There are probably areas of Thailand I wouldn't take my kids to until they are older- mainly due to hussle & bussle & their full-on-ness but then again I wouldn't take some older relatives either! We were in Khao Lak in Feb for 1st with our 3 & 2 yrs olds and I couldn't recommend it enough. Thai people are so child friendly that I think it actually is an added bonus if you have a child! Thai people will go our their way to make sure children are looked after & are happy.
Certainly I think with a 5 yr old you will have a lot more options of activities than we had as we were tied to accommodation due to extended naps & early bed times! I am looking forward until my 2 are a bit older and we can do walks in the national park, elephant walk, kayaking, etc.
Even with a small pool and beach near by our 2 were happily amused for 2 weeks. I think kids love the different climate and the new things to see all the time- we were permanently on gecko watch!
Khao lak is great as most restaurants cater for kids with pasta, etc which allowed our kids to try our food but eat what they knew. Also ours loved the fact they could pick what fruit to eat when we were walking about. They probably are twice as much fruit as usual & picked things I didn't even know!
Thanks that was really helpful, he's been to Jamaica a few times so has been exposed to tropical climates. I definitely don't want the hustle and bustle, have also looked at Krabi but the long journey is putting me off slightly as I would have to get down to Heathrow.
Even when I was in my 20s and had been to Thailand 4+ times and was more I interested in beer and boys I have to say I did think Thailand would be a good place to bring kids.
I've been to Krabi a few time (beer & boys time) and have to say it wasn't on my list to go with the kids. I found it quite small & touristy feeling (as everyone there wanted to sell u something). Also I found Krabi quite small in terms of where you could head along beach, etc or just wandering about. In Khao Lak there is much more to wander about looking at and exploring.
What time if year are you looking at going? In terms if flights I can't see past emirates as you can fly from Dubai to Phuket. Although it doesn't save that much time that Dubai to Bangkok to Phuket it is a lot less hassle moving a small tired person from one flight to another! (I learned the v hard way when little one vomitted all over me on way back home on flight to Bangkok & all through bkk airport & I had 23 hrs left to go with no change of clothes!)
I would say if you are looking at accommodation I would go with one that has a pool and the room/ bungalow is big enough for an extra bed. Finding 2 room bungalow or big enough rooms takes a bit of research.
Also I have never been to Jamaica but how safe did you feel and could you get out and about by yourself? We felt so safe in Khao Lak (just like you would at home!) and I never worried about going anywhere.
Any questions please just ask!
Thanks, we'll that's another thing, I was looking at August but know it's rainy season and most places close down so I've got that in my mind now. Wondering now whether to wait til Easter, it's more difficult for me now due to school holidays. Jamaica isn't as unsafe as the rumours make out, I've travelled alone there on a few occasions as well as with friends and family and always gone out and about but I do think it varies depending on where you stay, I've always stayed in Negril which is ok.Edited: 03 May 2014, 23:47
We are definitely going back to Khao Lak for 3 weeks in Feb (last year before the school term time dictate our lives!). However we have a chance to go on holiday July/ August this year and I am seriously considering Khao Lak! Sound crazy but if you are looking for a stress free, children friendly, relatively cheap place then I don't think anyone can go far wrong. I have read up a bit about the weather and yes it is low season (green season/ winter/ out of season) but it's not like our weather here where winter means thermals, wellies , wind & no sunlight for weeks! If we get the (financial) chance I think we will go. It's still warm and there is a lot to be said for warm rain! Also when u think about our summer weather I think khao lak has better winters that our summers!
Also accommodation is really really good value. There may not be half the beach restaurants open but to be honest there are loads more that are. The main cost of ur hol to Thailand I think is flights because after that you could get really decent accommodation for less than £800 for a fortnight and eating out is so cheap compared to uk & Europe. And the people are so nice! Look at me I think I have just realised that 10 days in an Italian campsite in a mobile home in Sept flying with Ryanscare will cost us much more than our 3 weeks in Khao lak!
Thanks, that's put my mind at ease somewhat. I don't mind rain, infact most of my trips to jamaica have been in hurricane season as the price is much more reasonable and I've ever really been put off by the rain. If there are still places open then it's fine as I don't want a hectic holiday. Yes, the I've noticed the flight prices are the bulk of the cost. Good point is that I can fly from Manchester to Phuket via Dubai without even having to land in Bangkok. Thanks for your help.
iAlso, is it possible to do phi phi island trip from khao lak or is it too far/awkward?
I think it is weather dependant- however I would be surprised if you couldn't get a trip across(maybe other forumites might know better). The one thing I would say is if I was doing it with a 5 yr old I would take a private transfer to pier and not do the pick up thing. It may cost a few quid extra but I think minimising time with kids in card picking other people up is worth it.
I've only been to phi phi from the other side (koh lanta & Krabi) but if the ferry/ boat ride from Phuket is anything like I did I think do- able with a 5 yr old. It would be a long day but a good one I think!
Oh on an complete personal aside if u r looking at where to stay in khao lak I would suggest u veer towards bang on la as I think it would be busier in August & the odd night trip in taxi to Biang niang (200/ 300bhat) is a good alternative.
Let us all know what you go for!
(And the Emirates flight is really good & they r really kid friendly too!)
Why do you have to go from Heathrow? You can fly from Manchester with only one change of plane if you are not stopping over in Bangkok or anywhere else. So splitting your journey in roughly two halves which may be better for your kiddie. Emirates change in Dubai, Etihad change in Abu Dhabi or Qatar change in Doha. Your luggage goes straight through to Phuket.
Khao Lak though is very family orientated.
Well I don't have to go from Heathrow to Krabi it is possible from Manchester but the dates I want to travel it's a lot more expensive I.e 200 each and it takes almost 2 days to get there as it's 2+ stops because I think Bangkok-krabi flight leaves to following day so it seemed easier to go from Heathrow if I was going there. A friend mentioned ao nang. Then I started looking into khao lak which looks nice :)
Yes I will definitely look into private transfers if we go to phi phi.