This two-week itinerary combines some of Thailand's most appealing and kid-friendly destinations for a family vacation to remember. From Bangkok, you'll head off the beaten path to experience the rural Thai lifestyle in markets and villages, then on to Kanchanaburi for history, river cruising, and waterfalls. Journey north to Chiang Mai to spend a day with rescued elephants and climb to hilltop temples, then pull out your swimsuits as you fly to Phuket for snorkeling, swimming, and plenty of beach time.


  • Get crazy with the photos at the colorful Damnoem Saduak Floating Market
  • Learn history near the River Khawe and cool off at Erawan Waterfall
  • Discover all there is to know about elephants and take hikes in Chiang Mai
  • Swim, snorkel, and relax on the beautiful beaches of Phuket

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Day Trip to Ko Kret: Boat Tour & Pottery Class  Bangkok
Day 3 Day Trip to Samut Songkham & Damnoem Saduak Floating Market Bangkok
Day 4 Transfer to Kanchanaburi via Nakorn Pathom & River Khwae  Kanchanaburi
Day 5 Explore Erawan Waterfall & Phra That Cave Kanchanaburi
Day 6 Fly to Chiang Mai, Free Afternoon Chiang Mai
Day 7 Family-Friendly Chiang Mai City Tour Chiang Mai
Day 8 Visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai
Day 9 Free Day in Chiang Mai, Mae Ping River Boat Trip Chiang Mai
Day 10 Fly to Phuket, Beach Day Phuket
Day 11 Swimming & Snorkeling Trip to the Phi Phi Islands Phuket
Day 12 Visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center Phuket
Day 13 Free Day in Phuket Phuket
Day 14 Depart Phuket  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok

There's plenty to see on your first afternoon in Bangkok

Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand's capital. A driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the heart of the city. Once you've settled in, rally the kids and go out to do some exploring. Bangkok is a tourism hub, and you'll be overwhelmed with the variety of family-friendly activities on offer. Apart from sitting down to a delicious Thai meal, a perfect outing for your first day is a visit to Sealife Bangkok Ocean World, the largest aquarium complex in Southeast Asia.

If time permits, you could also visit the Muang Boram Museum, which has miniature copies of Thailand's most remarkable ancient landmarks. Your little ones will discover a petite, fairy-tale world as you all learn more about the most famous places in Thailand.

Day 2: Day Trip to Ko Kret: River Cruise & Pottery Class

Get creative with a hands-on pottery class on the river island of Ko Kret

Experience an adventurous day full of fun activities and authentic rural life on today's excursion to Ko Kret, a small river island located 12 miles (20 km) north of Bangkok. Meet your guide at the hotel and head to Pak Kret Pier, then board a traditional long-tail boat to Wat Poramai Yikawas and take the kids on a journey back in time. Visit the 200-year-old leaning pagoda and a local museum to learn about the Mon people, a dominant tribe of central Thailand between the sixth and 10th centuries. Walk around the nearby market and taste exotic local snacks in hand-thrown terracotta pots.

Hop back on the boat to visit a pottery house that preserves the Mon's famous craftsmanship with its exquisite pottery patterns. Kids will love getting their hands dirty as they join a mini pottery workshop to make some ceramic souvenirs. Later, cruise around the island, enjoying rural views before stopping at a small pier. Stroll off the beaten path into a less-visited, lush green area, where a local family will warmly welcome you in their home. Sit down, relax, and cook a kanom krok, a coconut snack, together. Finally, leave this scenic island and return to Bangkok, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free.

Day 3: Day Trip to Samut Songkham & Damnoem Saduak Floating Market

Family Trip to Samut Songkham and Damnoem Saduak Floating Market
Kids will be delighted by the sights, sounds, and smells of an authentic Thai market

Venture into the Thai countryside this morning for a look at some of the most colorful and exciting markets in the country. After breakfast, meet your guide and travel south of Bangkok to Samut Songkhram by rail. This short regional train ride heads for a great country market that has sprouted along the railway tracks. Keep your kids on the lookout as you witness the incredible speed of the vendors, who quickly pack up their stalls when the train approaches. The merchants have learned the art of assembling and reassembling their wares at a moment's notice. 

After the train ride, you'll board a long-tail boat and cruise through the canals toward the colorful Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Observe how locals live alongside a labyrinth of canals and enjoy the vibrant spectacle as people buy and sell fruit. Upon arrival at the floating market, you'll have time to stroll around the area bustling with boats and vendors. There will be plenty of time for shopping, and you can treat the little ones to tropical fruits and other delights. After the boat ride, return to your hotel in Bangkok. 

