Arrival and departure
There are seven international airports in Thailand of which two international airports are the most relevant for your Thailand itinerary:
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Phuket International Airport
If you’re planning to only visit the Southern parts of Thailand, you might want to consider flying directly to Phuket International Airport to save precious travelling time flying from Bangkok to the South. Or when you’re planning to travel from North to South, you might want to book your departure from Phuket International Airport, as this will save you a precious extra day as well instead of having a travelling day. When travelling in Thailand, you want to avoid as many travel days as you can, especially when you’re travelling in Thailand for two weeks only. In this example of 2 weeks Thailand itinerary with kids, we recommend you arrive in Bangkok and departure from Phuket.
Before we jump into the 2 weeks Thailand itineraries for two kids, it’s good to answer a few relevant questions regarding travelling to Thailand.
What is the best time to travel to Thailand?
In general, the ideal time to travel to Thailand is from November until April. Near the end of November, the rainy season has stopped in most parts of the country and at the start of December, the weather is ideal for travelling. Towards the end of March, the temperature rises and the so-called Hot Month starts, which is absolutely not ideal for travelling. With that being said, you can still travel until the end of June without having to worry about bad weather. Keep in mind that the rainy season lasts longer in the southern parts of Thailand and even December can be a wet month. Does that mean you cannot travel? No, but just keep in mind that you might have a chance of a few days full of rain.
Tip: See if you can plan your holiday with one of Thailand's most popular festivals. Check out our article about the best Thai festivals. Amazing festivals such as Songkran, Loy Krathong and many more are listed in this article.
When is the rainy season in Thailand?
Although each region in Thailand has slightly different raining seasons, as some start or stop earlier, in general, the rainy season in Thailand occurs between June and November. In my personal experience, as an ex-pat living in Thailand for several years, your best bet is to arrive in Thailand in December. For example, in the southern parts of Thailand, at popular islands, you can still experience lots of rainy days until the beginning of December. There are still plenty of tourists who travel to Thailand in months like July, August and September though, but keep in mind that those perfect beach pictures you saw on Instagram with cloudless blue skies, you most likely won’t replicate.
When is the burning season in Thailand?
One of the downsides of travelling to Thailand during the high season (December until April) is that some parts of Thailand have a so-called burning season. Farmers burn the leftovers of their harvest as modern equipment and machinery are too expensive for them. The result is that these areas are completely filled with toxic smoke and air quality in some regions are the worst in whole Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai is one of the cities you want to avoid during the burning season, especially between February and March. Towards the end of the high season, in the month of April, air quality levels are back to normal.
2 Week Thailand itinerary with kids:
Bangkok - Sukhothai - Chiang Mai - Phuket
In this ideal two week Thailand with kids, we came up with points of attention that will improve the travel experience for kids. First of all, we want to avoid long travelling days. Secondly, we put the emphasis on seeing wildlife, culture and nature. Lastly, we added a few activities that kids simply love. Obviously, Thailand’s highlights will be in the itinerary as well, although it’s impossible to see everything Thailand has to offer in just two weeks.
The ideal 2 weeks Thailand itinerary with kids is:
Day 1: Arrival in Bangkok, visit Siam Niramit and Ratchada Train Market
Depending on where you depart, most tourists took a long haul flight to Bangkok and the first day is not the most active day of your travel. That’s why we only recommend an evening program, where the rest of the day, you can adapt to the climate and rest if needed.
In the evening, we recommend you visiting Siam Niramit. This is a spectacular show that takes you on a journey through Thailand’s rich history. It takes place daily near Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station (more information on our Bangkok Public Transport). The show is ideal for kids as it’s family-friendly. Make sure to order tickets via their official website. After the show, which starts at 20:00 and ends at 21:30, you can visit Ratchada Train Market, which is nearby. This night market is one of the most popular evening markets in the city and is a paradise for street food and finger food.
Spectacular show Siam Niramit, ideal to visit with kids.
Bangkok's most famous train market at Ratchada
Tip: In case you do have plenty of time during the day, you can visit Mahanakhon Tower, which is the largest tower in Thailand. On top of this 314 meters-high skyscraper is an observation deck. This gives you a spectacular view of the city. The observation deck also has a glass floor where you can stand on and see the traffic under your feet. This bizarre experience is something that you will not forget for the rest of your life. The only downside is the entree fee, with a whopping 1,000 THB per person! But kids until 15 years old only pay 250 per person.
