Teen-Approved 10 Days in Thailand

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Advisor - Stephanie Thompson
Curated By

Stephanie Thompson

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • Adventure Travel

  • Thailand

  • Local Culture

  • Shopping

  • Entertainment

Thailand's traditional buildings with a statue in between
Curator’s statement

Thailand is is the perfect combination of beauty, adventure, culture and relaxation. And it’s incredibly family-friendly! Although I had been to Thailand as a solo traveler, we traveled to Thailand as family for the first time when my son was 13. He is now 16 and it continues to be a place he talks about and begs to return.

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Day 1: Bangkok

A skyline view of Bangkok at sunset.

Arrive in the am. Once you’ve had a nap or relaxation time by the pool, hit the ground running with visits to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho Temple (Reclining Buddha.) Both are stunning and not-to-be-missed. Afterwards, take a relaxing ride on a river cruise. It's a fun, fabulous way to sightsee and learn more about Bangkok while sitting down.

Finish of the afternoon/evening with a visit to Khao San Road, a bustling area filled with markets and restaurants or grab drink and appetizers at the famous roof top Sky Bar (as seen in Hangover 2.) Enjoy the stunning views.

Day 2: Floating Markets

Floating houses in Thailand.

A first trip to Thailand would not be complete without a visit to the iconic floating markets. Yes, it’s touristy but it’s also a unique experience. Locals will paddle their small boats around the water selling their wares and delicious food, and you can shop as they pass you by.  It’s an all day excursion but well worth the effort. End the day with a night food tour to Chinatown.

Day 3: Fly to Chiang Mai

While Bangkok is busy and bustling and navigating can be challenging, Chiang Mai is quaint and it’s easy to get around by walking, tuk tuk or taxi. It’s one of my families most favorite places. I would suggest at least 3 nights, but more if you have time. First activity is visit the old town and the jaw dropping golden Wats (temples.) There are over 120 temples in Chiang Mai, one more stunning than the next. After temple hopping, grab lunch at Lert Ros The fresh fish grilled on hot coals outside is delicious! Then get a Thai Massage at your hotel or local spa.

Round out the night with a visit to the night market. It’s great for trinket shopping and dinner (endless food stalls) plus some hilarious live cover bands.

Day 4: Elephant Park

A hut in green land and huge trees in the background

Spend the day getting up close and personal with elephants at Nature Park Elephant Park. This sanctuary is one of the best of the best and helps rehabilitated and rescue elephants. This will surely be a once in a lifetime, memorable experience.

Have dinner by cooking it yourself. There’s really no better place to take a cooking class than Thailand. Not only will you learn how to make an incredible meal that you can wow your friends with on your return home, but you get to enjoy all the bounty you created.

Day 5: Doi Sutehp Temple & Street Dining

Red insence in a temple in Thailand.

Start the day at sunrise at the Doi Sutehp Temple, a sacred temple about 15 km outside of town. The 309 steps leading to the temple will get your heart pumping. At the top you will be rewarded with the most breathtaking views.

For the adventurous, continue with a day of zip lining in the jungles of Chiang Mai. For those who prefer to have their feet on the ground, visit a silk factory where you can see the whole process of making, dying, weaving silk on looms or go on a artisan/handicraft tour.

For dinner head to Nimman Road, a very hip, artsy area filled with boutiques, coffee shops and many spots for delicious dinners.

Overview of Additional Days: Island Hopping

Koh Change island with blue ocean waters.

Option: If time permits take a side trip to Chiang Rai, famous for the stunning White Temple, markets and more. Or immerse in nature and culture with a 1-2 day trek in the nearby national forests that include visits/homestays in local villages.

Day 6-10

From Chiang Mai, head to one of the many stunning islands Thailand has to offer. Most of the islands are easily accessible by plane from Chiang Mai. Popular choices include Phuket, Koi, Samui, Krabi, Ko Lak, etc. We traveled to Krabi. It’s very laid back and quiet (ideal for families) and it’s perfectly situated to explore other islands and snorkel for the day by renting a long tail boat. There is no shortage of actives to enjoy. Paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking, hiking and fabulous rock climbing on Railay Beach are just some of the available activities. You can also just chill with a book by the pool, beach and indulge in many thai massages.

Need to Know

Looking for more family-friendly travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Family-Friendly Trip to Vietnam.

Advisor - Stephanie Thompson

Travel Advisor

Stephanie Thompson

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Thailand.