I’m so excited to offer this guest post from fellow travel blogger Bethaney Davies of FlashPackerFamily.com! She shares some fantastic tips on taking kids to Thailand… one of my bucket list locations. Thank you, Bethaney!!
A holiday to Thailand is almost a no-brainer. Thailand is inexpensive, offers up plate after plate of delicious food and has incredible culture to boot. One of the biggest drawcards for Thailand is the fantastic beaches on offer. With mile after mile of sandy beaches stretching across the coastline with and tropical islands dotted through emerald green seas, Thailand is a mecca for those seeking sun, sea and sand.
Here are three different, but equally appealing, options for a family beach break in Thailand.
Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui
Koh Samui is a large developed island situated in the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. It’s a good choice for first-time visitors to Thailand who want to experience the beautiful beaches in a more developed, touristy setting. For those short on time, it’s only a one hour flight to Bangkok (there are 25 flights a day from Bangkok on Bangkok Airways). Chaweng Beach, the main beach on Koh Samui, is beautiful but developed. Don’t come expecting little shacks on the beach and uber-cheap prices. You won’t even catch a glimpse of the sea from the main drag due to the amount of resorts built up along the beachfront. There’s a reason why this was the first beach to be developed on Koh Samui – it’s by far the best! The beach is long, the sand is powdery and the water is shallow, clear and calm making it perfect for babies, toddlers and small children. There’s plenty to amuse kids off the beach around the island – crocodile shows, mini-golf and a small waterpark. Koh Samui also has some great restaurants, a couple large supermarkets and a hospital.
Thong Nai Pan Yai Beach on Koh Phangan
If you’re after a laidback beach experience head to Thong Nai Pan Yai beach on Koh Phangan. It’s a bit of a trek to reach. Fly or train & ferry to Samui then catch the catamaran across to Koh Phangan. From the pier it’s a 45 minutes songthaew (converted pick-up truck) ride across a bumpy road. You’ll find Thong Nai Pan Yai is well worth the extra effort.The more remote atmosphere keeps away the package tourists and gives the beach a more flashpacker-vibe. Think basic but comfortable bungalows in lovely manicured gardens, right on the beach. The bay is long and a perfect crescent shape with a lush jungle background. Calm, clear water make for great swimming and splashing for younger kids. Older kids will love scrambling on the rocky points at each end of the bay. Bring enough supplies for the duration of your stay (nappies, sunscreen, mosquito repellent). There’s a small minimart but not much else. Come prepared with a few rainy day activities – books, cards and DVDs, as there’s little in the way of entertainment other than the wonderful beach.
Andaman Beach on Koh Lipe
If you’re a family of backpackers with more time than money, make the trek down to Koh Lipe on Thailand’s West coast, right by the Malaysian border. Koh Lipe was once a sleepy, dot of an island in the Tarutao Marine Park but, for the last few years, has been the next big thing on the backpacker circuit. Getting here requires a train or flight to Hat Yai, a few hours in a minibus followed by a ferry ride. There aren’t any shops or ATMs on the island so come prepared. In fact, there aren’t any roads on Koh Lipe! The only method of transport is to walk through jungle paths or take a longtail boat from beach to beach. At the North-Eastern corner of Koh Lipe you’ll find Andaman beach. Close to the fishermens’ village but away from the hub-bub of the main beach, Andaman beach is the best option on Koh Lipe for families. Basic but adequate huts and bungalows along the beach allow you to wake up, step off your porch and take a few steps into the ocean. It’s quiet at night, with little in the way of beach bars or restaurants. Koh Lipe is great for older children. The water gets deep quickly so you can swim and snorkel straight off the beach. Hire a longtail boat and explore the islands that make up the surrounding Marine Park.
Author Bio: Bethaney Davies is one third of Flashpacker Family – a semi-nomadic, globetrotting family from Christchurch, New Zealand. Bethaney, Lee and their toddler Reuben spend half the year at home and the rest out exploring and enjoying the world. Flashpacker Family has great tales from the road, tips on travelling on a budget & travelling with a toddler and information on living a location independent lifestyle. You can follow Bethaney on Twitter and Facebook. She also about everything Thailand on her new site Travel Thailand Guide.
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