Phuket’s acacia tree-dotted hills and white-sand beaches fringing the Andaman Sea make it a traveler’s paradise. And with its warm culture and family-oriented lifestyle, bringing the kids along on your next Phuket vacation is a no-brainer. With so many things to do in Phuket, read on to discover 5 must-do activities when traveling with the little ones in tow.
- If you’re a family of early risers
Let the experts at My Phuket Holiday arrange a full-day family outing to the Phi Phi Islands. A before-sunrise departure time allows you to beat the crowds who begin making their way to the island oases by midday. By that time, you’ll have soaked up plenty of sunshine at Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le, and will be moving on to Phi Phi Don, where you and your little ones can doggy paddle through Viking Cave on the island’s eastern edge.
Following your adventures, watch a colony of monkeys play on the beach at Loh Dalam Bay while feasting on a tasty Thai lunch. In the afternoon, more snorkeling awaits before your guide shuttles you back to Phuket via speedboat and air-conditioned minivan. The best part of this expedition? Your littles are delightfully tuckered by the end of the day.
- If your kids are animal lovers
Treat them to a half-day jungle safari and elephant trekking experience with Tour East Thailand. Under the tutelage of a trained elephant handler, get up-close-and-personal with the national animal of Thailand and teach your minis about how these strong and intelligent mammals have been employed throughout history, from performing manual labor to protecting kings and queens during periods of war.
After an adorable elephant performance, head to a local rice farm and learn how water buffalo are used to help cultivate crops from rice to tropical fruit. Then, relive the memories over ice cream at Torrey’s, which serves up uncommon flavors like lychee, coconut milk, and Thai iced coffee.
- If relaxation is what you’re after
With so many things to do in Phuket, it can be easy to lose sight of what you came here for—a getaway. Set aside an entire day for relaxation with a day trip to Coral Island, hosted by Travstore Travel Management. Unlike other far-flung island outings, Coral Island is a doable 15-minute trip from the mainland.
Once there, sink into the sand and feel your troubles melt away. While you sunbathe, the kids can snorkel or embark on a nature walk along trails flanked by beach rose and smooth rocks, where lizards stretch out in the sun. When you feel your stomach start to rumble, head to a Thai restaurant and tuck into lunch—with plenty of options to appeal to even the pickiest eaters—before returning to Phuket in time for dusk.
- If you want to teach your kids about the local culture
Consider a private introduction to Buddhism with EXO Travel, a provider that specializes in family-friendly tours. A knowledgeable local introduces your kids to Thai-Buddhism, the religion practiced by a majority of the island’s inhabitants. After chatting with your guide, settle on an itinerary, visiting temples like Wat Luangpoo Supha and Wat Chalong. Individualized attention from your guide means inquisitive kids can pose as many questions they like.
Next, head to Supernatural Restaurant at Friendship Beach. Against a soundtrack of gently crashing waves, encourage kids to taste Thai specialties like tempura prawns with sweet-lemon sauce. Not biting? Kid-tested dishes abound, with familiar favorites like grilled cheese and the classic burger and fries.
- If you’re looking to take older kids on an adventure
An educational excursion to Phang Nga Bay with Trip Store Krabi might be just the thing. After departing Phuket in the middle of the day, arrive in Phang Nga Bay and slide inside a handmade sea kayak to experience the geological wonders of the region from the water. Paddle into limestone caves and hidden lagoons that remained undiscovered until the late 1980s, keeping your eyes peeled for kingfishers and sea eagles.
As the sun sinks out of view, return to the speedboat and feel a sense of awe as your guide reveals the glowing bio-luminescent plankton that swirl beneath surface of the sea. During the evening journey to Phuket, dine on a delicious seafood buffet with your tween.
What family-friendly adventure in Phuket sounds best to you?