Day 4: Transfer to Kanchanaburi via Nakorn Pathom & River Khwae

Travel From Bangkok To Kanchanaburi With Nakorn Pathom And River Kwai Visit
Stop for a family photo op on the bridge over the River Khwae

Wake up early in the morning and get the kids ready for your next destination, Kanchanaburi. With your guide, stop at Nakhon Pathom, where you'll visit Woodland Muangmai Fantasy Museum. The largest wood art museum in Southeast Asia, you'll learn the story of this art form and see the unique masterpieces from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Then continue to Kanchanaburi, where you'll have a stop for lunch at a local restaurant. 

In the afternoon, embark on a long-tail boat and cruise along the River Khwae. Disembark at the pier in Kanchanaburi, next to the river's iconic bridge. Your family will receive a history lesson as you discover the tragic moments in Thai history during World War II and visit the Death Railway Museum and Research Center. You'll also visit the War Cemetery before continuing to your hotel in Kanchanaburi.
Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Explore Erawan Waterfall & Phra That Cave

Family Day Exploring the Beauty of the Erawan Waterfall and Phra That Cave
Cool off with a dip in the beautiful Erawan Waterfall 

Perfect for active, high-energy families, today you'll take a break from cultural exploration and have the chance to play or relax in the tranquil atmosphere of Kanchanaburi's tropical forest. Start the morning by visiting Erawan Waterfall, a beautiful seven-tiered waterfall in Erawan National Park. The kids will love climbing up each tier of the waterfall's limestone surface but be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. Finally, head down to cool off from the heat and play in the natural pools at the bottom of the picturesque cascades. 

After swimming, dry the little ones off, hop in the car, and drive through the national park to Phra That Cave, a large mountain cave filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Take a short trek up the hill to the cave's entrance, and step into a dark, mysterious world with impressive rock formations. After having a traditional Thai lunch at a nearby local restaurant, you'll return to your accommodation. 

Day 6: Fly to Chiang Mai, Free Afternoon

Chiang Mai Leisure day
Chiang Mai is known for its lush scenery and hilltop temples like Doi Inthanon 

Check out of your hotel early, and a driver will be waiting to take you on the 3.5-hour drive to the airport in Bangkok, where you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight north to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival, a driver will greet you and take you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore on your own, so round up the kids, as there are plenty of options. Walk along the city's cozy streets and get a feel for local life among the mountains of northern Thailand. Don't miss San Kamphaeng Road, also known as the Handicraft Highway, which stretches 10 miles (18 km) and is the perfect place to search for gifts and souvenirs.

Visit the Silver Pagoda, which is also known as Wat Sri Suphan. This temple is particularly kid-friendly due to its lack of crowds, but it's a sight to behold with its intricate silver paneling. There are also several wats (temples) where you can stop in for a "monk chat" and have a conversation with a monk about religion, life, or anything you'd like to discuss while giving them a chance to practice their English. Alternatively, spend a relaxed afternoon by the pool and rest up for tomorrow's activities.

Day 7: Family-Friendly Chiang Mai City Tour

Burn off some energy with a trip up the 306 steps of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Today you'll have fun exploring more of Chiang Mai using different modes of local transport, such as a songthaew (a passenger truck), a long-tail boat, and a tuk-tuk. Start the day with a stroll around the alleyways of the old trader community of Wat Gatekaram before continuing to Warorot Market, where you'll find local snacks and other goods. Then continue to Wat Chedi Luang, one of the most spectacular ruins in the old city that once housed the Emerald Buddha. Take part in giving offerings and receiving blessings in accordance with the local customs.

For lunch, enjoy a delicious bowl of khao soy. This famous Northern Thai dish combines coconut cream, crispy noodles, and spices. In the afternoon, head to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a sacred temple located in the mountains. Enormous mythological nagas line its grand staircase of 306 steps, and inside the cloister, you'll find an intriguing copper-placed chedi topped by a five-tier gold parasol containing Lord Buddha's relics. On a clear day, there are incomparable views over Chiang Mai from the temple grounds.

Day 8: Visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Help feed and bathe rescued elephants at an eco-friendly sanctuary

Today is sure to be a highlight of the trip for parents and kids alike. You'll depart your hotel early in the morning and transfer two hours south, heading through a scenic landscape of rolling hills and lush forests. Your destination is the eco-friendly Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, a sustainable and eco-friendly reserve that helps these gentle giants rescued or retired from the tourist trade live out their days in a peaceful, natural setting.

Upon arrival, you'll change into traditional clothing and start your interactive tour. Little ones will be fascinated as they help prepare the elephants' food and medicines, gain insight into their behaviors, and hear about the history of the sanctuary. Then it's on to the main event, as you spend some time feeding and interacting with the animals. Later, change into your swimsuits and take a walk down to the river, where kids will have a blast helping give the elephants mud baths and swimming alongside them. Wrap up your day with a traditional Thai lunch before saying goodbye to these remarkable animals and returning to your hotel.

