What’s better than a day at the beach with the kids? Right: a day at the beach with the kids in Thailand! Southeast Asia’s original holiday destination offers more stretches of sand than children can count on both their hands and feet together, not that maths were a priority when your toes are buried in powdery white sand.
While some travellers like to party it up on Koh Phangan’s Haad Rin and others prefer the utter calm and remoteness of the Similan Islands, parents travelling with their kids will look for a more fun-filled beach experience that puts the little ones first – with our below recommendations, you can’t go wrong!
Bophut Beach, Koh Samui
If your kids are of the active kind (and whose aren’t?), make your way to Koh Samui’s Bophut Beach. Children of all ages gather here for a wide array of water sports, including surfing, jet skiing and kneeboarding. Although we’ll argue flyboarding is the most sensational craze to hit Bophut’s ivory sands and, since it combines the holy trio of tropical fun – water, speed and heights, it might also be the most smile-inducing thing to do around here! If all that activity is getting the little ones hungry, head over to the Fisherman’s Village walking street market for a big slice of pizza and some coconut ice cream. It’s like Christmas for kids.
Haad Sai Yao, Koh Muk
Looking for something a little more laidback? The idyllic island of Koh Muk, part of the southern Trang archipelago (or as some like to call it, Thailand’s ‘best-kept secret’) is home to the stunning little beach of Haad Sai Yao. Sheltered by imposing, jungle-clad rock formations, the shallow waters of the bay see little current and make for ideal swimming conditions for younger children. Whether you come to drift on the calm water surface for a while or to enjoy a picnic under the palms with the family, the crowds haven’t arrived just yet and you’re guaranteed to get some real quality time in. Top tip? Bring a beach ball.
Kamala Beach, Phuket
We know what you’re thinking, but just trust us on this one: although within easy driving distance from the party scene of Patong, this beach offers a Phuket experience so different, you’ll think you’re on another island! Kamala is a wide beach that stretches for over 2 km of interrupted, powdery white sand fronted by the vast expanse of the Andaman Sea – if you’ve been waiting for a reason to take a kite on your Thai holiday, this is it. Needless to say, snorkelling equipment is never far away when vacationing in Phuket, and last time we checked, a meet and greet with the tropics’ friendly, colourful fish was all the rage with children!
Sunset Beach, Koh Lipe
For families looking to get away and indulge in some luxury for a few days, we’d wholeheartedly recommend the beaches of Koh Lipe, which strike up visions of paradise. There’s a sprawling black pebble beach here (free reflexology, anyone?), but most of the action on Lipe takes place on the appropriately named Sunset Beach, which lures travellers out of their fancy resorts each night for a truly memorable spectacle. Between palm tree swings, warm waters and longtail boat trips, there’s a lot of fun for kids to have around here and this being a family-oriented island, children make friends in no time – it’s easier building sandcastles with a mate!