Visiting Thailand can be tricky… especially when you have kids in tow. But, with proper planning, you can have an amazing time.
For our itinerary, we decided to visit Phuket and Bangkok. We had seen so many beautiful pictures of Phuket, that we decided the “beach” part of the vacation should be spent there.
Day 1: Once we landed in Bangkok, we immediately took the flight to Phuket. The airport is not too friendly for transfers… just be patient. We reached Phuket around lunch time. We chose a really nice hotel on the north end of the island. While the hotel and the beach were spectacular, honestly, we were far from activity that happens towards the southern end of the island.
Day 1: was all about enjoying the pool, the sea and awesome food.
Day 2: After breakfast, we were picked up by the tour company to be taken for a boat tour of the surrounding islands (including “James Bond” Island). We spent the day exploring and had a lot of fun. We were extremely grateful that the tour operators provided us with special vegetarian dishes for lunch, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We returned to the hotel before sunset and were able to enjoy the beach once again.
Day 3: After breakfast, headed out to an elephant safari which we once again really enjoyed.
Tip – if you get the afternoon tour, pack a light lunch for the kids.
After the tour, we decided to stick around the southern end of the island in the evening and enjoyed strolling in the local shopping area. After dinner, returned to the hotel.
Day 4: Morning swim, beach fun and then headed to the airport. We reached Bangkok late in the afternoon and headed to our hotel. Once we settled in, we headed out to grab a bite. Around 6:30pm, we headed to the river cruise which was a lot of fun. Remember to sit on the top deck to enjoy the amazing views.
Day 5: The next day, we decided to try something different. After breakfast, we first headed to the floating market. After spending some time there and picking up some beautiful art straight from the artists, we headed to Ayutthaya. It was amazing walking around the UNESCO site, gaining a better understanding of Thailand’s history.
Day 6: We spent the day exploring Bangkok – The temples, shopping and the Grand Palace. Also managed to order a custom suit with a 24 hour turn-a-around!
Day 7: On our last day, we visited Wat Pho and a local high end shopping mall where I picked up some beautiful Thai silk material and enjoyed some amazing Uncle Tetsu cheesecake. We then headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon packing before heading back home.
.The Andaman sea is beautiful, but it can also be dangerous due to large numbers of jellyfish (depending on the time of the year – we visited in March). If you plan to swim in open waters, please ensure you follow the guidance of the locals.
.Southern tip of Phuket – it was unusually quiet when we visited that area. Make sure you are alert. In addition, it takes about an hour to travel from the southern end to the north end of Phuket. So, plan ahead and choose your accommodations accordingly.
.At the elephant safari (we used Siam Tours) we picked up some nice cooking spices along with tea and coffee. In retrospect, we should have bought a lot more.
.The trip to Ayutthaya and the floating market was very well worth it (rented a taxi). We did not see many kids in either of these spots during our visit. It appears the Bangkok Safari World is a lot more popular. Unfortunately, due to limited time, we had to make a choice and skip Safari World (which was okay because our kids had already been to several theme parks and zoos). If you have the time, plan for all three.
.The shopping malls, especially ones like MBK, Siam are interesting places to visit. However, while driving around Bangkok (near the Palace area in particular), we saw some beautiful local markets, but did not get a chance to visit them.
.Bangkok architecture – the modern buildings have unique facades. If you love to photograph or enjoy architecture, do take the time to look up (or down) !
.Wat Pho – At the Wat Pho temple we ran into a fortune teller and had an opportunity to hear what he had to say about the future. An unique experience indeed! The stubborn me however hasn’t followed his advice yet 😉
Last but not least – we realise we just scratched the surface exploring Thailand. Can’t wait for the next visit!