Combine cities, beaches, and culture for 10 days of family-friendly fun in Thailand. Starting in Bangkok, you'll visit vibrant Chinatown for delicious street food and see the world-renowned Golden Buddha before continuing to the mountains of Chiang Mai. Visit an elephant sanctuary and feed the elephants, have dinner with a local family, then end your tour on the beaches of Khao Lak, swimming and snorkeling in the aquamarine waters of the Similan Islands and exploring rivers and jungles via 4WD Jeep.


  • Sample tasty Thai desserts in Bangkok's Chinatown district
  • Visit and feed friendly elephants at Chiang Mai's Elephant Nature Park
  • Swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Similan Islands
  • Take a wild, off-road tour of the rivers and forests of Khao Lak 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bangkok Bangkok
Day 2 Chinatown Tasting Tour, Wat Traimit Temple Bangkok
Day 3 Railway Market & Floating Markets Bangkok
Day 4 Transfer to Chiang Mai, Traditional Khantoke Dinner Chiang Mai
Day 5 Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai
Day 6 Tunnel Temple & Baan Kang Wat  Chiang Mai
Day 7 Transfer to Khao Lak, Explore Khao Lak Khao Lak
Day 8 Visit the Similan Islands via Speedboat Khao Lak
Day 9 Khao Lak Off-Roading & Turtle Heaven Khao Lak
Day 10 Transfer to Phuket, Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok

Downtown Bangkok
Colorful downtown Bangkok at twilight

Welcome to Bangkok! Upon your arrival at the airport, your driver will take you to your hotel, where you can relax and get settled before exploring the city. Known for its street food, shopping, and friendly residents, Bangkok is considered the epicenter of Thailand's culture and commerce, blending an abundance of history within a cosmopolitan city. It's also a great family destination, with plenty of things to see and do.

Start with a stroll through Lumpini Park, where the kids can stretch their legs after the long flight, and you're likely to see locals practicing tai chi and families at play. Or, head to the river and hop on the Chao Phraya Express Boat for a tour along the riverbank. Curious kids might like a visit to the Children's Discovery Museum, which has interactive exhibits and a "dino zone" where they can dig up dinosaur bones! Later, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. 

Day 2: Chinatown Tasting Tour, Wat Traimit Temple

Little ones will love tasting their way through Chinatown

This morning, you'll be transferred by car to Bangkok's Chinese quarter, where you'll set off on foot for a tour of one of the city's oldest and most charming neighborhoods. A regular destination for foodies and photographers, colorful Chinatown is lined with food stalls, souvenir shops, and more. The main street of the district is Yaowarat Road (which is why locals sometimes refer to the area as Yaowarat) and includes the surrounding neighborhoods of Song Wat, Talat Noi, and Charoen Krung Road

Your guide will take you through the bustling streets and introduce you to the various food options, with everything from more traditional dumplings and noodles to exotic soups or oyster omelets. The kids will definitely want to try some Chinese doughnuts, which are fried and then grilled and often served with sweetened condensed milk. After you've had your fill of delicious culinary treats and perhaps bargained for a few souvenirs or other treats, you'll continue to Wat Traimit temple.

Located on Chinatown's Charoen Krung Road, Wat Traimit is home to the Golden Buddha, which at 10 feet tall (3 m), is the world's largest solid gold statue. Created in the 13th century, the statue was at one point hidden under a layer of plastic and stucco in order to deter thieves. During a move in the 1950s, this protective outer layer was cracked, revealing the stunning gold beneath. The Golden Buddha is now the highlight of visiting Wat Traimit, sitting in a place of honor among the gorgeous marblework and art of the temple. 

Day 3: Railway Market & Floating Markets

Beautiful views of the floating markets

Your day starts with a visit to Mae Klong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram province, about an hour from Bangkok. The market is often referred to as Siang Tai ("Life-Risking") Market, and upon arrival, you'll see why. The stalls and their canvas covers are all attached to the railway itself, and when a train approaches, chaos ensues as vendors rush to close their stalls and clear goods that obstruct the track. After the train passes, everything is reopened, and the shop owners put their wares back out. The practice isn't considered unusual to the locals, but your family will find the scene quite exciting! 

Next, visit Tha Kha Weekend Floating Market (if it's a weekday, you'll head to Damnoen Saduak floating market instead). The kids can try some of the delicious tropical fruit sold here, and if you want to buy that beautifully carved Buddha, be sure to have your haggling skills ready to go! You'll then glide through the market on a small paddle boat and visit a palm sugar-making business. This nutritious, natural sugar is used in many traditional Thai dishes, and the kids will be able to sample some of it as they watch the process of making the sugar from the palm. 

Day 4: Transfer to Chiang Mai, Traditional Khantoke Dinner

 A traditional Thai meal served on a khantoke tray

Transfer back to the airport this morning and hop on a flight to your next destination, the mountain city of Chiang Mai. Founded in 1296, this is northern Thailand's largest city and the country's fourth-largest, with a distinct culture and history that thrives alongside a modern, urban vibe. Once you've had a chance to settle in at your hotel, your driver will drive you south, where you'll enjoy a traditional khantoke dinner. 