360 degrees view over the city at Mahanakhorn Skywalk
Relevant articles: Top things to do in Bangkok (for more inspiration), Best local Thai restaurants in Bangkok.
Day 2: (Bangkok) The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, canal tour, and Chinatown
Once you have a full day in Bangkok, it’s time to explore the city’s highlights. Without a doubt, the main attraction in Bangkok is the Grand Palace. This gigantic complex is located near the river and used to be the official residence of the Royal Family. It’s also home to Thailand’s most sacred Buddha relic, the Emerald Buddha. You can easily combine your visit to the Grand Palace with a visit to Wat Pho (located right next to The Grand Palace), which is a famous temple with the second largest reclining Buddha in the country. This impressive statue is definitely worth the visit. Keep in mind that temples in Thailand often have a strict dress code, including The Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok
Once finished, and after lunch (check out our article about the best restaurants near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho for amazing restaurants nearby), take the ferry at ThaThien Pier (or other piers) to Sathon Pier Ferry Crossing. Here you can rent a private or group long tail boat that takes you on a tour through the canals as well as the Chao Praya River (including Wat Arun). An ideal way to explore the older parts of Bangkok. Finish your day with a walk through Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in the world and home to many street food shops, Chinese restaurants, markets, chaos, and neon lights. Keep in mind that most shops in Chinatown are closed on Mondays.
Chinatown in Bangkok, known as Yaowarat.
Relevant articles: 20 Best (street) food in Chinatown Bangkok, 15 Best restaurants in Chinatown Bangkok.
Day 3: Bike tour or visiting a floating market
On your third and last full day in Bangkok, we recommend you either taking an organized bike tour through Bangkok or visiting a floating market. Here is what you need to know:
There are several companies in Bangkok that offer kids-friendly bike tours. Together with a guide, the tour will take you through the older parts of Bangkok where you cycle through small alleys (which is a pretty cool experience) and eventually to Bang Krachao, an island full of greenery, also known as The Green Lungs of Bangkok. It is possible to organize a bike trip to Bang Krachao on your own. If you’d like to do so, have a look at our Bang Krachao Guide.
Bike tour at Bang Krachao
Plenty of street food to discover at Bang Krachao Market
There are several floating markets near Bangkok, although there are two floating markets that stand out from the rest, namely Amphawa Floating Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Both markets are located around 100 kilometres west of Bangkok. The downside of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is that’s extremely touristy and after ten o’clock in the morning, the floating market is packed with tourists and polluting motorboats. But, as we described in our Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Guide, if you manage to visit this market early, you avoid the crowds and the fumes and can really enjoy this floating market. Once finished, just simply visit Amphawa Floating Market, which is located a few kilometres from it. We highly recommend you rent a private taxi/mini-van for all this. You can combine this trip to the floating markets with visiting the famous Maeklong Railway Market.
Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak
The most popular floating market in Thailand, Damnoen Saduak.
Relevant article: Best floating markets in Bangkok
Day 4: Fly to Sukhothai, Explore The Historical Park, Eat Sukhothai Noodles
Note: As we want to limit the travelling days as much as possible, we do not recommend you visiting Kanchanaburi in this itinerary, even though the nature is magnificent there. The ideal route from Bangkok to the North is via Sukhothai. Here, you can visit two Historical Parks, which both are more impressive than the one in Ayutthaya (a popular day trip activity in Bangkok, but Sukhothai is a better choice).
With daily, cheap flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Sukhothai Airport, you can easily visit this popular destination within a few hours. And as this is a domestic flight, you don’t have to arrive that early at the airport. The flight only takes one hour and twenty minutes. Once you arrive at this tiny airport, you can take a taxi to New Sukhothai, where you should have booked a hotel. Old Sukhothai is where the Historical Park is located and there is not much to do other than the ruins, so we don’t recommend staying in Old Sukhothai. You can easily take the bus or simply take a taxi from New Sukhothai to Old Sukhothai.
Once checked in, explore Sukhothai Historical Park by bike. The Historical Park is impressive and the complex is well-maintained. You have the option to visit The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum as well. Also, there are many other ruins to be found outside the complex, which are all described in the map you get at the entrance. In the evening, the Historical Park is beautifully lit up and it’s definitely worth visiting the park again in the evening. Make sure to try Sukhothai’s speciality: Sukhothai Noodles.
Sukhothai Historical Park
Relevant articles: Things to do in Sukhothai, Best Sukhothai noodles, Best restaurants in Sukhothai.
