Would you take your family to Thailand on holiday?
Paul has been successfully running Thailand’s premier villa rental company, Thailand Holiday Homes, for over a decade. Paul first started out in the industry by purchasing his own villa to rent out to tourists in Pattaya, Thailand, and he hasn’t looked back. He singlehandedly created the villa rental market in Pattaya and has also branched out into Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, Chiang Mai, Krabi and other popular Thailand holiday destinations, with nearly 500 luxury and handpicked villas, creating happy memories for thousands of guests over the years.
Who better to ask for insider knowledge about a family holiday to Thailand?
What are the top 3 things that make Thailand a great place for families to holiday?1. Lots of beaches and oceans, especially in places such as Phuket and Koh Samui. Natural features such as these are perfect for families with kids.
2. Friendly faces and Thai hospitality. Thais love kids, and they are always on hand to ensure that your holiday is running smoothly.
3. The wildlife. You can see monkeys in the wild, and snorkel amongst multi-coloured fish. Children love visiting sanctuaries dedicated to rehabilitating elephants (do your research beforehand to identify the ethical sanctuaries), or one of Thailand’s many fantastic zoos.
Which are the best destinations in Thailand for families?1. Phuket
Phuket is a place that merges stunning beaches, crystal blue oceans, zoos and wildlife attractions such as Phuket Zoo and Phuket Aquarium. Phuket is the ultimate family destination because it focusses on natural beauty, which is quite different from other holiday destinations in Thailand that are more about nightlife and partying. Phuket has lots of international shopping such as Jungceylon Shopping Mall in Patong and Central Festival. Wholesome family pastimes such as Dino Park Mini Golf and Football Golf are great family fun.
2. Koh Samui
Samui is more peaceful than Phuket and offers the ultimate in tranquility and some fantastic beaches. The Angthong National Marine Park is an archipelago of 42 islands that will amaze you. Offering lots of natural beauties to discover such as jungles, waterfalls, and caves, the island is a great place for families to explore. Chaweng Walking Street and the Fisherman’s village Walking Street also provide great family shopping experiences.
3. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a great place for family fun. Home to a cool city, there is always something to see and do for families such as Chiang Mai Zoo, the hill tribe villages, Bo Sang Umbrella village and much more. With its stunning mountains such as Doi Inthanaon and Doi Suthep, you can partake in a spot of elephant trekking, bike riding and more. Enjoy shopping as a family in the evening, during a night out in the Old City.
What’s the best time of year to visit Thailand?
The best time of year to visit Thailand in terms of the least rainfall and humidity is between November and April. The rainy season is from May to October, and although it is the time of the year with the most rainfall and highest humidity, you will still have a great time and still might have a rain free holiday.
What day-trips would you recommend with children in Thailand?
Kanchanabari – This area in central Thailand is home to the Bridge Over the River Kwai and lots of war memorials. A 3-hour outside Bangkok, if you want to experience a real slice of modern history, visiting Kanchanaburi is essential.
Ayutthaya – Explore the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, which is one of the oldest places in Thailand and was once the capital of Thailand before Bangkok.
Koh Phi Phi – If you visit Phuket and Krabi and don’t take a day trip to Phi Phi Island, then you are missing out big time. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Thailand and was the set of the Leonardo Di Caprio film, The Beach.
Bangkok day tour - You really need to do the day tour in Bangkok that showcases the Grand Palace and the other historical buildings and points of interest so you can get a real feel for Thailand’s history and culture.
Chaing Mai – Make sure you take a day trip to explore the tallest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon (in Inthanon National Park). The mountain range is about an hour drive from the city.
What are the beaches like in Thailand?
Absolutely stunning. If you are looking for the best beaches in Thailand, we would suggest you visit southern locations such as Koh Samui, Phang Nga and Krabi, Koh Lanta and Phuket. The beaches in those locations are some of the best in the world and home to places such as Phi Phi Islands in the same part of Thailand that the famous movie, The Beach, was filmed.
What are the locals like with tourists and in particular children?
The Thais are famous for their hospitality. They love having a great time and partying, but the one thing they love more is children. When it comes to dealing with tourists and kids, the Thais are always very friendly and accommodating.
How easy is it to do self-catering in Thailand?
It is extremely easy. All Thailand’s major holiday destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai are all home to a vast array of restaurants serving very cheap but delicious local Thai food, to high-end and international fine-dining restaurants. In fact, it is better to self-cater in Thailand because you get to try so many kinds of food.
Where would you recommend for people to go if they want to try some authentic Thai cuisine?
Thailand has an impressive array dishes depending on where you go. Up north, in Chiang Mai, Khao soy is the most popular dish. In the south, local curries such as Masaman and Penang curry are popular. Some of the most famous dishes include Somtam Salad (spicy papaya salad) and Tom Yam Goong (spicy shrimp soup).Which property would you recommend for families visiting Thailand for the first time?
Baan Chatmanee – Located close to Jomtien Beach in the Pattaya region, this stylish villa is situated in a private and quiet area that is just a short drive into the city and near to attractions. Clean, modern and spacious, this villa has a private pool, a stunning garden and a warm and friendly atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed.
If you were going to Thailand for one day, what would be the one place you wouldn’t want to miss?
The historical part of Bangkok that is home to the Grand Palace, Yaowarat, Wat Arun and the Chaophraya river where you can enjoy a boat tour and sample the stunning scenery at sunset. This part of Thailand is the perfect introduction into the Kingdom’s fascinating culture and rich history.
If you could personally stay in any of your properties which would you choose?
Sky Dream Villa – Perched on a breathtaking hillside in Koh Samui, overlooking the mesmerizing ocean, this ultra-modern and chic 4-bedroom villa offers one of the most exciting villa experiences in Thailand. With a private pool that overlooks the ocean and a pristine 5-star interior, this villa merges the perfect holiday location with style and panache to create something really special.