Plan your trip to Thailand
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Visit a local family that is part of the generations of the Lanna (northern Thai) people who have worked to maintain their traditions for more than 150 years. Here, your family will have the chance to understand more about the Lanna people's way of living and beliefs, walk through the family gardens, and learn about the fruit and herbs used in northern Thai recipes. Prepare dinner using a khantoke, or pedestal tray, which serves as a dining table, sharing stories with the family as you and the kids help with the meal. Afterward, your driver will return you to your hotel for the evening. 

Day 5: Elephant Nature Park

Meet the gentle giants of Elephant Nature Park

Prepare for a kid-centric tour to the Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation center for elephants in the nearby Mae Taeng District. The center regularly takes in elephants, many of whom were rescued from bad situations, allowing them to heal and live in a peaceful, natural setting. There is a viewing platform where you can see the elephants up close, and the kids will even have a chance to feed them, an opportunity that shouldn't be missed! 

There are also many other rescued animals living in the sanctuary that you can visit, including cats, dogs, and buffalo, and the park is also involved in rainforest conservation and cultural preservation, with a tree-planting program and a focus on employing local residents and buying locally-grown agricultural products. Learn about these programs while interacting with the animals that live here. Afterward, you'll feast on a child-approved vegetarian buffet and say goodbye to the elephants before the hour-long drive back to Chiang Mai.

Day 6: Tunnel Temple & Baan Kang Wat 

Little ones can roam the peaceful grounds of Wat Umong

Visit another iconic Buddhist complex of Chiang Mai today, Wat Umong. Often referred to as the "Tunnel Temple," this is a forested sprawl of temples, pavilions, statues, fountains, and lakes. Founded in the late 13th century and still home to many Buddhist monks, the complex is best known for its bell-shaped stone pagoda engraved with scaly beasts (which your kids will be most curious to know about!) and Buddha statues and figurines. Beat the heat by arriving in the morning and taking a meditative stroll amid a soundtrack of birds, roosters, chants, and bells, ending with a unique blessing from the monks.

After lunch, continue to Baan Kang Wat artisan village, where you and the kids can explore cafés, juice stands, and craft studios selling everything from handmade goods to baby clothes. Follow the sound of hammer-tapping to Saprang, where award-winning jewelry designers make earrings and bracelets using nature motifs like leaves and vines. Visit Bookoo Studio, where wood and ceramics are the choice materials, and see their smooth, simple creations, such as bowls and chopping boards. The kids can interact with the artisans and get a peek at their crafts, and maybe learn a little themselves!

Day 7: Transfer to Khao Lak

Head to one of Khao Lak's perfect beaches for the afternoon

Your driver will take you to the airport this morning to catch your flight to your next destination, Khao Lak. This small province sits on the shores of the Andaman Sea, a 12-mile (20 km) stretch of beaches. After you check in at your hotel, make your way to the beach, where the kids can run freely on the sand, and you can relax with a cold beverage. Later, visit the nearby Bang Niang Market, an open-air market area where more than 300 merchants sell food, toys, t-shirts, and other items. This is a great place to grab dinner before heading back to the hotel and resting up for tomorrow's adventures. 

Day 8: Visit Similan Islands via Speedboat

Kids will love exploring the Similan Islands by boat

Spend today at the beautiful Similan Islands, where white sandy beaches and lush rainforests await you. Enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters and observe ocean creatures thriving underneath. Your driver will collect you from your hotel in Khao Lak, and you'll head to a private pier for breakfast and a short safety briefing on both the boat and what to expect when visiting a Thai national park. Then, you'll board a waiting speed boat for a quick, 90-minute ride to the islands. 

This national park is considered one of Thailand's most beautiful, and once you see the blue waters and white sand beaches, you'll understand why. Enjoy some chill time on the beach with the kids, or rent snorkel gear and take to the water. The islands are known for their spectacular diving and snorkeling, and you're likely to see a variety of brightly colored tropical fish as you cruise along the coral reef. There are also several good hiking spots here, such as Donald Duck Bay, where you can climb the huge rock formations for amazing views. 

Day 9: Khao Lak Off-Roading & Turtle Heaven

A newly released turtle makes its way to the sea

Make the most of your last full day in Thailand with some sightseeing tours of Khao Lak. If your family wants to have some fun in nature, check out the Khao Lak Off-Road Safari Tour. Travel via 4WD Jeep through mangrove forests, across rivers, and down off-road trails to cascading waterfalls. Take in the beauty of the forest greenery while the kids keep an eye out for the birds and other wildlife that inhabit the region. You can even stop for a canoe ride down one of the rivers.

Then visit the Phang Nga Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center and learn about turtle conservation while seeing the center's efforts in action. Hatchlings are collected and brought to the sanctuary (nicknamed Turtle Heaven) in order to give them a better chance of survival. After maturing for eight months, the turtles are released into the ocean. The facility also cultivates a clownfish breeding program. This bright orange-and-white fish, which the kids are likely to remember from the movie "Finding Nemo," can be viewed along with other species of tropical fish at the center.

Day 10: Transfer to Phuket, Depart 

Farewell Thailand!

Sadly, your Thailand adventure comes to a close today. Your driver will collect you from your hotel and transport you to the Phuket airport for your flight home. Safe travels! 

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Map of Family Exploration of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Khao Lak - 10 Days
Map of Family Exploration of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Khao Lak - 10 Days