Day 9: Free Day in Chiang Mai, Mae Ping River Boat Trip 

Adventurous eaters will love sampling snacks at the Night Bazaar

Today is free for you to enjoy Chiang Mai's relaxed atmosphere and tranquil nature at your own pace. If the kids are feeling adventurous, head to Bua Tong National Park for a hike to Bua Thong Waterfalls, also known as the "Sticky Waterfalls." Little ones will love doing their best Spiderman impression as they scramble up the porous limestone rocks that are easy to climb when wet. Other options include taking the family to Bai Orchid-Butterfly Farm to see hundreds of colorful flowers and butterflies or spending a lazy day at Suan Buak Haad Park for great views while the kids have fun on the playground.

You'll also have the option to take a boat trip along the Mae Ping River. Head 30 minutes north of Chiang Mai to board a long-tail boat and cruise past rural life along the riverbank. Hop off to visit Waroros Fresh Food Market and get a glimpse of authentic local life in northern Thailand. In the evening, the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road is worth visiting to buy interesting local goods and treat your kids to some delicious street food and snacks. 

Day 10: Fly to Phuket, Beach Day 

Family Beach Day in Phuket
 Phuket's pristine beaches and clear, shallow waters are perfect for families

It's off to the island of Phuket as you say goodbye to Chiang Mai and catch your flight out. Known for its stunning white sands and blue waters, Phuket is a top destination for visitors to Thailand, and upon arrival, you'll understand why. Get checked in at your hotel, then spend the rest of the day exploring the town's beautiful shores. 

There are several great family beach options here, such as Mai Khao, where you can find privacy and tranquility, or Kamala, a nearly 6-mile (9.5 km) stretch of sand with shallow water for the little ones and easy access to nearby restaurants. If you're looking for something livelier, visit Patong, a bustling tourist spot with equipment rentals, parasailing, and lots of bars and restaurants. And Kata is the perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling, not to mention some of the area's most dramatic sunsets. 

Day 11: Swimming & Snorkeling Trip to the Phi Phi Islands

Spend the day boating and beach-hopping between the Phi Phi Islands

There's more family beach time on the schedule today as you catch a private transfer to the pier, then take a long-tail boat cruise to the nearby Phi Phi Islands. Start with a stop at Phi Phi Ley, or Maya Beach, for spectacular views of the islands. Then, head to Pileh Lagoon and Viking Cave, a stunning hidden beach surrounded by limestone cliff formations.

Visit Monkey Beach, where the kids can give the resident monkeys a treat of fruit, and do some snorkeling and swimming at nearby Phi Phi Don, followed by a delicious lunch. On the way back, make one more stop at Bamboo Island, a small reef-edged island with peaceful, clear waters. 

Day 12: Visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center

Family Day At The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
See gibbons at play and learn about how this species was saved from extinction

Take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center, where you and your family can learn about these animals and their environment. The center is dedicated to the protection of gibbons, which were poached to the brink of extinction 40 years ago. Their program has worked to rescue and reintroduce gibbons to the wild, focusing on the last remaining rainforest in Phuket, Khao Pra Theaw Non-Hunting Area

Learn how to make gibbon nutrition balls wrapped in banana leaves, and let the kids feed some healthy snacks to these friendly creatures. Walk through the surrounding jungles as your guide explains more about the gibbon habitat and the meaning behind their different sounds and calls. If you're lucky, you might also see some of the other wildlife that resides in the forest. Finish with a leisurely family walk to a nearby waterfall to cool off.

Day 13: Free Day in Phuket

Family Leisure Day in Phuket
Snorkel and swim to your heart's content in the clear waters of Phuket

It's your last full day in Thailand, so savor your remaining time in the island paradise of Phuket however you choose. Your kids may love a visit to a water park, and there are plenty to choose from locally, including Splash Jungle Waterpark, Blue Tree Waterpark, or Rawai Park.

More adventurous youngsters can try ziplining at the Flying Hanuman, which has various platforms, sky bridges, and ziplines, as well as gentler activities suitable for younger children. Visit the Phuket Aquarium to explore and learn more about the region's diverse marine life, or go snorkeling to swim alongside tropical fish and sea turtles. In the evening, don't miss visiting the Night Market to try the local street food.

Day 14: Depart Phuket

Go for a swing or head to the beach on your final morning in Phuket
Your two-week family Thailand adventure draws to a close today. Spend a final few hours enjoying the beach or shopping for souvenirs before your airport transfer. Safe travels!

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Map of Family Discovery of Thailand: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai & Phuket - 14 Days
Map of Family Discovery of Thailand: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai & Phuket - 14 Days
Written by Hien Do, updated Apr 15, 2023