Day 5: Visit Si Satchanalai Historical Park or go for a hike
As busses from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai only depart until 13:40, you want to enjoy a second full day in Sukhothai without rushing. We recommend you either visiting the Si Satchanalai Historical Park or go for a hike at Ramkhamhaeng National Park. But we only recommend visiting Ramkhamhaeng National Park if you as a family are sporty.
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Although the main attraction of Sukhothai is the Sukhothai Historical Park, there is another important historical park, namely Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Si Satchanalai Historical Park is not as impressive as Sukhothai Historical Park but definitely worth the visit. Here, you can also rent a bike and explore the ruins. It is good to know that this historical park is located near the airport. If you want to travel from Sukhothai to another city, it’s perfect to combine the flight and a visit to Si Satchanalai Historical Park. There are no flights from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai though.
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Ramkhamhaeng National Park
Ramkhamhaeng National Park is not your typical national park where you can spot wildlife, but it’s a steep mountain in the middle of the region that offers a spectacular view of the province of Sukhothai. The only downside is that it’s extremely steep (1,200 meters in 3.7 kilometres) and one must be in good shape and condition in order to climb this mountain. You should start as early as possible as you are not allowed to start your ascending or hike after two o’clock in the afternoon. Make sure to bring enough water and food as there are no facilities at all during the climb or on top of the mountain. If you’re up for a challenge and adventure, this is the activity you should do as the view is rewardingly impressive! Keep in mind that you need to rent a private taxi in order to get to the national park, which costs around 1000 THB in total.
The view is spectacular, the climb is exhausting!
Day 6: Travel to Chiang Mai, Explore Chiang Mai
The best way to travel from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai is by bus and it takes around four and a half hours to get to Chiang Mai. Ideally, you want to travel as early as possible. Chiang Mai is home to many beautiful temples, nature, national parks and of course elephant sanctuaries. These highlights obviously excite kids and therefore you want to stay at least three days in this popular city. We believe that it’s best to explore the city once you checked in the hotel. Perhaps it’s time for the kids to enjoy the swimming pool at the hotel and in the evening you can explore the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. On Saturday, there is a popular Saturday Night Market which amazing street food. Also, it’s a must to try out the Northern Thai cuisine, with famous dishes like Khao Soi, Hang Lay and Chiang Mai Sausage. Khao Soi is kids-friendly and is one of the most popular Thai dishes among tourists.
Relevant articles: Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai, Best local Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai, Best breakfast in Chiang Mai.
Also, for more information about Thai food, check out our article about the best Thai food for kids.
Day 7: Elephant Sanctuary
For many tourists, visiting an elephant sanctuary is on their list of things to do in Thailand. Although we are not against visiting elephant sanctuaries, you should know that not all elephant sanctuaries are treating the elephants in the best way. That’s why it’s absolutely a must to research what elephant sanctuaries don’t harm the elephants and we believe that every tourist should be responsible to do this research themselves. With that being said, a visit to an elephant sanctuary is probably one of the coolest activities for both kids as parents during the trip in Thailand.
Most elephant sanctuaries have morning, afternoon, full-day, and overnight visits. Depending on your preference, you can also combine your visit with another activity such as following a cooking class somewhere else in the city.
Elephant sanctuary, fun for parents and kids!
Relevant article: Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries by Thailand Tourism Authority
Day 8: Temple hopping
Yes, you’ve seen temples before in Bangkok, and you will see more temples in every city or town you arrive at. But we cannot ignore the fact that Chiang Mai has some impressive temples that simply are too good not to visit. In our Chiang Mai Temple Guide, we describe in detail what temples you definitely should visit and what makes them so special. Our top 7 is:
- Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
- Wat Suan Dok Temple
- Wat Umong Temple
- Wat Chiang Man Temple
- Wat Chedi Luang Temple
- Wat Phra Singh Temple
- Wat Ched Yot Temple
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The recommended article also contains the rules for visiting temples in Chiang Mai, so it’s definitely worth the read.
Day 9: Doi Inthanon National Park
One of Thailand’s most popular national parks is Doi Inthanon National Park and a must-visit when you’re in Chiang Mai. In order to plan this trip, you should either hire a private driver or book a tour. In the city, you can find many tour agents, or book a private tour via various websites. Doi Inthanon National Park is located about one and a half hours from downtown Chiang Mai and we highly recommend you to start as early as possible. Keep in mind that it’s a bit colder than you’re used to at Doi Inthanon National Park because of the higher altitude. The national park is known for its waterfalls, wildlife, viewpoints and mountains and is an amazing experience for kids too. More information about the park itself can be found on the official website of Doi Inthanon National Park.
