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5 family adventures in South-Thailand (part II)

November 10, 2010

Southern Thailand, home to tropical islands, hidden beaches, the jungle and elephants. An area full of adventures for you and your children!

The first part of this post was an introduction to traveling with your children in Thailand, including a call upon you to discover Bangkok (especially by bike if you’re up to it). This second post describes (family) adventures in South-Thailand. Hope you and your family get inspired!


Adventure 1: Overnight Jungle Stay

Fruit that can be hand-picked from trees alongside the road. A river eroding rocks and thereby slowly creating more room to manoeuvre. Monkeys, elephants and huge spider webs. When you are heading to the tropical islands in Southern Thailand, the Khao Sok Natural Park is a good transit place where you can spend 1 or 2 days hiking, rafting or do other adventurous things.

Jungle of Khao Sok

During the day it’s rather quiet. We arrived early afternoon and after storing our luggage in the cabin we just relaxed. But after the sun sets, the jungle music begins!

Khao Sok jungle cabins Khao Sok jungle cabin

Spending the night in a jungle cabin is a true adventure. At night your ears go wild listening to the almost deafening sounds of all night creatures… It’s hard to describe, but when you’re lying in your bed, it feels like a blanket of sound is gently spread over your cabin. It’s not threatening, it’s just pure astonishment… the sounds of the jungle. We spent a couple of days in the amazing Khao Sok national park.

Adventure 2: Ride on the Majestic Elephant

For kids the thing to choose when you’re in the jungle is an elephant ride. Riding these wonderful animals is an adventure by itself. But during the ride you will also pass ancient trees, monkeys and huge spiders.

Elephant ride Khao Sok

How can you not be impressed by these totally majestic animals. With their huge bodies they are still able to walk with grace. These are animals in captivity, but their presence alone humbly forces us to treat them with the utmost care and respect.

The ride on the back of an elephant is wonderful. With every step the animal conquers, with every step it retakes ownership of that part of the forest. You feel like a king, on the back of another king.

After the ride your children are allowed to feed the elephants with a treat: small bamboo sticks. Just offer it to the animal on your hand and the elephant’s snout will pick it up. They will be screaming from excitement at first, I can promise you that!

Feeding elephants in Khao Sok Feeding majestic elephants

Adventure 3: Relax on Stunning Beaches

Lying on the beach of a tropical island after two days of jungle adventures, what better way to end a holiday. But don’t consider it only as the end of your holiday, choosing the right beach will provide you with a dream experience.

small island near Koh Samui

There a lot of stunning islands to choose from. Depending on the time of year (rainy season) and your personal preference, you might even find it difficult to make the final decision! We chose for Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Samui is somewhat different from Phangan as it is more touristic.

Our hotel at Koh Phangan was situated on the northern part of the island. We were amazed by the curved bay and white sandy beach, just like you see in movies and read about in travel guides. The northern part is not very easy to reach (it takes a bumpy ride of about an hour but very much worth it!) and there is far less (or even no) night life. But when you travel with your children, this might just be the place you were looking for!

Beach at Koh Phangan

Adventure 4: Massage on the Beach

Thai massage…if you ever got one, you will surely come back for more. Did you think massages are not suitable for your children? Don’t worry, they will love it! On the beach, eyes closed and listening to the sounds of the waves…even your children will enjoy 1 hour of relaxation (just as you will!)

Massage on beach Koh Samui

When the sun sets the hotels change their beach into an open-air restaurant. At night you enjoy the sounds of the small waves, dig your bare feet in the warm sand, watch lanterns being lit and see them floating away in the air….we couldn’t feel more happy. This was a holiday where you really, really don’t want to go back home.

Dinner on the beach of Koh Samui Detail of open-air restaurant

Adventure 5: Snorkeling to Watch Coral and Fish

You can easily arrange a snorkeling experience with your children. After a short boat trip you dive into the clear water and explore the world under the sea level. They will see fish and if the water is clear, also some breathtaking coral. For us it was our first time snorkeling and I can truly recommend it. For me personally it was the silence I enjoyed the most. The complete underwater silence, far away from our noisy world above the water level. This was an experience I will not easily forget.

Snorkeling Thailand

Health & Safety

Thailand is a really safe place to travel, we never felt threatened or even uncomfortable. If you want some specific travel tips about Thailand or traveling with children in general, just drop me a message. The hotels we stayed in were very child-friendly and all had connecting doors. After travel experiences with our family in other countries, I can confirm that Thailand is ahead in providing families a carefree vacation.

Buddha statues

Oops, I almost forget: one more TIP about safety: if you want to get a tattoo, no worries because they use a new needle every time!

New needles

Related post on my blog:


From → Asia

  1. maryrichardson permalink

    I looked into doing a jungle stay myself… did your hut have electricity or running water? it looks so fun!

    • Hi Mary,
      You should! Our cabins did have electricity and running water (only cold water). You want some ‘luxury’ when you travel with your family. But I will never forget the ‘jungle music’ at night, really amazing.

  2. Dearest Emiel, what a great fantastic post about how to vacation (in style and in exotic locales) with kids 🙂
    “The ride on the back of an elephant is wonderful. With every step the animal conquers, with every step it retakes ownership of that part of the forest. You feel like a king, on the back of another king.” – my favorite phrase.
    Thank you for the link love on the elephants…..And for writing your travel adventures so consistently lately and in flawless English no less….Bravo, and thank you for the glimpse into Thailand!

    • Dearest Farnoosh,
      You make me blush… all those compliments. But keep them coming lol. You really are a great supporter and again we have a shared admiration.
      I try to be consistent indeed, next post is already finished and scheduled 🙂

  3. You really make me want to visit Thailand with my family – I especially think they would enjoy an elephant ride – there are many beautiful beaches, but that would be a unique experience

    • Thanks Heather and great to see you here! I loved your post on the Eiffel Tower. Traveling with kids offers new experiences, new adventures. If you get the chance to travel to Thailand with your children, don’t hesitate!

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