while others are travelling to Thailand for the first time.
As long-term residents of Thailand we have had numerous requests for guidance on taking children to Thailand. These requests came first from other families who were being assigned by my employers to work in Thailand but it soon became apparent there was a need for a guide giving information to families taking holidays in Thailand, this then is how I came to write this guide.
I’m sure you probably know already there is not a lot of useful information on this subject available, the guide books still cater for backpackers and those top end package tourists; you will also be aware that the worst worry of all is the worry of not knowing.
Well here’s an observation that might help put your mind at rest:
Thailand is full of children, happy and healthy children.
We have two children, Lorna and Tom, both of whom lived in Thailand as very young children - from a few weeks old. We have travelled as a family to all points of the Thailand compass from the Mekong to Phuket; cities, beaches, forests, islands and highlands. We’ve had many happy holidays without any more problems that we might have encountered in Europe.
I hope in this guide sheet will provide you with sound practical advice gained from our own experience but before I continue, can I suggest that you pass this to grandparents, they’ll be worrying too.
My best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.
Ryan King. April 2010
As I say in my introduction, this guide has developed from a four page fact sheet that I initially wrote to help visitors find their way around Bangkok; That simple guide proved to be very popular and was soon being passed around on the internet, it wasn’t long before I received a stream of emails from people I had never heard of who where seeking advice on a family holiday in Thailand. Their questions fell into the now obvious categories of Transport, Accommodation, Food, Health and Things to Do.
These then are the main chapters of this guide to which I have added as much information as I feel is necessary to help you as a parent take control of your own holiday. It is important to note that the information I have added is purely from my personal experience of living, working and raising two children in Thailand, it is therefore very subjective, but I also hope considered and measured advice.
If you read this guide cover to cover you will undoubtedly come across some repetition of advice between chapters, I haven’t repeated myself to fill some target number of pages, rather I know that many of you will read the chapter that addresses a particular concern and skip others. The repetition aims to ensure that you find the information where it is relevant.
Warnings and Cautions
When I came to do the final reading of my manuscript I realised just how many warnings and cautions I had included, I hope you will accept them at face value, I am not trying to tell you what not to do on your holiday but I feel I do need to give warnings where I have seen problems in the past. Non of the warnings and cautions are hollow, I or close friends and colleagues have either been caught out or personally witnessed others being caught out by the things I have warned or cautioned against. Please just take these things as advice or information to help you make your decisions.
I hope to keep this guide up to date with frequent revision and also provide up to date information on my website, so if you find anything you think might be useful to others, or if there is some information that you think would improve my guide please feel free to email me at feedback (at) thailand4kids.com, I will be delighted to hear from you.
Navigating this Guide
I subdivided this guide into what I believe are the key issuess, quesitons and concerns of parents planning to visit Thailand with children, you can navigate these using the tabs on the left handside. Some subjects are themselves subdivided by catogory which when necessary I have provided a tab bar along the top of the page.