Relevant article: Doi Inthanon National Park Guide.
Doi Inthanon National Park
Day 10: Travel from Chiang Mai to Phuket
After seeing temples, ruins, wildlife, elephants, waterfalls and even participated in a cooking class, it’s time for relaxation and the best place to do that is Phuket. We recommend you take a domestic flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket in the morning. The best way to explore Phuket is by renting a car, for which you need an international drivers license. You can pick up your rented car at the airport. We highly recommend you to do so, as taxi fairs in Phuket are extremely expensive due to the taxi mafia. The freedom of driving around the island gives you the ultimate holiday feeling and for Thailand standards, driving through Phuket is not that difficult.
The first day, after such a busy itinerary so far, we recommend you doing nothing except enjoying your stay in Phuket. The upcoming days will be busy again with day trips and visiting impressive places and the island’s highlights. During our last stay, we had a hotel at Nai Yang beach, which is located close to the airport, the pier to Surin Island (which we will recommend later) and the road to Phang Na Bay, which we found an ideal location. But Nai Yang beach is located far away from the island’s highlights. With that being said, there are many good areas to stay in as a family, just avoid places like Patong.
Time to relax!
Day 11: Explore Phuket’s Highlights
When you start early, you can easily visit some of Phuket’s highlights and still have room for an afternoon at the beach. Start your day by visiting the Big Buddha first. You can also visit Wat Doi Thepnimit, which is a beautiful temple, however, in this itinerary, we’ve recommended so many temples already. Once you’ve visited the Big Buddha, head over to Karon View Point, which is located nearby. You will get some of the best views on the island and it’s a great place to take a few pictures. Then, head over to Promthep Cape, which is yet again a viewpoint with a spectacular view.
Wat Doi Thepnimit
Karon View Point
In the afternoon, there is plenty of room to spend some time at the beach. Phuket has many great beaches where you can enjoy good food, ice-cold drinks and where the kids can play at the beach. In the late afternoon, we recommend you visiting Phuket Old Town where you can stroll around the beautiful shops and alleys. Keep in mind that finding a parking spot around Phuket Old Town is a bit difficult, although supermarkets and small malls often offer the best options.
Time to spend some time on the beach in the afternoon.
Phuket Old Town
Alternative: although we highly recommend seeing and doing activities/sceneries you can only experience in Phuket, we understand that you might want to do something exciting with the kids. One of the best activities for kids is visiting Splash Jungle, a popular waterpark close to the airport.
Day 12: Visit Surin Island
For many tourists, visit either Surin Island or the Similan Islands is on their top list of activities in Phuket. We believe that a visit to Surin Island is the best option of the two as the visit to Similan Islands is more focussed on snorkelling, while the visit to Surin Island also takes you to the sea gipsies known as the Moken. Surin Island is part of Mu Ko Surin National Park and is impressively beautiful with some of the best coral you can find in Thailand and seeing small Nemo fishes during snorkelling is a guarantee. During our stay in Phuket, we booked a full tour at Wow Andaman (not an affiliate link or whatsoever) and the quality of the tour was outstanding, which included breakfast, snorkelling, lunch buffet, helpful staff, unlimited drinks and plenty of life vests. Wow Andaman is pricy, but extremely well organized. The best time to visit Mu Ko Surin National Park and Surin Island is between November and April, outside of the rainy season.
This day trip ends around 18:00 and you will be completely exhausted. You will be dropped off at your accommodation and you probably don’t need an evening program.
Where the Moken live.
Day 13: Visit Phang Na Bay, Take a boat tour
On one of your last days in Phuket, we recommend you visiting Phang Na Bay. Ideally, you drive to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint where you can rent a long tail boat that takes you to the highlights of Phang Na Bay, which includes the James Bond Island. When you rent a private boat, which is recommended when you travel as a family, you have the freedom of deciding which parts of Phang Na Bay you’d like to visit and what time you’d like to return to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint. After the boat tour, visit Samet Nangshe Viewpoint to take a beautiful panoramic picture with Phang Na Bay in the background. You will have time for an afternoon activity if you start early.
James Bond Island
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
Day 14: Prepare to go back home
Unfortunately, all holidays come to an end. Depending on what time your flight departures back to your home country, you maybe can still visit a beach, relax at the hotel or go for some souvenir shopping. As mentioned earlier, if you fly back from Phuket instead of Bangkok to your home country, you will save precious time.
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